4 Beneficial Improvements From The Greek Festival In Paramus

4 Beneficial Improvements From The Greek Festival In Paramus

The authentic food can make anyone’s mouth water!

For 43 years the annual Greek Festival has been a huge trend for the people of Paramus and neighboring towns. For four days in the month of May St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church, Paramus has their own greek festival which is the one my friends/family and I go to every year. Each greek festival from each church usually has their unique way of preparing traditional greek food, providing entertainment, welcoming guests and showing them greek culture. But the way St. Athanasios does it is still my favorite. I attended yesterday and I am attending tonight for the third night and I never realized until now that this time of year is my favorite. For anyone who knows me the month of March (for some reason I don’t know why) is my least favorite month (I am sorry to offend those who do like the month of March). When I know the Greek Festival is coming up I get so excited because when I was in middle school and high school I knew that it meant that summer is just around the corner. The reason why I am writing about this though is because for the first time in the 43 years the church made very beneficial improvements with the way they set-up this year.

1. Parking management

So since the parking lot is where they hold the festival people would need places to park. What I loved what they did this year was they provided valet parking and organized the festival in a way where cars do not cross through the festival. The church opened up only a quarter of the lot and created a mini one-way circle using cones to control the flow of the buses and valet traffic. I wish I could explain this better but it is MUCH more fluid for the buses to go through instead of cutting through the festival to go around the church to exit. This new technique creates less traffic flow from the festival so people can roam freely without fear of stopping in the middle of the festival for buses to pass.

2. Shuttle Buses

The festival always provided this but instead of two big school buses they did at least four smaller school buses. They did this because of how small the lot is for their “circle” technique but I like the idea that they did smaller buses than less big buses.

3. Loukoumades

This is a typical Greek dessert are small deep fried doughnuts that are covered in honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. What the festival did different this year was instead of providing only one option of Loukoumades they provided something for the chocolate lovers out there, they drizzled the Loukoumades in Nutella. I had this for the first time ever yesterday and my taste buds are very grateful for that experience alone. I hope this continues for next year too because I do not know anyone personally yet who did not like them.

4. Set-up

I feel like this year the set-up is way more organized and open for people. This event is very popular because of its great food, culture, and atmosphere. I am very happy with the way it looked this year. I hope this set up remains the same because of its beneficial flow.

I only wish the positive changes remain the same and I wish nothing but growth with this church, I am happy to be a member of it and watch other people enjoy Greek culture just as much as I enjoy being (half) Greek.

Cover Image Credit: Charleston Greek Festival

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Gifs That Show How We Feel About Summer

What we have all been waiting for is finally here... SUMMER!!


Whether you just got out of school, finished your finals, or finally graduated (good luck with that job hunt, by the way), everyone can agree that summer is a time for all of us to put those windows down, crank the jams up, get outside and make some memories. You may be at the beach (most of us would definitely like to be), working to get some extra cash, or even taking more classes this summer. Either way, make the most of it and have fun! Here's some of our favorite gifs to show how much we love summer.

This is one party many of us would love to go to. It could even be an iced tea party, as long as it involves the beach who's complaining?

So maybe you can't get away to the beach... But a pool is just as fun! Get some friends, drinks, floats, and a speaker, head out to the pool and make it a party!

For those of you who have gone and gotten their share of sun, and sunburn, maybe take a break.. in front of a fan.. in an ice bath.. Just don't forget that sunscreen, everyone!

Now that we don't have to have our thermostats set to 80 degrees like in January (bless up), it seems almost impossible to NOT be sweating bullets. Turn a few fans on, open some windows, or maybe just embrace this new inferno - at least everything isn't frozen anymore, right?

Gotta get that paycheck, right? Now that all of our time isn't filled with endless homework and studying, that just means it's filled with more responsibilities: WORK! If only there was a way to buy stuff we need and do things we want without having to actually spend money for it...

It's also a great time of year for your friends to drag you (or you dragging your friends) out to the bar or club! You don't even need to carry a jacket this time, or maybe you didn't even bother with it before and suffered through the cold anyway. Get out there and have fun, don't be threatened by a good time!

Another plus to summer? All the time we have to catch up on some ZZZ's! Yeah you may be working, or possibly still have some classes, but now you can replace all those hours you stayed up to study with some good sleep. You can use it to go clubbing or going out with friends too, it's your summer, that means your rules!

Fireworks, barbecues, parties, and hopefully a boat. All of these make for an amazing 4th of July! Who doesn't love a good excuse to get drunk and watch things explode? Be careful with those roman candles though, and probably let the most sober person light the real fireworks...

Now that it's getting hot outside, we don't need any more reason to get that double scoop cone. "Summer Bod" who?? If we don't have it now, who cares! It's summer, and if we want ice cream we will GET our ice cream!

The best part of summer? Getting time with your friends! You may be moving back home for a bit, getting a new apartment or house, or staying right where you are.

Wherever you end up, make some time with friends to go out, see a movie, get some dinner, or just stay in and hang out! Reconnect with friends you haven't seen or talked to in a while, build friendships with people from work or school that you think would be awesome to hang with or go out with your classic crew!

Whatever you use your summer for, whether it's working, more classes, an internship, or time to relax (you deserve it), just enjoy it. Make plans to go out to the beach with friends, hit up some bars or clubs, or check out places in your town that you've never been to before!

Make memories and have fun doing it, because you won't get this time back. Just don't forget the sunscreen - you may not get that tan back either!

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