Why I’m Happy I Grew Up In The Small City I Did

Why I’m Happy I Grew Up In The Small City I Did

Westbrook isn't only where I grew up as a kid, but its a place I continue to call home.

Westbrook, Maine is where I’m proud to call my home town. We all have our places to call home and we also have the many reasons why we do so. Westbrook is considered “home” to many people. Anyone who doesn’t live in Westbrook probably only know us from the smelly paper mill… But I mean who would forget that smell anyway? I’ve been raised here my whole 20 long years of life, and at the moment, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are many reasons why someone calls their town their home, here are my reasons:

Little League Fields: From the age I could remember, probably eleven years old, I spent most of my summer and non-summer days at the fields as did many of the kids in the area. I played for at least two softball teams a year and even competed in tournaments where people came all from all over the state to compete in! How cool is that? As well as in 2005, a team won the Little League World Series on National TV! Something many cities can’t say they have done. I met many people here, gained a lot of good friendships; it was a my go to place growing up.

Together Days: Every year we all look forward to this weekend, but I mean who wouldn’t? Fair food, rides and games - it couldn’t get any better than this. This weekend would always start off with a parade from all the way back by the ice rink on Lincoln Street and move down to the Riverbank Park. Everything from fried dough, cotton candy, turkey legs, and root beer floats - we have it all here. Growing up I would count down the days until this week, it was two days of straight sun, hanging with friends, and thoughts of getting closer to summer!

Westbrook High School: Four years here and many memories to follow. Those walls heard more drama, seen more friendships come to an end, and cherished the memories that were made inside of it. Anyone who attended WHS knew everyone and anything. Anytime anyone would ask from a different area how many kids we had in our school we would say 400 something and they would look at us in shock and say “that’s how many kids I have in my class.” We were a small school. Many memories were made here; friday night football games, pep rallies, and awesome teachers. I wouldn’t of wanted to spend these four years of my life anywhere else.

These things are the ones that mean the most to me and I’m pretty sure if you ask anyone else from here when they were growing up, at least one of these would come to mind. This place is one of a kind. We know our city isn’t perfect, and there are some things that could change, but as for now this is where I call home and will continue to do so. Westbrook, Maine you have my heart.

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If You Wear XL T-Shirts And Shorts, You're The Woman Of My Dreams

Enough with the war on comfort!

Comfortable can be sexy, simply put.

For some reason there are people complaining out there about the Southern college trend that has been happening the past few years: big t-shirts and shorts, also known as the "srat uniform." There seems to be a clash between the girls who dress "nice" most of the time and girls who dress for comfort. As a guy, I don't see what the big deal is?

For college in the South, there are two reasons to dress up: college football (Roll Tide) and date parties. Any other time, you can find a majority of the female population in shorts and a big t-shirt that makes it look like they're not wearing pants. As a man, I personally don't see anything wrong with this. I love being comfortable as much as the next person, and most guys find the baggy t-shirt and shorts outfit to be cute. There's always a time and place for dresses and rompers.

But for all the haters out there that call these girls in XL t-shirts and shorts lazy, you've got it all wrong.

There are 4 reasons why the girls who don the "srat uniform" have it all figured out.

1. Girls have it rough.

See, it's tough being a girl. I don't know from experience, but I hear it enough and I've seen it enough to know it's true. When girls aren't dealing with f***boys, periods or having to do their hair and makeup routinely, they are being overly criticized by our society. I think society owes girls a break, and that break comes in the comfortable baggy t-shirt and shorts.

2. Southern Not-So-Comfort(able) weather.

Also, for all of the haters, maybe y'all haven't noticed that it's hotter than Satan's balls in the South! Tight, dressy outfits and pants constrict the body and cause you to sweat. I'd rather see a dry girl in a baggy t-shirt than a girl drenched in sweat trying to look cute with her outfit.

3. Perfect doesn't exist.

It's admirable when a girl can unapologetically be herself. A girl in an XL t-shirt and shorts is a girl that is saying "yes, I may have just rolled out of bed and brushed my hair, but I'm here dammit." Social media tells us we all have to be the dolled up, most "perfect" version of ourselves all the time, so it's nice to experience that reality check.

4. Guys think it's cute, regardless.

9 times out of 10, guys in college do not care what you're wearing. Trust me, we aren't doing much better. You could probably put on a garbage bag and we still think you're cute. Any guy that dates a girl that dates a girl only because she dresses nicely all of the time is a shallow man. You're cute, you're comfortable, and that makes for a much better vibe. We all win.

So, in the battle of dressing "nice" and dressing comfortable, I think that the girls who wear an XL t-shirt and shorts chalk up a win in my record book. No, I'm not bashing on girls who have a true sense of style and wear nice clothing... that's a great thing in itself! But, this is college and there are more important things to focus on besides what we're wearing.

Ladies, wear your srat uniform with pride. Some us think it's cute :)

*I want to thank the beautiful ladies at the University of Alabama for inspiring this article.*

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Becky Hammon, Pioneer

Ex-WNBA Star turned NBA Coach, Becky Hammon and her rise in the ranks in a male dominated league.


68 years. That's how long the National Basketball League went without a full-time, salaried female head coach. Until Becky Hammon came along.

The South Dakota native and Colorado State Alum is no stranger to the sport. Throughout her illustrious career, she received many accolades. As a senior in high school, she was voted South Dakota Player of the Year after averaging 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

Due to her small frame (5'6) many coaches didn't think she'd fit with their style of play. However, she caught the attention of an assistant coach at Colorado State and committed during her senior year of high school.

As a Ram, Hammon was named All-American three times, was named Colorado Sportswoman of the year. During the 1998-1999 season, Hammon led her team to the Women's NCAA Sweet Sixteen and was named the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) Mountain Division Player of the year.

Hammon broke several records at Colorado State, including points, points per game, field goals made, free throws made, three points made, and assists. After surpassing the greats at her university, she was still not on many WNBA scouts' radar. She went undrafted in the 1999 WNBA Draft and signed with the New York Liberty. Her impressive play on both sides of the court made her a standout for the organization.

During the 2007 WNBA Draft, Hammon was involved in a trade, sending her to the San Antonio Stars, where she remained until 2014. While with the Stars, Hammon continued to play with intensity, contributing to several of their trips to the WNBA Playoffs.

In the 2013 season, she suffered a season-ending ACL injury which led her to spend time at the San Antonio Spurs training facilities. There, she conveyed her aspirations to coach after retiring from the WNBA.

While rehabbing her knee, she also gave inputs to the Spurs coaching staff on game strategy, etc. Once the Spurs had seen Hammon's basketball IQ, Coach Gregg Popovich invited her to attend several team practices.

"She's not just a good player but a smart player, a great person in our community, just somebody that we all respect so much, we gave her the opportunity to sit with us during the year. She came to our coaches' meetings, argued with us. She did everything. She's been wonderful,'' Coach Popovich said to reporters.

Following the completion of her rehabilitation, Hammon announced her retirement succeeding the 2014 WNBA season.

In August of 2014, she was hired as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, becoming the first woman to do so. She is tied to many 'firsts' for women in one of the major leagues. 'First Woman Head Coach in the NBA Summer League,' and the 'First Woman to be a part of an All-Star Game Coaching Staff' to name a few.

In hopes of further advancing her career, Hammon interviewed for the General Manager Position for the Milwaukee Bucks last year. Although she didn't get the position, she was a finalist, and other organizations have voiced their support for her to eventually become a head coach or in a front office position.

As a small token of gratitude for all she has done, Colorado State and the San Antonio Stars have retired her jersey as well as, espnW honoring her as Sportswoman of the Year in 2014. Next season, Hammon will continue to be on the Spurs' coaching staff in a higher ranking assistant coach capacity.

Her abilities and contributions to the advancement of women in a male-dominated industry do not go unnoticed.

Here's a fantastic quote from Hammon to close that we all should live by.

"My story, just in general, is a story of someone who was overlooked, someone who was told they can't, someone who was told, 'You're too slow. You're too short.' I've heard every reason why I shouldn't be successful. And yet, you just take that all in. I always say you should be very careful with the voices you listen to. And my closest voices have always told me, 'You can.'"

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