15 Things You Know To Be True If You're From Stroud, OK

15 Things You Know To Be True If You're From Stroud, OK

People from big cities just don't understand.
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Stroud, Oklahoma. Home of the Stroud Tigers and the famous Rock Café. A town so small that we only have three stoplights and two main roads. If you have ever been to Stroud or had to go through it, you probably know how small it is. Whenever I moved to Stillwater, people would ask me where I was from and about half of the people who asked had never heard of Stroud. Stroud is a tiny town located between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Every small town has different things that make them unique, and different ways that teenagers entertain themselves while in these little towns. These are a few about Stroud.

1. You go to Sonic to eat, and/or just hang out.

Whether you’re going for a shake at 8 PM or just to chill outside in your cars with your friends, Sonic is a popular hangout spot. My group of friends would pull our cars into the stalls and sit in the Sonic parking lot long after they closed and just hang out.

2. Speaking of Sonic, you or someone you know has worked at Sonic.

I swear, almost all of my friends worked at Sonic at one point during our high school careers. I would always enjoy going to visit them, plus I’d get a free cup of mints during the visit, too.

3. Going to Walmart in Chandler was considered an adventure.

Since Stroud does not have a Walmart, going to the Chandler Walmart was like a mini road trip. Sometimes we would go when we really needed groceries, or sometimes we would go just to run around and cause trouble. Either way, it was fun.

4. Your favorite way to pass time is to drive around on back roads, listening to music.

Whenever we were bored, we would cure that boredom by driving down endless dirt roads with no destination.

5. Stroud Lake was the place to go during the summer.

The Tinhorn was everyone’s favorite spot to go to at the lake in the summer. It was a nice little secluded area attached to the lake that had a giant steel tinhorn that everyone liked to jump off into the water.

6. You own at least 50 different Stroud shirts from 5 different sports.

The people of Stroud are very supportive of the athletics in Stroud. Almost everyone has at least one shirt from a fundraiser. I don’t know what it is about shirts, but we just can’t say no.

7. Friday nights in the fall are strictly football nights.

These were some of my favorite memories from high school. Everyone in the town would come to support the football team, rain or shine, in town or miles away. In my opinion, we have some of the loudest and best supporters in the state.

8. Everyone knows you, your mom's name, and what you did last weekend.

I think anyone will agree with me that this was one of the most annoying things about growing up in a small town. You knew everyone, and they knew you. If someone new moved to town, give it a week and everyone would know about them, too. However, it also made the town feel like one big family because everyone was always watching out for one another.

9. You take the Stroud vs. Chandler rivalry very seriously.

If you aren’t from Stroud or Chandler, you probably don’t understand and never will. This rivalry has been alive for many years and is one of the most exciting football games of the season. If you ever decide to attend a football game in Stroud, you’ll want to go to this one. Trust me. Both sides are screaming in support of their hometown, and the game is always pretty intense. Win or lose, it’s always fun and exciting to go and watch!

10. The alumni parade is one of the most important events of the year.

The alumni parade is probably one of the biggest events that takes place in Stroud. During alumni weekend, all the graduates from previous years come back home. Floats are built and shown off in the alumni parade for everyone to see.

11. Going to a bigger city (OKC or Tulsa) and getting excited because of all the different fast food options.

Taco Bell? Chick-fil-A? Starbucks? There are so many options that weren’t available to us before! It’s always hard to decide what to eat.

12. You know your way around on the backroads.

When it comes to backloading, you're a pro. You knew those roads so well that you could probably drive down them in your sleep.

13. All your teachers had heard about you before they even had you in their class.

Especially if one of your older siblings had been in their class.

14. High schools that have 600+ in a graduating class scare you.

Whenever people tell me that they graduated with a class of 600 or more, it completely blows my mind. I can’t imagine going to a school that big or going to a high school and not knowing everyone.

15. Almost everyone is involved in FCCLA.

FCCLA was one of the biggest groups in my high school. EVERYONE was in FCCLA, because it was so much fun to be apart of! We would always plan fun events and participate in community services opportunities. Everyone loved to say that they were apart of such a great organization.

Cover Image Credit: littleusatrips

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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6 Easy Ways To Cure Summer Boredom

Because watching Netflix just isn't the same without the pressure of procrastination.

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Let's be real, the entirety of second semester can feel like a countdown to summer. But if you're anything like me, summer can be a problematic stretch of time.

Sure, as a college student it's fantastic to get a break from homework and classes, but without the workload that school can create, I often find myself with absolutely nothing to do.

Sometimes this is great! After a busy day, doing nothing can feel like a blessing. However, when doing nothing becomes the daily norm...I tend to get a little antsy.

So in order to make sure that I don't spend all my free time this summer watching Game of Thrones, I came up with a list of things to keep busy without going broke.

1. Hiking

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Get out and explore the world around you! I live in Minnesota and we have some AMAZING parks and hiking trails so you can really "be one with nature." Hiking is a really easy, fun way to get your exercise in. It allows you to check out new places all while you take care of your body!

Ok, so maybe you won't get connected to trees on a spiritual level, but you can catch up on an audio book, check out a new podcast, call your mom or do some meditations!! All that while getting in your daily exercise? Talk about multitasking, am I right?

2. Painting

https://twitter.com/backpainting_

*This is one that may require some spending!*

Have you ever seen those pictures of people who will paint on their legs or their friend's backs? It always looks so impressive, but in reality, it's super easy. All you have to do is grab some friends and some paint (you can find super cheap sets of paints at any store like Target) and create something photo-worthy!

Watercolors can also be a super relaxing and fun way to spend an hour or two. Just grab your Crayola paint set from elementary school (or invest in a nicer one, but my Crayola set has not failed me yet) and some paper and paint away! My favorite things to paint are flowers and mountains.

Don't be worried about messing up or any of your paintings not looking perfect. This is all about putting your energy into something new and stretching your abilities!

3. Game Night

https://www.933thedrive.com/game-night/

Get some friends and/or family together for a game night this summer! You could even make it a weekly thing and switch out games every time. This is such a fun, simple way to spend some quality time with the people in your life.

From cards to board games to puzzles, you can create any kind of a night you'd like! Have everyone bring a snack and you've got a killer night lined up.

Plus, does anything get more heated than a game of Monopoly?

4. Photo Shoot

https://www.masterfile.com/search/en/woman+holding+camera

This is honestly one of my favorite things to do. Living in Minneapolis allows for some incredible photo opportunities and I'm beginning to learn to take full advantage of that.

Go somewhere pretty or interesting and embrace your inner model! It's always fun to practice your photography skills too if you're not super comfortable in front of a camera.

If you have a nice camera, that's awesome. If not, most phone cameras take some pretty amazing pictures which would work perfectly as well.

Afterward, you can spend some time editing the photos and maybe even creating an ~aesthetic~ for your Instagram! Some of my favorite editing apps include VSCO, Lightroom, and AirBrush.

5. Journaling

https://www.pexels.com/search/journal/

Journaling is something I'm really trying to work on myself. It can be difficult to find time to sit and write every day, but even just following simple prompts like these can make a difference.

It's almost like a little meditation session. Sometimes I follow a prompt, but sometimes I just find myself clearing out my thoughts and feelings and pouring them onto the page. It can be a very cleansing feeling. Plus it's fun to be able to go back and read how you were feeling on a given day.

6. Reading

https://www.pexels.com/search/books/

This is another simple one. In this age of technology, I find myself reading less and less. Summer is a great time to get back on track and catch up on that New York Times Best Seller List!

Create a goal of reading maybe 10-15 books this summer. Pick specific books so you know exactly where to start on your reading journey. Then, see if anyone you know owns these books or check them out at your local library.

Another fun thing to do to make reading more of a social event is to create a book club with friends. You can meet at someone's house or even a coffee shop to discuss the book you've chosen for that month! This is a great way to really force yourself to read and make it fun at the same time.

7. Turn The Playlist Making Into An Art Form

Katie Swartzer

This is another super easy one but has really changed the game for me, honestly. Really work your playlists into a thing of magic. Cross those genres, make that rainy day playlist.

I've started making playlists of the setlists of concerts I've been to. It's a great way to low key relive an awesome experience. When you have music set for every mood, you're never left searching for a song. It's like you've got your own back for whatever mood may come up!

I hope some of these things sparked your interest. In the end, though you can do whatever you want with your summer because it is your summer! I challenge you to make each day more memorable than the last. It sounds difficult, but you'd be surprised how easy it actually is to create long lasting memories.

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