As a born and raised California girl, I got stereotyped my first weekend in the Midwest. No, I don’t surf every day. No, I don’t know any famous people. And no, it's not sunny every day.

Yes, I willingly came here. While being in the Midwest for college, I learned a lot about a different place and people while also learning about myself, so if I come back different, know this…

1. It's pop, not soda

I don’t even know how many times I’ve caused, or received, confusion because I called pop, soda.

2. Cheese curds are a thing

I know it’s absurd to think I’m getting excited about something so cheesy, but these are not an option in Cali.

3. Hotdish

It’s a casserole. That’s it.

4. Beg, Fleg, Geg, ruts, ruff

The dialect up here is defiantly different, but I am constantly finding myself saying these terms instead of bag, flag, gag, roots, and roof.

5. The snow is no joke

Although I only lost control of my vehicle once and didn’t lose my feet, the snow up here is no joke. One day it's beautiful and 60 degrees, the next, there's 10 inches of snow.

6. The wind will knock you over

It is super flat and has lots of crops. It's so flat that the wind might actually shift your direction.

7. How many people were in your high school graduating class?!

Coming from California, my graduating class was around 1,500 and that’s normal. Well not here. You’ll be lucky to find someone who had 50 or more people in their grade.

8. It’s never lonely

Everybody I’ve met up here is genuinely nice and caring. They will always include you, befriend you, and have your back. Whether it's saving you a spot at an event, pulling you out of a ditch, or someone to just chat with.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the best people the Midwest has to offer. They showed me it’s okay to be who you really are and that people will love you anyways. They taught me many things that changed my perspective, and I am forever grateful.

Maybe I have changed, but it was for the better.