Lee Goldstein: From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (blog 1)

Lee Goldstein: about to embark on undergraduate studies in philosophy and psychology"But… why?!"

That's probably the most common reaction I get every time I tell someone that I have decided to study in Jerusalem instead of staying in Tel Aviv. Of course, they ask only after accepting the fact that I have decided to go to university at all at the early age [in Israel] of 21. But that's a different issue.

I can understand their amazement — after all, you don't meet so many born-and-raised "Tel Avivians" who waive their inherited privilege of living in the center of… well… everything! Tel Aviv has a thriving night life, it is home to many of the most celebrated current pop artists and musicians and it is viewed as a gigantic stage for numerous political and social protests; everything happens here.

However, having considered all that, I still chose to move to the more "modest" (at some levels) city of Jerusalem. Even though it lacks the abundance of pubs and clubs, the night scene in Jerusalem is developing rapidly and many young investors see the potential of Jerusalem, which accommodates an increasing amount of students from the various educational institutions located in the city.

Also, in Jerusalem, the night life almost solely exists in the "Midrehov" [Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall]. Therefore, unlike Tel Aviv, Jerusalem is not divided into different areas, which serve different populations. When going out in Tel Aviv, you know in advance what kind of people you are likely to meet in each area — students, nouveaux riches, locals, fashionistas: each group has its own "nightlife base".

In Jerusalem, everyone goes to the same area, meeting and associating with people from all groups and sides of the city. This leads to another reason for my choice, which is the cultural diversity in Jerusalem. It may sound rather naïve, but having lived in the "bubble" of Tel Aviv, I would like to get to know people whose backgrounds are completely different than mine. And although Tel Aviv's cultural pallet is indeed a varied one, I believe that Jerusalem will introduce me to even more interesting crowds.

In terms of the academic parameters of choosing where to study, I believe that people should study what interests them and not get stuck in a place where they are unhappy or — worse — bored. That's why I chose to study philosophy; this world has interested me ever since I was a little girl and therefore it has always been clear to me that I would study it in the future, even though one can't exactly make a career out of it. The other subject I chose to study, psychology, is a bit more practical, as I intend to continue to a master's degree and work as a clinical psychologist.

The bottom line when I am asked the question “why” is that I feel that living in Jerusalem will give me more of an "academic experience", which I see as a combination of all the arguments mentioned above. Well, there is in fact another reason.

The humidity in Tel Aviv is killing me.

Tel Aviv-native Lee Goldstein, 21, is a first-year student in undergraduate studies in philosophy and psychology at the Hebrew University. She completed her army service in a top unit in the intelligence corps in early 2011.