For Anyone Looking To Escape A Small Town

For Anyone Looking To Escape A Small Town

Don't settle for small like the town you came from. Your dreams are big for a reason.
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Living in a small town can really hinder your drive to go places. I know most people think that the majority of small town people want to get away from it, and that is true, but the devastating part is that most of us don't get the chance to or we lose sight along the way.

Growing up I was never popular; I was an outcast in my own little way with my own group of friends like most people. For the longest time, I would always tell myself and my friends, who were eager to get away, that I didn't want that. I couldn't bring myself to leave my family, my friends, my home. I cared so deeply for the place that I grew up in and the people I called family. It broke my heart to even think about leaving it all behind, even if I didn't want to stay. But now that I have grown up and graduated from high school, I can say that the tides have turned. It took a lot of ups and downs, twists, and turns before I realized that putting your future into other people's hands is like suicide.

Living for other people's happiness is destroying your own in order for the people you love to be satisfied, which isn't at all satisfying to you. Living your life for others isn't really living. It's existing in a world you have no control of. Which is why you need to live for yourself; get away from the town you grew up in. Don't hold back on your desires and dreams for someone else. You may get homesick, but you will regret not knowing what it's like to be yourself in a world full of possibilities. Ignore that old friend from high school that you haven't heard from in months that's wanting to "hang out." They are one of the ones who didn't quite make it out of the chains that living in a small town puts on you and are just looking for a new source of gossip. They too had dreams to leave but got stuck in the midst of it all. Now the only way they can live is through other people. Don't let those people talk you into staying. Get away as soon as you can.

And so what if your family or friends don't agree with or accept what you want to do with your life or what your job or major is. That is solely your decision. It is your life, not theirs. You may want them to support you, and the right people will, but you are living your life for you and no one else. Do what makes you happy not what makes you a billionaire. Growing up in a small town, you see a lot of people struggle financially and that scares you. It makes you want to risk not doing something you love because you are too afraid that you will also get stuck in a small town and waste away. But that doesn't have to be true. Exploring sights outside of a small town will really brighten your perspective on all the things that are possible if you just simply get away from it all.

See the world. Travel. Meet new people in new places. Test your ability to get out of your comfort zone. You can do anything you want but just go! I know a lot of people think that if you do leave, you have to stay gone, don't believe that. There will always be times where you will come back to visit family, friends, or to just simply reminisce. You don't have to forget where you came from, just don't let the opinions of others dictate how you live your life or where you go in life. Live life for yourself. This is your story and only you can decide where you're going.

Life is too short not to explore the world and be happy.

So get away girl (or guy). Be the eagle that soars through the skies over every small town giving a beacon of hope to every individual that to wishes to get away.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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