I Am Thankful For My Small Town Values

I Am Thankful For My Small Town Values

Big city...I am coming for you, but not without my small town values.
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Big city...I am coming for you, but not without my small town values.

Yes, people might be able to fly over the Midwest and not have a clue what state is where or think we all must be farmers, but that is not true. I can genuinely tell you that growing up in the state of Iowa has been one of the biggest blessings in life so far and I am sure many people in states all around the Midwest can testify to that as well.

What have I learned from growing up in a small town?

Manners are everything

I can tell you, hands down, that "Iowa nice" is a thing. As someone who loves to travel, it warms my heart when people ask where I am from because I have such nice or caring mannerisms and manners. When thinking about living in a city one day, I feel confident that I will be able to leave my own mark. While submerging into the hustle and bustle, I feel confident that I have learned to have a backbone but know how to treat others with the utmost respect.

I appreciate land

While it can be easy to feel envy towards the people who have the privilege of looking at an ocean view each morning or the ones who are able to wake up to a beautiful city view. But, I am thankful I grew up the way I did. It has been a personal privilege to be thankful for the beauty that surrounds me.

I find peace and happiness in taking long car rides and finding views that are unbeatable. I also feel I have a deeper appreciation for a city just because compared to where I grew up, they seem to be on opposite spectrums of the world. I know after I move to a city, I will be able to wake up and appreciate the view, but coming home to the sweet land of Iowa will bring back so many wonderful memories that I will forever be able to cherish.

The freedom of the outdoors

The saying, "You should go take a breather," is actually possible. At least where I grew up, there was an endless amount of space to be alone, run free and have personal freedom. That in itself is a gift not a lot of people get to experience.

What is traffic?

"I'll be there in 10" is a true statement. There is no reason to leave early, wake up early, or feel late. We are on a laid-back schedule with plenty of time to get anywhere we need.

Traveling is even more special

Being able to see and experience different cultures unlike mine, has been life-changing. I wish more people wanted to experience a beautiful fall, amazing boating and people that just want to have a good time. I am thankful for the traveling I have been able to do and it all comes back to where I am from.

Big city...I am coming for you, but not without my small town values.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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