We're Not In Pennsylvania Anymore, Toto.

We're Not In Pennsylvania Anymore, Toto.

The reflection of someone who has moved more than a few times.

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I am nineteen years old, and I have still not figured out how to properly respond to the question, "where are you from?" There are simply too many answers to this question, and I don't know which one to go with when prompted. This is one of the main questions you are hit with when you meet someone, so as I meet people at school, I've heard it an abundance of times.

I am from Minnesota Nice, I am from a little sunshine shade of yellow house in New Jersey, a town with a park on the same street as my house in Illinois, a hill filled town in southern California, and a small town in Pennsylvania. I am from, "oh, isn't that where that big mall is?" but I am also from, "I've always wanted to live in California! What's it like?". I am from a lot of places, each place containing a different part of me.

Minnesota holds my younger years. The years of going to the zoo and watching the dolphins for hours on end, and a lot of years I don't have much of a memory of. Minnesota holds a plethora of children's hospital visits to Gilette Children's. That place became almost a second home if homes can terrify you down to the bone, for a lot of my life. Minnesota holds height checks and weight checks and x-rays like you can't believe. Eighteen years of children's hospital visits and x-rays become like a second nature.

Illinois holds my years of elementary school, dealing with mean kids for the first time in my life, but it also holds the time I asked if I could sled out the kitchen window on a particularly snowy day. Don't say I was not an adventurous child. Illinois holds the swim team years of chlorinated everything and going to a Hannah Montana concert in the middle of a two-day swim meet. Illinois holds my first best friend and just how painful it was to leave her.

California holds my years of crutching through open-air hallways in middle school after numerous surgeries. California holds beach camping trips, band concerts, and a neighborhood pool. California holds me coming to the realization that the ocean terrifies me. California holds the first "boyfriend" I had who would carry my backpack and call me after nine o'clock at night. (That was a big deal at the time, trust me.)

Pennsylvania holds my middle school through high school years. As you can imagine, they weren't my favorite. Originally when my parents told seventh grade, Megan, we were moving to Pennsylvania, I lost it a little. How dare they rip us from our oh so steady lives? (Yeah, middle school Megan was dramatic.) High school was better than eighth grade because most things are better than middle school. Pennsylvania holds the year I was a cheerleader, a dark year, but it also holds the time I figured out who I wanted to be. All of these places are so important to me that even thinking about the question, "where are you from?" evokes a tornado inside of my brain.

Technically, right now, I am from Pennsylvania. That's where I moved from when I came to school. People react the same way here as they did at home when I said I was going to school in Iowa. What could possibly be in Iowa, right? Other than corn? I explained that the writing program is one of the best in the country, but that never seemed to ease the furrowed eyebrows and bewildered expressions. The majority of University of Iowa attendees are from the midwest. If you visit Raygun in town, a t-shirt will tell you that Iowa City is Chicago's favorite suburb. Being from Pennsylvania, but being born in the midwest, I sort of understand the "oh, wow"s and "that's pretty far!"s. I promise I'm not on a cheesesteak diet, and I can pronounce water the same way you can. I can't promise, however, that I won't get in an argument defending the Flyers. I tend to get pretty passionate about Philadelphia hockey.

Even after putting my tornado of thoughts into coherent sentences, I most likely still will not be able to answer this question. Where are you from? Well, I could explain it all to you, but I'll probably just say Pennsylvania.


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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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12 Questions To Ask Before You Sign A Lease For An Apartment

College students are still trying to figure out the 'adult world' and may not know all the questions to ask before signing a lease for an apartment or house. I'm here to help.

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Going off to college is one of the single most exciting things to happen to teenagers. You're going to be on your own (no curfews, woo!) and you're overwhelmed with things you're going to learn and do. So many life experiences are about to come your way. However, some of those life experiences aren't the fun kind. They're the 'learn from my mistakes' kind. I was lucky enough to have parents to help guide me through finding an apartment and what questions to ask my landlord before I signed the lease. Not everyone is as lucky as me, though. So here's 12 questions I think all people should ask their landlord before signing that lease.

1. Are utilities included in the rent?

A lot of apartments or houses advertise these low prices for rent, 'ONLY $325 A MONTH' but that's how they trick you. The rent is so cheap because you have to pay your own water, electricity, garbage, you get the idea. It adds up. Be sure to clarify this because you may think this apartment/house is a steal, when in reality, it's just regularly priced.

2. What is the grace period for rent and how can I pay?

Most places allow a 5 day grace period for rent. Say rent is due the first of every month, but most places won't place a late fee until the fifth. Which, if you're like me and bad at planning and don't happen to have the cash on the first, that is such a RELIEF. Also, some places have an online website where you can pay so you don't have to worry about writing a check and dropping it off during office hours.

3. Does the landlord require renter's insurance?

My first apartment I lived in didn't require renter's insurance, honestly I didn't even know what that was. However, my current apartment does. At first I was confused and kind've annoyed that I had to purchase this insurance but after thinking about it and discussing it with my parents, I'm really happy it's required. Now if someone in my apartment decides to forget that a candle is lit next to their books and the building catches fire, I have insurance on all my belongings.

4. Are pets allowed and is there a pet deposit?

Many college students get a pet while they're in college. A pet is a friend who won't change majors or transfer to a new college and who will love you unconditionally. However, not all apartments allow pets and of those that do, most ask for a pet deposit AND charge extra on rent per month per pet. So make sure to do your research and find if you're getting the best deal for your little buddy. Another thing to look for: is there grass near my apartment/house where I can walk my dog and let them use the bathroom.

5. Am I promised parking?

College makes students vicious about parking. And if you're spending all day fighting over a parking spot and then still walking 10 minutes to campus, you don't want to go home and have to fight over parking there, too. Make sure there's plenty of parking at the place you're looking at and that parking is promised in your lease.

6. Can I have guest stay and where can they park?

College also means SLUMBER PARTIES WHENEVER YOU WANT! Staying up all night gossiping and drinking wine is one of the best ways to spend the night with a BFF in college, but you want to make sure your friend can park at your new place. The worst thing is inviting someone over and waking up to their car being booted. A lot of places allow guest passes from the front office or have specific parking for visitors. Make sure to ask, though. You don't want to sign a lease and then find out that guest aren't allowed. BUMMER!

7. What happens if I need to terminate my lease early?

We all hope for a smooth ride through college, but sometimes life happens and you have to deal with it. That might even mean having to leave college and move home for a bit, maybe even in the middle of the semester. Be prepared and make sure to ask your landlord the conditions for early termination or if it's even possible. Most places won't allow an early termination, but they will allow someone to sublease for you. Always ask! You never know what life is going to throw at you.

8. Is there a maintenance man and how long does he usually take to fix a request?

If you're like me, you have bad luck and things constantly break. If you're a lot like me, you're also clueless on how to fix ANYTHING. That's why anywhere I live, there needs to be a maintenance man who I can call to come when I'm panicked because my washing machine isn't working. Living somewhere where there's a maintenance man makes all the difference to me, but also ask how long it usually takes to fill out orders or else you'll end up with a broken AC that doesn't get fixed for three weeks in the middle of summer.

9. What is forbidden?

Some apartments/houses don't allow nails in the wall, posters being hung up, things being mounted to the wall, you get the idea. Each place has their own set of rules of what is forbidden and they absolutely don't allow. Make sure that these rules are clear before you sign or else you'll end up with an accidental hefty fee.

10. Which furnishings and appliances are included?

Like I mentioned earlier, some apartments/houses seem like a steal because rent is so cheap! Another reason rent can be so cheap is because they don't come with ANY appliances, so counting rent you also have to go buy a fridge, a microwave, a toaster, an oven, a washing machine, a dryer....it adds up, guys. This is one of the biggest things to ask because any appliances that come with the apartment, it's the apartments job to replace when they break.

11. Is the landlord allowed to enter your apartment without your permission?

Hidden deep in your lease agreement could be a sentence saying that the landlord is allowed to enter your apartment/house with no warning or permission needed. CHECK FOR THAT AND ASK! I don't know about you, but I'd like a warning before someone comes into my place.

12. How's the crime in the neighborhood?

Last but not least, always ask the landlord and any current tenants how the crime in the area is. A place can seem really nice and safe during the day but once night hits it can become an area full of break ins and robberies. Always drive by your potential living place at night to see how the area seems before signing that lease.

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