How New Orleans Became My Home, 1,196 Miles from Home

Whether it’s the Mardi Gras parades, the beautiful architecture, or the wonderful people, New Orleans seems to have a draw that’ll attract people from just about anywhere. Tulane has a huge percentage of out of state students, myself included, and I wanted to get a better idea of just what it is about New Orleans that draws people thousands of miles from their homes.

Courtney Zaharia (me!)

Hometown: Truman, Minnesota

Miles from Tulane: 1,196

What makes NOLA feel like home: I grew up in a TINY town (1,000 people, 1 sq mile) so NOLA is an entirely different vibe, which I love. This city is so lively and you never run out of things to do. I have three sisters at home, and I found three new sisters in my suitemates, so that’s probably the biggest factor in making New Orleans feel like home. Plus, everyone is super nice in this city, which reminds me of my “Minnesota Nice” roots.

Sydney Sheffield

Hometown: Los Altos, California

Miles from Tulane: 2,247

What makes NOLA feel like home: The bay area and NOLA have very little in common, so it’s the people here that make me feel at home. The closer I am with the people here, the closer I feel to the city as a whole.

Hannah Theriot

Hometown: Lafayatte, Louisiana

Miles from Tulane: 134

What makes NOLA feel like home: The weather is obviously pretty similar here as it is in Lafayatte, so that’s an easy way to feel at home. Also, the people; everyone is super friendly. I’ve been coming to New Orleans since I was a kid, so that early exposure helped the city feel more like home right off the bat.

Gabby Rebmann

Hometown: Merrick, New York

Miles from Tulane: 1,340

What makes NOLA feel like home: Home is a sense of comfort and belonging, not necessarily a place. In New York, I feel at home with my friends and family. In New Orleans, I feel at home in my suite, or in Dixon with POCappella. I’m still surrounded by people who care about me, so I feel at home here.

Didi Ikeji

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Miles from Tulane: 1,055

What makes NOLA feel like home: There’s obviously no place that could ever replace your real home, but the city has its quirks that make it very inviting for our four years here. Just like you know all the quirks of your hometown, you get to learn about New Orleans’s quirks, like finding babies in king cake or the beads hanging from everyone’s balconies.

Ellie Golding

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Miles from Tulane: 1,299

What makes NOLA feel like home: Individual relationships are what make me feel at home. On a community level, New Orleans is pretty different from Denver, but having amazing friends in both places allows me to feel at home in both places.

New Orleans is a lively city that’s home to a little bit of everything. The city draws people from all over the country, and it’s no secret that a huge part of Tulane’s draw is the fact that it resides in this wonderful city. So, what do you think? What is it about New Orleans that makes you feel at home, no matter how many miles you are from your hometown?

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