As a Southern college girl who was born and bred in Maryland, I am proud to be living in the South, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Here are nine things that the South just does better than any other part of the country.
A picture of me from our recent hurrication
If you're from the North, you probably have never heard of hurrication before. Hurrication is a combination of the words hurricane and vacation. Most of the South goes through hurricane season each year between June and November. When a hurricane does come to your hometown, it is common to have to evacuate school - so we get a mini-vacation! Hurrication is what you make of it. This year, I went home to Maryland and took my roommate home with me! The week was filled with fun activities and was a nice little break from class.
2. The beaches
Some people may say that all beaches are the same, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Charleston has three different beaches and they differ drastically. Yes, they all have sand and sun, but each beach offers a different vibe with different types of people. Folly Beach is definitely a very popular and social spot, while Sullivan's Island is more low-key and quiet. Most beaches I went to in Maryland were always over crowded and just not as nice as the ones I've been to in Charleston.
3. The food
I think we can all agree that southern food is the best food. From working at a traditional southern restaurant, I have had the chance to taste and learn about all of their infamous southern classics. One thing that I have grown to love is grits, I had never had them before I came to Charleston! You will not find them up North, but they are a classic dish in the South. I've been a big seafood fan all my life and I dare to say that the South has a better variety of seafood than the North. Here in Charleston is actually where I became a fan of oysters. There are countless seafood restaurants in Charleston - none of them have ever disappointed me.
4. The hospitality
Southern hospitality is 100% a real thing. The people are just nicer down here. When I see someone struggling to figure out how to work a parking meter (which is a daily thing I see), I'll see several people stop on the sidewalk and offer help. It's these small things that people do when they think no one else is looking. I'm living in a house off-campus this year and I have had the chance to meet and talk to a few of my neighbors. They are some of the sweetest people! I love that I'm able to have and hold a conversation with them, even though I don't even know most of their names. Working in the food and beverage industry here and comparing it to how it was in Maryland, I can definitely say that the service in the South is above and beyond what I am used to. You feel cared for and taken care of, not just an average customer.
5. The Weather
I wouldn't consider Maryland to be THE REAL North (a.k.a. New York, Boston,...) but that does not mean we don't have brutal winters. In Annapolis, we would not get much snow, but winters would be long, cold, and miserable. The weather in Charleston is much more to my liking. The humidity can get annoying, but I would take that over the cold any day. I experienced my first winter in Charleston last year and it was honestly painless, the temperatures don't drop below 35 and winter does not last very long. Being able to go to the beach as late as November and as early as March is amazing. Now that I am used to Charleston weather, there is no going back!
Do you really live in the South if you don't say "y'all" in every sentence? Before coming to Charleston, I would never use the term, because it just sounded odd to me. After being in Charleston for a year, I now have an unbreakable habit of saying "y'all" all the time. I have no issue with this, I would love to pickup a southern accent!
All my friends that were born and raised in South Carolina are in the habit of saying "yes sir" or "yes ma'am" at the end of each sentence. I want to get into this habit because it is polite and respectful. I wasn't raised using this terminology, but I started to use it because I like how proper it sounds.
8. Country music
Country music deserves to be listened to year-round in all 50 states. There is something about sitting on your porch (or porch swing, if you're lucky) in the South and listening to some Luke Combs that makes any day a good one. Luke Combs, along with many other country singers are from the South. The rest of the world has the South to thank for the best genre of music.
Chivalry is not dead. Not every man you meet in the South is going to be polite. but I'd say a good majority of them are polite. It is such a small gesture that requires minimal effort but I love to have doors opened for me. When I am walking behind a guy to go inside somewhere, they usually hold the door open for me and allow me to enter first. At the current restaurant I work at, when serving food or drinks, we are required to always serve the ladies first. I have worked at several restaurants and none of them have ever followed this rule. It's such a simple step but it means a lot.
These are just nine of the things that are better in the South - there are many more. If you have lived in the South your entire life, you might be taking these things for granted, but being from outside the Lowcountry, I can strongly say that the South does it better.