What It's Like Growing Up in Wilmington, Delaware

What It's Like Growing Up in Wilmington, Delaware

We hold many surprises.

When people ask me where I am from, the first place they assume is that I’m from a city of China. People look and think that because of the color of my skin that obviously I’m Asian, which means that I am automatically from China. I’m here to say sorry, I’m not from China, but I do have a Chinese heritage. I was born and raised in Wilmington, DE. It is a pretty small state, but even the tiniest packages hold the biggest surprises.

Some places that we like to hang out would be the malls, the Pit, Lucky’s diner, Regal’s Cinema, the beaches, and the state parks. Basically in this town, these are the only places that we could drop whatever we were doing and go within moments notice. I’ve grown up here and I have many fond memories of what it use to be. Such as remember when Christiana mall still had water foundations all around and running down the steps to throw my three little pennies into the foundation while screaming from glee of making it to the top tier. These places are pretty much an institution and have been around longer than I have been alive. The Pit that I was referring to is Charcoal Pit. Growing up, people had different nicknames for different places and if you weren’t a Delawarean, you would be so confused as to why we do this. These are some of the places that we can walk in our pj’s and not be judged for it. We can show our true personalities.

Nostalgia is everywhere, wherever you go there is most likely a memory of part-taking in an activity there. Such as taking your first vacation at Rehoboth, buying your first date outfit at Rave, attending a Blue Rocks game, or going to St. Helena’s carnival with your friends and crush. Going to the beach and remembering traveling to grandma’s house and stuffing your face with candy and ice cream before actually going to the beach. Also knowing which beach is best to go at what time of year and is less crowded. Everywhere we go, the odds of seeing someone that you recognize from school or from work is nine out of ten. Even when you’re stopped at a stop light on Foulk and Grubb in front of Stanley’s Tavern, you can see your friends driving in the car next to you or making that right turn from Grubb. Sometimes when I go to work, I would see Joe Biden’s relative or happen to see governor Jack Markell grabbing take out. Even though the places we go are the same as the other times we’ve been there, the experiences change each time.

Other quirky characteristics that make Delaware and Delawareans unique are when whenever we say that we are from Delaware, they’d always inquire “where is that”. Then we would add on that its near New York or Pennsylvania, in case they still had no idea where it is. We also like to complement our fries not with ketchup, but with vinegar. When we are shopping, we aren’t shocked by the tax free prices unlike out-of-towners, who pay almost double for the same things. Frequently, despite being tax-free, we still like to search for great shopping deals. We sometimes pronounce water as “wudder,” “that-a-way” means in that direction, and “beggle” as bagel. In addition, we know that Concord is pronounced “con-curd,” Newark is “new-ark,” and Naamans is “nay-mans.” The only time Delaware is even on people’s radar is when Firefly Music Festival is happening in Dover. Although, these quirky traits may seem bizarre and perplexing to you, but these traits make us who we are.

No matter if we know everyone in our town, we could always meet someone new and we just don’t realize it until later. We hold many surprises ranging from natural beauty at the state parks to creative events hosted down by the Wilmington Riverfront. Just because we are small does not mean we are any less of a state.

Cover Image Credit: delawaretoday.com

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Empowering Mantras That Soothe The Soul

Learn and repeat these mantras to center yourself.

January is the month of change. We can decide to change at any time during the year, but the start of the new year pushes us to be our best self. If you have something you want to stop, or start doing, now is the time. As I sit in Spain far away from my family, friends, and peanut butter (which is shockingly impossible to find in Spain), I’m confronted with a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow. Although studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and I am more than grateful, I would be lying if I said there aren’t moments of crying in the shower and longing for my body pillow at home (his name is Maxwell and he is pink, and no, I’m not pregnant).

Whenever I get overwhelmed I find it extremely helpful to stop, take a deep breath (or sixty) and repeat calming mantras to myself until the feeling passes. Mantras can be words or sentences and phrases that you can repeat to yourself anytime, although traditionally they have been used during meditation. The goal is to help focus the mind internally and block out any external distractions. It helps to center you and mentally decongest. Scientifically, the benefits are incredible.

The repetition of mantras have been linked to a decrease in heart rate, brain waves and the ability to slow down breathing.

“I am enough”

Fake it till you make it. Believe it or not, say it over and over again. We are what we think, so think positive.

“This too shall pass”

Life goes on even when you think it can’t. We have to experience the peaks and valleys to live a full life. Remember that in a bad moment, it will pass and a new feeling will replace it. And treasure and revel in the good moments because you know what you have overcome and what you may face in the future.

“I am grateful”

Your nail breaks, you spill your coffee, you tumble down a flight of stairs. Plenty of things happen throughout our days that may cloud our overall perception. Challenge yourself in those negative moments to list three events or people you may have overlooked that made your day brighter. Gratitude literally alters the way our brains process our emotions and thoughts and the best part is that we are in control of making our thoughts positive.

“Let it Be”

Time and time again we learn this lesson. It is what it is, what will be will be. That’s not to say it’s always a graceful moment of acceptance, but there’s a certain freedom in knowing that so many things are out of our control.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/buildings-city-exercise-girl-374632/

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5 Must Things To Do During Second Semester

Looking for things to do during this winter season? This list has got you covered.

For many of us who have just started our second semester, or are about to, the stress of college is about to come at you full force and smack you in the face. Personally, I find second semester to be much more difficult compared to first semester.

First semester is filled with tailgates, football games, hayrides, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the list can go on and on. Due to the fact that there's so many more activities to do first semester than second, that can lead to a semi-dull second semester. With that being said however, here's a list of things you can do to prevent all that boredom.

1. Go to other sporting events that your college offers you

College sports are one of the best parts of living in America so you might as well take full advantage of them. Even though football season may be over, hockey and basketball season are in full swing right now. Also, by end of March and beginning of April, baseball will start as well. Going to games as a student is a great way to have fun with your friends while not having to bust open the piggy bank.

2. Pajama and movie nights

A simple enough idea, but has the potential to have tons of fun if you decide to give it your all. During the winter, especially up north, it can be brutally cold so staying inside is priority majority of the time. But that doesn't mean there's not a way to enjoy all that cold.

Curl up with your best friends whether it be in your dorm room or apartment while showing off the funniest or best pajamas you own. Pick out your favorite movies and settle down for a night full of laughter, gossip, and memories.

3. Enjoy the outdoors

Even though I just said that winters up north can be brutally, there's still plenty to offer when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. Go ice skating and watch all of your friends struggle to stay upright and fall down, or go skiing/snowboarding and enjoy the beauty of the snow while getting a great workout in.

Or, you could be like my friends and steal dining hall food trays and use those to sled down some hills. Having these options can help you look forward to the winter and enjoy activities other than staying inside.

4. Go to a museum

Learning about different cultures or parts of history can be a lot more fascinating than people would like to admit. Go to your local college museum and check out cool facts there or drive to a city around you to check out other museums as well. If you're close to a moderate to large city, you will usually be able to find a history museum, aquarium, or some type of science museums. These are fun ways to learn new facts about the past, present, and future of our world.

5. Day trip

Spontaneous (or not spontaneous) day trips can be a blast with your friends or significant other. Choose a random place to go and drive there. Find something to do wherever you go. You'll make some great memories that'll last you a lifetime. It doesn't even have to be far, it can be only 30 minutes away and still be just as fun. Where the destination is doesn't matter, it's who you're going with that matters.

I hope these 5 ideas of what to do in the winter will help you enjoy your second semester of college while still having as much as first semester. After all, you're only in college for four years, so take advantage of everything you can do while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Maddie Blank

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