Sunday, November 7, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Growing up in a small country town in NJ has its benefits and setbacks. Though the area didn't have much to offer, my family lived in a beautiful area with farms, pastures, and lots of mini-mansions; however, if we wanted we could travel little over an hour to get to Philly or NYC.

I went to a K-8 elementary/middle school; we were the East Amwell Cougars. I was very lucky to have been brought up in this environment and it wasn't because they were known as a "blue-ribbon school" or because they had the newest, best technology. It was because the teachers were completely invested in their students and created such trusting, long-lasting relationships with each one of us. To this day, my family and I continue to keep in touch with several of them -even my first grade teacher! 

Leaving such a small school (a class of only 50) to such a large high school (a class of 750) was quite a shocker for me. Now, I know everyone says they hated their high school years, and I understand to an extent, but I actually had a decent time in high school. Though we had such a large number of kids, there didn't seem to be as many cliques as you would expect. I had friends from all colors of the spectrum; I'll never forget my dad's reaction when he came to pick me up and saw me talking with my friend Andres. (Andres had a foot-long mohawk.) The point was that diversity was accepted and even embraced in my high school. Really, the only issues that I struggled with during this time in my life was waking up, staying awake, and making my priority school over drinking and other vices.

I now live in St. Augustine, Florida and the significant change has made me appreciate the situation I grew up with. I go back and visit my hometown every once in a while; the last time I went was for my best friend Melissa's wedding -It is amazing how much things have changed.

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