An Open Letter on Maintaining Your Peace

An Open Letter on Maintaining Your Peace

A letter dedicated to those who didn't set resolutions conventionally. You do it on your own terms!

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To everyone on Maintaining Your Peace,


With the start of the new year, there's so much pressure to achieve this by that date or have this halfway done before another. Then, more added pressure to formulate a goal or resolution before January ends (if you didn't have one before).

I am always cheering for goals to be made and met, however, there's one point I want to continue to emphasize: maintain your peace among it all.

Some people may associate not working on a goal or toward one as meaning your blank slate (the new year) has gone to waste. This is absolutely not the case for each individual. Some people see a breakthrough at the beginning of the year while others don't experience an open door until the very end. I have been on both ends of the spectrum.

I am not writing this as someone who is a professional, but merely a writer that hopes others don't feel stressed about creating their goals at the same time as everyone else seems to be. Sometimes, it helps to let yourself breathe and analyze. From there, you can get a clear sense of what you want out of the year. However, I will say that it is never good to sit for too long. Even if it is a small aspiration, don't let your blank slate remain as is. You never know what could happen within the year!

Maintaining your peace can be a simple walk you take every day or reading a book. It has no definitive meaning on what it takes to makes sure you're in relaxing spirits. It would also help to even get a list together on things you enjoy to help make this year as stress-free as possible. That in itself is still an aspiration.

Don't let other people make you feel bad for not having a long list of things you want to accomplish this year. Life isn't always about making resolutions at certain times. It's about, rather than timing, making them because you want to or need to.

I hope you gain perspective for yourself and on your own time.


Positively,

Jessica

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22 Signs You're a Region Rat

Close enough to Chicago to claim it yet still maintain our own identity
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You can take someone out of the Region, but you can't take the Region out of someone. In a mysterious way, it always seems to bring you back. You have to admit to having pride a little bit of pride relating to at least one of these instances.

1. Being called a "rat" is a compliment, not an insult.

2. You're not even phased when a camel's walking down the middle of the street.


(The language may be a bit much, but what else would you expect from the Region?)

3. You never called Southlake "Westfield" when it changed ownerships. TG it's Southlake, again.

4. There's no better greeting than the sweet smell of the BP oil refineries in Whiting or the steel mills in Gary.

5. You call the expressways by their number, not their name.


"Which is better to avoid Chicago traffic, 80/94 or 90?"

6. Also, yes it is "expressway." It's not "freeway" or "highway." Don't bother arguing.

7. You see more Illinois license plates at gas stations, liquor stores, and cigarette places in the Region than actually in Illinois.

8. It's a sin if you haven't been to Pierogi Fest in a while. It's a greater sin if you've never been to Pierogi Fest.


How can you live with yourself turning down the opportunity to hang out with Mr. Pierogi, Miss Paczki, and the Babushka Brigade?!

9. Pretty much anywhere south of Highland (aka Munster, Schererville, St. John, Dyer, etc.) is considered very fancy.

10. Whenever introducing yourself to new people, you say you're from Chicago just so you can avoid "wait, where is *insert Region city/town* again?"

11. People telling you that you have a Chicago accent and Chicagoans vehemently disagreeing with them.

12. Getting a grimacing look from people when you say your hometown isn't that far from Gary.

13. Lake Central should be its own town with how many kids go there. Seriously.

14. You know how Lincoln's and Miner Dunn are underrated gold mines when it comes to good food.

15. You ride or die with Chicago sports — Bulls, Hawks, Cubs, Sox. If not, you may be ostracized (you probably will).


Even staying loyal to Da Bears because 1985 will always be da best. (There's still a sliver of hope).

16. St. Thomas More and/or SJE always dominated the CYO Christmas tournament during basketball season. Actually, they pretty much dominated in any sport.

17. No other area has anything on our alcohol tolerance. Not a thing.

18. Getting our sources of information from NWI Gazette instead of NWI Times.

19. Following @RegionRatRants never fails to make you laugh, then cry with its accuracy.


One minute it's hilarious for how true it is, the next it's shame for how true it is.

20. By the time the Cline exit off of Calumet gets fixed, hell would have frozen over and it'll be the 12th of never.

21. Your heart breaks a little bit every time Munster Donut is closed because someone drove into it. Again.


This is why we can't have nice things.

22. No matter how much you look forward to leaving, it'll always be home to you as "Chicago's little sibling."

Cover Image Credit: AA Roads

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What Are Snow Days Anyways?

Especially in Maine, they don't exist.

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I have grown up in New England my entire life, and anyone who knows New England weather knows that one day it will be 50 and sunny and the next we will have 3 feet of snow. There is not a happy medium, in between. But snow days have drastically changed over the years especially as I moved from Connecticut to Maine for school.

As a kiddo, I loved snow days, playing in the snow and then having a big ole cup of hot chocolate all cuddled up under the fuzziest of blankets. They were amazing. No worries, no school just a fun day at home.

But then, I got older.

And moved, to one of the snowiest places in the country.

The snow days became scarcer and scarcer. And we get a lot of snow up here in Maine. But there is no point in canceling school for 5 inches of snow when "everyone" knows how to deal with it up here. So classes are rarely canceled.

Sometimes, I really really miss the snow. And coming for me that's saying something because I really am not a fan of the snow, in any way shape or form. It may not be the snow itself that I miss but the break. Having a day off to regroup and reorganize and catch up or whatever is needed.

That's what I miss.

"Mental Health Days" are super super important. They help you keep your sanity. They keep you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed. They prevent injuries and illness whether it be from a virus or just emotional stress and draining. Mental health days are good for so many more reasons too.

And plus sometimes, YOU JUST NEED A DAMN DAY!

But as I get further into my college career, while I missed the snow days and the mental health days more than ever, I also really didn't want to have a snow day. Weird right? At first, I was just thinking that I was going crazy. Because who wouldn't want a day off, especially a full-time student who is also working full time.

Me!

This is why I knew that if we had a snow day I would still have work to do. My professors would most likely just make me responsible for the material missed and let's be honest who actually sits down and thoroughly covers the material missed. And I can't ask questions from the comfort of my bed.

But in reality this last snow storm, I didn't want the snow day for completely selfish reasons. If we had a snow day on Wednesday, my exam would be moved to Friday. And then I would have two back to back exams in my hardest classes on a Friday morning. Yes, it would give me more time to study but like then I will over study for one and not study enough for the other.

So I'm being selfish!

And my friends think I am totally insane and ruining their chances of a day off. BUT I DON'T CARE.

It is okay to be a little selfish every now and again. Take the time for YOU! Do what is best for you and think whatever makes you happy. Stop worrying about everyone else, for every second of every day and

TAKE CARE OF YOU!

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