I have observed the development of the Naperville phenomena for about 30 years from the vantage point of the city to its west, Aurora. There’s an assumption going that Naperville has everything going for it and Aurora has nothing. I know families in Naperville and I’ve noticed that the kids who I’ve met are sometimes odd. This is in no way scientific, but I think they are insulated and not very cosmopolitan. I have heard that there are serious drug problems in the high schools and I get the feeling that everyone is held to a level of scrutiny to determine whether they are up to par socioeconomically. (A high school teacher friend of mine tells me similar things about St. Charles.)
over 6 years ago
My daughter went to West Aurora and she told me that she doesn’t think there’s much of a drug problem there (and she’s sort of bohemian and would know.) She says the kids don’t harrass each other about their “style.” so much. I’ve noticed that the kids at West are a lot more tolerant than they are in the typical high school. My daughter’s friends are a mixed group in the economical sense, but they’re all very cosmopolitan, bright, cultivated, and ambitious but not driven. Some are at U of I, UIC, Loyola, St. Johns in Santa Fe New Mexico, Waubonsee CC, and some aren’t studying.
Kids at West who are bright (and there are plenty of them) can succeed without the cutthroat competition that’s rampant in the moneyed suburbs.
Real Estate is overpriced in Naperville and many people have financial problems that they keep under the social radar.
I never lock my doors in my car or my house. One of our many (multicultural) friends might stop by when we’re not home and might need something! I’ve had people I don’t know lend me their car to get my keys when I’ve locked mine in the car, and I’ve paid a lady’s groceries with my credit card in exchange for a check when she’d forgotten her check cashing card. I’ve given strangers rides and people have done me favors here over the years.
Real Estate is a bargain (though taxes here are high) in Aurora and that allows us to travel (11 countries in Europe, Africa and South America so far), to pay cash for our cars, to have a small investment house, and to save for retirement. And I only work part-time as a teacher!
I just think the quality of life is not what it’s cracked up to be in Naperville (although people there would deny it to the death.)