When I first started looking at schools I wanted to go as far away as possible, so basically out of the country. On the upside it's cheaper; However, I came to my senses and applied to schools all within the US, mostly in North Carolina, where I’m from.
I chose Elon University because I liked the smallness aspect, nothing more, nothing less. I was a girl in high school just trying to figure out where to continue her education. Elon seemed like a good fit for me.
What I didn't know before coming to Elon was how many of the students come from out of state. About 75% of undergraduate students come from other states as well as other countries.
Sometimes I feel like the school has been relocated to the Northeast because of how many New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts students I've met here. Even though I go to school an hour away from my normal southern life, I’ve experienced a culture shock that has become my everyday life. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. The language barrier
My words and sentence formation have changed drastically. Northerner having my southern roots saying "wicked" and "Y'all" in one sentence. My new vocabulary has gotten so bad I called my own father "dude" one day. Part of it is being around people who use these words so often, but it also is a little lesson. I officially now know what a Jawn is, thank you Philly people.
2. Just think about all the fun places you can go now
One of the first people I met here is my now best friend, Erin, who happens to be from Northern California (a very long trip from Elon). Over spring break, I went home with her to visit her area. Being a girl who loves her east coast, I had never been to the west coast and really never needed to. Now I have so many great memories with close friends to cherish. And to think there are still many more friends to make and so many places to visit.
3. The fast-food craze
You really can learn a lot about a person by the fast food restaurants they've been to and even heard of. Being in the South we are used to the 12 fast food restaurants you see from only being in the car for 5 minutes.
If you aren’t used to that wonderful view, you aren’t from North Carolina. Then the questions begin: Cookout or Five Guys? Tropical smoothie or Jamba Juice? And the most important one- Moe’s or Chipotle?
4. The gas station dispute
Here in North Carolina, we like our BP gas and Sheetz( they have a lot inside if you have never been in one). Other states you have Wawa’s and 7/11’s and each have their own fascination. They probably all pump the same gas though.
Sorry to burst your bubble. And don’t forget how mind blown people are when they find out you can only buy liquor from an ABC store and can’t just run into the grocery store.
5. And then the great Harris Teeter
Another love of North Carolinians. The great Harris Teeter. They are so great I have 3 all within 5 miles of my house. They always have your favorites and good deals. The wonderful VIC card saves you so much money, and here at Elon it can even save you some gas money.