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40 Rites of Passage for All New Jersey Kids

Your kids are growing up in the Garden State? Here’s what to expect.


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The kids will know all of these moments. If not, we’re not sure you actually live here.

  1. Having to wait … and wait… to get your license at age the late age of 17.

  2. Mastering the science of a jughandle.

  3. The anxiety of pumping your own gas on your first out-of-state trip.

  4. Getting asked by out-of-towners if you’ve ever met Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi.

  5. Feasting on a delicious Taylor Ham, egg and cheese sandwich with SPK (salt, pepper, ketchup), of course.

  6. Heading to Seaside Heights or Wildwood after prom.

  7. Having a friend get a piercing after prom and swiftly removing it before their Irish/Italian/Jewish parents grounded them for life.

  8. Taking countless day trips to “The City” using NJ Transit with your family.

  9. Reading all of Judy Blume’s books and having that moment when you realize she’s one of us.

  10. Doing a report on Thomas Edison and learning where the town gets its name.

  11. Getting stuck home with a babysitter while your parents freak out aka Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi concert.

  12. Spending your summer days at the town pool.

  13. Going to dozens of bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras and sweet 16s.

  14. If you had your own private pool, begging your parents to let you go to the public pool because “Mom, that’s where all my friends hang out!”

  15. Sitting through PARCC exams.

  16. Going to the state fair in Sussex County.

  17. Ordering breakfast after soccer practice at your favorite diner.

  18. Taking family vacations DTS (aka down the shore).

  19. Sitting in hours of “beach traffic” on the Parkway thanks to all the Bennys.

  20. Freeloading on your best friend’s family when they rented a house DTS.

  21. Eating cheesesteaks, pizza and Kohr’s ice cream on the boardwalk.

  22. Learning that NJ has the best pizza in the entire world (including Italy.)

  23. Frantically scouring for change in your parent’s car to pay the one million tolls.

  24. Witnessing a healthy amount of road rage.

  25. Going to the Statue of Liberty on a school field trip.

  26. Getting scared to death by stories of the Jersey Devil at a sleepover.

  27. Eating at a grease truck.

  28. Picking your own pumpkins, apples or blueberries at one of the zillion NJ farms.

  29. Praying for a snow day until you realize your parents expect you to shovel now.

  30. Going to the mall with your parents for holiday shopping.

  31. Learning that North Jerseyans root for the Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets or Devils.

  32. Learning that South Jerseyans root for the Eagles, Phillies or Flyers.

  33. Learning that those fans DO NOT get along.

  34. Sneakily watching your parent’s Sopranos DVDs and knowing where most of the show was filmed.

  35. Wondering if one of your friend’s dad is in the mob.

  36. Believing that the Pine Barrens is a mysterious place where a number of crimes have occurred ('cause it is).

  37. Eating the best sub at your neighborhood’s Italian deli.

  38. Realizing Wawa is the best place on Earth.

  39. Experiencing your first heartbreak when you learn Wawa is only in South Jersey.

  40. Knowing that you grew up in the best state ever.

 

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