8 Signs You Grew Up In Torrance, California

8 Signs You Grew Up In Torrance, California

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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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Today, I'm Grateful For The Accident That Nearly Ended Everything

It changed my life for the worse — and then for the better.

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Four years ago, on August 5th, 2014, I was in a car accident on highway I-80. We swerved over the median and into oncoming traffic. I was in the front passenger seat so I was at the point of impact. I broke my right hand, my right leg and I got a traumatic brain injury. I was in the hospital for almost two months and then was in therapy for a few months after that.

Though it was subtle, the accident changed me as a person and at first, I hated it. I wanted to go back to the way I was before and didn't understand why I couldn't. But looking back, I'm happy the accident happened and turned me into who I am today.

It's an odd thing to say, right? I'm glad my life and personality were almost permanently changed due to this traumatic car accident. But let me explain.

Before the accident, I was a shy little thing that didn't like to talk about my problems. I was depressed but no one knew so I wasn't getting the help I needed. After the accident, however, it was like a dam had broken in me. I couldn't stop talking and I was telling everyone about my problems. I was an introvert that suddenly had to navigate how to be an extrovert. I had to learn where the line was of what was appropriate to say and talk about and what wasn't.

Thankfully, after four years, I have a therapist to help me with my mental health and I think I have the whole socializing thing down... for the most part.

Another benefit of the accident is that is showed me who my real friends are. Most people who I considered to be my friends visited me for my first month out of the hospital. They would tell me how classes are going and how they missed me but then they would talk about themselves and their problems like I was only there to listen; I wasn't supposed to talk about my problems but I did. Some of them drifted away and didn't text me or ask me to hang out with them after a few months. It really hurt and made me really sad and wonder, "What did I do?" I felt so alone.

Eventually, I realized that how they were acting was not my fault and if they treated me like that, then they weren't my real friends. It taught me how I deserve to be treated and it's okay if the only company you have is you.

One of the best good things that came out of the whole hospitalization thing is that I got a dog! His name is Winchester, Chester for short, and he is a mini husky. I picked him out from pictures my dad showed me and I liked that he had one eye that was half brown and half blue. I went with my dad to pick him up from the breeder in Kansas only a week after I got out of the hospital. Chester sat on my lap the whole three hours home. My parents got him for me because they thought it would be nice for me to have a little companion and they were right. He doesn't bark or pee in the house, he's loyal, he can be playful but he can also be lazy. He is the bestest little puppers ever and I love him so much!

Moral of the story: If you want a dog but your parents won't get you one, get in an accident that almost kills you and then maybe they'll get you a dog. (But really don't do that.)

Throughout the years, I've spent too much time thinking about what would have happened if I hadn't gotten in the car that day. But I think this was something that was meant to happen to me. If I hadn't been in that accident, I might've gotten hurt a different way and my injuries could have been worse. I am actually thankful that this happened to me because if it hadn't, who knows the kind of person I would be today?

Plus, if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have gotten a dog and he makes my life so much better so I'm glad I have him.

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