To My Family 14 Hours Away, Distance Has Nothing On Us

To My Family 14 Hours Away, Distance Has Nothing On Us

Suddenly, FaceTime has become my best friend.

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Moving to Rhode Island from Charleston, South Carolina was an adjustment, to say the least. In the weeks leading up to the big move, relatives and friends were asking me if I had enough warm clothes and enough of my belongings to last until the end of the school year. I was, after all, moving 14 hours away from home, so if I forgot something, it wasn't exactly a short ride to go back and get it. It was odd realizing that for the first time in my life I would be living under a different roof than my family members.

When I first got here, I wasn't able to FaceTime due to how hectic the first few days of school were. Between getting to know my professors, trying to figure out all the various online portals, and rereading syllabus after syllabus, I was a bit overwhelmed. It was a lot.

I finally got the opportunity to talk to my family after a few long days. I missed them and just the sound of their voice made me feel like I was back with them. I wasn't homesick, but I wasn't exactly fully comfortable here in Rhode Island yet either. Everything was so new, and they were really the only things that were familiar so far. I loved the newness of it all, but I was stuck in this weird headspace where I wanted to be with my family but I didn't want to leave school.

There I was, talking to my family for the first time since they'd dropped me off. They were all sitting in their homes, hours away from me in my dorm room. We FaceTimed almost every day that first week. Somehow, as this routine continued, they started to feel closer to me and less far away. Physically, multiple states separated me from my parents and little brother. But mentally, I felt closer to them somehow. It was strange. As weeks progressed, our FaceTiming became less frequent, but I found that when we did talk, it was for an hour or two, catching each other up on what we'd missed.

My brother is starting for my old high school football team. My mom started two new jobs. My dad drove to Michigan for my cousin's wedding. It is crazy. They're all there, living their life, and here I am, living mine. We are all still connected, even though I am so far from home.

FaceTime has become a two-to-three times a week thing. I get the scores of the local football game from my parents and videos of my little brother on the field. He sends me Snapchats every morning at 6:30 when he starts his day. My mom texts me funny things that happen to her and pictures of my dogs. My dad sends me selfies. Seeing their names on my phone is great, especially because I know that without them, I wouldn't be at a school like this. My family made me independent. They pushed me to go to the school of my dreams, even if it isn't close to them geographically.

I love it here. I have made more genuine friends than I thought possible. I have gotten involved with unique organizations that I am so passionate about. I have explored this state with new people and gone adventuring with my roommate. I am happy. And I get to have my family with me, every step of the way, even if they do live 14 hours away.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Hey ECU, We Really Need Some More Parking, But Sure, Go Ahead And Spend The Money On ANOTHER Student Center

Seriously, who decides what our tuition should be spent on?

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I get the "I'm here" text, and I bound down the stairs and plop myself into my friend's car. "Where can I park?" Craning my neck to search for an empty spot, I reply, "Wherever you see an open spot. This is war." We spend the first 15 minutes of our visit together driving around, waiting for those blessed white lights to signal someone leaving.

Later on that night, my friend mentions they're hungry. I hype them up to go to the new student center, given all the options. "Should we drive to it?"

I laugh, "And give up our spot?" We pull up the bus schedule and wait for the next one.

While munching on Canes' chicken, we sit and talk. "This place is HUGE." I shrug, and then they ask, "You don't like it?" I sigh and proceed to tell them what I'm about to tell you.

I love the student center. It's cool. A nice place to do homework, and it does give more options for food. But I remind my friend about our parking ordeal. "We need more parking but… Did they spend our money to build this instead? We didn't NEED this."

This may not seem like a big deal, but this isn't the only problem students have on campus.

We are shocked when we have hot showers. We are paying literal thousands to be here, and yet hot showers is a treat. Isn't that kind of a basic expectation?

There are about 400 students living in my residence hall, but we only have about 16 clothes washers and dryers. People won't move their stuff in a timely manner, so we have to wait (or some people just take your clothes out).

My friend is having to go on the "Elimination Diet", due to the fact that she constantly breaks out into heat rashes all the time, which may actually be allergic reactions to some food she's eating. But how can she even maintain this when the dining halls really offer no healthy food options?

Buses are continuously overcrowded. But we will see buses continuing routes, with the words "NOT IN SERVICE". People stand around and wait for the next one.

When walking to the library from my dorm (because the bus is overcrowded), I can spot an unfinished, unnecessary sidewalk that ends in the middle of… nowhere. They took the time and resources to build a sidewalk with no purpose.

I'm not trying to complain. I'm trying to bring attention. We have a new student center, but we can't have hot showers?

I feel like things need to be re-prioritized.

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