30 Things You Know To Be True If You Grew Up In The Miss Lou

30 Things You Know To Be True If You Grew Up In The Miss-Lou

There's no other place quite like it.

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If you grew up on a state border, specifically the Mississippi-Louisiana state border, then you know how conflicting it can be describing your hometown. Are you from Mississippi or Louisiana? Both. Dual in-state tuition? Yes please.

There is no where quite like the Miss-Lou community. Running along the Mighty Mississippi and home to delicious food and rich history, claiming it as your home is a gift. So, if you're one of the 601/318 gang, here are some things you know too well to be true:

1. About a million antebellum homes

Okay, so maybe not quite a million, but there are a ton of antebellum homes for a city our size. Nonetheless, they can be pretty cool to look at for the first time, but seven times later, not so much.

2. Spring Pilgrimage 

At least two of your friends were always involved in Spring Pilgrimage. Countless nights of maypole practice intervened with homework dates or movie nights. Points to you if you went and watched it growing up.

3. Tourists? 

There are always at least one or two tourists downtown, and you always wonder what led them to Natchez of all places.

4. The cemetery

Huge and easily confusing, everyone goes to the city cemetery at least once. The roads are narrow and by the end, your patience is narrower. While it's cool to drive through and look at everything, running it can be a new form of death.

5. The walk-in tomb

Speaking of the cemetery, you haven't been if you didn't stop by the little girl's tomb and walk down the stairs to be next to her. I guess it's a good thing they cemented the window because seeing her would be a thing for nightmares in middle school.

6. Angels on the Bluff

A celebrated October tradition (mostly for grown-ups), the Angels on the Bluff reincarnation is pretty cool to go to if you've never experienced it first hand. But tickets sell out as soon as they are on sale, so you've gotta be quicker than that.

7. Balloon Races

The Great Mississippi River Balloon Races, a.k.a. the best time of the year. So much hype goes into it that it almost lives up to it. It's fun regardless, but the best part is the food, the t-shirts, and the street party after hours.

8. Friday night football

Nothing beats those Friday nights under the lights, especially with cross-town rivals. The Miss-Lou celebrates football like it's a holiday, and every Friday night is a new beginning.

9. Cross-town rivals

At least one of your friends went to a different school than you, and you have a 99.5% chance of knowing someone from each school. With so many choices in the area, it wasn't anything new to be switching schools during the 13 years of your education.

10. La-Fi or Potro's?

At least once a week you visited the local Mexican restaurants. You went so much that they knew your face/order/favorite spot as soon as you walked in. The only difference was whether you were south of town and went to La Fiesta or were in the northern part and went to El Potro's.

11. Roux 61, Johnnie Mae's, and any restaurant downtown

Other hot spot locations for a nicer after school meal, or the prom dinner spot, most of these places cost you a good dime but fed you for days. Everyone has their favorites at the "high class" spots.

12. The mall/movie theater

The sad existence of a mall means that you go there, not for shopping, but out of boredom or for work. You walk around the mall with your friends, try on random stuff at the shops, and ultimately buy a drink and some popcorn from Mackenzie's. Not to mention how awful the movie theater is. You only go for dates or if you REALLY want to see something and can't go out of town.

13. Constant trips to BR.

Whether it is for a prom dress or just shopping in general, going to the movies or just doing something fun, you're always making trips to Baton Rouge. BR becomes a second home to you, and you just embrace the hour and a half drive you have to make for Target and Movie Tavern. Any excuse to get out of Natchez, you take it.

14. College football games

Whether you are an Ole Miss or LSU fan, you've been to at least one of each. Gameday trips to Death Valley are a no brainer, even if traffic is horrendous post-win.

15. Lake days

At least one of your friends lives at the lake or has a lake house, so you spend the majority of your weekends, summer, and after school days laid out on the pier soaking up the rays. Not to mention the lake parties every Friday and Saturday night, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Senior Skip Days, etc. Drowning out your sorrows and work weeks with Natty Light and Jack Daniels feels so much better on a boat or pier.

16. Field parties

At least one field party a year and some wild stories to follow them. Anything from prom after parties to birthday parties, something is always happening in the fields.

17. JoJo's and Dodge's 

Going to or coming from the lake requires a dutiful stop to Dodge's for chicken and JoJo's for alcohol.

18. Fat Mama's

There's nothing quite like Fat Mama's. The best margaritas and tamales you can get this side of the border, Fat Mama's brings the food and brightness back into our lives. Or maybe that's the margaritas.

19. Darby's

The best Fudge in the nation, literally. While you feel as if you might break everything walking into the store, there's nothing quite like the free samples and chunks of delicious fudge boxed for your midnight enjoyment. A must gift for college roomies and out of town friends.

20. The Christmas tree

Everyone in Natchez knows how annoying it can be to have that HUGE tree in the middle of the road. But, you look forward to it every year and you know it's not actually Christmas until the tree lighting ceremony.

21. Relay for life

One of the biggest Relay's in the country, the Miss-Lou comes together to end the fight for cancer. It's a night where you get a little bit of freedom, you can dance and have fun playing games, and it is all for a good cause. Growing up, it's a night you get to spend with your friends and a night you don't want to miss.

22. Smoot's Grocery, Bowie's, The Corner Bar, etc.

All the bars are pretty chill. Being the home of Bishop Gunn means you get talented local artists playing on the weekends. Good music, good food, and good beer. What more could you ask for?

23. Greg Iles

Everyone knows the famous Greg Iles and owns their own personal, signed library of each book. If your parents didn't anxiously wait for the next book, are you even from the area?

24. The bluff

The bluff, the best running spot, the prettiest view of the river, etc. The list goes on but the feelings don't change. One of the best spots in the town to clear your head, enjoy the view, and just relax for a while.

25. The casinos

Being able to go eat at the casinos is one thing, but playing in them is totally different. Known for a lot of things, you've been inside the boat at least once (r.i.p.) for after church lunch and you felt so grown up doing so. Now that they are a little more sophisticated, you still feel like the grown-up, just with less cash on hand.

26. Mardi Gras

One of the biggest events of the year, Mardi Gras is its own breed. Being selected for one of the Krewe's is an honor, and partying it up for weeks is even better. The Call Out Ball, the Parade, the whole shebang. Nothing beats Mardi Gras in our area, except maybe in Baton Rouge or New Orleans.

27. Lottery tickets

If you don't buy a ticket when you are across the bridge, are you even trying to get rich quick? The presence of lottery tickets boosts the traffic across the river. Why not stop by and get 10? Test your luck.

28. C&M crawfish

Crawfish so good you won't want to stop, but the price might. However, it is the best five-pound crawfish, potatoes, and corn you can get around here, so why not splurge a little. Your taste buds will thank you, maybe later though.

29. Tracetown

Home of the truck club, the meet up spot, the hangout, the drop off, etc. When there is no where else to go, this is always the hotspot. There is almost always something going down in tracetown.

30. Taco bell

Another hot spot at night, one of the only places that stays open late, has okay food, and doesn’t care how loud you are. The post-game meet up spot where everyone chowed down their meal and decided what the next plans were gonna be for the night.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I Made In College

The mistakes I corrected which stood between me and satisfaction.

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2019 has been a year of unparalleled growth for me. In 2018 I could have said the same. I spent extended periods of time analyzing the factors of my life which left me, in some ways, feeling unfulfilled. Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes that I made in college which left me feeling happier than ever.

1. Cut out the toxic people. 

A house is worthless without a solid foundation. The people which you call your friends are largely the foundation for your confidence and social life. Sometimes, we recognize that these people are overall anchors on our psyche; condescending narcissists whose confidence rests on making others feel inadequate. The first step to building self-confidence is to get these people out of your life immediately. Once you solidify this foundation, you will soon realize how pitiful these people are, and growth you had been capable of without them.

2. Do you even lift?

Not only has my physical condition improved from going to the gym, so has my mental strength. As my physical form has improved, my confidence has risen. We have spent millions of years evolving to physically exert ourselves. Our modern lifestyle has left many of us without this crucial key to endorphins and proper brain chemistry; a factor which has promoted never before seen rates of depression and anxiety. Lifting weights have left me feeling better than I can remember, with endorphins and testosterone at an all-time high.

For years, I either avoided the gym or found excuses to stop. The reason I never committed to fitness was largely a lack of interest in self-betterment, but also a feeling of cluelessness in the subject. I recommend utilizing the "Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide" linked here. This guide breaks down fitness in an incredibly easy to understand way. This information is not published by someone trying to sell you something. It was written by input from numerous online fitness enthusiasts and refined for accuracy as well as simplicity. This guide has helped me and many others in online communities start down the road to improved physical and mental health through fitness.

3. Do as much as possible, even when you don't feel like it. 


I squandered years of my short life secluding myself to a comfort bubble. While in college, I have realized that happiness largely rests on occupying yourself with new and real experiences as frequently as possible. Time which would have previously been wasted on my phone, the television, or playing online games was shifted to trying new things. As often as possible, I have pushed myself to undertake activities such as learning to snowboard, grabbing food with people from college whom I had just met, going hiking with strangers and our mutual friend, traveling solo, etc. Pushing myself further from my comfort bubble every day has been exceptionally conducive to not only living life to a greater degree but also decreasing the anxieties which we all experience.


What can you fix in your current life to build the lifestyle you dream of?





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