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Learning to Love Living in New London, Connecticut

(Choosing the Academy, Just for Fun, Class of 2021) Permanent link   All Posts
Annabella Farabaugh

If you Google the top 10 things to do in New London, Connecticut, three of the suggestions are taking a ferry out of New London. As someone who lived in the heart of Atlanta, I saw New London as a blip of a cold coastal town best to be avoided. Originally, the three suggested locations for the Academy were California, Florida, and Connecticut. I’m really not sure how we ended up here.

However, the more I’ve chosen to engage with New London, the more I’ve begun to like it. As a 4/c, I mostly just went to Crystal Mall, Target, Texas Roadhouse, or Moe’s – all stops off the highway along the liberty bus route. This year I started exploring some of the closer places. I’ve spent many weekend mornings and afternoons walking into New London to find a new place to eat or a café to do homework. So far, one of my favorite places is Washington Street Coffee House, which has amazing food, great coffee, and even a comedy night once a month. Muddy Waters is another good coffee house to do homework or enjoy breakfast. There’s an interesting record store that hosts live music on the weekends, two yoga studios, a store that grows coral reefs for aquariums, and a few thrift stores. I like to eat at Right Path Organic Café, an all vegan restaurant that has the best chocolate chip cookies and one of my favorite meals – the Perspective bowl. Fiddleheads Co-op, a locally owned co-operative with their own kitchen, is another one of my favorite places to shop. I started walking places instead of taking an Uber or the liberty bus because of the sense of independence, self-sufficiency, and the relaxation of listening to music while I walk.

Before I came to the Academy, I went to college part time at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Go Jackets!) and worked 30 hours a week at a restaurant. My dorm room, my job, and my house were all within three or four miles of one another and I ended up biking, walking, and running everywhere instead of driving. I realized that it was very relaxing and made me a lot happier than driving in downtown Atlanta traffic (unsurprisingly). I came to love Atlanta even more than I had before, mostly because walking through an area over and over gives you a better sense of oneness and ownership of the place you live in. As cadets aspiring to be officers, we can expect to be stationed in many different places. Developing the habit of getting to know the place you live in and learning to love it – no matter where you are – can help you build confidence and happiness in your day-to-day life.