One of the things I noticed while I lived in New York City was how different the kids and teens were that grew up there versus, you know, my suburban upbringing. They have this innate resilience and toughness to them, and they're incredibly self-sufficient, usually from a pretty young age.
I was genuinely lucky to have the professors I did, many of whom took a very humanist approach in teaching history that went beyond memorizing dates and battles and all of that - basically, looking at the life of individuals throughout history, aided by fascinating primary sources.
From the time I was in first grade or so, my dad collected 'Star Wars' toy figures from the 1970s and '80s, and we'd take weekend family trips to antique shops and to toy stores. My father collected a crazy amount of 'Star Wars' stuff over the years, and he and I traveled to many conventions.