20 Things That Make America Great No Matter The Shit Storm Our Country Is In

20 Things That Make America Great No Matter The Shit Storm Our Country Is In

'Merica, Yee Yee!

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Let's just take a hot minute to stop and think about the place we call home: the good ole' USA. I feel like lately there has been a lot of shade thrown on the United States. The media is always pointing out what is bad about this country. Though everything has it's pros and cons, I think we should all take some time and think and be thankful about this beautiful country we call home, and what great things lie within it.

1. We have almost every type of ecosystem here.

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We have the Rocky Mountains, Appellation Mountains, east coast and west coast beaches, and deserts just to name a few. What other country in the world can say that they have all of that?

2. We are very road trip friendly.

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People from other countries are just fascinated that in the United States you can just get in the car and drive. We don't have to worry about checkpoints when going from state to state, all we do is pass a sign on the highway! We can go anywhere in the country in a car. Its a lot cheaper than paying for a plane ticket too.

3. We have football season.

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Football season is very unique to the United States. It brings us something to look forward to on the weekends, and we can route for our home teams. Plus, we are basically the only country in the world that has (American) football season. Other countries may look at us in confusion, but we don't care, because this is 'merica. (Go Packers)

4. Everyone wants to come to America at least once in their life, and we get to live here.

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When I have met people from other countries and I tell them that I am from America, they are always a little struck that we are. I've always been those people that "I've always wanted to go to America". Want to know why? Because it's awesome here! We love life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

5. We have access to education.

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Though public school is free up to 12th grade, we still have access to higher education afterwards, and much of the world doesn't have that kind of opportunity.

6. We have SO MUCH SPACE.

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You may not feel like this if you live in the city, but my goodness, the USA is one big chunk of land. If you go to places especially out west, you will know what I mean. It can take hours to get from one town to another, and there is nothing in between. Think of the population density in China. Its jam-packed there. Here, we really have room to stretch out our wings without touching the person next to us.

7. Not only do we have national pride, but we have state pride too.

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"When you say Wisconsin, you've said it all!" Also, there can be state rivalries too (like Illinois vs. Wisconsin, but we all know which state is better).

8. We invented some of the greatest foods you will ever eat.

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Donut holes, mac n cheese, ranch, meatloaf, and of course, we love our burgers.

9. We are back to back World War Champions.

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What other country can say that they have done that?

10. We invented things that have changed the world forever.

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Electricity, lightbulbs, cars, airplanes, microwaves, and those are only just a few.

11. We drive the film industry.

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Yes, the rest of the world does make movies in their own countries (Like Bollywood) but blockbusters come only from Hollywood, California, USA.

12. The concept of the 'American Dream' is aspired everywhere.

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You don't have to live in America, or be American to have the American Dream mentality. It is what drives an individual to be successful no matter where you are from. The mentality has inspired millions around the world.

13. We love to party.

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No matter what day of the week it is, what holiday or special event it is, we always find an excuse to party.

14. We have clean water!

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This seems like such an odd thing to be recognizing, but a lot of the world is going thirsty, and we are lucky enough to have clean water right at our finger tips. Let's raise a glass, shall we?

15. We are loud, but we embrace it.

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A lot of other countries may think that Americans are annoying, but who cares? We are here for a good time, and us being loud is just part of who we are.

16. We are free.

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Thanks to our founding fathers, we can really do whatever we want here. Want to build a castle? Sure. Want to be a race car driver? Go ahead. Follow your American Dream.

17. We have a rich history.

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America as a whole really isn't that old compared to the rest of the world, and considering how young we are as a nation, and what has happened over that course of time, makes us full of some awesome history.

18. We were the first to have walked on the frickin' moon.

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Just awesome.

19. American flag everything.

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American flag shirts, pants, hats, cars, notebooks, buildings, you name it. We take pride in our flag.

20. We are all a little redneck.

Homemade redneck yacht

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Who doesn't love a good bonfire, cookout, hunting, big trucks, and shotgunning beers? We might make fun of it but we all deep down secretly love it.

Least can I say, America is awesome, and we are proud to be Americans no matter what is going on in the world.

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If You Still Don't Have These 8 Things In Your College Room, You're Doing It Wrong

Take it from a senior living in a residence hall, I know what I'm talking about.

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If this is your first semester or if this is your last, there are some things every college student should have in their room. Granted, some things are more of a convenience than a necessity, but, come on, you only live once, right?

1. Bluetooth speaker

Whether it's jamming to some study tunes, kicking it back with some chill beats on a Saturday night, or trying to block out the noise roommates down the hall, a Bluetooth speaker is a key piece of every good residence hall experience. You'll thank me later.

2. String lights

The easiest way to turn those glum room walls into your personal paradise is to hang string lights all around! If you are feeling particularly creative, adding some lights and print-out photos to an open wall creates the cutest memory board. Make sure to hang these below the sprinkler system if your hall has them!

3. Cute pillow(s)

Nothing makes your mostly-unmade bed look better than a cute throw pillow. Who cares if your comforter is crooked and falling off your mattress — you've got adorable pillows! Plus, they can be great to lay on when studying or watching movies in bed.

4. A fuzzy blanket

Nothing screams "college" like cuddling up in a soft blanket and procrastinating your homework. Whether it's for watching movies, wrapping up in while studying for that 8 AM exam, or just unwinding after a long day, a fuzzy blanket makes everything better.

5. Essential oil diffuser

Most residence halls don't allow candles or wax melters, but essential oil diffusers can be even better for you and for making your room smell great. You can even use certain oils when you aren't feeling well to help you get better sooner!

6. Reusable water bottle

Now, this is more of a college tip in general, but it is still extremely important. I find that when I buy a new reusable water bottle, I drink more water. Stay hydrated and reduce your eco-footprint by skipping the single-use plastic bottles.

7. Closet organizers

One of the hardest parts about moving into a college room is the closet space (or lack thereof). Go for practical. An over-the-door shoe rack, hanging cubby, multi shirt hanger, or jewelry pouch can maximize your space without forcing you to get rid of half your wardrobe.

8. Power Strip

I'm not talking about dinky little extension cords, no no, I'm talking power stips. These babies have saved me every semester of my college career. Many residence halls require them since they have surge protectors. Turn one outlet into five or more (some even have USB ports).

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If You Don't Actually Live In Chicago, Stop Saying You Do

Chicago natives only.

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If you call the Sears Tower, the "Willis Tower" then you are not from Chicago. If you have no intellect on the colloquial language or slang that is used in Chicago, then you are not from Chicago. If the CTA was not your primary form of transportation at some point in your life, then you are not from Chicago. If you have never seen a chair in a parking space, or personally put out a chair to save your shoveled parking spot in the winter, then you are not from Chicago.

If your address does not include: 606, Chicago, IL then you are not from Chicago!!!!

I have heard a lot of suburbanites complain about how adamant Chicagoans are about not letting them say they are from Chicago. I understand that if you are from a small town that nobody has ever heard of, it might be easier to say that you are from Chicago, but we both know that isn't true. Instead, say that you live x amount of hours away from the city. The reason that Chicagoans become so upset when people not from the city say that they are, is so much bigger than we simply don't like sharing our city. I agree Chicago is an amazing place, and I couldn't imagine growing up anywhere else, but by claiming that you are from Chicago, when in fact you are not, you are discrediting the hardships and experiences that people from the city endure.

Living in Chicago comes with a lot of good things, but it also comes with a lot of bad, as well. Those who grew up in the suburbs will never understand what living in the city is actually like unless they have experienced it themselves. I am a Chicago Public School alumni and was in the system from preschool all the way to high school senior. In all of my fourteen years of being a CPS student, funding to keep school doors open has been a consistent problem. There have been countless times that the Chicago Teachers Union has threatened to go on strike for better wages and condition. There also have always been plenty of times that they actually have gone on strike costing students valuable class time that could have been avoided if CPS properly funded their employees and schools. School closings are also not uncommon in the city and they happen predominantly in low-income neighborhoods. The system makes it even more difficult for people in the hood to make better lives for themselves through education by limiting their access to education.

Quality education is hard to come by in the city and is permitted to a very lucky few. It is a real problem and a battle that suburban kids are oblivious to because having access to quality education is something they would never think twice about.

The fight for quality education is just one thing of many that suburbans will never understand. They could never fathom the thought of not being able to go to a certain area because it isn't safe. They couldn't think of having to help their friends grieve over another life taken from gun violence. They will never understand that we say "be safe" to everyone we say "goodbye" to because you never know when the dangers of the city will affect you next. They couldn't imagine seeing their families and friends uprooted from their longtime homes because gentrification has finally affected their neighborhood to the point that they can't afford to live there anymore.

Chicago to suburbans is a fun train ride downtown to go shopping on Magnificent Mile and visit the bean. It's taking pictures for their Instagram at a new coffee shop up north. It's going to the beach and playing beach volleyball. My city is so much more than that. My city is murals and art all over the building walls, and corner stores on every other block and dancing to house music all night long. My city hearing fireworks a month before and after the Fourth of July. My city is cultural festivals all summer long and driving down Lake Shore Drive with music blasting. My city is having the option to eat at Portillo's, Ricobene's or Connie's. Suburbans will never know my city so stop saying that you are from Chicago and act as if you do. It's about time that suburbans stop appropriating a culture that they have no idea even exists.

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