An Ode To The Street I Grew Up On

An Ode To The Street I Grew Up On

Thank you for the memories. Thank you for teaching me the American Dream.

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Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

This house

Front yard

White picket fence

A driveway that leads to an open garage

Garden

Steps

Living the American dream

Backyard

Caged

Wild stray cats

And crazy neighbors who were drunk just like my stepfather

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

This house

Walking distance from education

We were

Walking school buses

House to house

Yelling "Let's go!"

When we were really yelling

"Let's prove them wrong because we know they don't want to see black children in classroom seats, they'd rather see black children in class six streets"

But our elementary school minds weren't that deep

That was the first time

I had ever seen a bird ran over

Death

Wasn't the first time I experienced it

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Next door neighbors

Filled with kids

You would think it was a foster home for the loud

I was taught how to fight

I was taught that life throws punches way before the age of sixteen

I was taught to duck when one is coming fast

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Beer bottles

Brown

With condensation still left on it

White

Pulled out of refrigerators from seven year old hands because

Stepfather needed it

Barbershops

Where you learned that people who need a haircut the most talks the most smack

And back ends of sorority house kitchens where I did first grade homework

And where you learned that the food is frozen before cooked

Janitors and drug deal corners

Ambulance sirens

Gunshots

Gunshots

Gunshots

Fireworks

Police sirens

Red, white, and blue

Oh yes, we were living the American dream

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Progressive

Church

Right up the street from our house

Praises being sung so loud I could hear it through my bedroom window

Ebonics

And mom's rich Arabic accent

Like the cakes she use to bake

Hoping to see the day

That these streets will be more in movies

Instead of sitting on couches in the

Front yard

White picket fence

With eight year old eyes looking back thinking that

Sexton and Worley

Garth and Ash

Was my American dream

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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17 Things Girls Should Be Able To Wear Without Being Shamed

I'll show skin and wear bold makeup whether you like it or not.

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In this day and age, it proves almost impossible to do and wear certain things without being judged. As a girl, I have often refrained from buying certain articles of clothing or wearing my makeup a certain way because I know I will inevitably be judged for it.

Perhaps my top is too revealing, my jeans are too ripped, or my makeup is too bold. In my opinion, we shouldn't judge people for the way they express themselves. We should learn to love others, and through that, learn to love ourselves. More often than not, I find that I am not confident enough to wear the clothes I want because I know people will have negative things to say.

Worse enough, sometimes I'm not confident enough to even buy the clothes I want, I just stare longingly at them while leaving the store empty-handed.

Here is a list of things that girls are unable to wear without being judged, a concept that needs to change.

1. Makeup.

It blows my mind that the different things people have to say when it comes to a girl's makeup. It switches from how this girl is wearing "too much makeup," to how that girl "looks like a slut for wearing red lipstick," and even how another girl "looks ugly without makeup." There is is literally no win-win situation. We're judged for wearing makeup and we're judged for not wearing makeup. Well, guess what? If I want to do a smokey eye, I will. If I want to wear red lipstick, I will. If I want to do full face makeup, I will.

2. Crop top.

Just because I'm showing my stomach doesn't mean that I'm a "slut." Who cares if I'm showing a little skin? If I love myself and my body and I want to show it off, I will. It's not my fault that people can't handle the fact my shoulders and my stomach are showing at the same time.

3. Spandex.

While I am not one of those girls, I've seen many people wear spandex to the gym or even just out at the grocery store. Just because they are tighter and more form-fitting, they aren't scandalous. Most girls pair spandex with a large t-shirt anyway. They're comfortable and cute. If you don't like them, just don't look at me. Simple enough.

4. Bikinis.

There are so many mixed views on bikinis. Most of the stigmas revolve around how they're too scandalous due to the fact that many of them, depending on the style, may show off too much skin. I think it's important to state that I should be able to show off as much skin as I want and not have to worry about being looked at in the wrong way. Why punish girls for wearing bikinis rather than creeps who are in the wrong for staring?

5. Heels.

Guess what. Heels are sexy. Heels are fun. Heels are empowering. In my case, I'm a 4'11, 90 pound girl. Sometimes I need some 4 inch heels in my life. But regardless of how tall or short a girl may be, she has the right to wear the kind of shoes she wants to.

6. Leggings.

Believe it or not, girls don't wear leggings because it might make their butt look good. They're great to wear when going to the gym, going to class, or even just lounging around. I wear leggings because they're comfortable AND they make my butt look good.

7. Hoops.

It blows my mind that there are negative connotations around hoop earrings. The jewelry that I wear on my ears should not be considered promiscuous. They're stylish and they're fun, let us girls live.

8. Sweats. 

First, we were judged for being too promiscuous. Now, we're being judged for looking too much like bums and not trying harder when it comes to my appearance. Believe it or not, I don't have to dress up and look cute every single second of every single day. Sometimes a girl needs to break and she just wants to be comfortable.

9. Thongs.

I can't believe I have to put underwear on here. A girl's underwear is... sacred. The general public typically doesn't see a girl's underwear, unless it was some random fluke.

10.  Push-up bra. 

Coming from a girl with small boobs... sometimes we just want a little "push" if you will. While I may not have big boobs, sometimes I'm in the mood to make my girl's look nice, and in all honesty, there is no harm in that.

11.  Bra.

I want to mention that I don't mean that girls are judged for wearing a bra, it's more that they get judged if their bra strap is showing. Sometimes it's really hard to pair the right bra with the type of shirt you're wearing. In the grand scheme of things. one bra strap is not going to ruin anyone's life.

12.  No bra.

You won't believe the comments I hear people make when girls decide to go bra-less. If you're a boy/man, you have no right to make any statements about girls wearing bras. Bras are uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes just unnecessary.

13.  Jean shorts. 

Sometimes I get uncomfortable wearing jean shorts out. It mostly stems from the fact that someone might think my shorts are too short, even if they're not. While it may be hard to believe, most girls don't buy super small, tight, and short short... they're uncomfortable and give the worst wedgies.

14.  Dress/skirts with a slit down the leg. 

I've said it before and I've said it again... women can wear clothes that make them feel sexy. It doesn't make them a "slut" just because it shows a couple of inches of bare thigh.

15.  Low-cut tops. 

Every now and then, we have to let the girls out. It doesn't matter if you do it because that's your style or because you want to feel sexy. Girls should be able to wear what they want without being judged or talked about behind their backs.

16.  Sheer tops. 

A see-through top everyone once in a while isn't going to do any harm. Bras are incredibly expensive and sometimes you just want to show them off.

17.  Ripped jeans.

Ripped jeans are the new trend. They're super cute and in my opinion, they're much more comfortable than regular jeans. Just because they're ripped and show traces of my leg here and there, doesn't mean it's scandalous.

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