8 Signs You Grew Up In Torrance, California

8 Signs You Grew Up In Torrance, California

We are South Bay strong.

Everyone loves to reminisce on past times, whether it be from your childhood, your awkward preteen years, or even your "glory" high school days with friends you still keep in touch with. For me, I love where I grew up, and even though I went as far as possible to get out of there for college, I still love to look back on those awkward, fun, and terrible times. So if you grew up in the one and only Torrance, California, this is for you.

1. Three Words: Late Start Tuesdays

Ah!!! The best day for any middle schooler. I remember always wanting to go to the Del Amo Mall to hang out and get Starbucks with friends from different middle schools and just walk around, but looking back on it now, it's so weird to think about going to the mall at 8am. what are a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds supposed to do when your parents only give you $5?

2. Freshmen Year Carls Jr. Trips (RIP)

If you went to Torrance High School, you definitely felt your heartbreak when they tore down that Carl's Jr on the corner of Sepulveda and Arlington after Sophomore Year :( That was our spot almost every day after school and after football games of our freshmen year. Here's an awkward pic of my friends and me our freshmen year hahaha!

3. In-N-Out! In-N-Out!

Oh lord, can I tell you some stories from our visits to In-N-Out. After our poor Carl's Jr got torn down, we decided it was time to be a big kid, and start going to In-N-Out after all the football games. Wow! That was such a smart decision on the part of our 14-year-old selves. Some of my best high school memories are from that In-N-Out, weird, I know. Each Torrance high school had a designated In-N-Out that they were "allowed" to go to without causing drama. For Torrance and South High, that was the Crossroads, In-N-Out (which is also weird because everyone hated South High) and the North and West High Schools had the one on Hawthorne Blvd. This divide in the In-N-Out locations makes me laugh now because some of my closest friends now, went to North or South or West High. Nonetheless, In-N-Out was the best place ever!

4. 4th of July Beach Days (also RIP)

Of course, you can't live in California if you don't talk about the beaches and the best day in all of America. Every 4th of July in high school the whole freaking city would come together and get C-R-A-Z-Y at Hermosa Beach. So crazy that going there after the 3rd year would just be you asking to get arrested lol. The very first year that I went there, I remember perfectly (well sort of.. hahaha)... I was a wild, reckless sophomore just wanting to have a great time with all my friends from different schools that I didn't see often. It was such a great fun day and I will always remember it because I got to hold hands with the boy I was crushing on FOREVER and all my friends were like OMG we love it, finally!! Overall, RIP to 4th of July beach days, you will never be forgotten.

5. Maroon Monsoon

Let me just be the first to say that our class of 2014 started the best school spirit squad ever!! Football games were always a big crowd but no one ever got super rowdy. However, once basketball season came around, it was a whole different atmosphere. We were SO loud and cheerful, sometimes our principle would tell us to take it down a notch but, we never did because no one should get in trouble for having too much school spirit :p We would plan out what theme we would have each game, from blackout games, to white out games, to Hawaiian night, and to straight decked out in our maroon and grey attire. (TBT to that iPhone 3 quality photo lol)

6. "The Stage"

Going into senior year was a huge deal because first, you're only 1 year away from college but also, you NEEDED to have lunch at the stage. Yeah, you're probably thinking, "Really? A stage?" Yes! We couldn't just think we'd be allowed to sit at this place, you had to earn it and receive it. And of course being the best class, we earned that spot easily. Even though I was a "cool kid" and got out every day at lunch, I still would hang out at the stage and feel like I ran that school. Even on our last day of school we brought tables and played water pong and the principles didn't say anything because we were "dem boyz". T-House forever!!

7. BPL

BPL= Beach Parking Lot. This was/is the perfect place to catch a beautiful Southern California sunset or even sunrise if you like waking up at the crack of dawn. You wouldn't even need to text your friends to ask to go because you already knew they'd be there, too. Just a fun time to hang out with friends and talk about life.

8. Late Night Strand Cruise

As you can probably tell a lot of our activities we did/do growing up involve the beach. I don't think there is anything as therapeutic as riding your skateboard or bike down the strand during sunset or even late at night. Whether you do this by yourself or with a group of friends, it's always fun because life by the beach is a perfect way to live.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.

With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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Why Working As A High Schooler Was the Best Choice I Was Forced to Make

Working taught me that my actions impact others no matter how small.

Nobody necessarily wants to work; however, as soon as I turned 15, I got my work permit and began working at my local frozen yogurt shop. I’ve read so many articles bashing kids whose parents never made them work for what they had and the other way around as well. My mom made a deal with me: no job, no car. So I worked about fifteen hours a week, mostly for clothes and late night Taco Bell runs, while my mom paid for my car and insurance. The job was easy; I got to sit in the back of the store on my phone, work on my homework, and chat with my coworkers. Looking back now, I realize it was probably the easiest job I’ve ever had. Sure - I was never stressed about bills piling up and I got to enjoy my high school experience for the most part. Working during those years when such immense change was happening every day in my life taught me so many life lessons and helped me become the person I am today.

First off, it brought me out of my shell. Before I started working, I was afraid to do simple tasks like call someone or ask a question in class. I remember when I started my job the most terrifying thing about it was having to greet the customer. And Lord - answering the drive through speaker was worse than giving a speech to my peers. Once I got the hang of it, I was using my fake customer service voice every time someone walked into the store and taking orders like a champ. My job also taught me to stand up for myself. Had I not been thrown into the world of customer service, I would never know how to tell someone no. Working at such a young age gave me life experiences I could’ve never gained elsewhere.

Having a job at 15 also taught me the value of money at such a young age when most people are still asking their parents for things that they want. Although, once again, I never had anything major to pay for, I realized that spending money actually meant something. Before working, I’d receive a few hundred dollars for Christmas or my birthday and spend it frivolously during an hour long trip to the mall. It wasn’t my money, so what difference did it make? Once I started earning money for myself, everytime I’d buy something I would think, ‘wow, this shirt costs 5 hours of my life,’ and it would make the decision so much clearer.

Working also made me become a responsible person who is always accountable for my actions. Because I started working so young, I rarely bail on anything. I am always one to show up and be there on time, even if I’m tired, grumpy, or sick. Working taught me that my actions impact others no matter how small they may be and that it’s always important to stick to my word.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Robert

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