The Great New York State Fair

The Great New York State Fair

It's only around for 12 days, so give your last hoorah to the summer!

The Great New York State Fair is probably one of my favorite places to go during the summer. It's nearly two weeks of fried food, people watching, and awesome, free concerts. There is just so much going on that you never want to leave (or at least that's how I feel). Sure there are people out there who absolutely cannot stand the fair because it never changes, it smells, it's dirty or a myriad of other reasons. But that's okay because then there is more room for people who do like going!

The best part about the fair, in my opinion, is that every day there are new things to watch and fun things to see. As always, there is the sand and butter sculptures, the police shows, the dog agility course, and the chainsaw woodcarving station. There are always shows going on, animals to see, different areas of the fair to wander around, and my favorite thing about the event: all of the free concerts that are at Chevy Court. You can go onto the Fair's website and see the lineup for this summer; it's definitely a good one.

And for all of those out there who say that the Fair never changes, well I've got some news for you! It actually changed quite a bit this year! Things are in all new places. It's no longer as congested as it usually is in high traffic areas because the midway has been moved in order to accommodate more rides. There's more space so people aren't as cramped as they used to be a few years ago, which makes everything a bit easier to manage. Since people usually complain about how crowded the Fair is, it's good that everyone attending will be able to move around more comfortably.

The Fair is one of Syracuse, New York's greatest traditions. It's been running for a long time, first opening in 1841 and becoming a permanent tradition starting in 1890. And if it's been running that long, then they have to be doing something right.

On a day where you're sitting around with nothing to do, you should go and give it a shot! It's a great time and you'll have fun just walking around and enjoying the ambiance. There are always things to see and do, and it's 12 days long so you have plenty of time to make the trip to Syracuse to see what you're missing!

Check out their website for the list of events and to get a sense of what day would work best for you. You will make memories that will last forever, whether it's you defying your body and eating the Defibrillator (a deep friend turkey sandwich with two grilled cheese sandwiches as the buns), or if you're able to see some newborn baby pigs running around. With the summer coming to an end soon, you should go have the time of your life!

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.


Since I was 15, I have been a counselor at various summer camps. I have been a Program Aide at Girl Scout camp, a counselor at church camp, and a counselor at a day camp. These were all camps that I attended as a kid, so they already had a special place in my heart when I got a chance to work at them.

After being a camp counselor for five years, there are things that I have learned on the job that has helped me in life. Being a counselor has also helped me grow as a person. It's helped me gain skills that I don't think I would have learned in other jobs. I'm here to share what I love about the job of being a camp counselor.

1. You get to be the leader/role model

As a kid, there were many counselors in my life that I looked up to. They were people that I strived to be alike in my life, but now that I'm older, I get to be that person for the kid. What I say and do will influence how the kids around me act. That comes with a lot of stress, but it's also empowering. You can be a positive influence in a kids life, and hopefully, teach them important life lessons.

2. You can be your goofy self

One thing that I love about working with kids is that I can be silly around them. Kids won't judge you for being silly because they're silly right alongside you. They feed off your energy, and it can help them explore the world around them through communication. Plus, when was it not fun to be silly?

3. You get to hang out with kids all day

This reason might turn people off from the job, but it's a part of why I love being a counselor. Hanging out with kids tires me out at times, but they also motivate me to keep going. They're little balls of energy, and I feed off of other people's energies well. The kids also help me feel youthful and like nothing matters. Everything is fun to them; they help me keep a positive outlook on life.

4. Your coworkers become your best friends

Working at a summer camp can be difficult at times. It's emotionally and physically draining as well. But having a good support team helps with that. The counselors that I have worked with in the past have become my best friends, and I still stay in touch with some. They're there for you when no one else is, and they understand what you're going through. You know that their feelings for you are genuine, and they want to help as much as they can.

5. You get to watch the kids grow

Over the summer, I get to see the same kids every week at my camp. I get to see them grow as people over the summer and it's a rewarding experience knowing that I was able to help them. Watching them become leaders and grow into little helpers by the end of the summer is one of my favorite things.

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work at a summer camp again this year. I know that it'll provide an opportunity to grow as a person and I can't wait to see my favorite kids again.

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