I am a born and raised Bostonian. Having grown up only a 15-minute drive from the heart of the city, I am a Dunkin Donuts Red Sox fan who says “wicked” just a little too often. I recently moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma. While I wouldn’t call it culture shock, people here live just a little bit differently than my friends back on Mass Ave. Here are some of the differences I’ve noticed thus far:
1. I desperately miss the cool summer nights. So naturally, any time it drops to a chilly 85° over here, I throw on a sweatshirt and go sit on the porch. Am I still sweating? Yes. Am I pretending like I’m sitting along the Charles in mid-October? Yes.
2. Nobody says “you guys”, why would you when you can just say “y’all”? This is something I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to adopt.
3. Dunkin Donuts simply doesn’t exist. And these people have no idea what they’re missing.
4. It’s literally always hot here.
5. Sometimes you ask for a coffee and when the restaurant doesn’t serve coffee, they offer you iced tea. Friend, not the same thing. At all.
6. The weather can (and does) change in an instant. One minute you’re walking to class in the sun, the next you’re leaving your shirt outside to dry from the downpour that just came and went, conveniently right as class got out.
7. Stillwater is a t-shirt town. If you’re dressed up on campus you’re clearly going to an event, or trying too hard.
8. Boston girls, you know how you do that thing when you’re wearing a t-shirt and athletic shorts where you sort of tuck in the corner of your shirt so that it stays up? Yeah that doesn’t exist here. It’s actually cooler to have the longer shirt. The one that was annoyingly long? Yeah that’s sought after here. The perfect shirt just shows the very bottom of your shorts, which hopefully have a bright color outlining them.
9. The sun feels 1000x stronger here. And because of that, I have 10 different tan-lines.
10. Since moving here I’ve met multiple Red Sox fans. They notice my hat or my shirt and we stand there (in the heat) and talk about the score from the night before. Red Sox Nation really does stretch as far as they said it did.
11. I’ve learned to greatly appreciate a drink from Sonic, especially during happy hour.
12. Tornado warnings really don’t scare anyone. Apparently the first thing you do when you get an alert that says “stay inside” is go out onto the porch to check it out for yourself.
13. When you hear the click-click of shoes behind you, odds are that’s the sound of cowboy boots, not heels.
14. Seriously, does the heat ever end?
15. You can’t find a more welcoming and friendly environment than right here in Stilly. While I miss my views of the Prudential building and the glow of Fenway Park, I am learning to love this new (hot) place I now call home.