Why is New Jersey even a state

An alumni’s opinion

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Even when highly saturated, NJ doesn’t look like a place I want to be.

Aaron Scheetz, Lode Writer

I have lived in New Jersey for a total of four days and these past four days have been some of the hardest days of this past year. From the very first day when I passed the state lines coming from Pennsylvania, I have experienced nothing but discomfort. From the constant stream of literal garbage lining the streets to the never-ending deluge of graffiti blocking out the overpasses, making its way onto overpass street signs, obstructing your view, and obscuring your directions – not that people in New Jersey need street signs or traffic laws to navigate around the state. 

My experiences driving here could honestly be their own article – maybe even a whole book. New Jersey is known as the Garden State; such a tranquil name for a state filled with road rage and impatience. Filled with sharp bends and varying speed signs on the highways, the Garden State lands at #19 on most lists for high automobile insurance. From the lane splitting motorcycles weaving through traffic and sneaking up on you from behind, there is never a dull moment while your knuckles turn white from stress as the pushy Porsche cruising along at 85 m.p.h. in a 55 m.p.h. zone passes you on a double yellow. You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a seatbelt at all times.

When you finally get off the highway (most of which you have to pay for in cash, with no indication given anywhere) you wind up in some city or town that is severely lacking in parking infrastructure and filled with construction. Part of the charm that is city life in New Jersey is that you’re constantly greeted with the beautiful sight of depressing, run-down buildings. It is amazing to me, as a person with a brain that works, that no one has thought to buy up a few of these dilapidated houses, demolish them, and throw up a parking garage or several. The revenue from those alone would potentially be able to fund a revitalization program or at least paint a few city blocks that haven’t seen a fresh coat since before the Great Depression.

Given that I have only been in New Jersey for four days, I believe that there is still plenty more for me to see and experience while I live here for the next three months for work. Maybe I will even write a follow up once I fall in love with the quaint beauty that is the Garden State and learn to enjoy the many flaws around me. 

That is, if I survive long enough…