Dear Long Island, I Miss You

Dear Long Island, I Miss You

To the Gatsby-inspired, Billy Joel referenced, "long" island I hold close to my heart.

Dear Long Island,

It seems like yesterday that I sat upon your shores, breathing in the mix of fresh air and salt water. The summer wind which blew my hair away from my shoulders, the echoing sounds of Florida Georgia Line's summer concert at Jones Beach still resonates throughout my ears. What seems like forever ago has only been a little over a month that I lived a part from you. And now, hundreds of miles away, I can still say that you and your crispy bagels remain close to my heart.

This past month can be characterized in three words: awkwardness, uncertainty, and ice-breakers. I have sat in a countless number of circles introducing myself and consequently stating my hometown. Never have I been more proud to say, "Long Island, New York." Whenever I state my hometown, I suddenly feel a yearning for your egg, bacon, and cheese sandwiches, superior pizza, and the countless Billy Joel references.

Speaking of your countless legends, I feel pure joy whenever a Billy Joel song plays on campus. I explain to my friends, who are from various parts of the country, that I know exactly where the Italian restaurant from "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" used to be. I show the pictures of the exact "Glass House" which appears on his album that I have driven by countless times. I tell stories of relatives casually seeing Billy Joel walking into a supermarket or inside his own motorcycle shop. I feel pride when I explain that Lea Michele and Natalie Portman began their contributions in local Long Island high schools that are less than twenty minutes from my house.

But most of all, my heart misses the docks of Port Washington and Great Neck, the areas which inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"--one of the most famous literary pieces of American history. The shores of "West Egg" and "East Egg" are more than literary locations, they are home. They are the waters I kayak in the heat of July and August. They are the docks I sit upon with my friends, eating ice cream and watching the sunset, driving with the top down.

I miss the train rides into "the city that never sleeps", the ever-promising lights of New York City. Walking throughout Penn Station, I miss being an eyewitness of the diversity of people, cultures, and food. I miss the underrated talent which lines the sidewalks, the tiniest corners of Penn Station, and subway cars. I still hear the cacophony of car horns, overhead advertisements, and various conversations of passing New Yorkers.

In the past month, I have had to explain "The New York Way"; the avoidance of making eye contact with anyone or anything besides the ground, of starting conversation with any stranger, and dodging the questionable Disney, Marvel, or Nickelodeon "characters" which encompass the entirety of Times Square and heckle tourists for tips. I miss the comfort of viewing the Empire State Building, Central Park, Madison Square Garden, and the "Big Tree" at Rockefeller Center as a part of my normal surroundings, and not tourist attractions.

Long Island, it has been too long. But I know that no matter the distance or duration which I am away from you, you will hold me in a loving embrace and will say, "Welcome home."

Cover Image Credit: Juliana Consenza

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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16 Meaningful Things You Should Tell The People You Love More Often

The best way to make sure you don't lose the people you care about is to make sure they know how much you care about them.


One way — the best way in my opinion — to make sure you don't lose the people you care about is to make sure they know how much you care about them. Everybody needs reassurance at times. It's human nature, and nothing feels better than hearing from somebody you love that they appreciate you and love you too.

There are plenty of ways to say "I love you" without saying those three words. Think about the last time you said any of these things to the people you love.

"I see all that you do for me, and I appreciate it." 

If you love somebody, you never keep score. But you should always thank them and make sure they know that what they do for you doesn't go unnoticed.

"Tell me about your day." 

If someone is important to you, you're probably the first person they want to tell things to. Asking this simple question — and making sure to listen to the response — makes them feel closer to you and like you're a part of their life.

This one can be especially crucial for people in long-distance friendships or relationships.

"I'm proud of you." 

"I miss you." 

These three little words can change someone's entire day.

"I'm lucky to have you." 

"Do you need to talk about anything?"

Sometimes, it's hard for people to openly start talking about things that are bothering them or things that they're struggling with. If someone you love seems off, asking this question can be a good opportunity to make them feel like they can talk to you about whatever is on their mind.

"What can I do to improve our relationship?"

This is something relationship counselors preach about, and it applies to relationships of any kind. It's so important, and your relationships will only benefit from this conversation!

"Is there anything I can do to make your day better?"

"I wish you were here."

"I don't want to lose you."

"You look really good today."

This one is super easy and not as deep, but it still makes someone feel really good — especially when they aren't expecting it.

"When can I see you next?" 

This is so underrated! It feels so good to know someone is looking forward to seeing you again. We stan effort!

"You make me so happy."

"You're doing amazing."

"I hope you have a good day."

This is super easy to text or tell someone in the morning. It lets them know you're thinking about them and sets up everyone to be in a good mood for the day!

"I'm sorry I don't say these things more often."

These are all such small sentences that hold so much meaning. Believe me when I say hearing these things from the right person at the right time can change everything for somebody.

It takes seconds to say/text these things, so there really is no excuse for not doing it.

Before you think, "Well, they never say this stuff to me either," stop and think about the last time you said one of these things to someone. Sometimes, it takes you to start. Your relationship is worth more than your pride.

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