A Letter To Ethnic Grocery Stores from College Students Missing Home

A Letter To Ethnic Grocery Stores from College Students Missing Home

Your fluorescent lighting and white linoleum floors may permeate people's nostrils with the stench of fish, but to me, you smell like home.


Dear Ethnic Supermarkets,

I miss you. College has been a culture shock, especially going to a school where your delicious goods are miles away. I close my eyes and think about the smell of raw fish permeating my nose, the sound of a familiar language yelling out orders, and the sight of "Imported from…" on vacuum-sealed packages. There may have been times I rejected my family's culture back home, but now that I'm in college, I definitely understand and appreciate it so much more. Away with boiled vegetables and rosemary-herbed chicken, they serve in dining halls! I miss chicken stew with vegetables I cannot pronounce, I miss soup with powdered broth I cannot find at the local chain grocer, and I miss juices hailing from our native land. College is difficult and all I want is some home-cooking.

In schools like mine, surrounded by affluent neighbors, you are far and in-between. You're more than twenty miles away, and on top of that, I don't have a car (because that's an added expense that I, a struggling college student, cannot reasonably afford). Ordering an Uber to you? I'm going to spend so much in your fluorescent aisles, I cannot bear to hurt my wallet with a $20 ride.

I must settle with nearby grocery chains that never have exactly what I need.

I am stuck googling alternatives for vegetables, knowing full well that spinach isn't the best substitute for a dish I want to meal-prep. But what can I do? The ethnic "Asian" or "Hispanic" aisle is not enough to fulfill my cravings. There are items missing, there are brands I'd prefer not to use, and there is just not enough variety. On top of that, there is more diversity to my race, and I am not well-represented in this singular aisle. Plus, it's expensive.

Tell me, how can I live with myself purchasing these powders and sauces knowing that, in your discounted aisles, the prices are so much cheaper? Your affordable prices are made more affordable since there are weekly specials happening, too. I'm already struggling to balance work and study that buying an overpriced fruit at this overpriced chain store hurts, even more, when I know you have the same fruit for a quarter of the price.

I suppose I can visit a local restaurant to fulfill my cravings, as they seem to be located closer. However, it just isn't the same. These restaurants are trying to become fusion and modernized, which is code for "Not your home cooking." I don't need low-carb versions of my favorite comfort dish. I need the fat, the spice, every piece of raw ingredient that made it feel like a warm blanket on a cold day.

Being away from home adds to the excitement and stress of college. But, there's something about food that brings me back. After a bad day, a difficult exam, or a long meeting, all I want to do is curl up on my apartment couch with the most comforting food I can offer my taste buds. However, it's nearly impossible to replicate the feeling exactly. It's a struggle, but this struggle makes me appreciate meals that my family sends me, that I pack up from home to get through the semester, and that I'm able to make when my roommate occasionally drives me to town. I miss you but missing you just makes me love you more.


A Minority College Student

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.

Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."


Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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