A New Englander Outside of New England

A New Englander Outside of New England

10 things that prove whether or not you're a true New England resident
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Living in New England all of my life meant going to college was my chance to GET OUT of the bubble. But, there are some things that I miss about my small town in Western Massachusetts that I don't get here in Philly.

1. No one knows what "Running a Packy" is

The liquor store is the package store. Getting alcohol is running to the packy, running a packy or anything in between.

2. Any time you mention the Patriots, someone brings up "Deflate-gate"

Hey, guess what?? No one wants to talk about it. Tom Brady is the KING of New England okay? Okay.

3. Not seeing everyone and their mother at the Big Y on a daily basis

In a way, it's a blessing that you don't see someone you know everywhere you turn. But sometimes, it's nice to see a friendly face while browsing the frozen peas and cans of tuna.

4. "Oh, you're from Massachusetts? So Boston?"

No. No one is actually "from Boston" anymore. You're from Cambridge, Brookline, Newton... But not really "Boston". I, myself, am from the other side of the state, what I call the "Connecticut of Massachusetts". But no, not Boston.

5. All of my friends go to school in Worcester or Boston!

It's easy to go to school in Massachusetts, especially when we have the best schools in the nation both high school and college. So why wouldn't you want to go to school here? Oh yeah, to get AWAY from everything and try something new. UMass Amherst is basically my hometown 2.0.

6. A sandwich is a SUB or a GRINDER

People here in Philly call them "hoagies". What the hell is a hoagie???

7. Vacationing on the Cape

Everyone has been to the Cape at least once and if you haven't you're a fake New Englander. I've realized I need actually specify what I'm talking about when I reference my summers on the beach on Cape Cod.

8. Wearing Vineyard Vines, even if you haven't been to the Vineyard

As with above, if you haven't been to Martha's Vineyard, are you even a real New Englander?

9. And if you don't exclusively drink ICED Dunkin Donuts coffee are you even from the north?

Dunks, Dunkin, Dunkies, doesn't matter as long as I get a free coffee when any Boston sports team wins a game and it's ALWAYS iced.

10. I am a proud New Englander but I'm happy outside of New England

Although I spent all of my life before college in my little New England bubble, I'm glad I now have the chance to explore new places, meet new people and see new things. Don't get me wrong, I love New England, but it's nice to get some perspective.

Cover Image Credit: lev-lalev

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Communication Really Is Key

One of the most important skills in life is being able to communicate with others.

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I have always been one for talking. When I was little, I used to share how I was feeling in the third person. It wasn't uncommon for me to say things like "Molly is happy now", and "Molly is upset now." My family was always aware of how I was feeling and what I wanted to be doing. As I got older, I continued to make others aware of my feelings, but I learned that not everyone shared their feelings the way I did. My friends didn't always say how they were feeling and my partners in group projects weren't always upfront about the work (or lack thereof) they were doing.

It was really bizarre entering into a world where people struggled to communicate. Students struggling to communicate with teachers, children struggling to communicate with parents, and adults struggling to communicate with each other seemed to be a common theme once I got to high school. The communication gap got even wider when I went to college. A perfect example of this happened during my first year of college. My roommate kept turning our air conditioning unit off. I eventually asked her why she did this. She told me it was because she thought I was cold but didn't want to ask. We laughed about it and now understand that communication is absolutely vital to living together in a healthy manner.

Today, I understand communication is one of the most important things we do as human beings is to communicate with each other. Being able to share how you feel or what you think about a certain topic is essential to collaboration as people. Students, we need to better communicate our ideas to our parents, teachers, and other adults. Communication will go farther than an IQ score ever will.

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