6 Things That Remind Me Of Home

6 Things That Remind Me Where My True Home Is

Home is where the heart is <3

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I live in Quakertown: a medium-sized Pennsylvanian town full of farms and football. And well, if you know me, I have always droned on and on about how I can't wait to leave Quakertown and never look back. Trust me, my opinion on that matter has never faltered, and my goals tend to stray from a typical life in suburbia, but that doesn't mean that it will ever stop being home.

My career endpoint in life seemingly changes on a daily basis, but I always picture myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city. I adore the city architecture, the endless museums, and the quaint coffee shops I often stumble upon, but something can be said about running through open fields and star dipping with your best friends.

So what is it that is so great about my hometown...?

1. Walking Field Trips

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This is exactly what it sounds like. Your parent signs your permission slip form gives you a couple dollars, and you walk around. If you went to Quakertown Elementary, no doubt you've gone on a billion of these. They don't sound like the most exhilarating things ever, but they were a good time and have stuck with me for so long. My favorites are definitely that time we went to a barn (yes it was just a barn, with hay in it), the Betsy Ross house replica by the Red Lion Inn, the train station, and that old house to look at the chimney. Of course, these all ended with a group stampede to Rosemary's (the best water ice place ever). What a hoot and a holler!

2. Sine's Five and Dime

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AHHHHH. I love this place so much. So, the five and dime is an expansive old store that has everything from bubblegum and toy planes to old varsity jackets and Christmas decor. You walk in, and it is pretty much a museum on everything Quakertown (plus cheap candy). They even have a food bar, which has the most delicious soda in all of PA. Last time I went, my friends and I spent literally forever looking at everything and then bought these adorable fake flowers for the unbeatable price of a dime.

3. Applebees

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Going to Applebees or Apps with my friends is one of my favorite things to do. We use to frequent the half price appetizer special with the rest of Quakertown High School after the friday night lights. Now that we're older, and I feel so fortunate that we all can go and have the chance to get together and see everyone (and who doesn't love Apps' Spinach and Artichoke dip??).

4. My Barn

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Even in it's 'you might fall through the stairs' rickety glory, my barn is a place full of nostalgic memories. I remember finally becoming old enough to help my dad bring stuff up and down through the weird door on the second level, jumping through hoops (quite literally) to get the bike I shared with my brother Andrew, and going upstairs to chill and play pool with the fam. It's just such a cute focal point to my life that reminds me of home.

Whenever I sit on 'my couch' in the family room and stare outside at it, I don't see the busted siding or the broken hinges, I see memories coming alive through the holes we never bothered to fix when my Andrew and I had a bad throw, the strange tan lines on the side from that fort I made when I was ten, and the window in the loft my brother and I constantly joked about taking out and putting a slide to our pool. It's home.

5. The Roads

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I'm terrible with direction and get lost almost everytime I entertain the idea of the subway. But there's something about Quakertown's roads that just seem so easy to drive upon. I just drive, I don't get worried, I don't gps (unlike finding a store in the city). They always seem to curve in the right direction, and even when you think you're lost, you always find your way home. When I've had a bad day I love to escape and just drive to clear my mind. If I tried that in Philly, I'd probably get more upset with the nonstop honking people love to do.

6. Landmarks

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Last but not least, there are certain things that just make Quakertown Quakertown.

For example, WALMARTTTTTT. The number of times I've been to Walmart versus the number of things I've actually bought surely don't match up. It's just a place to go. When there's nothing to do, I go to Walmart. After work, I go to Walmart. Apps?? "Sure, then Walmart". Every time I'm there, I see at the minimum six people I went to school with. I should suggest we have our high school reunion there.

Second, the ice skating rink. We don't have a real rink, but every year the fire department fills up the parking lot across from the library with about a foot of water. We pray it freezes and go work on our terrible turns and hockey dreams. One Christmas when I was younger, Andrew and I were insanely insistent to go skating even though there were two feet of snow out. Yet, my dad, being the great man he is, grabbed our skates, marshmallow coats, and huge shovel and off we went.

Q-Town also plays it's hand in nature venturing and provides us with Lake Nockamixen. Nock is a blast whether you want to bike, have a picnic, hike, or play water sports. It's very convenient (only fifteen minutes outside the borough) and accessible.

Finally, we get to the center of Quakertown. There, is it's prominent corner position, is the Bush house. No, I've never been inside the Bush House or met anyone who has been, but it is no doubt one of the most talked about spots in Quakertown. Very interesting (and sis) amiright.

And that, lady's and gents, is the big Q in all its glory.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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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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6 Ways To Save Money As A Broke College Student

Money saving tips so you can afford adult life while also paying for an expensive tuition.

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It is difficult to work, attend college, and make all your payments on rent, tuition, and bills, (not to mention finding a little money to spare on yourself). These are six ways to save that have helped me in this money stressful time and that you should use too in order to reduce the expenses of adulting.

1. Saving money on rent.

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Apartments are cheaper than houses because most include some of the bills in the rent cost. Make sure to check what amenities apartments offer such as free wi-fi, trash removal, or water included. When choosing roommates the more the better for cost. You should get at least one roommate because it is difficult to afford even a studio apartment living on your own. If you want pets you should choose a place that doesn't have pet rent because even if you have a large non-refundable pet fee it is cheaper in the long run then paying twenty a month per animal.

2. Saving money on bills.

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If you choose to live in an apartment complex, having an apartment on a higher floor will make your electric bill cheaper in the winter because heat rises. Even though your electric bill will be higher in the summer you can afford to work more because classes won't be in session. When purchasing light bulbs get ones that are energy efficient and use lights with batteries to help save on the electric bill. Also make sure to turn off all lights when you aren't in the room. You can save water by not running the faucet when you brush your teeth. Anyway you can think to conserve water and energy use that to your advantage.

3. Saving money on food.

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Your best friend is buying in bulk when you go to get groceries. I personally buy ten pound ground beef logs, cut them up, and place them in the freezer to use later. Everything is cheaper when you buy in bulk and you save time grocery shopping. If you don't know how to cook now is the time to learn because frozen and fast food eats up your money. You should also go to your local food bank if you are really struggling because everyone has to eat. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Going without food to pay your rent is not something anyone should have to do.

4. Saving money on furniture.

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You should buy used if at all possible when finding furniture for your apartment or house. Living in a college town has its perks because people are constantly moving you can find great deals at garage sales or on craigslist. For instance I got my couch for free, I just had to move it out of a graduating students apartment. You can also check out thrift stores and consignment shops in your town.

5. Saving money on entertainment.

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There are a lot of deals and discounts for college students so take advantage of that for entertainment.. For example movie theaters usually offer a student discount and if you go to a matinee showing, tickets are even cheaper. Find out when your local bar's happy hour is and use it. Also see what meal deals are offered by restaurants around you, such as 3 items for 10 or specials on Thursday nights. You can also use apps to find coupons, my personal favorite being pocket points because it rewards you for studying.

6. Saving money and side hustles.

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Put back money during the summer in order to have a backup fund for when things get crazy busy during the school year. Scope out banks and find out what interests they offer on savings accounts in order to increase the amount of money you have saved over the years. If you need extra money you can get paid for donating plasma and you can sometimes find research studies that will offer participants cash for things as simple as just an opinion. There are also baby sitting and pet sitting apps you can download to get one time gigs if you are low on funds for the month.

These are all great tips that I have been taught or have learned living as a broke college student. It isn't easy living life in the adult world and pursuing a degree at the same time. I hope these tips will help you save money and keep you out of hard times.

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