When You Bring Your Big College Friends To Your Tiny Hometown

When You Bring Your Big College Friends To Your Tiny Hometown

I decided that if I couldn't bring the town to them, I would just have to bring them to the town.

Everyone who leaves a small town for a big college knows that there are some major truths that happen while you're there. And there's also a lot that happens when you come back, but what about when you bring your college friends home to the middle of nowhere?

Well, quite a lot actually.

I have spent an entire two years explaining to my friends about my hometown. It's small. It's in the middle of nowhere. No one goes there on purpose unless you live there/know someone who does. It's just too out of the way and not really close to anything major. I explain to the ones from bigger cities that, no, it doesn't have a Mediterranean food restaurant (or really anything beyond Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese) and that yes, I really do live an hour away from the closest Target.

Friends from other small towns were confused as to why I loved my home so much. I mean, don't get me wrong, they don't hate their homes or anything, but it kind of confuses them that I travel home so much and take a lot of pride in being from what I like to think of as a hidden little gem.

I could list a million reasons why I think my hometown is amazing because it's my home, but I still just couldn't quite help them grasp the concept. So, naturally, I decided that if I couldn't bring the town to them, I would just have to bring them to the town. To that end, I packed them in my car a week and a half after finals were over and we drove the four hours to the teensy little place called Wise, Virginia.

To say that the visit was interesting would be the least of it. I did my best to point out landmarks to them as we drove in, with the help of my roommate, who had visited before. The beauty of the Appalachian Mountains always makes for a scenic drive, but I was especially proud of them this time as there were lots of "oohs" and "ahs" from the back seat. I don't really know what they were expecting after hearing comments from other people like "Wise County? What on earth are you going there for?" or "You realize there's nothing there, right?," but I don't think they were disappointed with a sunset over the mountains introduction.

The next day was when I got to really show off. I took them for a walk down on Main Street, making sure to show off the historical buildings and point out things such as our two boutiques and one coffee shop. You would have thought that I had asked the entire town to arrange for everything to be perfect from the way things went that day. We ran into three different people I knew on the street while two more drove by (in the span of an hour or so). Flags had been freshly hung from every streetlight. The flowers were in full bloom in planters and houses. Like I had constantly been trying to tell my pals, Wise was being a perfect, quintessential, movie style small town.

We saw the major views off the mountains, ate at my favorite local places (where the fact that I knew half of the people working seemed to seal the impression that I know everyone in the county), and just generally drove around. For two days, my big college friends got to get a taste of my small town life in what I personally think is one of the coolest places ever (I might be a little biased though), and I might not know their exact thoughts, but I do know that they understand me like they hadn't before because they understand the place that built me and shaped me and made me who I am.

To the friends that let me pack them into a car and drive them four and a half hours down Interstate 81 to one of the little tip counties of Virginia, thanks. You guys don't know how much it meant to me that you came and that you appreciated what you saw.

To my little hometown, thanks for showing them the way that we are and how the place that I come from simply is. I can safely say that an entire town built me, not just a house, and I'm glad that some of my favorite people in the world could experience just a tiny little bit of that.

Cover Image Credit: Lily Snodgrass

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4 Breakfast Spots Near The University of Kentucky That Will Actually Get You Out Of Bed In The Morning

These places will satisfy all of your breakfast cravings.


If you're a breakfast foodie like I am, you know that is an absolute priority to find the most popular breakfast spots despite the city you may be in. You don't want to visit the touristy and basic restaurants that everyone else goes to, but instead, you are determined to uncover the locations that are the best of the best. Most foodies will go to great lengths to discover these places. As a University of Kentucky student and major foodie, I have searched all over Lexington to find my favorite places to visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This took my entire first semester and many trips to the ATM, but today, I am now blessed to say that I am a regular at all 4 of these incredible breakfast spots.

1. The Great Bagel

The Great Bagel is one of my all-time favorite restaurants to visit on Sunday mornings. The restaurant offers a variety of bagel sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice, and it makes for the perfect early morning start to a day filled with homework or relaxation.

2. Chocolate Holler

Though not a true restaurant, Chocolate Holler is one of the most popular coffee shops near the University of Kentucky. Because it is only a 3-minute drive from campus, Chocolate Holler is always buzzing with UK students who come to socialize or study. The coffee shop is most well known for its chocolaty drinks and the music is great there, too!

3. Stir Krazy

Stir Krazy is a local smoothie bar down the street that serves protein shakes, smoothies, and tea. Though It only consists of these three beverages, the shakes at Stir Krazy are enough to fill you up for breakfast or lunch. Each shake or smoothies range from 200 to 250 calories and serves as the perfect energizer before a workout or a filling recovery drink after a workout.

4. La Madeleine

La Madeleine is a French breakfast and lunch cafe conveniently located on campus (and only a 30-second walk from my dorm). Their breakfast is served all day long and their croissants are to die for. I highly recommend building your own omelet for the most fulfilling experience. Not to mention, their iced caramel macchiatos are a great refresher on the side.

No matter which city, state, or country I am currently in, I make it my mission to eat as a local would. In Lexington, Kentucky, these four breakfast spots are guaranteed provide you with a plethora of different types of food to get you through even the worst cases of morning hunger. Though these places are my current favorites, I am now looking forward to containing the search for more breakfast restaurants, cafes, and juice bars throughout my next four years in this city.

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10 Things To Do During A Long Drive

Car rides can be boring, but they can be entertaining if you make them.


Typically, I love driving. For me, it's relaxing and gives me time to think. However, driving for a long period of time can be incredibly boring. Unfortunately, I have to make these long and boring car rides regularly. Going to school 10 hours away from home and needing my car in both places forces me to make the driveway more than I'd prefer. In the beginning, I struggled to keep myself entertained and awake.

So, here are 10 things that help me make my long ride go by smoothly.

1. Always, always have snacks. 

Snacks are a must. Not only do they taste good but they will give you something to do.

2. Prepare by getting a good night's rest.  

This will go a long long way. There is nothing worse then being tired when you're trying to drive.

3. Listen to music you know the words to.

Singing helps, I swear by it.

4. Stop at least twice to stretch your back and legs. 

Cramps are the worst, you gotta stretch yourself out.

5. Podcasts will save your life.

I absolutely love podcasts, Kaitlyn Bristowe's podcast Off The Vine is my favorite. They're interesting and funny and keep your mind turning.

6. Get an audio book. 

This is a great way to pass time, It's like listening to movie you don't want to turn off.

7. Try calling everyone in your contacts until someone answers. 

Get some social interaction in your life. If the first person doesn't answer move on to the next, if anything it's entertaining.

8. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes. 

There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable for hours on end. Wear your favorite sweatpants and look like a bum, you deserve it.

9. Have a playlist ready before getting in the car. 

Put all those favorite songs of yours on a playlist and press shuffle.

10. Look around you and appreciate the scenery .

You never know what you'll miss when you're not looking.

Car rides can suck, but if you do your best to entertain yourself they'll go by faster than you think. Don't dread them, make them fun.

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