The thing about Long Island is that when college comes around, people can't wait to go explore the world outside of the little bubble we grew up in. Some people stay relatively close to home while still venturing out, and other people go across the country. Although there are numerous reasons why going to an out-of-state college was the best decision, there are many things that are very different, and can be difficult for our Long Island hearts to adjust to.
1. The pizza doesn't compare.
2. Long Island bagels are irreplaceable too.
Yes, it is the water.
3. People don't know "The City" means New York City.
If you're from LI, when you say "The City," everyone knows what you're talking about, but outside of Long Island, it doesn't necessarily mean New York City. Going to college far from New York City, when you say "The City" you may be faced with the simple "what?" question many times...
4. There is a thing called the Long Island accent.
Once you start talking to people from different areas, the first thing they'll point out is that you, in fact, have an accent.
5. People will ask you if you know the Long Island Medium.
6. They will also ask if you know someone they know from Long Island.
Sorry, I don't know your distant cousin's neighbor's friend's dog walker's boyfriend who grew up on Long Island.
7. Most people did not go to sleep-away camp.
Most people did not spend seven to eight weeks of the summer in the mountains at a sleep-away camp, so they don't understand your camp stories, camp drama, camp relationships, or love of color war. If you bring up camp, you will most likely be met with a confused stare... unless of course you attend a Long Island populated school.
8. There probably won't be a beach 10 minutes away.
9. Most people don't know the wonder that is Ralph's Italian Ices.
So they probably won't understand your excitement when you realize that when you go home at the end of the semester, Ralph's will be open for the summer!
10. It will be hard to find a diner open at all hours.
Every state has their own way of satisfying that 3 a.m. craving though, don't worry. Down in North Carolina, CookOut is always the move in the late hours, so your diner craving will still be satisfied!
11. People are nice just because.
Before you get all defensive, yes Long Islanders aren't all mean; we're just a bit more tough-skinned. But this is a different kind of nice I'm talking about, and it definitely takes a few doors being held open to get used to, but it's awesome.
12. You're going to have to explain that upstate New York isn't the same.
Long Island and upstate New York are two completely different worlds, so you'll probably have to explain to people who tell you they're family is from upstate New York, that it really just isn't the same.
13. Everything elsewhere is a lot more spread out.
We somehow fit more than 7.75 million people on an island that's about 118 miles long, so it gets a bit crowded sometimes...
And perhaps one of the biggest struggles of going to a college out of state:
14. There isn't everything you can possibly need within a two-mile radius of your home.
The beauty of Long Island is that you can get a bagel, Chinese food, pizza, ice cream, your nails done, a bank, a hair salon, a school, or a deli within a mere mile or two of your house.
Being a Long Islander and getting out of New York for college definitely comes with some struggles, but in the end it is an amazing experience and makes you realize how your heart will always belong to your home, on (not in) Long Island.