10 Life Changes In Texas I'm Still Not Used To As A California Girl

10 Life Changes In Texas I'm Still Not Used To As A California Girl

Ten distinct differences between the Golden and Lone Star state.

As a freshman coming to Baylor from southern California, there are plenty of differences I've noticed between my home and the Lone Star state. It hasn't been a major culture shock, but I've definitely noticed more changes than just the switch from "you guys" to "y'all."

Here are 10 of the most identifiable differences I've noticed between the two states!

1. The Weather

Texas is beyond unpredictable compared to what I'm used to in California. A normal day year-round for me was typically somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees, but in Texas, I've had to adjust to the fact that a day can easily start at around 40 degrees and be 90 by noon. And let's not talk about the humidity!!

2. Beverage Choices

Sweet tea is huge in Texas, and people noticeably drink soda on a daily basis. Back at home, almost no one drinks soda and juice cleanses and acai bowls are all the rage.

3. Southern Culture

Cowboy culture is real in Texas: "y'all" and "ma'am" are phrases thrown around on a daily basis, and a typical game day outfit at Baylor almost always includes cowboy boots and a blouse!

4. Summer Camps

Almost every Texan I've talked to so far attended summer camps every year as a kid and is now a camp counselor. I've never met anyone in California who went to summer camp, but surf camps and junior lifeguards were the norm for anyone living by the coast.

5. Guac vs. Queso

Whereas everyone in California is obsessed with guacamole and avocados, Texans love their queso. Also, Tex-Mex is huge here, but California was all about fish tacos.

6. Clothes

Clothing has been a major difference. It was definitely a shock packing sundresses and denim shorts or ripped jeans as "casual" outfits to wear in Texas just to realize that "casual" here is Nike running shorts and oversized t-shirts. Also, I'm never replacing my Rainbow sandals for Chacos!

7. Roads

The roads are also very different in both states. California doesn't have any "turnarounds" or "loops," and highways are referred to as freeways. Californians also drop the "I" when talking about freeways, so being told to get on the "I 35" instead of "the 35" was definitely a bit weird.

8. Relationships

Relationships are totally different in Texas! The majority of people from my high school went nearly the whole four years without having a boyfriend/girlfriend, but a good amount of Texans I've met at Baylor came into college with a significant other from high school. Ring by spring is also not a thing in California- most people there don't get married until at least 25!

9. Church

Church culture is much more prominent in Texas. Since I've come to Baylor, I've commonly been asked what church I attend, and I've noticed that the campus is almost empty on Sunday mornings!

10. Greek Life

Apart from a few schools, Greek life in California tends to be very relaxed and lowkey. In Texas, it's a huge deal and often involves the whole family! People rock sorority and frat t-shirts on the daily, and your Greek identification is a large part of your campus identity and friend group.

* * *

Even though the adjustment hasn't been overly dramatic, there are definitely some quirks separating the lifestyles in Texas and California. But despite the fact that I'm growing to appreciate

Texas, I'll always be a Californian at heart!

Cover Image Credit: Bridget Sjoberg

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.

After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say, "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing.

My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from "Shameless."

"Shameless" is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out of place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum, it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone, however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by "Shameless."

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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'Culling' The Bullsh*t; Taking A Deeper Look At The Antibiotics In The Livestock Industry

You want the truth? Here it is.


As many people have seen around the internet, one of the hot topics is having cattle or other livestock antibiotic free. This has lead to a movement that is not only incorrect with their basic information, but they are hurting family farms across the nation. This stems from the idea that antibiotics contaminate meat products and will affect the consumer. In this article the main points that "justify" the antibiotic culture will be broken down and simplified. I hope by the end of reading this you will be more knowledgeable about this subject, and will make the best decision for you and your family.

1. "If you don't specifically buy antibiotic free meat, you will buy meat with antibiotics in it."

The FDA has control check on the processing line when livestock is processed. This means that the likelihood of any "antibiotic filled" animal to make it through is slim to none. If by chance a ranch or feedlot gets flagged by FDA, they will be fined with a bill in the thousands. This type of flag will make it difficult for that ranch to ever sell livestock in the normal market again. This is only one of the incentives for ranch owners to stay in the clear.

2. "Antibiotics are used to promote growth"

This statement is false. Antibiotics are used to treat an illness. Yes an animal might gain weight after treatment. But that is because when we are sick we tend to not eat as much. Once you start to feel better, it stirs up your hunger. Antibiotics are and have never been used to promote growth.

3. What happens to the animal on an antibiotic free farm when it gets sick.

Let's do a comparison example. If your child got sick what do you normally do? Take them to the doctor and if he prescribes a medication for them you would provide the correct amount to treat the illness. This is the same way with the livestock industry. Most antibiotics and medication in general are a prescription based. Therefore, a vet will need to sign off on the treatment of the animals. While most ranches will treat the illness and move on, antibiotic free farms need to move that animal off site to another ranch. Some of the time they have a secondary place where those treated animals go to live out their life. Not treating a sick animal is inhumane.

These are only a few of the antibiotic free lies that surround the livestock world. And I am not saying for someone to completely change their beliefs over one article, what I am saying is do your research. From both sides of the argument. Then base your final decision from what you have learned. The agriculture industry has many that oppose that will use fear-tactics to push their agenda. And although we are not a perfect industry, we are a very important part of society. And we hold high standards for ourselves because of that.

Thank you for reading,

if you have a suggestion of what I should talk about next leave a comment.

-Chrystal B.

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