20 Things You Know If You're From Lancaster County

20 Things You Know If You're From Lancaster County

717 is your home and always will be.

1. You always leave the house 10 minutes early on Sunday's because you know you will get stuck behind a buggy.... a lot.

It doesn't even bother you anymore.

2. You know exactly what the foods sweet bologna, scrapple, birch beer, and long johns are.

3. Blue Ball, Intercourse, and Bird-In-Hand are all just town names to you.

4. You were excused from high school for the farm show and the first week of deer hunting season.

And those were the best days off ever.

5. It really gets under your skin when people say "Lan-cas-ter" or "Lang-cas-ter".

It's lang-kiss-ter, come on people.

6. You live within a mile of an Amish farm.

Which means you are so used to the smell of manure, you don't even notice it anymore.

7. You are used to not being able to buy beer and wine from the same store.

And you have a preference of where you buy each.

8. You know that Wilbur buds are 100 times better than Hershey Kisses.

9. Fair season is your favorite season.

10. You ate dippy eggs more often than not as a child.

Ordering them in a restaurant in Lancaster is easy, ordering them anywhere else in the country is not.

11. You aren't surprised when you see things are cooked in lard.

12. Your heart broke when Freez-and-Friz closed its' doors.

Your heart also broke when they moved from across the airport. It just was never the same.

13. In the summers, you probably meet up with your high school class at Marion Court.

14. You get your free birthday breakfast from Shady Maple every year.

And it's worth it.

15. Root's Market and Green Dragon are two of your favorite places.

16. All family gatherings aren't complete without whoopie pies and shoofly pie.

17. You buy your produce from Amish stands, not the grocery store.

Because you know it's way better there.

18. You drive winding roads so often you can no longer drive in a straight line.

19. You've been asked if you're Amish.

Not everyone in Lancaster is Amish.

20. And even though strange things happen in Lanc, you always go back home.

Cover Image Credit: The Blazing Center

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Follow Your Heart, Not The Opinions Of Others

Here's what happened when I followed mine.

It is so easy for us to always seek the approval of others. From spending 20 minutes deciding on an Instagram caption, to putting make up on for class, and always asking other people's opinions.

I'm the first to talk as it is something I have clung to my whole life. It is so easy to get caught up in what others think, instead of listening to where our heart is leading us. This past year, I learned why it's important to listen to your heart, and not the opinion of others.

Last spring, I studied abroad in Nicaragua. It was an opportunity to step away from everything and everyone I knew and really reflect upon life. These thoughts that had been suppressed to the back of my mind came forefront, free of the pressure of other's opinions.

Transferring schools had always been a thought in the back of my head.

My boyfriend and I had been attending school 9+ hours apart for the past 3 years. All of the "what ifs" came rushing forward.

I thought my life was so set.

I was in a combined bachelors-masters program for occupational therapy. I was a college cheerleader. I had the high school sweetheart. It seemed to everyone else that I had everything together. When the truth was I sacrificed a lot of my happiness for this idea of "having it all together."

In Nicaragua, I really listened to my heart, without worrying what anyone else would think.

I took a psychology class I really enjoyed, which made me question my major. I started thinking about applying to Mississippi State, where my boyfriend goes to school. It had always been in the back of my mind.

It was scary at first. I never wanted to be *that girl who followed her boyfriend* to school. I never wanted to be seen as weak or dependent. But I also knew that if I was going to transfer, this would be my last chance. I knew the "what If's" wouldn't go away if I didn't.

And the truth is, I am not that girl that transferred for her boyfriend, even though I knew that is what most people would think.

I transferred for myself, and my own happiness. I transferred to explore a new major, and I now plan on pursuing a degree in clinical psychology. I transferred here because of an amazing scholarship.

I transferred here because I did not want to endure another 3.5 years of being apart from my best friend.

Yeah, people probably judged me for it. It was even difficult to get my parents to come around.

At first, I hated telling people because I knew that they would no longer see me as the girl who has everything together. But I soon realized that following my heart was the best decision I could have made.

I am happier now than ever.

I don't feel like I am living a life to fulfill the expectations of others, but one for myself. So I am here to tell you, don't be afraid. Have the courage to really step outside and listen to your deepest desires.

And when you find them, don't let what other people think hold you back.

Here's my story

Cover Image Credit: Personal

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8 Reasons Why You Should Go Away For College

A journey of self-discovery and new experiences.

Deciding where to attend college is a hard decision for a lot of people, myself included. I went to my safety school for two years and then transferred to the school I've always wanted to go to. So many things are taken into consideration when choosing a college including, but not limited to, cost, majors/programs provided, and distance from home. Some might be completely ready to leave and start an entirely new life, while others are apprehensive and want to either stay at home or close to. Whatever the case is, I'm a strong proponent of going away to college and here's why.

1. You learn A LOT about yourself.

This also goes along with independence, responsibility, and the fresh start. You figure out what's good for you, what's bad for you, the consequences of actions, and how to handle each and everything that comes your way. This experience really makes you grow up and become mature.

2. You learn how to be responsible and independent.

Mommy and daddy are no longer hovering over your shoulder. Every decision that you make from now on is made by you and only you. You have to make you go to class and take care of your responsibilities.

3. You learn a sense of direction.

The hour between Ypsilanti and Toledo has always been an easy drive, but it becomes easier and faster every time I do it. I don't need to use Waze anymore and I could probably do the drive in my sleep if I absolutely had to.

4. You get a different college experience than those who stayed home.

Every one experiences college differently but to those of us who went away, we're experiencing college on a completely different level. Instead of running home to our parents' house after a long day of class, we run home to a dorm or an apartment that we're likely paying way too much for.

5. You quickly learn how to make new friends.

Chances are you came to your new school knowing very few people or nobody at all. Whatever the case is, you're going to want to talk to as many people as you can. You'll be able to meet people from all over the country, and maybe even the world. The people you meet could potentially be your lifelong friends and a new support system since you're so far away from the ones you already have.

6. You essentially learn a new lingo.

Before I moved to Ypsi, I didn't know what a "Michigan Left" was, what an "enhanced license" was, what "A2" stood for, where "Downriver" is, that most people say backpack and not bookbag, or that most of the carry outs are called party stores.

7. You appreciate your home more.

Coming home is always a big event. You get your own room back, your own bed back, and all your favorite foods, as well as home-cooked meals. You bring more laundry home than packed clothes because you know it's free and the laundry fairy might even do it for you.

8. You get a fresh start.

You're no longer with the people you've spent a majority of your life with. You can finally think for yourself, be who you want to be, and let go of the person you've been for the past 18 years. Personal growth and development is never a bad thing, and what better time to start than when you're at a new school in a new city.

Cover Image Credit: Hunter Johnson

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