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Why Growing up in San Francisco Is Awful

Sarah was born and raised in San Francisco and has lived there almost her entire life.

Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

Many people dream of visiting San Francisco because of the videos and pictures they see online or in the movies. In the media, San Francisco is seen as an amazing place to live, full of life and beauty. However, what the media isn't portraying is the truth of what it really is like to live in San Francisco. Now people know that San Francisco is expensive and home to wealthy techies but that's still not all of it. I was born and raised in San Francisco and here I want to talk about why growing up in the City by the Bay was so awful.

Depressing Weather

The biggest reason I hated growing up in San Francisco is the terrible weather. It's similar to Seattle and London and if you've grown up in those places, you know that there's barely any sunshine during the year. San Francisco is the same, there's no snow in winter but San Francisco is in perpetual fall or spring all year round. There's rarely any summer weather where you could wear a t-shirt and shorts when you go outside. San Francisco only gets hot enough in September for one week or at most two weeks.

With global warming becoming worse in the past couple of years, San Francisco has gotten warmer in spring and the hot weather in the fall has also lasted longer. However, this isn't normal at all. There's no summer season and on most days the weather is between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 55 degrees. Also, it's very rare to see sunny clear blue skies in San Francisco, most of the time it's cloudy and foggy in the city. When driving into the city from the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge, you experience a steep drop in degrees and see a thick layer of fog covering the city. In summer, the degrees drop almost 20-30 degrees when entering the city from half an hour away and there's a change of almost 50 degrees from anywhere that's at least one hour away from San Francisco.

Having such bad weather almost every day of the year, makes you feel depressed because you're lacking natural vitamins from the sun. If you're already depressed, this weather will make you feel worse because it's so cold and so foggy that you don't feel motivated to want to go out or do anything. To get sunshine, you need to leave the city but if you don't have a car or if you don't know anyone with a car this can be very difficult.

When living in San Francisco, my parents would usually drive outside the city on the weekend to have nice weather and I remember always not wanting to return to the city. I hated the weather there and I wanted to have a real summer, not wear a sweatshirt, jacket, and jeans all year round.

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Nothing For Kids

Also, San Francisco has nothing for kids. As a kid, I always felt so bored living in the city because there weren't any theme parks or water parks that I could go to. The closest theme park is Great America which is an hour away by San Jose or Six Flags Discovery Kingdom which is 45 mins away in Vallejo. My parents didn't want to waste the money or fuel to take me to these theme parks a few times a year so except for one day a year when we went to Disneyland in Anaheim, I didn't get to go to a theme park.

In San Francisco, mostly everything is geared towards adults. There's a large shopping mall downtown, a lot of restaurants and bars, a few movie theaters, a few museums, and a large park. There is a play structure in the park and one downtown close to the mall but those are the only two things made for kids. There are a lot of libraries with kids sections but most kids don't want to sit in the library and read on the weekend, they want to go somewhere to play and have fun. Therefore, growing up in San Francisco, I mostly had to come up with my own ways to have fun. My parents bought me a lot of toys and I was allowed to play games on the computer at home. Therefore, San Francisco is a terrible place to raise kids because there's nowhere to take them to have fun.

Doesn't Feel Safe

A big issue with growing up in San Francisco is the city doesn't feel safe at all. Even in areas that are supposed to be safe, there are a lot of homeless people and they tend to attack you and rob you. The police don't do anything to get the homeless people off the streets or off the public transportation so the homeless people are allowed to do whatever they want basically. The homeless people don't just beg for money and sit there quietly, most of them are mentally ill and will yell at you and try to grab you.

There were very few places I felt safe walking around alone in San Francisco and those were mostly in the busiest tourist areas like downtown or Fishermans Wharf. I didn't even feel safe walking up the hill to my own house because it was in a quiet area of the city. My grandmother was robbed by a homeless man walking up the hill in the past and I live in a supposedly safe neighborhood of the city. There are definitely way worse neighborhoods of the city where you should never be at night and even during the day, it's risky but it feels like these people have been moving from these bad neighborhoods into the good ones. Therefore, San Francisco doesn't feel safe at all.

I haven't been to San Francisco much since I left in 2017, only for three-day visits max but I still see a lot of the same issues as before. Now there are even more problems with people robbing the stores in San Francisco and police doing nothing about these robberies so it's just not a good place to live or raise your children.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Sarah Wong

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