Reasons Why Newtown, Conn. Is Amazing

Reasons Why Newtown, Conn. Is Amazing

We got spooky DOWN.
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If you're from Newtown, Conn., while growing up, you probably took it for granted a little bit. It's just a normal town in boring Connecticut, there's no excitement of a city or anything, and you probably wondered what on earth there was to do on a Saturday night. But in all honesty, looking back at where I grew up, it was the most awesome and beautiful place. Here's why I'm grateful Newtown is my hometown:

The Ice Cream

OK, we have to talk about the incredible ice cream. Growing up, we wouldn't go a weekend in the summer without going to this place:

Now called "Holy Cow Ice Cream", it's such a great, cute place to bring your family to after school and grab some soft serve!

And of course, Ferris Creamery.

This place is dangerous. I live up the street from this glorious farm, where they make the ice cream fresh and on premise, and I am at risk of gaining 40 pounds. The lines are always long, but it's totally worth it in the end to end up with a heaping ice cream cone of “Grasshopper” or “Cow Trax”.

Too bad both Holy Cow & The Creamery are closed during the winter. I would happily eat them both year round.

The General Store

This place is ADORABLE. It’s like a little old fashion shop (or Shoppe if you’re fancy), where you can get candy and snacks, and, of course, their legendary sandwiches, and a sausage egg and cheese for only $1.25.

Main Street

Main Street is gorgeous, full of beautiful historical homes from as early as the 1600’s. The street is iconic to all of us, with images like the church and the flagpole in the middle of the street. (Okay, the flagpole in the middle of the street was always a mystery to me, and it’s also in the middle of a four-way intersection… okay…) But regardless we love Main Street.

And, of course, we love Main Street on Halloween. Iconic. These old houses go all out, including themed houses and haunted houses. Crowds upon crowds walk on Main Street Halloween night to see the sights and go trick-or-treating. Homeowners on Main Street buy pounds and pounds of candy, and they pretty much have to save up for this major Newtown holiday.


Fairfield Hills

Okay, let’s talk about how cool Fairfield hills is. Right now, it’s a gorgeous campus filled with pretty and old looking buildings. (When I was little, I thought that’s where George Washington used to live… but I’m pretty sure the buildings aren’t THAT old). We see a lot of soccer games and alike on the front lawn, the new Board of Education is headquartered there, and they’re making a lot of efforts to “beautify” the campus.

But oh man, the history of that campus is amazingly spooky. Fairfield Hills Campus used to be Fairfield Hills Hospital for the mentally ill in 1931. Like a lot of other mental hospitals at that time, the ill were treated with electric shock therapy, lobotomies, hydrotherapy, etc. and the list goes on. So a pretty dark history there. Can you say, American Horror Story, anyone? I know along with myself, other people in town are fascinated with the place, and want a peek inside. We’re not really aloud to go inside the buildings though. (At least the ones that aren’t renovated).

Fairfield Hills also has beautiful paths for taking a walk with a friend or with your dog, and they loop around the campus and even have a spooky route through the woods where you can see old railroad tracks and feel GHOSTS on your skin!

The Scarecrow Contest

Every October at the Middle School, there is the most amazing contest where the artists of the school make the most creative and wonderful “scarecrows”. They are displayed on the front lawn for the public to see and vote on for the winner.

I, ahem, won this contest when I was in eighth grade, thank you very much.


For such a beautiful autumn town, this is icing on the cake to see these great sculptures on the lawn of the school. It’s just so magical!

If you’re from Newtown, I hope you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “You know what, you’re right. Newtown is amazing.” Because yes, it is! I can’t wait to go back home this summer, stuff myself with ice cream, go to Main Street to go to the General Store, and take a stroll at Fairfield Hills to see if I can scare myself a little bit. And if you’re not from Newtown, I hope you’re looking forward to a visit with the nicest people on earth!

Cover Image Credit: Jim Chillington

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Competition Isn’t Real, So Stop Worrying About What You Think Is Your 'Competition'

When you stop worrying about being better than "your competition," you will succeed.

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"What are your plans for after College?" is the one question every college student wishes they could never hear again. After hearing those seven short words, the body of the college student is flooded with waves of irritation, paranoia, and worry.

When you set all your triggered thoughts and anxieties aside and manage to hurl out an answer, you're probably told "That's nice, but how are you going to get a job? That field is so competitive." At this point, you are probably ready to excuse yourself from the conversation for a timely breakdown.

Throughout high school, conversations at family gatherings and holiday parties typically went through this vicious cycle.

A naive junior in high school who was quick to say his major was going to be Musical Theater in college was always infuriated by the response "You'll never find work. That field is so competitive."

After a while, I started to believe it and decided to look elsewhere for a career path. I considered nursing, to where I was told how competitive college nursing programs are, and how little students they accept. I figured I wouldn't stand a chance, so I kept looking.

I circled back to the theater and was reminded by everybody how rigorous the Musical Theater college audition process was, and how they only accept a handful of kids. Surely there were other students more capable than me, and I wasn't going to let the ridiculously annoying boastful comments of theater kids ruin my search for my path in life.

My Dad always reminds me how much money I could make pursuing business, but working a 9-5 desk job dealing with hot-headed businessmen being choked by the tightness of their neckties never appealed me.

I felt fatigued like I was being told that I need to pursue what other people want me to, instead of following my dreams.

At this time I was a senior in High School, and my CommonApp was filled with prospective schools that I might attend, but the "intended major" section part of each application wasn't filled.

The loud "you can't" and "you'll NEVER get work" boomed in my ear until I was convinced I couldn't follow my dreams of becoming an actor, so I caved and intended to pursue journalism. I was told by all my teachers I was a gifted writer, so I figured it would be worth a shot.

"You can always do theater on the side," is what I heard. Now in college pursuing journalism, a field I was told: "will be one I can actually get a job in," some professors tell me after graduation, I will be doing journalism "on the side" because of how "competitive" the field is.

All occupational fields are competitive, whether that be communications, business, nursing, etc. Here is one thing that I learned through this experience and many others…

You have no competition.

In the eyes of someone who is hiring for a job, they are going to pick whoever's work they feel best fits the position. This isn't the product of a cutthroat field, it's solely the product of your work fitting the part.

You can't mash two puzzle pieces together because you THINK it's what fits, whatever is meant for you will come to you. Your puzzle pieces will fit together naturally.

In the end, it will come together to form a beautiful picture.

As for me, I decided to tune out the comments about competitive fields. What used to consume me cannot phase me anymore.

I still intend to pursue my dreams of becoming a performer, and at every audition I will remind myself that it is not the field that is competitive, there is no competition. The performer sitting next to me at an open call is not my competition, but my inspiration to work hard to find the job that will best fit me.

In the words of Cinderella, "there is one thing, they can't order me to stop dreaming."

The reporter who grabs every single story shouldn't turn me into someone who viciously grabs every story they can to build their portfolio, it should make me look for stories I WANT to tell that will progress me as a writer. After all, I am still learning.

I learned that I shouldn't belittle other people that are deemed "my competition" to disorient them, giving me a better chance at getting a job. Kindness will be more rewarding than contributing to the vicious dog-eat-dog world.

"I'm not in competition with anyone except who I used to be, and everything I do now is just an evolved version of something I've done before" -Kali Uchis

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