An Ode To My First Car

An Ode To My First Car

I just sold my first car, and it was a bittersweet moment for me.
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I got my first car the summer before my junior year of high school. I had picked it out myself. It was a white, 1990 Chevrolet K-1500, single cab, long bed, 5.7L, V8. All stock. It was so old that it had a cassette player in it. My parents warned me about getting an old car, about the maintenance and constant up-keep it would need. I knew what I was getting into, and when I finally shook hands with the previous owner, I couldn't have been happier.

That summer involved fine tuning the truck, which I so happily named Willie Mae. She got new lock cylinders, ignition switch, shocks, tires, exhaust, new stickers, a radio, the works. I spent days getting everything to sound just right, and I never once regretted the time I spent working on her.

I couldn't wait to drive my truck over to my old high school sweetheart's house and show him my new ride. He thought it was too much truck for such a little girl, but I didn't care. I was so in love with the truck, and I wanted everyone to know it.

All I did was talk about my truck and how old it was and all the work I was constantly putting into it. I drove it to car meets and helped my parents do yard work with it. I fit two ATVs on it, along with my toolbox and flagpole, and I would whisper words of encouragement anytime I'd have to get on the highway.

I could only seat three people, even though two barely fit comfortably. My poor ex-boyfriend was 6'3" and had to sit at an angle, or with his knees tucked up to his chest because I needed the seat to be all the way forward in order to reach the pedals. Some days, it felt like I couldn't properly see over the dashboard, reminding me that I installed 3" torsion keys to raise the front end of the truck.

When school started, my mom and I talked to the principal if I could park in front of the auto-shop at my school, so I had space to fit my truck, and since he was cool with the both of us, he gave me permission to do so. That started a war at my school. People constantly harassed me for parking there. I had my spot, which was directly in front of one of the auto-shop bay doors. If someone parked in my spot, I'd raise hell. I'd have a security guard come and make them move their car. Sure, I was a brat about it, but if you parked in the same spot every day, and suddenly someone took it, you'd be heated too.

My truck was loud, after having done a full cat-delete and simply welded a three foot straight pipe on it. It attracted a lot of attention, and people began recognizing me by my truck. They would say, "oh you're the girl with the truck," and after a while, it started to feel like I was being targeted. I started getting dirty looks from people, and a lot of the girls didn't seem to like me either.

I took a lot of pride in my truck. Sure, I stood out like a sore thumb, and I was always being called rude and inappropriate things because of it, but I loved my truck. I took her mudding, even though the 4x4 wasn't meant for off-roading. My parents would yell at me, but at the end of the day, I still had a great time.

When I moved to Tallahassee, we had to put Willie Mae on a trailer, since she would have never made the eight hour drive. Touching down in Tallahassee, I knew things would be different. I would take long, aimless drives through the town, and would find myself on winding trails and in what can be considered the "countryside" of Tallahassee. Friends I'd made would show me cool dirt trails I could take the truck out to, and I'd do so by myself, when I needed an escape.

When the weather would cool down, I found myself more and more in love with the truck. The breeze would blow in through the windows and it felt like my soul was riding the breeze alongside my truck. I felt free and all my troubles would melt away, until Easter weekend.

I drove my truck up to Cairo, GA, to visit my friend for Easter weekend, since I wouldn't be able to go home for the holiday. I only had four miles to go before I reached her house, and then the engine blew. My radiator hose popped, the head gasket blew, the truck decelerated, and I was left on the side of the road with my dog for a few hours until I could get my truck trailed back to my place.

I knew it was the end. It would be too expensive to replace the parts and I didn't have the money nor the time for it. So I put up a post on Craigslist and LetGo to sell Willie Mae. For six months, I would pass by my truck in my apartment complex, sitting in the same spot, breaking my heart every time, knowing there was nothing I could do.

I finally sold her, to a hard-working man that needed a reliable work truck, and within twenty minutes, the paperwork was signed, the cash was in my hand, and Willie Mae was making her way to a little town in Georgia. It was over. I felt relieved, but I couldn't help crying a bit. That truck held more memories and secrets than a diary. That truck was my escape from the real world, and I fixed her up with my blood, sweat, and tears, and she was finally gone.

Days go by when I think I see Willie Mae, her flag blowing in the breeze, and the smell of the coconut air freshener I always had hanging from the rearview. I know she's putting in work on some farm in Georgia after having gotten all new parts installed. She made me happy and provided me with a piece of my identity, and I hated seeing her go, but I loved watching her leave.

So long, Willie Mae.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nunez-Rodriguez

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23 Things That Defined Your Childhood If You Were A Late 90s/Early 00s Baby

Own that pony tail. Work that up-do!
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If you were born in the late 90s or early 00s then you grew up in the age of youtube, computer games, and Disney Channel. As we become adults, we are coming to the time what we love to reminisce on everything we played, watched, and listened to while we were growing up. We went through many stages of computer games: from Freddi Fish to PhotoBooth. If you are a millennial, you will know these 23 things as a huge part of your childhood.

1. FRED Youtube Videos

The annoyingly funny, fast-talking, youtube star, Fred, began the youtube craze that has yet to end.

2. Disney Channel Computer Games

Disney Channel's website had a plethora of games that we played for hours. Recently, BuzzFeed found links to the best of the best to let us relive our childhood.

3. The Amanda Show

Everyone's favorite show!


4. The Disney Channel Games

Our first (and best) version of the Olympics!

5. Webkinz

Let's face it. Most of us had 20+ Webkinz and spun the Wheel of WOW every day!

6. Space Jam

Classic movie turned frat theme.

7. Bon Qui Qui

"SECURITY. THIS MAN HAS GOTS TO GO."

You can follow Bon Qui Qui on Instagram @bonquiqui.

8. That’s So Sweet Life of Hannah Montanna


The crossover episode of a lifetime!

9. Razor phones

Everyone's dream phone.

10. Lizzie McGuire Movie

What could be better than Lizzie McGuire singing to Lizzie McGuire?

11. Can I Have Your Number

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12. Neopets

Before Webkinz came around.

13. Tamagotchi

From keychain to Wii game, we had it all.

14. Bratz

The cool kids had Bratz dolls.

15. Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise

"Ron... Ron... Ron... Ron WEASLEY."

16. Charlie The Unicorn

This youtube video was oddly entertaining.

17. Club Penguin

When we weren't on Webkinz, we were on Club Penguin.

18. Guitar Hero/Rock Band

We were basically all rockstars.

19. Steve Irwin

RIP

20. Life With Derek

A forgotten treasure.

21. The Potential Breakup Song

Aly and AJ rocked it when they weren't busy working in a dairy factory.

22. The Clique

These book-turned-movies were epic.

23. Charlie Bit My Finger

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Although the youtube craze hasn't ended, it sure has changed!

Cover Image Credit: @alyandaj

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6 Little Things You Can Do To Become Successful In The Professional World

Sometimes it's all about the little stuff.
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When you make the transition from working in retail to working in an office, your new job will be unfamiliar and even a little scary. It can be hard to know what to do and how to act; I know it was for me. However, since entering the professional environment myself, I've picked up on some little tips that can make all the difference when it comes to being successful in the professional world.

1. Invest in your wardrobe.

Whether you're a man or a woman, you really need to have plenty of business clothing in your wardrobe if you want to be successful in the professional world. It might be unfair, but you really have to look nice to be taken seriously. Having at least one good suit is essential, and you should have enough different shirts and accessories to avoid looking like you're wearing the same thing all the time. If you don't want to spent a ton of money, try shopping for professional clothes at outlet stores such as Ross and TJ Maxx or go to a bargain department store like JC Penney. Say good-bye to jeans and t-shirts; it's time to dress up.

2. Speak up.

You might be the new employee or even just an intern, but don't be scared to speak up if you have some insight to add to a discussion or a new idea you want to try out. That doesn't mean you should speak without thinking, but you shouldn't stand as silent to a stone. In the professional world, initiative and boldness are appreciated. Be sure to bring what you have to offer to the table.

3. Go in early and stay late.

It's true that this isn't an option for everyone, but if you can, you should try to go into work early and stay late. You don't have to stay for hours of extra time, but it's helpful to arrive at least ten minutes earlier than you need to and leave about ten minutes later. However, make sure you are actually getting work done and going the extra mile with those extra minutes— it won't look good to just be sitting there twiddling your thumbs. If you use this tip, your boss will notice and appreciate the dedication you have to your job.

4. Say yes to social events.

Networking is important, especially during the early stages of your career. If your coworkers invite you to have lunch with them, join them. If your boss invites you to an after-hours reception or dinner, try to go if you're available. You want to become known in your professional circle. It's always helpful to put your best foot forward and ensure that when you're name comes up, your peers have a name and personality to match to it.

5. Walk quickly.

This is a minor tip that was given to me by my first boss. You should try to walk quickly through the office so it looks like you are doing something important. Avoid looking like you are lounging around or not in a hurry to get back to work. It may seem like a silly tip, but it's the minor details that can make all the difference.

6. Check your work e-mail from home.

Checking your e-mail from home is a practice that is greatly beneficial but only takes a few minutes. You don't have to take on large action items when you're out of the office, but if you spare a moment to answer a quick question or approve a final copy of a report, your colleagues will definitely appreciate it.



These small adjustments will definitely help secure your success in the professional world. Good luck out there!

Cover Image Credit: Dane Deaner

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