Coastal Living vs. Midwestern Living

Coastal Living vs. Midwestern Living

Get ready for a life like no other.
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Growing up in the Midwest, I thought I had seen all that I needed too. A family that loves me, hanging around at home all of the time, and dreaming of travel. Once I reached the age of 15, I started to get to different states, including Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado, and Wisconsin.

The biggest shock of all of them, to me, was Illinois. The group I went with stopped in Chicago, where we went to Target and were warned about the 3% increase in taxes on certain items. We got to see the change in personalities, and the different types of people that wander the streets, compared to the wonderful Midwest, where everyone is the same, and those that aren’t, stick out like a sore thumb.

However, since my high school travels, I made it to college, and went further. These further travels took me to California and Seattle.

California brought a big surprise in terms of cost. Living takes so much, not only for rent and owner’s insurance, but for gas, and food, and travelers. Not only did the price shock me, but so did the people. People, out with how they want to dress, not caring if they get looks, and not caring if someone was dressed the same way that they are. Makeup, done in ways I could never dream of mastering. Fashion, with labels that I can’t even pronounce. It was such a shock to a way of life that I could never even dream of attaining.

But the most interesting place I have ever been is Seattle, Washington. Though I loved all of my experiences there, the cost was insane. It was even more than living in California, which is something that I would have doubted. Coming from the Midwest, it’s almost as if two states exist growing up: California and New York. And one would never fathom a place like Washington being more expensive and extravagant. Farther than the extravagance, however, is the amount of homeless people I saw. My heart broke. So many people, everywhere, who can’t even afford a cheeseburger.

More than that, I was also shocked by the kinds of people that I saw. Not only were they out with their piercings, and fashion, and way of dressing, they were out with their personality. Everyone that I saw seemed happy and in tune with who they are. It was awesome to see. And the best part was seeing the acceptance there. So many people were out with their sexuality, and I loved it. In my small town, seeing someone who is gay used to be few and far between. While its becoming more common for someone to come out with who they truly are, it still barely happens in a conservative place.

It just goes to show what growing up and opening your eyes will do. You get introduced to new ways of life, and different things that require global awareness. In addition, it will produce a passion for exploring that just continues to grow daily.

Cover Image Credit: Brandi Blunk

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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10 Things We Should Do For Our Country Before Outlawing Abortion

Just take one minute to think before you act, will you?

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As we all know by now, this past week Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill that will make performing an abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In 2019, Alabama passed its own abortion bill making it the most restrictive in the nation with Ohio and Mississippi following suit.

An ultrasound can detect a fetal heartbeat in as early as 6-7 weeks. This is before most women even know that they are pregnant. This raises multiple uncomfortable, jarring, but necessary questions. Why are men able to make laws regarding a woman's body? Do we except pre-teen rape victims to endure a nine-month pregnancy followed by childbirth? If enforcing stricter gun laws won't stop people from buying guns, what is telling us that stricter abortion laws will stop people from having abortions?

Instead, I would like to propose 25 alternative issues to tackle for the people of our country before we open up this can of controversial worms.

1. Homelessness

Homelessness in the US is a deepening crisis in America. In places that are doing better than ever before economically, the rates of homeless families are at an all time high.

2. Foster Care

Nearly three-quarters of US states have reported an increase in the number of children entering foster care since the year 2014. However, with this increase, there is a steep decline in families applying to be foster parents, mental health care for the kids, trauma counseling for drug abuse by a parent, and additional community resources.

3. Gun Reform

I do not want to take away your guns, caring American citizen who has a legitimate conceal to carry in order to protect yourself and others. I want to take away their guns—the mentally unstable psychopaths who think it's okay to harm others because the voices in their head told them so.

4. Plastic Waste

"Because plastic wasn't invented until the late 19th century, and production really only took off around 1950, we have a mere 9.2 billion tons of the stuff to deal with. Of that, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste. And of that waste, a staggering 6.3 billion tons never made it to a recycling bin."

5. Student Debt

Student loan debt in 2019 is the highest ever. It is a $1.5 trillion dollar crisis.

6. Stray Animals

There are roughly 70 million stray animals living in the US today.

7. Potholes

It's just NOT THAT HARD. My car is too old to handle all of that.

8. Mental Healthcare

The American healthcare system spends roughly 5.6% of the national healthcare budget on mental health treatment.

9. Plant More Trees

Combatting climate change, cleaning the air, providing oxygen? Good enough for...literally everyone.

10. Save the bees

A third of all of our food depends on their pollination.

Regardless of our own opinions on the matter, I think it is more than fair to say that each individual should be allowed to make decisions about their own body.

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