If you're like me, you're a New Yorker who has a lot of trouble taking places that are not NYC seriously. So, when I moved to Austin, Texas, for graduate school, well, I felt a LOT of things.
Sometimes, you're just a Rory Gilmore living in a Lemon Breeland world.
1. The accents are very real
When I first made it south of the Mason-Dixon line, I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to the way people spoke. According to the New York Times dialect quiz, my accent is totally normal for where I'm from - but to my new, southern friends, I'm basically Danny DeVito. The southern drawl is real, y'all. And let me tell you, it's attractive on pretty much anyone.
2. It is HOT down there
There's a lot of truth behind that "southern belle fanning herself" stereotype! It was 102 degrees when I moved into my new apartment (UGHHHHHHH) and it was not pleasant, let me tell you. As the saying goes, "The coldest winter you'll ever experience is a summer spent indoors in the south."
3. Everyone is freakishly nice
When I first started settling into life in the south, I seriously thought that the ridiculous amount of friendliness that just about every southerner I met had was fake! Now, it's certainly a nice change from the rudeness that so many of us New Yorkers are guilty of, but it was certainly an adjustment period. How can you people want to talk to people, like, all the time? I will never, ever understand. It must be a superpower. Do they serve that at Chick-Fil-A?
4. Please don't call me "ma'am"
I never, ever, ever, ever, ever know how to respond. I am not anybody's mother, nor do I feel enough authority in my current life position to feel like it fits. This is my face every. single. time. It's sweet, and I get that you were raised to be respectful. I'm by no means upset by that, it just feels weird. I'm 22 years old, ya know? And don't even get me STARTED on "sweet pea," "darlin'," and "sugar."
5. Where is all the PIZZA???
If you're like me, you take comfort in knowing that there's a dollar slice on every block. But down here, it's all Mexican food, barbecue, and comfort food. Now, that's certainly not the worst, but sometimes, a girl's just gotta have a slice, ya know?
6. You all seem super put-together, like, all the time...how???
At every single one of the parties I've gone to down here, whether it be a football tailgate (Go Horns), a house party, or bar crawl, it seems like all of "y'all" can handle yourselves no matter how much you've, let's say, indulged. How do you always look like that? HOW? Please share your secrets with us Yankees!!!!!!
7. Please don't judge me for being from the North
I really am trying my best not to be a "Northern elitist snob." I promise, I am. I'm sorry if I come off that way. But, hey, it's not made any easier when you give me those, "Oh, honey, I'm sorry you're from way up there. It really is so much better down here" eyes. You know what I'm talking about. I know, I'm a hypocrite. I'm sorry.
8. The DRINKS. Oh my god.
Whether it's somebody's grandma's century-old sweet tea recipe or a mint julep with a twist, I haven't met a southern beverage staple that I haven't liked. Move over, Old Fashioned. I might have a (few) new favorite cocktail(s).
9. No matter where you are, it somehow feels like home
It's true what they say about southern hospitality. As a northern transplant, it's been really nice to know that no matter where I go, I'll feel welcome and comfortable. It's a pretty welcome change, at least for now, from how New York life can sometimes be!
10. Overall, the South is actually pretty cool
From warm weather year round, to the nicest people in the country, to the best drinks known to mankind, to well-dressed, respectful men (ahem, New York men, take note), to being able to drive pretty much as fast as you want on the highway, life is pretty good down here, I've gotta admit. Not a bad place to visit, or to live. Now, fellow New Yorkers, I'd highly recommend you come and see for yourself! (Just make sure to eat plenty of pizza beforehand!)