15 PSAs The Residents Of Florida Would Like To Direct Your Attention To BEFORE You Vacation Here

15 PSAs The Residents Of Florida Would Like To Direct Your Attention To BEFORE You Vacation Here

Think before you vacation.
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Florida is one of those states that everyone loves to come to vacation in. We've got sunshine all year round, beautiful beaches, and many tourist-y attractions. I mean, who wouldn't want to come here? Yes, the tourists bring the money in and it's great to see everyone so happy and tan when they come to visit, but the people of Florida have some things that they would like the visitors to know. We just want to warn you of the dangers and also tell you the dos and don'ts, plus it'll make our lives a lot easier.

Here is a compiled list of 15 things to be aware of if you're not a Florida resident:

1. Do NOT feed the alligators

2. And since we're on the subject of alligators, we do not ride them to school or use them as any mode of transportation no matter how interesting that would be to see

3. There's a chance a palm frond will fall on you as you're walking underneath the palm trees

4. Learn. To. Drive.

5. Pub Subs are God's gift to the world. Don't treat it like it's any less

6. If you're a spring breaker, please clean up after yourselves when using our beaches

7. When it drops below 80, people break out the Uggs and scarves. It's a thing. They aren't used to the "cold" weather. Just observe and mock in private.

8. It's completely normal to see a snake, gecko, or any other type of reptile passing by you as you go about your day.

9. Reptiles are cold-blooded (ectothermic, to be exact). If you spot one running around your home/hotel, turn the AC up and they’ll be slower and easier to catch. Cats work pretty well too.

10. Our Florida orange juice selection in grocery stores is pretty impressive, we know. But please don’t take pictures in front of them.

11. Bring sunscreen and lots of it.

12. Buy a sunshade for your car on your way down here. Yes, it still gets pretty hot in the winter.

13. Hawaiin shirts are not cool.

14. Don't mess with the locals.

15. For the love of God, please be a snowbird somewhere else and stop flooding our streets and causing accidents and yelling at millennials.

Thank you, have a good day.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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A Gap Year Was Just What I Needed

Taking a year off between high school and college was the best thing I could have done for so many reasons.

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Everyone around me was buzzing with excitement about their acceptances to their dream university and I didn't feel the same. I was accepted to every school I applied to, but none of them felt right. At my high school, if you didn't go to college, you would have been deemed a failure and that is not what I wanted my reputation to be. When the day came, I sat down at a computer to accept my admission to a college. I was in a panic mode, and I knew that's not what I wanted. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I had no idea if that was where I wanted to be, so I exited the website and came up with a plan.

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I hiked 14,000-foot mountains, watched the X-Games in Aspen, attended endless concerts, and became a better snowboarder by having the chance to do it every day. Without my friends and taking this leap, I would have been sitting in a classroom wondering what I could have been doing instead. Because of taking time off, I am now back in class, able to focus on my work and doing better than I ever have before.

The most important part of my gap year was finding myself. I proved to myself that I am strong and independent, and I can achieve any goal I set as long as I work hard and have fun along the way. Before I left, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be. Upon my return home, I realized I needed to go to college to receive a higher education to better myself. Having a full-time job and being out in the real world helped me to narrow down what I really want to be and what I want to achieve for myself. I learned how to truly live and that there is no set path I need to take because this is my own life to create.

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