10 Reasons The Jersey Shore Has A Special Place In Every New Jerseyan's Heart

10 Reasons The Jersey Shore Has A Special Place In Every New Jerseyan's Heart

Not the T.V. show, silly... although it may be a guilty pleasure for some.

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Ah, the Jersey Shore. Hearing these words, some people may automatically think of the infamous reality show from MTV, and others may think of a dirty kind of Atlantic Ocean. Well for Jersey natives, flashes of boardwalk lights and boogie boards in the ocean enter our minds and we are automatically transported to amazing memories with family and friends alike.

If you are a Jersey native, or not even close to being one, let me remind you why or the reasons why the Shore is so special in your life. And for those of you who wouldn't think a clue about something good to say about this place, let me give at least 10.

HELLO, the beach is there!

Although New Jersey is often deemed "the armpit of the world," there is no denying the fact that we have beaches along most of our coast. No matter where you live in the state, you're only two hours away from the beach, and this is NOT something most of the other states of America can say. The water may not be crystal clear, but there's sun, sand, and an ocean, so it just has to count.

It's the perfect trip for you to have with family, friends, AND classmates.

The Jersey Shore is known for being the destination for family vacations, day trips with friends, and the host of the after party for a Prom Weekend bash. No matter the reason for your stay by the sea, it is always bound to be a fantastic time.

Everyone has their favorite Jersey Shore town.

What most non-Jersey natives don't know about the shore is that there are so many different towns that everyone has their own preference to where they like to go, as well as for the different events (i.e. Reason #2). Some beach towns are made for family getaways (like Avalon and Wildwood) and there are others that seem more for the party people (like Belmar and Seaside Heights). All of the DTS residencies are special in their own way, but any Jersey person will defend their personal favorite 'till the end.

The infinite amount of ice cream shops and Wawas.

When you go to the beach, of course, you're going to crave endless amounts of ice cream; well, the Jersey Shore has got you covered for miles. Each town has their endless supply of original homegrown ice cream shops, as well as the infamous Kohrs custard chain, that they line up on street blocks and boardwalk stands as far as the eye can see. And let's not forget about Jersey's staple convenience store: Wawa. Need I say more?

SEE ALSO: Why Even Have The Starbucks/Dunkin' Debate When Wawa Exists?

Boardwalks- 'nuff said.

The boardwalk is an iconic attribute to most of the Jersey Shore towns that make life by the beach even better (if that was possible). From Point Pleasant's Jenkinson's Boardwalk to Wildwood's two-mile boards complete with Morey's Piers, there is always something new to discover on the various boardwalks of the Jersey Shore. Boardwalk food, arcades, bike riding, amusement park rides, water parks, mini-golf, carnival games, tiny shops... it's all here.

It's all historical- literally!

Most people may not see it, but the Jersey Shore holds some pretty historical substance within its borders. For example, Atlantic City plays as the Las Vegas of the East Coast, while Wildwood is known for being the center of all things Doo Wop; Cape May poses as the Victorian town of the present day, and Asbury Park is home to one of Jersey's homebred rock star Bruce Springsteen. While there is so much more history waiting to be uncovered all over the state, there is no doubt that the Jersey Shore is home to a lot of it, as well.

It's a cheaper and more convenient getaway.

Not everyone has the time or money to get to the tropical islands of the Caribbean or even to the faraway lands of Florida, so what's better than having your own getaway in your home state? The Jersey Shore, no matter where you live, is far enough to get out of your hometown and have some fun in the sun while saving you some big cash you'd spend somewhere else doing the same things. Even though it's not home to the fanciest beaches on Earth, it does make a great place to get away for a while, whatever the occasion.

Fresh seafood galore.

Okay, so not everyone is a BIG seafood person, but the fact that we have fresh seafood every day along the coast is something else. Sure, it's not like the lobsters or fish in Boston or Maine, but it's pretty damn close in taste factor.

They have staple attractions.

Each Jersey Shore town has its own staple attraction, whether it be big or small. From the infamous Lucy the Elephant in Margate City, to the Victorian houses of Cape May, there are tons of museums and sites all over the Eastern Jersey seaboard.

It's a "home away from home."

No matter what kind of Jersey native you talk to, almost every person will tell you why the shore means so much to them. While each person has their most favorite shore town (Wildwood is mine!), it may be because of the family vacations or the memories made there, from trips with friends when they were young. Even though their fave shore town may not be their hometown, it's still a place that some people refer to it as, no matter where they are.

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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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I Hear Voices, But Who Doesn't?

Life is already scary. To have my own brain telling me how horrible I am only makes it scarier.

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I hear voices.

I think the first time I heard a voice was when I was seven or eight. I was standing in the field next to my house and my brain started telling me I was evil.

I have heard the voices on and off throughout the rest of my life. I don't think I have a disorder or anything, at least I haven't been diagnosed with one. I just think my conscious is mean and likes to see the negative in life.

The voices have never told me to hurt others or to do something that doesn't make logical sense. However, they don't play fair.

The voices know everything I know and more.

This makes it hard to convince me it isn't real.

If my own head is telling me I'm a horrible person, that has to mean something right?

Sometimes the voices are quiet, like when I am showering or reading. Other times they ring in my head and beg to be heard. They tell me how I disappoint my boss, how I will never achieve the goals I have. The voices think I can't succeed and sometimes I think it would be easier to listen to them.

Give up, see the world as glum, disappear into the world as another statistic. But then they would win and I am simply too prideful for that.

My brain is broken, not me.

Everything I do, I have my own self-doubting me. "You are evil. You are evil. You are evil." it repeats to me as I walk to class.

"You are bound to be like your father." It whispers to me as I study for my next exam.

"Everyone just pity's you." The voice states as I stand with my sorority.

The voices know when I'm hurting, knows what my triggers are and knows how to break me; but if I allow the voices to hurt me, what does that show to the people who look at me?

Yes, that voice is horrible and mean and cruel. I am not. I am kind, funny, empathetic and driven. I know I am worth more than pain. I am in the real world. It is only in my head. No one can see it, no one can hurt it, so why can I let it hurt me? I refuse to be part of something that breaks me anymore.

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