I Never Used To Be A Morning Person, But I've Grown An Infatuation With The Silence

I Never Used To Be A Morning Person, But I've Grown An Infatuation With The Silence

It wasn't necessarily a choice, but I have found a love for the sunrise.
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In high school, one of my absolute favorite things was waking up close to noon on a weekend to the smell of my mom making pancakes in an attempt to finally get me out of bed. I'd be greeted with a warm coffee, some breakfast and a kiss on the head. Mornings to me were associated with afternoons, but now, I can't sleep in past 8 a.m.

It's like clockwork. I find myself starting to awaken from my daze around 7:30 a.m., resulting in me checking my phone to see what time it is. I always pray for it to be 5 a.m. so I can roll back to sleep, but the second I see it's close to 8, my mind starts wandering very far from dreamland and into reality. I fight to fall back asleep, but I never win. So I climb out of bed and start my coffee maker.

I blame my class schedule for my newfound morning affection. Last fall semester, I was forced to take morning classes because the courses were necessary and inconveniently located midmorning. I grew used to waking up around 8 a.m., so when it was time to set my spring semester schedule, I figured I might as well just continue with how my days were set up so I didn't accidentally slip up. Truth was, I enjoyed having my afternoons and evenings completely free to do how I pleased, instead of waking up late to spend my whole day in class just to go to sleep again.

Slowly but surely, my morning wakeups traveled into the weekends, and no matter how late I stayed up the night prior, I would expect to check my phone at 8 whether I liked it or not.

I would like to add that I understand 8 a.m. is not necessarily early. I would register a true "morning person" with a 5 or 6 a.m. alarm, but for a college student who only knows people who wake up around 11 a.m., I'm the oddball out.

At first, I was frustrated, especially since I became a person who craved to go to sleep before midnight, which in an apartment filled with loud girls who are all friends was nearly impossible. Because I couldn't sleep in, I would start to get exhausted from my lack of sleep and no matter how hard I tried to not check my phone, my body always knew the time.

I hated it, but then I learned to love the silence and solitude of the morning. One of my favorite things now is waking up before everyone to enjoy my cup of coffee on the balcony with my laptop to start my work for the day. I especially love reading in the morning so editing became a lot more enjoyable when I wasn't fighting the sounds of my surroundings anymore. I could focus only on the words in front of me, which, no brainer here, allowed me to grow in my craft.

I'm sure the late night owls, the people who go to sleep closer to 4 or 5 a.m., have the same feeling of comfort as morning people, but nights just don't work for everyone.

If you find yourself to be someone who can't sleep in anymore, well, you're not alone! I think the only thing you really can do is embrace your new attribute and enjoy it for what it is. As they say, the early bird gets the worm, so just choose whatever that may be for you.

Cover Image Credit: Kinga Cichewicz

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.
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Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Arab-American Heritage Month Is Not A Well Known Celebration And I'm Pissed About It

I'm an Arab-American and didn't even know this was a thing... That's sad.

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The month of April is special for a lot of reasons but this one hits home for me. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the culture, history and amazing people who have helped bring something to this country. So many Arab-Americans have contributed a lot to society yet they don't get the recognition they deserve for it.

In today's society, the Arab community is always being looked down on and degraded. The lack of understanding from those around makes Arab-Americans feel like outsiders in a place they should be able to call home. The inaccurate images and stereotypes that inhabit the word "Arab" are sickening.

It's time to raise awareness. It's time to look beyond the media's portrayal. It's time to see a neighbor, a teacher, a doctor, a scientist, an artist, an athlete, a parent, a child, but most importantly, a human being, NOT a monster.

Arab-Americans encounter and fight racism every day. As a society, we should be better than that. We should want everyone in this country to feel wanted, needed and appreciated. Together, we should use this month as a time to shine light and celebrate the many Arab-Americans who have, and continue making this country great.

While you read this list of just a few famous Arab-Americans keep in mind how much they want this country to be amazing, just as much as anyone else does.

Dr. Michael DeBakey, invented the heart pump

Dr. Elias Corey, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1990 

Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1999

Lucie Salhany, first woman to head a tv network 

Ralph Johns, an active participant in the civil rights movement and encouraged the famous Woolworth sit-in 

Ernest Hamwi, invented the ice cream cone

Pvt. Nathan Badeen, died fighting in the Revolutionary War

Leila Ahmed, the first women's studies professor at Harvard Divinity School 

We should recognize and celebrate these achievements. There are so many things you can learn when you step inside another culture instead of turning your back to it. This April, take time to indulge in the Arab-American heritage.

Instead of pushing away the things you don't understand, dive into diversity and expand your knowledge of the unknown. Together we can raise awareness. #IAmArabAmerican

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