10 Things That You Know Are True About Connecticut

10 Things That You Know Are True About Connecticut

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1. The 25 mile per hour speed limits. Everywhere.

It doesn't really matter where in Connecticut you live; everywhere you go has some odd reason to make the speed limit 25. If you live in the woods and farms areas where every curve in the roads are almost right angles, the speed limit is 25. If you live in a more populated area where the little yellow signs shaped like children holding a flag are at every other house, the speed limit is 25. Even if the road has a double yellow line, the speed limit is still probably 25. Connecticut people may make fun of Massachusetts drivers for being awful, but its probably because we aren't going fast enough to actually get into accidents. The only time people actually follow those speed limits is when it's snowing and they don't plow the roads.

2. Speaking of snow, some people love it, some hate it.

In Connecticut, there is disparity over whether snow is loved or hated. All children under 18 love a snow day, but it tends to get ridiculous when you haven't had school for a week, no one has power, and it is 25 degrees outside. We are a part of New England, so at least we don't get in 20-car-pileups on the highway when it snows an inch, but after a certain point shoveling foot after foot of snow makes you wish it weren't snowing anymore. Especially when the town gives up on plowing the roads. Has anyone else ever skied down their roads?

3. Jeeps.

If you were to visit any parking lot in Connecticut- a high school, grocery store, etc.- Every third car will most likely be a keep Wrangler or Rubicon. It's a culture.

4. Going to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard and seeing too many people you know.

Maybe it's the Jeep culture that attracts Connecticut people to a hard-to-get-to-island where you can't go in the water for more than an hour because you will have a hard time breathing. Maybe it's the vineyard vines. It doesn't matter how preppy you are on a scale from 1-10, you will see at least one person you know every single time you leave the house that looks exactly like the one next to you. One of the following words has definitely at least been an item of conversation: Siasconset, Madaket, Tom Nevers, Dionis, Surfside, or the Juice Bar.

5. Apple Orchards and Tree Farms

These are more common for Central/Northern Connecticut, but people will travel the distance to go apple picking, ride the hayride, and get the apple pie that Connecticut is famous for. We just grow a lot of apples. And then there are the tree farms. Some people tailgate at football games. We tailgate at tree farms. When the holiday season rolls around, everyone gathers together to make good food and hang out outside while picking out a home grown christmas tree to chop down. Maybe the validation of chopping down your own tree is what attracts people, or maybe it's the overabundance of trees in general.

6. New Haven Pizza

There are so many cities that argue over who has the best pizza. Chicago claims their deep-dish pizza is the best, while New York claims their thin-crust pizza is the best. Sometimes New Jersey tries to get a step in. However, all Connecticut natives are partial to New Haven. Besides having Yale, New Haven has a lot of good food from all over the world... but mostly the pizza

7. The rivalry between Greenwich, Darien, and New Canaan.

As an innocent bystander of this trio of rivals, I can honestly say that I enjoy it. I could fit every person that goes to my college in Greenwich's cafeteria. Darien has twice as many high schoolers as people that live in my entire town. New Canaan is just plain intimidating. Sit back and watch these FCIAC double L schools battle it out on the sports fields.

8. You know what Tuxedo Junction or Toad's Place is.

I hate to ruin it for everyone else, but you know the venues. You know the shows. You know that you say you never want to go back there, but you always do it anyways.

9. Sandy Hook brought us all together

On a more serious note, December 14th shook our whole state. Forget the rivalries, forget the competition. Every single person living in Connecticut mourned the loss of those 20 beautiful children and the heroic adults that tried to save them. I still remember the lockdowns and the fear, and I know that everyone else does as well. That experience left us with a state-wide community that supports each other and will never forget.

10. We like to poke fun at where we live, but we really actually like it.

People complain about Connecticut all the time. Some people don't even know where it is on a map of the United States. But we have mastered the art of knowing how to make our own fun, and how to embrace our experiences outside of where we live.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/lrubbelke/connecticut/

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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