10 Things You'll Understand If You Grew Up In NOVA

10 Things You're Aware Of If You Grew Up In Northern Virginia

Virginia is for lovers, or so we thought.

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If you have grown up in the Northern Virginia area, you are probably very aware of these ten stereotypes:

1. A field trip to D.C. is just an average class experience.

If you have grown up in the Northern Virginia area, then you are probably aware of the fact that going on trips to the various national museums are just your average second grade excuse to visit the nation's capitol. What many Northern Virginia residents often forget is how going to D.C. is a once in a lifetime opportunity for some students.

2. There are schools everywhere you go.

Going from one place to the next, you're likely to pass at least three elementary schools, if not a couple of middle and high schools, due to the population density. No matter where you go, Northern Virginia is just filled with people. As a student, it is not uncommon to end up going to a school further than the one that's closest to you due to zoning.

3. Playing a sport isn't a hobby, but a religion.

Growing up in NOVA, you are aware of how much pride children and teens take in their sports. More often than not, trying out for high school sports was similar to the Hunger Games where there are so many talented students at one high school and only a roster of 20 for most teams. With the competitive students, growing up in an area where being a well-rounded student is so important, it leads to a high emphasis on being a student-athlete.

4. The high school football rivalry is no joke.

With there being such a high emphasis on high school sports, the rivalry from team to team for Friday night lights for major sports such as football and basketball lead to school pride and extreme competition. Certain nights, such as "Battle of the Burn" or "Crush County" lead to extreme competition and excitement when it comes to game day.

5. When in doubt, turn on Hot 99.5.

If you don't know what you want to listen to, then you have probably turned on "Hot 99.5, D.C.'s top radio station." HOT 99.5 is the station always playing the top music with the local favorite, the Kane Show. Unless you happen to turn on the station for the first or last 15 minutes of the hour, you're doomed to hearing endless advertisements.

6. The food options are endless.

Whether you're In the mood for Subway, Sushi, Korean, or the latest health trend, Northern Virginia has it all. From eco-friendly, vegan, trendy options, to major chains, or just your average local diners, the food options are endless and you know that is something to forever be grateful for. The same goes for grocery shopping, There could never be enough, with options ranging from Wegmans, Costco, Target, Trader Joes and even Whole Foods.

7. We all know those Jiffy Lube Live goers who spontaneously turn  country for the night.

You are probably aware of when a Jiffy Lube Live country concert took place after seeing the endless Instagram posts about going to the concerts, and how much we all love Luke Bryan. Don't get me wrong, country concerts are a fun time, but we all know that NOVA is not actually apart of the south.

8. The public schools are more competitive than the elite private schools.

Growing up in one of the top school systems in the nation was no piece of cake. You have students with Ivy league dreams who put intensive pressure on excelling in order to get into their dream school, and by no means do the parents help on this one. We know you love your children, but I promise if they don't end up at UVA or Ivy League, they are not a failure.

9. The North and South divide.

Sometimes I feel that the Civil War never fully went away, at least for Virginians. When you explain to others that you are from Northern Virginia, you'll probably get told, "You are not from your own state, you know" or you'll simply get that dirty look. Point being, we are all from Virginia and it doesn't matter if you're from the north, south, east, or west. It's one state, so let it be.

10. Having to explain to people where you're from to those outside of Virginia.

No matter who you are or what part of Northern Virginia you're from, it can be extremely frustrating when you travel or meet new people because you have to say you are from outside of D.C so people can understand what the area is like.

At the end of the day, Virginia is Virginia and it shouldn't matter what part you are from.

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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I'm 20 Years Old And Still Love Dying Easter Eggs

Who doesn't love this historic tradition?

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Easter has always been an important holiday in my household. It holds both the religious and family aspects. However, there is one tradition that I still hold very close to my heart.

My favorite part about Easter is getting to paint the eggs. Not an Easter has passed that my family hasn't partaken in it. I look forward to it each year, and it wouldn't be Easter without them.

Every year the designs become more and more intricate. The weeks leading up to Easter, I look up different designs on Pinterest in preparation for the "big day". Nothing can make me more excited about this holiday.

Now, that I'm away at college, we have to plan when these traditions will take place. It becomes hard trying to fit in a week's worth of stuff over one weekend, but this will not be missed.

Fitting an entire Easter dinner the night before Easter and dying eggs all in the same day, but it will be done. I love getting to become creative on such a silly thing.

In all the years I've been dying the eggs, I don't think I've ever actually eaten the egg after I've been too afraid to crack into the beautifully decorated egg. Also, hard-boiled eggs are not exactly appetizing to me either.

As I'm getting older, it's even more important that I carry on these traditions. Something so small as dying eggs holds a lot of meaning, and I enjoy having time put aside each year to spend it with my parents.

Going from a little kid who loved to drop the eggs in multiple color dye and drawing crazy pictures, to being in college and still wanting to continue on the tradition.

So yes, I'm 20 and still enjoy partaking in a little kid activity. Through my eyes though, it's so much more. It's carrying on a tradition and getting to spend time with my parents. I couldn't ask for anything better this Easter season.

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