Why New Jersey Is The Best State In America

Why New Jersey Is The Best State In America

It's not, and never has been, New "Joisey"
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I have lived in New Jersey my entire life. My friends were all born and raised here too, so my whole life I was in the mindset that New Jersey is just like any other state. It wasn't until I got to college and met people from other states that I realized something -- New Jersey catches a lot of hate. As I racked my brain trying to figure out what could be so wrong with my home, I couldn't find a reason to dislike it. Then it hit me. People don't like New Jersey because clearly, they are jealous, and I don't blame them. The evidence provided below clearly points to the conclusion that New Jersey is, unequivocally, the best state in America.

1. People from New Jersey experience all four seasons.

Snow? Nothing new. Swimming on a hot summer day? Been there. Which brings me to my next point.

2. The Jersey shore.

No, not that Jersey shore. I'm talking about the 130 miles of coastline NJ offers. Summers down the shore are an experience every New Jersey native knows and loves.

3. The food.

Whether you're eating freshly picked fruits and vegetables, Taylor ham/ pork roll (I won't start that debate here) or pizza, New Jersey has some of the best food to offer. If the corn or tomatoes you're eating aren't from Jersey, don't bother.

4. The amusement parks.

New Jersey is home to the tallest and fastest roller coaster in North America -- Kingda Ka. That's not all though -- the boardwalks in New Jersey also have amusement parks such as Jenkinson's, Casino Pier, and Morey's Pier.

5. Some pretty cool people are from New Jersey (besides Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen).

Although people from Jersey love to talk about them, there are celebrities from New Jersey besides Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Albert Einstein, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Shaq, Frank Sinatra, Meryl Streep, Chelsea Handler, and my personal favorite, Danny DeVito, all can call New Jersey their home. Side note: only four members of the cast of "Jersey Shore" are actually from New Jersey.

6. Some pretty cool things have happened in New Jersey, too.

History buffs and fans of the musical, "Hamilton," can appreciate New Jersey for it's many historical events -- like the Burr-Hamilton duel, which took place in Weehawken.

7. We don't have to pump our gas.

Is the law prohibiting people from pumping their own gas in New Jersey necessary? Probably not. Is it nice? Definitely. Why get out of the car in the dead of winter to pump gas? And to dispel a common misconception about people from Jersey, we can pump gas. It's really not that hard.

8. The pride we have for our home.

It's undeniable that people from New Jersey love their home state and will defend it, day in and day out. We're proud to be from New Jersey, and if you don't like it, "Welcome to New Jersey, now go home."

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey Online

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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An Open Letter: To Those Who Wait For No One

Always remember those that love and support you along the way. You are worth the effort!

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To Those Who Wait for No One,


I think that, often times than not, I have to rely on myself for a lot of things. When I was younger, I believed that everyone would automatically have my best interest and act upon those. In other words, if someone saw me having a rough time, they'd say something kind or do something to help.

As with most things when we get older, that belief quickly changed within me. It wasn't so much as me not trusting anyone, but relying heavier on myself to get things done, especially if it involved a goal. I never would expect others to be considerate as before, but I did find myself lingering around in hope that they would. I don't mean psychically hanging around other people, but emotionally believing that others would help. There was this remaining hope that there was still consideration to be found within everyone around me.

In my adult life, this statement is true to an extent. There is conscious effort and consideration in everyone, however, it's up to each individual on how, when, and with whom to use these. Some may never use it at all. That also goes for using effort for themselves to achieve what they want most. I know this sounds a bit confusing and maybe even far fetched, but waiting around for someone to place effort and consideration into what you're doing can hold you back. It's when you do things yourself and for yourself that dreams can become reality. There are too many days within the year to sit and wait. If you know what you want, get up and get it for yourself with all the passion and heart you have. Even if you don't know what you want, get what makes you happiest.

There is still something to think about though: rely on those around you who have no intention of leaving you. Do things on your own, yes, but don't push away those who support and love you the most. These are the gems of careful effort and consideration that can take you far. It's ok to be the One Who Waits for No One, but like myself, there is so much love around to help you get there too.


Encouragingly,

Jessica

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