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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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The Most Important Things I've Learned From Taking Philosophy

The biggest takeaways that I have collected from my time in my Philosophy class.


When registering for classes for Fall 2018, I found myself drawn to Philosophy 126: Mind, Brain, Self & Evolution. I figured the class would give me the opportunity to perform a lot of introspection during my first semester at college while also helping me fulfill some General Education requirements, and I couldn't have been more right. I've never had the pleasure of taking a class with such a loose agenda and the freedom to discuss every aspect of the information we are learning. That said, there have been a few major takeaways from this class.

First is the idea that you are not the sum of your parts, but the sum of your parts and the parts of everyone around you. Most people have heard the overused quote "It takes a village to raise a child," but this idea couldn't be more than true. We subconsciously pull so many of our habits, preferences, etc. from the people around us that we ultimately grow to become a community within ourselves, and there is something truly beautiful about that. It takes a village to raise a child to become a village.

Second, I've learned how important it is to understand that if some big philosophical or psychological or physical problem has not been solved yet, there is rarely going to be one solution to it. Millions of years of group thought have placed us in the intellectual shoes we are in, and yet we still question every day what our "purpose" is. There are thousands of theories and possible answers to this question, but who's to say that they aren't all correct? Some aspects of life are just too subjective to be answered objectively.

Lastly is the separation between gaining knowledge and experiential learning. Both are arguably equal in their significance, but we don't truly think about how immensely different the two concepts are until we are forced to. In philosophy, there is a theory centered around this experimental design called "Mary's Room." The story is that a woman named Mary has lived in a black and white room her whole life but has grown up learning everything about color and the human reaction to it (biologically, psychologically, etc.).

Once the door to her room is opened and she sees the color red for the first time, she has just learned something new despite already knowing everything there is to know about the concept of color. Experience is the most important part of the human condition and should not be disregarded when it comes to learning.

There are so many aspects of our existence that we never consider on a daily basis simply because we don't have to. There is something unique about people who are in touch with themselves spiritually: they have a greater understanding not just of who they are, but of who they are in relation to the rest of the world. In a fast-paced, Type A world it is especially easy to lose sight of the importance of experiencing humanity, and we often take this beautiful gift for granted.

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