16 Things Only People From New Jersey Will Understand

16 Things Only People From New Jersey Will Understand

Jersey pride today and always.

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Going to school in upstate New York makes me realize how many things are unique to New Jersey. Here I settle the debate on which state has the best bagels and really, where the best people live.

1. Taylor ham is the best creation.

We are the only state blessed with this beautiful breakfast meat. Throw it on a bagel with egg, cheese, and ketchup, straight foodgasm.

2. We go 'down the shore' after prom.

Every high schooler looks forward to their prom weekend for two reasons: the party bus and the sleazy motel.

3. We have Garden State Plaza, Short Hills Mall, Willowbrook Mall and of course, outlets.

Why do you think it's so easy to have a shopping addiction? Bored, go to the mall. Rainy day, go to the mall.

4. We don't pump our own gas.

And we're not sorry about it. Call us lazy, but when it's subzero temperatures, I'll be sitting in my car while you're shivering and pumping your own gas.

5. No sales tax.

Again, another reason to have a shopping addiction.

6. Wawa is the best thing to happen to this state.

You know you're in Jersey when there's at least three Wawa's within a 10 minute drive from home. And no, it's not just an over-priced convenience store, they have the best iced coffee and best assortment of road trip snacks.

7. High school football games end at a diner with disco fries and a milkshake.

Every Friday night ends at the local diner with the rest of the grade dressed head-to-toe in school spirit wear. If anything defines my high school experience in a nutshell, it's this post.

8. WE AREN'T TRASH.

Don't you dare call me dirty jerz, either.

9. Acrylic nails, always. 

They're a lot of maintenance, but for some reason every girl is willing to make that bi-weekly appointment to keep their nails looking Jersey as ever.

10. No one says "Joisey" seriously.

We know we have a slight accent and pronounce "coffee" and "water" differently, but "Joisey" just isn't in the JERSEY vocabulary.

11. The best bagels really do come from New Jersey.

Not New York.

12. You'll know a Jersey driver when you see one.

I am certainly one of them. If you're an out-of-stater, make sure to not use turn signals and not obey the speed limit.

13. You reference where you live by your exit.

Giving directions to your house is quite simple, "Just off of exit ____."

14. PNC concerts are the move in the summer.

$30 lawn tickets and a school bus rental is what high school summers are all about. I've been to at least five PNC concerts, probably didn't know the lyrics to any songs, but it's all for the experience and Instagram post.

15. High school football teams play their championship at MetLife.

If they were good enough, like my high school. I'm impartial, but I have so much love for West Essex now that I'm gone.

16. Don't come to a complete stop in the damn EZ-Pass lane.

It's called EZ-Pass for a reason. Please don't come to a complete stop as if you're about to throw change in the toll booth, it completely defeats the purpose.

I spent most of my life wanting to leave NJ and once I did, I realized how much I was leaving behind. So, to all my New Jerseyians, I have so much love for you.

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

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It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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