Denison University is an Animal Crossing Town

Denison University is an Animal Crossing Town

I found myself surprised as well.
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When you spend enough time around a person or a place or even a thing you begin to notice your surroundings. You pick up on mannerisms, dialects, and lifestyles. You draw conclusions that make for useless but interesting observations, and that is exactly what happened to me after playing hours of Animal Crossing one afternoon (I do my homework, Mom and Dad. I swear).

Anyway, I began to notice that Denison University and the lovely video game franchise that is Animal Crossing have some cute similiarities, with the most glaring being...

1. The Swasey Chapel Bells vs. The Clock Tower Bell

Every hour on the half hour, Swasey Chapel bells ring a number of tunes ranging from Amazing Grace to Part of Your World from Disney's The Little Mermaid. I hear their resounding chimes as a distant alarm clock if I am still in bed, from the window in a classroom, or on the way to my next class. I always like figuring out if I can guess what song Denison's secret society of bell ringers decided to play. My enjoyment of listening to the chapel bells ring true (no pun intended) to the clock tower bell in Animal Crossing games, which ring every hour on the hour.

2. Small College vs. Small Town

Animal Crossing may have updated gameplay mechanics over the years, but if there is one part that remains constant, it is the size of your town, which just big enough to pull all of your weeds in one day if you have not played in months (guilty). In the same way, Denison remains a small campus, perched on a hill with no off campus housing. Speaking of off campus...

3. Going Off Campus vs. Leaving Your Town

Unless you own a car on campus, trips off campus are far and few between. Travelling requires someone else who has a car or renting a ride through a carshare program. The struggle remains in Animal Crossing, as oftentimes to go into another town, someone else has to have the game, and you both have to be in close proximity to each other in order to maintain a strong connection signal.

4. Occasional Returning Visitors

Every now and then, special characters will visit your Animal Crossing town and (typically) sell you goods or services. Redd sells (typically) counterfeit paintings and overpriced furniture, and Saharah who sells wallpapers and carpets for your home. Like Animal Crossing, Denison also welcomes frequenting visitors, such as the Bohemian jewelry and clothing tent set up either near the flagpole or inside Slayter.

5. The Roost vs. The Nest at The Roost

Both Denison University and Animal Crossing have a place called The Roost. Well, Denison had a place called The Roost until the place was renovated and renamed into what current students call The Nest. Petition to rename it back to The Roost so to strengthen my case.

6. The Best Coffee Around

While The Roost at Denison is no more, The Roost in Animal Crossing is very much alive and thriving as the best (and only) place to buy a cup of coffee. The drinks are cheap and apparently very tasty according to my villagers, and because I can't take a sip of coffee made from code I will have to take their word for it.

Denison's coffee on the other hand I can taste, have tasted and loved. Whether I order a frozen hot chocolate from The Commit Grounds in Slayter (remember to bring you own mug for a discount), to Village Coffee lattes to a River Road mocha, I know I cannot go wrong.

7. Tom Nook's vs. CVS

Need Medicine? Low on cash? Looking to renovate your space? Well, both Tom Nook's and the CVS in Granville can provide. Being in a landlocked town among the thralls of the Midwest, options are pretty limited in terms of places to go (see number 3). Forgot something from home? Chances are I will be headed to CVS.

Tom Nook's is the only place to shop for home decor, save for the expensive GracieGrace Boutique in Animal Crossing: City Folk. He is also the only seller who provides medicine for those annoying bee stings. So yes, I will pay 400 bells for medicene and yes, I will pay $12.99 for an 8 capsule box of Nyquil. What other choice do I have?

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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A Few Birthday Thoughts

Goodbye teenage years, hello twenties!

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So, it is looking like I am about to leave my teenage years behind. I think that I want to reflect back on this time in my life and think about what I want to keep with me in my twenties and maybe some things I can let go. My teenage years have been full of love from my family and friends; hard work to make good grades in school and creating art. I developed several great friendships that I have held on to across the miles even though I went to college 14 hours away from our previous home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made in college as well.

It seems like friends you make in your childhood and younger years can really stand the test of time. Maybe it is because when you became friends you were truly who you were. Everyone was genuine and didn't put up walls to protect themselves. You got to know someone on a deeper more personal level more quickly than if you had met later in life. I also think we laughed even more as children and that always creates good memories to look back on. So I think in my twenties I will try to hang on to the "childish" way of making friends. I will try to show my true self and will accept them for who they are, and we will laugh....a lot.

I think a good thing to let go of is always trying to make dead-end relationships work. When we were children on the playground and we tried to play a game together or jump rope and it just wasn't working, we would run off and find someone else. It was easy. It was just natural. Now sometimes I find myself trying to stay in a relationship by being overly nice, giving gifts, trying to find what pushes the persons "good" buttons. I might spend so much time trying to figure this person out that I leave out more solid relationships that are worth my time. So in my twenties, I will try to be more realistic about who to spend my time on. Some people are just never going to stand the test of time. I can continue to be cordial but won't let them rule my time and thought life.

As children, we loved our parents and siblings and would show love to them in a myriad of ways. Maybe it was hugs, pictures on the fridge, good night kisses, playing games, or just quality time spent together as a family. Starting my twenties, I am mature enough to realize the value of these people in my life. Thankfully, I have always known this. I was never the type that was embarrassed if someone saw me walking with my Mom or Dad or being dropped off in the Mom Van somewhere. I always knew these people loved me more than anyone else I was about to meet. But in my twenties, I plan to keep up with my family even when I am eight hours away from them. We are never too old to need the love of family.

As weird as it is to say goodbye to my teenage years, it's honestly helped me to soak in the precious moments of everyday life and treasure them even more. Every year when birthdays come around, it always serves as a reminder how quickly the days, months, and years fly by. I think that has been one difficult part of this birthday season. It's hard to say goodbye to the past, without a clear map of the future. But, I must remind myself that this is why growing up is a beautiful thing- as we live life and experience new things, we are better prepared for what the future may hold. Everything that I have experienced in my 20 years has served an important purpose- to make me into the person I am supposed to become. Yes, life is always changing and so am I... and change can be hard. Very hard. But one thing to remember is God is always constant. He will never change. No matter what number is on your birthday cake, He is always there...the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is the Rock that we will always be able to cling to. Isn't that a wonderful thought? Even if we don't know what's in His plans for us in the coming year, it's important to make Him a part of our plans. Rather than worry about change, let's embrace it all- the good and the bad- and look to the Lord to see how He will guide and shape us.

Teenage years- the time has come. I must say goodbye to you now. But, you will never be forgotten. I will hold your memories in my heart forever. Twenties- I am excited for all that awaits me.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

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