15 Facts You'll Only Identify With If You're From Elk Grove

15 Facts You'll Only Identify With If You're From Elk Grove

Only true Elk Grovians will understand.
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“Where are you from?”

“Elk Grove.”

“Where’s that?”

“I meant Sacramento.”

If you’re from Elk Grove and traveled anywhere else outside Elk Grove, chances are you’ve had this conversation various times. Elk Grove is this tiny city within the Sacramento county and a place you would only know of if you’ve lived there. Apart from living there, it’s just another city you obliviously tune out when traveling along the I-5. Well, to my fellow Elk Grovians, here are 15 facts only you can truly understand and appreciate.


1. You take pictures at Laguna Town Hall.

Whether it's for junior prom, senior ball, debuts, or any other picture taking event, you've posed for a couple hundred pictures here. Dimly lit lanterns, cascading trees, and spouting fountains -- this is the best "aesthetics" you'll get in Elk Grove. 10/10 would improve your Instagram game.


2. You've had a birthday party or have attended many birthday parties at King Skate.

Whether you like the person or not, you go to their birthday party if it is held at King Skate, because you know it will be popping. Also, if you didn't have your birthday party here at least once in your life, your parents didn't love you.


3. You go to the Wackford Aquatic Complex at least once every summer.

Until the age of 13, you go to Wackford at least once every summer to slide down the two miles-per-hour water slide and swim around in pool water that is 75 percent piss and 25 percent chlorine. After 13, you either work as a lifeguard here or never return to this god awful place.


4. Everybody who has braces goes to Dr. Oshetski's office.

Everybody and their moms go here to get braces. If you don't go here to get braces, do you even have braces?


5. Because everybody goes to Dr. Oshetski's office, everybody also has the tie-dye shirts that come along with a new metal mouth.

Even if you don't have braces, you somehow always end up with one of these shirts.


6. You go to Target for fun.

Whether you're 14 or 18, this is the place to be.


7. Leatherby's is the greatest thing to happen to Elk Grove. Ever.

I've probably had a hundred Black and Tan's since their grand opening, like, three years ago.


8. ...and Dutch Bros.

Every coffee lovers dream come true. What's Starbucks?


9. ...and Black Bear Diner.

Finally, something good replaced Sizzlers. Also, am I the only one who noticed Elk Grove's food chain industry started to glo-up after I left to college?


10. Everybody works out at CalFit.

You're assured to see at least five people you know before you even start your workout.


11. You go to Elk Grove Park for the 4th of July.

Clustered alongside hundreds of other bodies smelling like barbecue and sweat, you gaze up longingly for this magical light show (well, the closest thing you'll get to the Disneyland firework show).


12. You cried tears of joy at the new Walmart opening.

OK, maybe not tears of joy, but of relief, because now I don't have to travel to the other side of town to buy my Doritos for 35 cents less than I would be at Raleys.


13. In-N-Out is the only thing worth traveling across town for.

After numerous football games, homecomings, and really any late-night school event, In-N-Out is the only thing that hits the spot (and is open as late as midnight). Although I've probably sacrificed gallons of gas to travel to here, that double cheeseburger, animal-style fries, and thick strawberry milkshake always made up for it.


14. There's only one elk in all of Elk Grove.

Whenever I tell people I'm from Elk Grove, they always assume I must run alongside elks every day. Sorry to break it to you, the only elk in all of Elk Grove is this statue. I don't know why it's here, but it's the only elk you'll see here.


15. You're still hopelessly waiting on that unfinished mall.

It's been maybe four years (or an eternity) since Elk Grove announced they were going to open up a new mall. This "mall" has literally looked like this for the past century.

Although most people who grow up in Elk Grove can't wait to leave, Elk Grove will always hold a special place in their hearts. Elk Grove may not be the most popular city in California, but it's definitely an unforgettable one for those who truly grew up in this quaint suburb, like myself.

Cover Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Let Go Of Doubt And Reach Your Full Potential

Stop living a life led by doubt, and start living a life full of possibility.

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Over the years, I've struggled with doubt.

This doubt has dug itself deep into my heart until recently when I decided to act in spite of doubt. In this action of living without regard for doubt, to silence its tearing voice in my mind, and to mull up courage, I have found a life far more fruitful than it would otherwise be if doubt reigned.

For too long, I doubted myself, I doubted God, I doubted intentions, I doubted passions, I doubted the unknown, and I doubted hope itself. But then I realized something. Life is far too short to live burdened by doubt.

A life led by doubt is dictated by unnecessary fears. It's cautious. It's carefully planned. It's boring.

As humans, we were not created to live in doubt. Life is a mystery, the future is not known or guaranteed to anyone. It's easy to seek refuge in doubt and to live a seemingly "safe" life. But doubt is anything but safe.

Doubt tears us away from living a life worthy of the calling we have received.

We are called to be strong, to laugh without fear of the future, to take chances, to be uncomfortable, to feel the pains of growth, and to have fun – the time of our lives.

Your best self lies on the other side of your comfort zone, and to get there, you must silence your doubts. You need to believe that the best is yet to come. This can't be all that there is. You were made for more.

There are goals to achieve, people to meet, memories to be made, places to explore, and a whole life ahead of you to live.

Live a life you are proud of. It doesn't have to be perfect by any means, but be proud of how far you've come, how you are growing, and how you've changed.

Growth is change, and change is good. Doubt will try and tell you the opposite.

With that being said, do something good for yourself that might scare you. Apply for the internship, change your major, make a new friend, take that job, or travel to that country. You are completely capable of anything you set your mind to.

Take this year and make it your own.

Stop living a life led by doubt, and start living a life full of possibility.

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