The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.
When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:
“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)
When she goes to her first college career fair:
"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)
When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:
“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)
When someone asks her about the library:
“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)
When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:
“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)
When she gets bored during class:
“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)
When she considers dropping out:
“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)
When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:
“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)
When her professor never enters grades on time:
“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)
When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:
“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)
When she finds out she got a bad test grade:
“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)
When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:
“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)
When she has to walk across campus in the dark:
“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)
When her boyfriend breaks her heart:
“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)
When she paints her first canvas:
"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)
When her sorority takes stacked pictures:
“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)
When she's had enough of the caf's food:
“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)
When she forgets about an exam:
“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)
When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:
“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)
When she gets home from college:
"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)
Going to college in the north is very different from the south for obvious reasons, but going to college in the north AND in a big city is even more interesting and culturally different from the south.
Not a day went by during my first two years at Temple University where I wasn't completely entertained by the wonders and crazy moments the city had to offer to me. I love living a fast-paced life, and living in the city definitely gave me that opportunity, but what I was never prepared for was well...the trash.
Like, Philadelphia is dirty. Dir-ty dirty.
I've grown accustomed to seeing trash in the streets, on the sidewalks, and in the few patches of grass between buildings, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing when I come face to face with it.
Despite the trash, however, I love how open-minded and accepting everyone is in the city. It was nice coming face to face with strangers and being able to sense that they had the same progressive viewpoints as I did.
Now let's flip the switch and talk about coming home...
For those who don't know me, I'm from a city called Macon in the good ole peach state of Georgia. Now, Macon is country. I feel like when people think of the south they think of all the cute little things about the south like country accents and sweet tea, but there's a lot of unpleasant things about my city that makes me reluctant to come home.
For one, it's slow as hell, but I guess leaving the city makes anything else seem slow right? I mean, talk about a culture shock. One second you're almost getting run over by city-goers rushing from point A to point B, and the next, well you're surrounded by pick-up trucks and MAGA hats. A culture shock.
I guess I'm one of those people that isn't proud to say I'm from the city of Macon, but I have to pay homage to it because if it weren't for growing up in this conservative, significantly slower-paced city, I wouldn't be the outspoken, bold woman I am today. My hometown made me want to get out, explore the world, and be my own person, and now Philadelphia has become my second home--a place where I finally feel free.
So yeah, you could say it's definitely a huge culture shock coming back home to my hometown of Macon, Georgia, but in a way, I'm thankful for that culture shock, because it is a testament to my growth and shows how far I've come since the last time I was home.