To College Kids Everywhere, Don't Be Tied Down By Your Hometown

To College Kids Everywhere, Don't Be Tied Down By Your Hometown

There's nothing wrong with moving on.

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Everyone has some sort of "hometown identity". Maybe you're known for what you wear, or for who you're friends with,or for something you did or said at one point.

You might be known for something that happened years ago, or even for something one of your friends said or did. Your identity might even be bigger than that -- you might be part of a sports team, or attend a high school with a strong sense of school spirit. However, your hometown isn't your entire identity. This doesn't mean that you have to dismiss everything from your past -- keep your varsity letters, your yearbooks, your pictures, and keep in contact with friends and acquaintances in from your hometown if you want to. There's nothing wrong with staying friends with your high school squad or flipping through your old yearbooks every once in a while. However, remember that there's a life after high school.

After you graduate, you're free to move on and change your identity, whether that be dying or cutting your hair, getting a piercing or tattoo, or even coming out. You can leave your high school persona and hometown identity behind, and explore new styles, ideas, and identities. Don't worry about what people will think -- do what feels right for you.

Maybe everyone in your hometown keeps their hair a natural color and you want to dye yours hot pink -- do it. Maybe everyone in your hometown are strong sports fans but you prefer the arts -- go to that museum. Maybe everyone in your hometown has a specific political view that you don't agree with -- support who you agree with. You're an individual -- you have your own opinions on politics, style, music, and your own identity. Don't feel like you have to follow along with everyone in your hometown.

It's okay to keep ties to your hometown if you want to. It's okay to dress the same way you did in high school, or to listen to the same music listened to in high school, or to keep your old yearbooks. But if you want to completely change who you are, go for it. Do what you feel comfortable with -- not what is the norm in your hometown, or what you think people expect you to do. Be true to yourself, and be happy with what you do. Your hometown doesn't have to be a major part of your identity unless you want it to be.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I

Yes.

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A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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