You Know You Summer On Cape Cod When

You Know You Summer On Cape Cod When

May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes.
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Having a summer home on the Cape is one of the greatest blessings. Every summer brings more experiences and memories, but there are always those few things that will always remind you of your summers there as soon as you cross the bridge. Here are some of the reasons you know you summer on cape cod:

1. Let's face it ... no matter what time you leave you will always be stuck in that dreaded cape cod traffic. But you oddly look forward to sitting in the traffic listening to music.

2. You don't mind waking up at 8 a.m. to go to the beach.

3. And speaking of the beach, you have a sticker on your car for the drive on beach.

4. You've had meaningful friendships with the ocean critters.

5. Collecting sea shells is a professional sport to you.

6. You have swam with seals before.

7. Shark Warnings no longer scare you.

8. And speaking of sharks, you celebrate shark week like it is a national holiday.

9. You know the best spots to watch the 4th of July fireworks.

10. You have swallowed a bug while riding on the bike trail.

11. You know all the best local ice cream places.

12. And the best secret places to eat.

13. You feel bad for people who have never experienced fried clams before.

14. You get snobby when eating a lobstahhh roll off Cape.

15. You own at least one Cuffys Sweatshirt.

16. Cape Cod baseball games are always on your agenda.

17. And so is the Wellfleet Drive-In.

18. You are always going to bonfires on the beach.

19. You wake up to the most beautiful sunrises and end your day with the most beautiful sunsets.

20. And you know that even when summer ends, you cannot wait to come back again because it truly is your favorite place that you call Home.

"The sand may brush off. The salt may wash away. The tans may fade but the memories will last forever."

Cover Image Credit: Krista Tierney

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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You Can't Know What You Don’t Know Until You Know It

How an indescribable journey changed my life and perspective.

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How do you explain one week which feels indescribable? If I could use two words to describe the week it would be "holy chaos". We learned this phrase from Haywood Street- a church converted to a day shelter sort of place for homeless individuals. At Haywood, there's always so much happening and it truly is a whirlwind of "holy chaos". Even compared to 12 Baskets, which is a soup-kitchen-type-place that "rescues" food from restaurants and reserves it. 12 Baskets is a place which welcomes every person who enters its doors and instead of just simply serving food- it gives the individuals the option to order whatever they'd like from the menu.

When we first heard about this trip and going to Asheville- I didn't think anything of it. I didn't realize that Asheville's reputation was one of that where poverty is hidden and that those who live in it are looked down upon. And just because a city has a reputation for being wealthy or "nice" or whatever the reason, doesn't mean that there aren't individuals who suffer from this. Behind any city lies so much, and in these parts of society lie problems of poverty, homelessness, and gentrification, which go overlooked for the image of a place.

And it isn't just prevalent in Asheville, it's an issue which happens all over. I learned about this further in depth while on mission "immersion" this past week in Asheville, North Carolina.

So much happened this past week, from serving at 12 Baskets Cafe to packaging food at Manna Food Bank to walking the "invisible block" in Asheville and talking with the API or Asheville Poverty Initiative. Each experience allowed us to gain connections not only within our group and grow friendships, but create a connection with each individual that we talked with. At 12 Baskets, we were told that the most important thing we could do was to look someone in the eye and talk with them. And it wasn't only at 12 Baskets Cafe that this was true.

We saw all over Asheville just how the city attempts to keep up this image and they literally try to drive those who are homeless out of the city. Our eyes were opened to so much in learning about Asheville- it created curiosity towards us relating what we had learned to our own cities.

To be honest, I had no clue what to expect from this trip. Having gone to Memphis last year and serving there- I thought I'd at least know some about what we experienced and learned of. But I was at a loss for words about this entire experience. If I'm being honest, I don't know if I can ever really fully explain this experience and convey its impact. After going with this group to Memphis last year, I thought that I had a clue about some of what to expect from this trip. Oh, how wrong I was. And I think anyone who went on this trip, no matter how hard we might try to put into words what this experience was like and meant to us, it just won't be the same.

But within one life-changing week, I do know that I'm thankful for a group of people who mean so much to me and that we are able to share experiences like this, what they mean, and how they've changed us all for the better- opening our eyes to a world outside of the bubble we live in.

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