Examining our roots in the City of Trees

By Olivia Nouriani
Editor in Chief

In team dinners for Little League, “I donate to SPEF” signs, and wine moms who go to Parti Gras, what it means to be rooted in South Pasadena is distinct.

As my friends return from first semesters in college, it is clear that most of them are having a difficult time adjusting. They are people who have had the same friends for 5 or 10 years, a group who played T-ball together, whose families camped together.

The roots that have been difficult for them to let go of resonate with many of us long-standing South Pasadenians. There are many of us that they don’t resonate with too—many of us who moved here, whose parents are immigrants, who feel uncertain in our friendships, whose families do not fit the Soccer Mom picture.

My family was never what I thought we were supposed to be; we were late to everything, my single mother swore and had boyfriends, and I spent much of middle and high school moving from friend group to friend group.

I also played Little League. I had pool parties. My mom donates to SPEF and I still have many of the friends that I did in third grade. But for most of my childhood this community still felt foreign; I felt certain that I didn’t fit into it.

As I watched grieving friends graduate and move forward each year, I felt sure that I wasn’t going to feel the way they did about leaving—that it would be easy for me. But as college has gotten closer and I’ve gotten closer to people who are in college, I’ve found myself appreciating the relationships that I’ve built here more, and more and more unsure about what the future will hold. I do not know yet how deep my roots here are; only leaving will reveal that.

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