To The Small Town Who Had The Biggest Loss

To The Small Town Who Had The Biggest Loss

As much as I frequently say I hate living here, it does feel like home and it always will be.

Growing up in a small town, you know everyone's business. You know just about everyone's names and where they live and everyone seems to be related in some way. When you’re out on a Target run, there is always a high chance you will run into at least one person you know. That’s what it’s like growing up in a small town.

Just like most of you, I have grown up in the same town my whole 20 years of life, in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. As much as I frequently say I hate living here, it does feel like home and it always will be. I don’t think I would have that same feeling with my hometown if I were to grow up anywhere else, especially in a larger city. I like how close and connected our community is through the good times and hard times.

South Saint Paul recently just lost one of our favorite teachers/coach/father/colleague/the voice of SSP, and many other amazing things he was, Mr. Craig Felton. Whether you have had him in class or you just saw him in passing time, he was one of the most admirable people you could have ever met. I don’t know a single person who did not love that man and I personally can think of many memories with him, as I’m sure all of you have as well. Our community was heartbroken and will never be the same, though through this hard time, our community comes together as one. Going through social media the last few days, all that would appear on my screen were posts that said, #WhenIThinkOfMrFelton and then whatever memory they had with him or what they thought about him. It was heartwarming to read all the posts to see how this one person made such a difference on all of these peoples lives in so many different ways over so many years. We all got to cherish these times we had with Mr. Felton and it will never be forgotten. A memorial service was had for him at South Saint Paul High School. It had felt like everyone in South Saint Paul was there, the Competition Gym was filled completely. Although this was hard for everyone through this tough time, it showed how our community can come together through these hard times to support one another. It gives you a sense of pride growing up somewhere like this.

Just as Mr. Felton once told me once, “You always come back to this small town, even if you try to leave, you always find your way back. It’s hard to find somewhere else that’s this close.” At the time when he said this to my physics class, I was in my senior year of high school, and I didn’t believe a word he said. I thought to myself, 'I’m going to get out of here as soon as I can, I can’t wait to leave South Saint Paul.' Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to appreciate the little things, and not wishing it all away because I want to cherish the times I have in this small town, just as Mr. Felton did.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Felton family through this hard time, I know you guys will find the light through this darkness. Mr. Felton will be in everyone's hearts and may he live on forever.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Janssen

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Being Financially Independent As A College Student

What I've learned and why I'm grateful

Budgeting and being aware of how to spend and save money can be difficult, especially when you are a young college student who is discovering what freedom and being independent is like for the first time. Not only is college expensive but as kids and teenagers most of us do not realize the high cost of our everyday essentials, entertainment and activities, so when we reach that independence its sometimes hard for us to have to spend all of our money on these things and for us to be a responsible adult.

At 18, I'm a financially independent college student. I've already started making payments towards my student loans, pay a portion of my phone bill, and pay for all of my sorority fees out of pocket. On top of this I am financially responsible for buying my everyday expenses, such as food, toiletry items, gas, etc. As a student at a large university who is very involved, it's sometimes difficult to have so much responsibility.

Having to be this independent isn't necessarily a bad thing though, in fact, I prefer it this way. I'm actually grateful my parents aren't paying for my college and that I have to be independent. I feel more prepared for when I graduate and am completly independent and have rent, bills and countless other expenses. I've also been able to grasp something many people my age and even older than I have not. The value of money and how to properly manage it.

I believe that this is so hard for most people to save and budget because we are constantly surrounded my temptation to spend money. Everywhere you go you're almost required to spend money and if not, there is always something catching you're eye that you know you don't need but you want. For me, the easiest way to fight that temptation is to write out my expenses, budget and savings plan and to constantly look at my finances as a reminder that there are more important things to be spending my money on.

I see so many of my peers go out and waste all of their money every week, while I choose save and work to pay for college while I am still a student. Many students now days take out loans knowing that they don't have to be paid off until after they graduate so they don't worry about all the money their spending. For me, I would rather be a broke college student that works all the time than be paying off my student loans for the next 20 years of my life.

While I made the decision to pay for my education while still a student, it is no easy task. I work most days in between my classes, which means I have to make sure I have enough time study and do any assignments. On top of school and work, I also have manitory events and meetings in my sorority.

All of this makes my life a little more stressful than the average college students. Regardless of the stress and the extra work though, I'm grateful for my financial independence and I feel that I am better prepared for the "real world" and for what ever life throws at me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Things People With Tattoos Are Tired Of Hearing

No, we do not get tattoos to please you.

I've had a tattoo for a few months now and these are just a few of the things I've heard while having it. No, my tattoo isn't big or showy but it has a very special meaning to me. You should not judge someone because they have tattoos even if it's just one.

Please keep in mind that we are humans with emotions and you degrading us for having tattoos is very hurtful and is not appreciated.

1. "Did it hurt?"

No, having a needle repeatedly stabbed into my skin doesn't hurt at all.
It truly depends on the person and their pain tolerance. I personally only felt pain in a few places.

2. "How does your mom feel about it?"

Considering my mother and I have the same tattoo and she was there when I got it, she doesn't care.

3. "If you're a Christian, why'd you get a tattoo?"

Because I can. God doesn't condemn you for having tattoos. It was in memory of my father. Please. Stop. Judging. Me.

4. "You'll never get a job with tattoos."

The tattoo I have and future tattoos I plan to have are all in places that can be easily covered and hidden for that specific purpose.

5. "It's so tacky."

No, it isn't tacky. MY tattoo was MY choice. Like I said above, it was in memory of my father. I didn't get it to please you.

A few others that were not mentioned but are still valid are:

"It was a waste of money."

"You should've reconsidered placement, design, size, etc."

"You really want more?"

"No offense, but it looks bad."

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