An Open Letter To Durham, NC

An Open Letter To Durham, NC

Bull City!!


I've grown up in Durham, North Carolina all my life. I spent my days going to DPAC shows, Durham Bulls games, eating at Brightleaf and 9th street, shopping at Southpoint mall and walking along the Eno River. I always said I wanted to get far away from Durham as soon as I got the chance - but now I cherish everyday that I get to spend back in the Bull City.

I have to say it - Durham is probably one of the coolest places in North Carolina.

And if not the coolest, we definitely have the best restaurants. Bennett Pointe Grill, Heavenly Buffaloes, Cosmic Cantina, Geer Street Garden, Vin Rouge, Parker and Otis, Monuts, Toast, Dame's Chicken and Waffles, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Dos Perros, Happy and Hale, Elmo's, The Saltbox, King's Sandwich Shop, Locopops, The Parlour, Only Burger, and Wimpy's, just to name a few.

The high schoolers in Durham from Riverside, Northern, Jordan and Durham School of the Arts (go Bulldogs) are also the best people to get advice from on how to spend your weekend.

I remember hanging out with my friends on the weekend and eating at 9th street or going to Southpoint to pick up some new clothes.

We used to go into downtown to visit the really cool parking garage next to 21c hotel to get some cute pictures or to go on a date. Or to explore the abandoned 10 story hotel in downtown before it got demolished (rip abandoned hotel 2018).

Durham really has some neat places like the 21c hotel where my junior prom was held which is also a free entrance art gallery with really cool bathrooms (if you know you know).

Christmas time was beautiful downtown too - the ceremony for lighting the Lucky Strike water tower, ice skating outside in American Tobacco, or visiting Morgan Imports during the holidays to get a glimpse of the miniature Christmas village in the back of the store.

Now Durham does get a bad rep - the whole "I'd rather die of boredom in Cary than be shot in Durham" is completely fake. Every city has a suss area, but that doesn't represent the entire place.

I grew up somewhere outside of the stereotype.

I grew up in the Durham where when I walked into Bruegger's Bagels, the cashiers remembered my order every morning before school, and where Cosmic Cantina and Jimmy John's on 9th street knew exactly which weekdays I'd come in on for off-campus lunch.

I grew up where my friends and I would hang out at "Safe Haven" on the Hillandale golf course and then drive up to fast food lane on Hillsborough street and get some Cook Out every Friday night.

I grew up where the most beautiful dates were when you would sit in your car on top of the 21c parking garage and listen to music with your significant other/(best friends).

I grew up where on Sundays, I'd visit my best friend who worked at the Museum of Life and Science so she could make me a coffee in the cafe and then get me free admission to the museum by sneaking me in the back.

I grew up where after eating at Toreros in Brightleaf with my cousins I would run over to Morgan Imports and see what new items they had in stock.

This was the Durham I grew up in. Where everyone knew everyone. And not everyone was a Duke fan btw - Go Heels!!

Durham definitely deserves a better reputation. I couldn't have asked for a better place to grow up. I can't wait to show everyone in Raleigh what the real Durham-ites do on the weekends. I love you Bull City - never change.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.

Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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It's Time To Take More 'Me Time'

Did you ever stop and think about how important "me time" is?


I know it's not everyone's first priority to think about just hanging out by themselves for a day, but why isn't it? Self-care is so important and some people don't do enough of it. Here are some way you can get some me time in, while still having a productive day.

Me time doesn't just mean relaxing

Yes, sometimes we all need a break, maybe it's just taking a long shower, laying in bed for an extra hour, or treating yourself to a yummy dessert. But, having me time doesn't necessarily mean you can't be productive. Have yourself a day and learn to enjoy your own company. Being around family and friends is certainly nice, but sometimes taking some time to yourself and collecting your own thoughts is good for your health.

It's okay to say no

No thanks. It's something that some people don't realize that it's okay to say no, just let them know beforehand. Such a cleshay, but it's not going to change anything if you say no to hanging out with your friends for one night. Take a night off and put on a movie or your favorite tv show and chill in bed with some of your favorite snacks.

Schedule it

We schedule classes and dentist appointments in our daily lives, but why don't we schedule me time? Sometimes just telling yourself that you're going to give yourself 20 minutes before your next task gives you a time dedicated to relax and collect your thoughts. It may seem funny to think about, but this is how you will be able to fully remind yourself, and hold yourself accountable, to giving yourself some alone time.

Treat yourself

Do it. Buy it. Now. Second guessing is first nature, but who needs a second opinion when your gut is telling you one thing? Once in awhile it's good to get yourself a sweet dessert or the new pair or shoes you've been eyeing.


Journaling is something that I spent a lot of time doing in High School, but once I entered College I never really had the time or motivation to do any reflecting. Reflecting on your life doesn't even mean writing it down in documentation, but even just taking 5 minutes before you fall asleep, let your thoughts sink in and evaluate certain things in your life you want to change, and cherish the moments that you will think about for the rest of your life.

Never feel guilty for taking time to yourself. Others will understand, but in the end, they're not you! Remember that taking me time is important for your overall health and encourage everyone around you to do it. Keep in mind that carving out some time for yourself is vital for the long run. Laugh and smile more.

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