11 Things I've Learned As A New Yorker Living In The South

11 Things I've Learned As A New Yorker Living In The South

This is what you should expect when moving to the south.

Growing up right outside of New York City was always a delight when I was younger. If I ever wanted to trade in my quiet suburb for the hustle and bustle of angry cab drivers and knockoff handbag salesmen, Grand Central Station was just a handful of train stops away. Despite the beauty of autumn in upstate New York and the addictive energy of Downtown Manhattan, come winter time you would find me frantically Zillow searching cheap bungalows in Bali until my toes defrost by mid Spring.

Luckily, the College of Charleston became my opportunity to get away from the cold by going as far down south as I could manage before hitting the Atlantic. While there are several cultural differences between the north and south apparent on the surface level, I was genuinely surprised upon discovering some of the things I'm about to discuss. These are 11 things I've observed during my time at college in South Carolina.

1. Accents mean nothing

First and foremost, let me quickly put this stereotype to rest. Before moving to Charleston, I naively thought could tell a lot about a person exclusively based on the thickness of their drawl. Whether you grew up with a southern twang or you pronounce it ‘New Joisey,’ the way a person speaks says literally nothing about their political opinions or intelligence levels.

2. People walk slow

It’s true that everything is slower in the south. To be able to stop and smell the roses is a cultural quality that I truly admire. Coming from a place where everyone gets from point A to B in a caffeine-induced frenzy, it's refreshing to see that people will still go for a casual stroll on a sunny afternoon.

3. There are so many blondes

Coming from a place where monochromatic outfits paired with jet black hair has become apart of an unwritten dress code, I’m sure you can imagine the culture shock I experienced upon moving to the land of Goldilocks and pastels. whatever hex us women in this city are under, I can guarantee that the longer we stay in Charleston South Carolina, the blonder and blonder we become.

4. We still have differing opinions on Abe Lincoln

This is by far the most random on this list, but one night, when delving deep into a boozed soaked conversation with friends, we all somehow reached the topic of Honest Abe and the opinions in the room immediately polarized. My friends from the north proudly stood by Abe’s achievements while my friends from the south dismissed the president as ‘overrated.’ I suppose the differing ideologies between the north and south have in fact maintained a hint of bad blood over the years after all.

5. Sweet tea is not as important as I expected

Storytime: Before moving down south I would hear rumors about how waiters and waitresses carry around pitchers of sweet tea like water and will substitute your bottomless glass of water with that sweet liquid gold, free of charge. It took one embarrassing trip to Toast of Charleston to learn that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

6. Apparently, some people think the Confederacy is still a thing

Sorry not sorry, you guys lost the war. Just take the huge, waving symbol of racism and oppression off the back of your pickup truck and we'll call it a day.

7. Feminism is a dirty word

Let me start by saying, as a self-proclaimed feme-nazi, I want you all to preach socioeconomic equality of men and women from the mountaintops. After growing up in a Blue state and attending a primarily liberal public High school I was surprised to hear people in my college classes apologizing before making a comment, simply because they’re too afraid of sounding like a feminist. Like gender equality is a bad thing?

8. Zaxby's isn’t a restaurant but a way of life

This fast food chain/heaven on earth has become its very own category on the food pyramid for college kids. My friends and I will drive down to the one on Folly Road whenever we’re feeling like loving ourselves a little extra that day. Why would anyone have to decide between a Nibbler Meal and a Chicken Finger Plate when you can just order one of everything on the menu?

9. People are beyond nice

No one threatens my life when I jaywalk anymore! I consider that a win, point blank period.

10. Northerners are more straightforward

If a New Yorker has something they want you to know, they will use the most direct language they can think of to tell you. Sometimes we can seem brusque, but hey, we know how to be efficient. Time is money after all.

11. ...But southerners know how to talk

You stop on the streets to help someone with directions and all of a sudden you know their maiden name, alma mater and you’ve agreed to be the plus one to their cousin's wedding.

Cover Image Credit: Justine Hecker

Popular Right Now

If 20 Iconic Brooke Davis Quotes Were Your College Major

The early 00s wouldn't have been the same without a little sass from Brooke Davis.


One Tree Hill was iconic in itself. We laughed, we cried, we went through quite the rollercoaster of emotions but through it all, we always loved Brooke Davis. She's one of a kind but relates to all of us, even when it comes to our major of choice. Ever wonder if Brooke Davis could describe your major? Well, let's find out.

1. Nursing 


Just like Brooke Davis, nursing majors are underappreciated. It takes a lot to get those degrees! We see you nurses and we love you!!

2. English 

"What's your major?" "English" "Oh."

3. Pre-Law

The sass of Brooke Davis and the sass of a good lawyer are one in the same.

4. Communication

Interpersonal. Persuasion. Public Relations. Mass Media. We know all the tricks. Don't even try us.

5. Biology

That love hate relationship that you know will be worth it in the end but hate the road you have to take to get there.

6. Theater


Drama. Drama. Drama.

7. Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Whether it's gender issues or misogynist assholes. WGSS teaches you a lot about things you didn't even know you didn't know.

8. Social Work/HDFS

Social work is no joke. Neither is HDFS. They're like moms but moms that can bust a knee cap if necessary.

9. Business

The high and mighty. Yet they still don't have class on Fridays. Interesting.

10. Engineering

Okay so you know how to build robots and fix collapsing buildings. Big deal.

11. Mathematics

No one likes math. No one but you. Weirdo.

12. Nutrition 

Foooooddddd. But the healthy kind and like science and stuff.

13. History

Brooke Davis asking the real questions.

14. Animal Science

Brooke doesn't know every species of bird out there but maybe you do???

15. Fashion

Say it louder for the people in the back.

16. Psychology

It seems like a good idea freshmen year until you realize all the science classes you have to take. At that point you hate everyone and all trust is lost.

17. Journalism

Get your story. But also get your facts straight.

18. Art

Art is hard. Being creative is hard. No wonder a lot of famous artists lost their minds.

19. Undecided

Let Brooke inspire you to keep searching, you'll figure it out just like she did. I mean, hello??? Clothes over bros anyone?

20. Fifth Years

You just love school so much you never want to leave. Ever.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Is The Comedy Gold We Love And Need, And That Has A Lot To Do With The Characters

Every character finds his or her own chemistry with each person in the precinct, and ultimately, that's what makes "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" a big old unique family.


For the past couple of months, I have been unapologetically binge-watching "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," mainly because it's finally available on Netflix where I live. And the more I watch this show, the more I realize its value culturally and comically.

First off, even as an avid watcher of crime shows, I know that the police procedural show has been done one too many times. There are endless tropes it has spawned, with the gruff lead detective falling in love with a snappy partner or the weirdly inventive murders that real cops would be shocked to deal with even once in their careers, let alone every week at 7 p.m. EST.

This is exactly why "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is such a relief to watch. It's fun, it doesn't take itself too seriously and it's smart.

Starting off with the cast, Andy Samberg plays Jake Peralta, one of the best — or if you asked him, the absolute best — detectives in the precinct. The only issue with him is that he's a man-child through and through, still unable to grow up or mature in most areas of his life.

Now, I've seen this stereotype played off time and time again — the goofy and hilarious leading man who really just needs to figure himself out, but requires the rest of the cast to act as only supporting characters in his one-man journey of self-discovery.

Thankfully, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" doesn't fall into that well-trodden trap — Jake's characteristic childlike tendencies, including a passionate love for orange soda, blue flavored drinks and gummy worms, are part of his personality through and through.

But he truly cares for his friends, as seen in the humility he shows when he apologizes to Charles Boyle, his best friend on the force who reveres him, and he owns up to his mistakes whenever he hurts somebody else. He is a layered character who's still figuring himself out — which makes his antics forgivable and sweet because of his true intentions.

And speaking of well-rounded characters, the entire cast is fully developed — aside from Hitchcock and Scully, both of whom mainly stay comfortably in their boxes as the lazy, idiotic detectives. And beyond being fully developed, which is hard enough to juggle in a show of so many characters, they are diverse.

This point has been brought up again and again. The show includes people of different ethnicities, and it gives them dignity as characters that goes beyond their race. Stereotypes have no place on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," not when you have a gay black captain and a sergeant built like a tank who braids his twin daughters' hair and is wholeheartedly dedicated to the farmer's market. There's a scary but kind Rosa, who is revealed to be bisexual, and Amy, who is a Type A personality that melts at the sight of a well-organized binder.

Essentially, all the characters in this show go beyond being entertaining. They are memorable — Gina, especially. The assistant of Captain Holt, her participation in a dance troupe called "Floorgasm," along with her stunning self-confidence, makes her one of the best characters on the show by far.

But the strongest point of this show is the relationships that are carefully crafted between the characters. Each episode has unlikely subplots involving different characters, and each relationship is built so that the show doesn't fall into monotone rhythms of characters who only have chemistry with certain other characters.

Rather, every character finds his or her own chemistry with each person in the precinct, and ultimately, that's what makes "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" a big old unique family.

Related Content

Facebook Comments