I'm Just A Jersey Girl Living Life In PA

I'm Just A Jersey Girl Living Life In PA

It's a tough one.
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I have lived in New Jersey for my whole life, and I honestly plan on never leaving. Sure, people probably think it's smelly and the only attraction of New Jersey is our extremely impressive turnpike, but contrary to popular opinion, I think that New Jersey really is the best state in the U.S. What other state has beaches to go to in the summer and mountains to ski on in the winter? Where else can you get to a city in less than an hour while also living around acres of farmland? That's right, no where.

When I moved to PA for college, I knew I would miss certain things from New Jersey. I knew I would probably miss my family, my dog, my friends, and my house, but I didn't think I was going to miss things like good food. I actually feel bad that people who have lived in PA for their whole lives aren't able to enjoy the truly good food that New Jersey has to offer. Here are the struggles that a Jersey girl living in PA has to deal with on a daily basis.

First, I wake up and want some breakfast. Usually this at around 12:30 in the afternoon, so I guess it doesn't really count as breakfast, but I still want breakfast food. I would get a bagel, but every bagel I have eaten while at college is basically just a ball of undercooked dough with a hole in the middle and some sesame seeds sprinkled on top (no offense to the bagel makers of Pennsylvania.) The only thing that Pennsylvanian's and I have in common is that we both call "taylor ham," porkroll. Back in NJ, there is a widespread debate about the true name of this delicious, processed meat.

On nice days where I live, my friends and I usually drive around half and hour to go to the beach. Here, the closest beach is about two hours away. What do people do here in the summer? Instead of going to the beach, my friend and I decide to go to the closest mall. But we need gas first. Unfortunately, we have to pump our own gas. Jersey girls do not pump gas. Honestly, I have never pumped gas in my life, so I usually leave it to my more experienced friend who actually knows what to do at a gas station. I learned to go into PA with a full gas tank, because it is so much more expensive to fill up than it is in NJ.

On the way to the mall, we both agree on getting lunch. We know that pizza is not an option. Back at home, you can find good pizza almost anywhere you go. I don't know if it is the water in New Jersey, or the fact that most pizza places have been open for generations, but the pizza is just so good. Instead of getting pizza, we settle for Chipotle- I would rather have Pancheros, but I guess that's just a Jersey thing too. Of course when I get a cup for water, the worker makes a face. All my Pennsylvanian friends say that I pronounce water like "wawter." Sorry?

After filling up and getting lunch, we go to the KOP (I learned some new lingo while living in PA, I would typically just call it The King of Prussia Mall, but all the cool people say KOP here.) It is natural for us New Jersey drivers to be able to turn right on red, but here, it's illegal. After waiting an absurd amount of time at a red light, we are on our way. We pass about twelve cars that have "Eagles" stickers on them. I know they won the Super Bowl, and I even celebrated their win, but I really miss seeing the red, white, and blue logo of the Giants. After spending way too much money at the mall, we go back to campus and get something for dinner, once again of course it can't be pizza.

P.S.A to all PA drivers: When you get gas in New Jersey, you don't have to tip the station worker! If you are a generous person, feel free to, but it is NOT expected!

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Rubenstein

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9 Things That Happen When A Walt Disney World Cast Member Visits Disneyland

I traveled from the most magical place on earth to the happiest place on earth.

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As a cast member, you can get free entry to the Disney theme parks. So why not make use of your tickets to head over to Disneyland to see where all the magic originated?

1. Freak out about the history.

Walt Disney LITERALLY walked these grounds. Not that you're freaking out or anything, but you are. Let's talk about Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. Walt Disney literally had a hand in all of it. This is the original park where all the magic was designed and created and you can't help but geek out.

2. Compare the attractions.

They're the same, but they are also different. Let's talk about the facade of The Haunted Mansion. Loving it in New Orleans Square! Thunder Mountain: the same but mirror opposites. Space Mountain you have a riding buddy, but on Splash Mountain you don't. As a Cast Member, you notice all these small differences and can't help but geek out a little when you notice things you like better.

3. Admire the costumes.

They're SO CUTE! When you get used to seeing and wearing the same costumes all the time it is really cool to freak out over the new and unseen ones from a new land.

4. Appreciate the additional discounts.

Food. All the food. I feel like a VIP with all these food discounts!

5. Run back and forth between the parks...because you CAN!

You can get from California Adventure to Disneyland in about one minute! It's so close! What a dream! No busses, no monorail. It's just so convenient! You can hop back and forth all day without losing much time at all!

6. New Orleans Square.

Let's talk about how cool this land is! Walt Disney World is TRUELY missing out here. Without a doubt this is my favorite land in all of the Disney theme parks! I love that the Haunted Mansion is here. I LOVE the Mickey shaped beignets. The shopping is super cute. And you cannot forget about the Blue Bayou inside Pirates of the Caribbean.

7. Test Track<<Radiator Springs Racers.

Beth Monnig

There's literally no contest here. After riding Radiator Springs Racers you'll never care about riding Test Track again. The story is just so immersive on Racers. And you actually are racing someone. It's so cute you could just ride over and over again.

8. Suddenly discover that Disney World is massive in comparison.

Walt Disney World is SO BIG! It really is its own world in comparison to Disneyland. Also, let's talk about the fact that Disneyland is literally right in the middle of LA. There has to be something said for the fact that Walt Disney World is all on its own. The experience is a bit more immersive in that way in Florida.

9. Plan your next trip back.

Beth Monnig

Seriously though. The trip is just so short, even when you spend a couple of days at Disneyland. Despite its smaller size, there is still so much to see and do that you feel like your trip is inevitably too short no matter how long your stay is. The only thing to do is brainstorm to start planning your next trip out!

Walt Disney World will always be home, but as a Disney Cast Member, it's always good to go back to the place where the magic originated.

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A Gap Year Was Just What I Needed

Taking a year off between high school and college was the best thing I could have done for so many reasons.

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Everyone around me was buzzing with excitement about their acceptances to their dream university and I didn't feel the same. I was accepted to every school I applied to, but none of them felt right. At my high school, if you didn't go to college, you would have been deemed a failure and that is not what I wanted my reputation to be. When the day came, I sat down at a computer to accept my admission to a college. I was in a panic mode, and I knew that's not what I wanted. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I had no idea if that was where I wanted to be, so I exited the website and came up with a plan.

After graduation, I boarded a flight to Denver, Colorado. I was alone on a plane going 1,000 miles west to a place I've never been. In a short amount of time, I knew I had made the right decision.

I spent eight months in the Rocky Mountains learning how to do the "adult thing." I worked 40+ hours a week in freezing temperatures and a ton of snow, making ten dollars an hour. In a resort town, ten dollars is not a lot of money. I lived on Wonder bread and eggs, I cooked on my hotplate on the top of my mini fridge. I was shown what it's like to work for the things I want, and it taught me to appreciate everything I've always been handed so easily, and that was something I really needed.

Throughout my adventure, I met so many different people in all different stages of life. I think that's the most important aspect of my entire trip. By working and living with people young and old, I learned different skills, living habits, and ways of life which I am forever grateful for. These people had shown me more about life in eight months than I had learned in my entire life, and without this experience, I would have never been introduced to half of the things I was introduced to.

I hiked 14,000-foot mountains, watched the X-Games in Aspen, attended endless concerts, and became a better snowboarder by having the chance to do it every day. Without my friends and taking this leap, I would have been sitting in a classroom wondering what I could have been doing instead. Because of taking time off, I am now back in class, able to focus on my work and doing better than I ever have before.

The most important part of my gap year was finding myself. I proved to myself that I am strong and independent, and I can achieve any goal I set as long as I work hard and have fun along the way. Before I left, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be. Upon my return home, I realized I needed to go to college to receive a higher education to better myself. Having a full-time job and being out in the real world helped me to narrow down what I really want to be and what I want to achieve for myself. I learned how to truly live and that there is no set path I need to take because this is my own life to create.

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