A Little Long Island

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I know, I know. I’ve been saying for literal weeks that I’m going to do a blog post on my Long Island adventures, and well, they are finally here. I’m going to title this new blog series “A Little Long Island,” because I’m going to share a little bit about… well… Long Island.

I’ve been living here for almost two months now, and I know it will seem cliche to say “I’m absolutely in love,” but I’m absolutely in love. Long Island is that little bit of everything because the city is forty-five minutes away, the beach is about ten from my house, and I live in the quaintest little neighborhood with crickets at night and kids playing football after school. Long Island is kind of like a hub of a million different towns, for example, I live in West Hempstead, which for those that live in the area know is completely different from Hempstead itself. Plus, I work in Garden City, but my school is actually in Uniondale, but I love this bar in Mineola… the list goes on and on. All of these places are just minutes (sometimes more, cause you know, Long Island traffic) away from me.

Coming from small-town PA, the accessibility is unbelievable here. I work at one of the biggest malls on the East Coast, I can grocery shop at a five different places, and there’s food from all over the world just blocks from my house. The diversity, the ethnicity, and the cultures that surround me are so fun to experience. I thought I received a lot of that at Lycoming, but what’s different about experiencing ethnicity at a school versus outside of it is that everyone basically has the same goal in undergrad: to get out. However, here, everyone is from all over with a different story and a different background as to answer to the question “how did you end up here?” I’ve met such incredible people who have worked their whole lives juts to have the little sliver of peace they found in Long Island. It puts a lot of my life into perspective considering I’ve lived a rather fortunate life. Yes, in my own way, I worked immeasurably hard in order to be here, but it makes me appreciate the woman I am that much more because of how hard I’ve fought to become her.

So, in light of all of this, I thought I’d compile a list of things that I’ve learned so far:

1.) You’re never really ready so you might as well just do it.

2.) It’s okay not to be the same person you were. I sure hope, when I fall asleep at night, that I don’t wake up the same as yesterday, and what I mean by that is I hope I’m wiser. I hope I’m braver. I hope I’m more motivated. I hope I see things with a new eye. I hope I grow.

3.) Public laundromats are actually awesome. I find such solace in having washing cycles, the clink of change, and the news on TV as white noise as I write or read for class.

4.) You really can find a way to live comfortably by your means. Living inside your means, I’ve learned in my short experience, is living lavishly.

5.) “Meal prep” doesn’t necessarily mean putting green beans and chicken into tiny Tupperware containers. I meal prep every week based on my work schedule. I plan out my meals for the week so I know what I’m making when so that when I go to buy groceries I don’t spend money of things I won’t immediately need. This way, I don’t end up with five boxes of pasta and no red sauce. Also, I’ve found this has helped me keep my weight/lose more. Instead of making food whenever I’m hungry, I have a plan. I make just enough for myself so that I’m not over eating. Yes, sometimes I have too many cookies in a day (ie; today) but that’s okay!

6.) Since I’m a student who also works full-time, I learned to balance the work/social life/school schedule. I push and push myself during my work week (Thursday through Monday) so that on my weekend (Tuesday and Wednesday) all I have to do is go to class. Yes, I usually take my Tuesdays to grocery shop and Wednesdays to do laundry, but that’s just because I like being busy. I work really well with a routine, so even my days off have some sort of structure. However, I’ve found that by doing all of my school work during the week, I can enjoy my weekends and not do anything outside of class engagement.

7.) The city heart that I recognized as a child wasn’t lying to me. I crave the excitement and rush of being in a city. I know I’m not exactly in NYC, but Hempstead and such is a city to me coming from places like Saint Marys and Williamsport. I still, probably even way into my elder years, find the lights bouncing off cars and the sky and the windows the most fascinating thing in the world.

8.) Your genuine heart will attract other ones. I kept being told before I moved out here that the people would be different, and that’s strikingly true. New York minds are something else. However, I’ve been blessed to find hugely kind souls in this place. The people I’m starting to grow close to are ones that I can trust, that have the same mindset that I do. No one has to turn “mean” in order to live in Long Island. You don’t have to change what you grew up valuing just because your location changed.

9.) With that being said, I don’t find the people of Long Island to be mean; I find them aggressively ambitious. Everyone is trying to reach a goal, and yes, some may do it in ways that I don’t commend, but at least they have motivation. I find most people inspiring.

10.) I am doing so many things that I never thought I could do. You can, too.

I hope you enjoyed this lifestyle blog, and stay tuned for more “A Little Long Island” news in the future 🙂

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