10 Signs You Grew Up In Gig Harbor, Washington

10 Signs You Grew Up In Gig Harbor, Washington

I may be biased, but it’s the perfect place that any child could have been raised in.
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Sure, when you think of small town you have a correlation with country-esque scenery that has a sort of farm living aura to it. This isn’t always the case. I, myself, am from what many would consider being a “small” town where almost everyone knows one another.

Rather than being a farming town it’s actually what once was a quaint fishing village turned into a place that’s focal point is the marina. I may be biased, but it’s the perfect place that any child could have been raised in. Here’s exactly how you know you grew up in Gig Harbor.

1. The Maritime Parade is your favorite time of year

Everyone from Gig Harbor knows the first Saturday in June is dedicated to going downtown to the harbor at what seems like the crack of dawn to either watch as the floats go by and collect candy, or you were in the parade because whatever sports team, club, or school you went to had you participate in it. It was practically a second Halloween because by the time you went home you had an entire bucket full of candy and then some.

2. You went to at least one birthday party at Java and Clay

Bonus points if you went when it was known as “Art and Soul.” You probably went for someone’s birthday in elementary school and painted a piece of pottery that you either gave to your parents as a gift for a birthday or holiday or kept in your room for 10 plus years as a dust collector.

3. You were on a PAA team for at least five years

Oh yes, we all have pictures of ourselves in either the red or the blue jersey, with that cheap white plastic that peeled after a couple washes that embraced our last names. That’s how we got to know the other kids from other schools that we wouldn’t befriend until high school because the school lines divided us. PAA is what brought us all together, and we met some of our closest high school friends from our PAA team.

4. Your doctor, dentist, and neighbor’s dad was your coach for many years

Growing up in a small community like Gig Harbor called for many of us to be coached by our friend’s parent or someone close to us who had another purpose in our life as well.

5. You’ve had the same friendships since Pre-School-Kindergarten era

Sure, friends grow apart, but you still have those friends that were considered your best friends as a toddler, and as you grew up, you still kept in touch and said hi to one another when you walked through the halls at school. By graduation day saying goodbye to them meant so much because you had over a decade of growing up with each other and made it this far in life with them.

6. Fishbowl was another holiday

Another fantastic time of year was in the fall when Fishbowl came around. Peninsula and Gig Harbor in my own life has never been in the same league, but the game against each other meant more than any other game that would take place during the entire football season. Buying your fishbowl t-shirt symbolized a new year with a new record placed on the back, and if you were a girl chances are you planned out your outfit weeks in advance. If you had a boyfriend or a brother on the team it was an honor to steal his jersey and sport his number for the night.

7. You can’t go to Target without seeing three people you know plus a former teacher

Target is the holy grail of everything you need. Because it’s placed in a central location it was always a place to stop after all your other errands on the North end of Gig Harbor. But stopping there meant you had to prepare to run into numerous people you knew and awkwardly run into your former third-grade teacher whom you might think doesn’t recognize you but boy does she remember the brat you were.

8. At least two of your friends had a parent that was a teacher at the school you attended

We all had a friend whose parent was a teacher at one point or another. If it was in high school, boy was that a blessing and a curse. If they’re anything like my friend’s parent’s, they could write you tardy notes, change your absences on your account, and bail you out of all sorts of things school wise. They may have been great tutors as well that helped you out for free.

9. Cutter’s Point baristas not only know you by name, but they also know your order the moment you come walking in the door

Sure we have various Starbucks locations all throughout Gig Harbor. But nothing says you’re a local like supporting the local businesses. One of them being Cutter’s Point. As a former employee, it was a pleasure getting to know those who made up our community from the older generation as well as those younger than me. Not only were the relationships that I made there very personable, but I really got to know what it meant to care for my community. One moment I was asking if they wanted their usual drink, and the next I was asking how their vacation to California was. It was all about building that relationship with them.

10. Convenience stores were a blessing

No matter where in Gig Harbor you lived, there was always a convenience store that was a walking distance away. Rosedale Market (or Templeton’s if you’re that old), Fox Island Store, Island View Market, Arletta’s, and any gas station was a treat to walk with friends to. With a couple bucks from your parents, you could buy a whole lot of candy that you probably finished by the time you got back to your house or your friends.

So, no, Gig Harbor is one of the furthest things from a small farming town. It still has its charm of being a fishing town and the nautical lifestyle that we all live is what shaped us into the people we are. Those who come to visit absolutely enjoy it, and those who’ve been raised there are lucky to call it home. Gig Harbor is a quaint town that I wish everyone got to experience. I consider myself a privileged one because of it.

Cover Image Credit: Cheyenne Wong

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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A Summary Of My Morning That No One Asked For

Because low key who doesn't want to know more about me-- amiright?

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If you can't tell: I have writer's block. Which is fine, totally cool, we can work with that! BUT also prettyyyy annoying. ANYWAY.

Who doesn't like hearing about somebody's day (only if you low key hate the person but that's okay-- a valid feeling!!)-- about the way someone woke up, the thing that they ate for lunch or even their night routine (which I promise I'm not going to torture* anyone to THAT hell, but also because I don't even have a night routine! Amazing but also sad because lack of consistency!).

So today, as a Wednesday (Wednesday was when I wrote this, two hours before my article deadline, don't judge me), was a bit of a busy day. When I say busy-- usually waking up at like 7:30 or 8 AM (IF I can wake up, which big mood) and ending (not really) at 9 PM and then studying/doing work/textbook readings/last minute articles (hello!) until like 2 AM. Which is late (sorry roomie!!), but that's college!

With that said, today I actually woke up at 9 AM and thus did not go to my first class-- which if my sister reads this and tells my mom I will literally come back to Utah and slap her. Anyway I quickly took a five minute shower (TMI!), which is surprising since I can never do that usually but that's okay, improvement! I got dressed (internship ready!) and while I was putting mouse in my hair, I remembered that I have a take home quiz due for my next class (at 10 AM) that I have not done yet-- which I promise you, I am a procrastinator, but not that big of a procrastinator. Anyway I sat down, turned on my laptop (which is broken by the way, thanks HP laptops) and kind of finished my assignment in 10 minutes but left two questions unanswered, but like live life on the edge, amiright? I finished getting ready, which wasn't much because it was already like 9:50 AM and I needed to go so I pretty much just finished applying mascara and filling in my brows and grabbed the PB&J; from the fridge that was supposed to be dinner yesterday which wasn't, but that's another story, and grabbed ONLY my keys (foreshadowing!), locked my apartment door, ran down the stairs and got on my bike!

And let me stop here and tell you how much I love my bike. Without my bike, I would be late for everything and plus I hate walking. Also because my apartment is kind of far from campus (not really but everyone tells me it is) and with my bike only takes about 5 minutes to get to class.

Remember the foreshadowing? As I was riding my bike and almost halfway there (to be honest I could've turned back but I'm lazy), I realized that I forgot by ID, which I need to check out a laptop from the library (because my laptop is broken, thanks again HP who supposedly fixed my laptop before for the same problem but here we are again) and to also just live my life as a USC student (meaning to get into the library and to also get into my apartment building). But I thought, it's chill, we're fine, we're late so let's focus on the issue of getting to class on time.

So I crossed that big intersection to enter USC and went up that ramp thing by VKC (USC people will know), parked and "locked" by bike (my bike lock doesn't really work because someone can easily pull it off my bike and yeah) and speed walked to class (which means going up the stairs which is also when I realized that I wore the wrong shoes because my flats almost slipped off TWICE) and got to my classroom exactly at 10 AM. And this all happened within 10 minutes -- see what I mean about my bike being a literal gift from god (kidding, but also not)?

Anyway I got to class and the professor isn't even there so I could've literally filled in my eyebrows a bit better but whatever. At this time I was also regretting not going back for my ID so that I could at least rent out a laptop and continue reading research articles for my essay due in less than 2 weeks (!) while the professor lectures (sorry, but like if it's not on the final, you've lost my attention). But since I didn't have a laptop at that time, I went ahead and took a picture of my textbook readings which for the record I didn't end up reading and pretty much wasted space on my phone and wasted like 2 minutes of my life but it's okay! Anyway the Professor arrived (at 10:02 AM) and she started setting up her laptop while I decided, hey, maybe I should finish those two other questions that I didn't answer in the take home? So I did that and ended up changing my answers and had enough time to spare before we actually turned it in! It goes to show you that procrastination actually does work!!

The class is also actually pretty cool! It's a class on traditional Chinese medicine (which I honestly don't know why I'm taking since I'm a POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR), that includes acupuncture. Which, honestly is something that I was apprehensive about, but it's actually pretty scientifically sound (from the few studies out there) and most importantly has seemed to benefit patients (which I have seen in real life!). Today the professor just went over the nutritional side to eastern medicine, and what I found interesting how each color and taste to a food pertains to a specific body part and even deficiency!

If you haven't noticed by now-- this is really long. And I'm barely at like 10:15 (to be honest, less than that). But it goes to show that even a morning can be somewhat interesting-- or I don't know maybe it's just me! Anyway, this might be a several part series where I describe the rest of my day but maybe not! Probably just something for writer's block!

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