Who is Shana Douglas and Why Should We Care?
I’m a random mouthy kid from the great state of New Jersey and if you’re a fan of all things Dayton but still question the appeal this city has to young professionals (nationally) who are looking for permanent residence, you care what I have to say.
Who in the World Moves to Ohio?
If I had a nickel for every time this was said to me just 4 years ago before leaving New Jersey, I wouldn’t be rich but I’d have a change purse full. Well, I am here now. I won’t go into all of the specifics or divulge the entire saga of what has lead me to Ohio. The important part is that I am planted firmly in the Dayton region. It is however my inaugural article here at Daytonmostmetro.com , so I will give you a bit of my background before my first official feature in February.
Long before “Jersey Shore” and “Jerseylicious” was a girl who thought she’d never venture out of the Garden State. If you enjoy those shows, I apologize. To each is own, but I can assure you that not all of the people who reside in New Jersey are like the fictional characters you watch on TV. I hope you don’t really believe it’s Reality TV? Still it made me squirm to think of building a life there, I knew I wanted something more for my life and more of an opportunity to succeed.
I heard that “Ohio Was For Lovers” in a song by Hawthorne Heights. Right, well when love failed I decided my stay here had to become about something a bit more. I decided to take my years of experience in my field and look for an opportunity to grow further, you know, focus on my career instead. The first city I researched oddly enough was Dayton. I can’t really tell you my reasoning then, but I can tell you now, that almost two years later I am confident in my decision.
My question is why the hell not? I think if people put down the sour news they’re reading that possesses this region and actually spent some time here, they would understand why. I grew up minutes away from THE “Big City” and I would never argue that’s its one of the most remarkable cities I’ve been to. The art, the culture, the people – it definitely has a unique and almost magical allure to it. However, so does Dayton. Let’s start with the people.
When I decided to stick around I considered my life a blank slate. It didn’t take long however, before an overwhelming amount of color was in my life. I’ve always been very passionate about volunteer work and one of the first things I sought out was opportunities in the region to get involved. Back on the East Coast I never found it easy to locate groups of people with the same passion, here in Dayton that is certainly not the case. Within weeks I had identified amazing groups doing wildly impactful things for the region. It was inspiring to see such a grassroots effort by several groups and organizations with essentially the same mission, to rebuild the reputation of such a great city. I say “reputation” because opportunity never really ceased, it just needs to be uncovered.
On Arts and Culture
The creative energy in this city far surpasses anything I have ever witnessed and when coupled with the amazing talent that resides in the region, I haven’t once felt in a rut in terms of my own need for being stimulated creatively. Art centers and galleries, museums, performing arts, music festivals and events..there’s always something going on, and affordable to attend. The city of Dayton makes it easy for young professionals to really feel like they are “socially” fulfilled. Here, life can be enjoyed without emptying your bank account and I think that factor alone is lot of the reason why I stay. If you live an active lifestyle you want to be out meeting people, learning new things and living life as if it were an adventure. Dayton has much potential for adventure. If you doubt me, you can certainly peruse DaytonMostMetro.com further for what’s happening around town.
I don’t believe I would have had the same opportunities on the East Coast that I have had here, in fact I know it. The openness to listen and value the ideas of a younger generation of professionals who are up and coming was something I never really experienced before moving here. I think that’s why many like myself do stay, because we’re being heard and are given the opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals in all career stages. You can’t beat that learning experience.
So There it is, My Grand Entrance
Consider this a teaser, because what I plan on covering for Daytonmostmetro.com is everything a Young Professional faces in a time within our lives when self discovery is so important. Choosing a path to pursue is a shaky period in one’s life and there are so many things we face that lead us to the decisions we make. I have some advice based on my experiences and hopefully together we can get some definitive answers on how to deal with all the gems and duds life presents us with. I’ll be covering topics that may be considered taboo and offering my opinions on a great many things, which I apologize for in advance but welcome rigorous debate. I’ll try to keep the Jersey attitude to a minimum, but make no promises.
Thanks to Daytonmostmetro.com for having me and look for my first feature in my column “From Jersey, to Dayton With Love” coming this February!