My Favorite City

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I was born in the beautiful, magnificent, energetic, all around wonderful city of San Francisco. From when I was brought home from the hospital to when I was 6 months old my parents and I lived in an adorable cottage on 17th street in the Mission district. Before my first birthday my parents made the horrible mistake of moving 3 hours north to Chico to raise a family. These days I would much rather be a city kid growing up in San Francisco than be growing up in this slow paced, uninteresting town. However, since I have no choice in this matter (yet), I make do with the time I do get to spend in the city. Although I was only a baby for the short time I lived there I credit my love for this city to the San Franciscan blood in me and will always consider it my hometown.

When I go back to visit my city I am instantly happier and find myself never wanting to leave. I definitely hope to will live there at some point in my life. From the Tenderloin to the Mission to the Fillmore District. From Union Square to Golden Gate Park.

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It’s not that I have to be doing something exciting while I’m there because the whole city embodies everything that I love. I love the hilly streets and the crowded sidewalks, the boutiques and insanely good hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and most of all I love the people. In San Francisco there is practically no such thing as weird. I have seen the craziest things there, from the most bizarre costumes to nothing at all during a Bay to Breakers bike ride. Besides some completely different looking people, I enjoy the personalities. I have found that despite the assumptions that city people might not be friendly, just about everybody is. I have had the pleasure of conversing with the most random of strangers on BART, in coffee shops, or simply on the street.

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One of my favorite parts of the city is the beautiful architectural designs and original paint colors of the houses lining each street. Future home someday? I think yes.

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When I visit, my family and I try not to become complete tourists. We may not live there anymore but we sure do know our way around that city. North Beach, the Tenderloin, and the Mission district are a few of our favorite places.

For those looking to visit the city I recommend just about any place in North Beach for wonderful Italian food, Truly Mediterranean for great shawarmas in the Mission, and the streets of Haight and Ashbury, as well as the Mission for incredible thrifting opportunities! I also enjoy picnics in the Mission Dolores Park and walking the streets for hours. I think that the number one thing about San Francisco’s physical attributes is to be on a busy street, surrounded by unbeatable energy one moment, and running through the waves after a drive through Golden Gate Park less than an hour later.

San Francisco feels like home, it feels like freedom, and it feels like love.

And photo credits to Jake Dotson!

College Junk Mail

As I check my mailbox each day I can almost always count on a flood of college junk mail. From the colorful brochures to letters that seem to be copy pasted from school to school to the dozens of emails, multiple from the same school. If you were to look at my gmail account it is almost entirely filled with emails from universities such as Drexell and Rochester.

I’m sure that any other student between 9th and 12th grade with fairly decent grades can relate. To a degree, I can understand the brochures and posters filled with photos and interesting facts to universities in prime locations. However, when I open letter after letter that seem to be taken directly from the same format with new college names substituted in, I begin to feel annoyed. Each letter says the exact same thing and no, thank you, but I am not in the mood to take 100 different “What College is Right for You?” and “What is your learning personality?” quizzes nor do I want handbooks on reading other handbooks or receiving free posters.

I think that if colleges wish to capture the attention of high school students facing that important decision they need to be original and captivating. If each letter drew me in, if each brochure shouted to me,  I would definitely not be so anti-college mail.

I take choosing my future university extremely seriously and I do appreciate the fact that these letters get me thinking about places I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. However when they have people dedicated to recruiting new students I think that they should take advantage of the situation to portray the character and personality of the school instead of an empty shell.

A Shout Out to the Best of the Best

One of my closest friends is a girl I’ve been lucky enough to know for almost my entire life. Her name is Jessica. We are one year and one day apart, and when I first met her there is no way I could have known how much she would affect my life. She isn’t the girl I spend every day at school with or every weekend with but she is a part of my small history, and she will continue to be a part of it through the rest of my life’s journey. As little girls we would spend almost every day together, running around our street playing and making mischief for our parents. She’s the older one so she assumed the role of responsibility in everything we did, and it became one of the few places in my life where I wasn’t the leader; I was perfectly fine with that. She has always been an enormous role model for me; she excels at everything from soccer to violin, from school to being a genuine, wonderful person. As a little girl I mimicked much of what she did, a lot like the typical younger sister that I would never be and she would never have. As we have grown up our relationship has evolved and become stronger and better through the years. We both bring an easy going attitude, humor, and spontaneity to the table. When one of us calls the other up to go for a jet ski ride, climb Mt. Tallac, or go on a late night bike adventure we are always ready to go. We are some of the most laid back people, let alone high school girls, and have a relationship that hasn’t had a speck of drama since 2nd grade or so. Now that we are older we don’t see each other as often because of our busy schedules; however this has only proven that our friendship is one of the strongest around. We can go a few months without seeing each other, but as soon as we reconnect we can’t stop talking. From a quick morning coffee to catch up, to our long weeks in Tahoe; we never tire of each other’s company. I am currently applying for a scholarship to study abroad next year and if I get accepted to go to Germany I will miss her incredibly, but I know that when I come back nothing will have changed, and that despite being over 5,000 miles apart she will have my back for every step of this journey.

 

 

My 15 Minutes of Fame

Well the lovely random blog topic generator has given me the topic of “My Fifteen Minutes of Fame” and it’s a good thing I have a great story to go along with that!

I really should stop using the blog topic generator but I have no brainpower to choose something of my own at this moment in time as I am running on about 3 hours of sleep.

So… my fifteen minutes of fame.

It all began in 7th grade Student Government, when I decided to take on the responsibility of the Canned Food Drive. Things went exceptionally well and we collected almost a thousand cans for the Salvation Army Food Drive! My friend, and partner for the project, Gillie, and I went on down to the mall parking lot and helped sort all the food to continue in the process of giving back. During this event, at some point, somebody snapped a picture of me and apparently a few people thought it was pretty good.

Fast forward a year later, 8th grade, winter time or so.  I got called into the principal’s office to receive some information on a site council meeting and left my English class to fetch the paperwork. As I walked through the doorway he greeted me, saying, “Hey there superstar!” I was immediately a little bit creeped out because really, who says that to a student? I awkwardly sat down and asked him what he was talking about. He proceeded to tell me that he saw my billboards around town and that they looked great as I got increasingly confused. I explained to him that I was sure I hadn’t modeled for any billboards and we laughed over the matter. Surely he must have mistaken somebody else for me.

Later that day one of my friends texted me, telling me she had just seen 3 billboards for Tri Counties Bank, with my face on them, as she drove home. Now the situation was getting weird, so after learning the location of one my mom, sisters and I drove by a car dealership in town. Sure enough, the giant billboard for our local bank featured a larger than life picture of me, staring down at me. It was the weirdest feeling to see myself on something as huge as a billboard, for all of Chico to see.

Throughout the next few days we found a total of 3 billboards of me around town. A week or so later, as we were driving out of town we saw two more along the highway a few towns over. My parents began to talk to the bank and a lawyer because they were pretty upset that nobody had gotten permission to use the photo.

Meanwhile, I was busy soaking up all of the attention it brought me! After 15 days of being on a billboard it was removed so that the bank could avoid legal complications with my parents. However, to this day I enjoy telling the story of my 15 Days  of fame on the billboards!