Facts About North Carolina

12 Things You Would Only Ever Know If You've Visited North Carolina

From Cali to Carolina, here's my take on the great state.

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Recently, my family relocated to North Carolina. As a die-hard Southern California girl, you can imagine my excitement. Yeah. Right.

When I found out that my family was moving to the South, I was by far the biggest skeptic and most unenthusiastic. Needless to say, I was a California snob. However, as the summer months slipped by, so did my skepticism. Charlotte really grew on me and now that I'm back in school, I can honestly say that I miss it. So, here are some of my observations of the great state of North Carolina!

1. Sweet tea is the equivalent of holy water

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I myself, am not a huge fan of sweet tea and in California I never really saw anyone drinking it… but in North Carolina it is a staple with every meal. No joke, I think they consume more sweet tea than water.

2. The Panthers are everything

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A true North Carolinian is a Panthers' fan. No question. Blue and black forever.

3. College sports rivalries run DEEP

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North Carolinians have SO MUCH school spirit. There's Duke, Chapel Hill, NC State, Clemson, and so many more. On game days, everyone can be seen wearing all types of college paraphernalia. I've even seen some cars that are decked out in Clemson orange. I appreciate the dedication… but the execution is… questionable… When the team someone is rooting for loses, families are broken, dreams , and hope is lost forever.

4. Teenage girls have one staple outfit.

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Nike shorts, a t-shirt (preferably Vineyard Vines or Simply Southern), paired with some Birkenstocks. Everyone sort of dresses the same but comfort is key, right?

5. Kendra Scott necklaces are all the rave.

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Ok, but these are really pretty. I would totally buy one.

6. You can't go anywhere without seeing a Bojangle's. 

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Before I came to North Carolina, I had no idea what Bojangle's was. All of a sudden there were these little fast food restaurants everywhere I turned. After months of refusing to step inside one, I finally tried Bojangle's and now I'm hooked on their Cajun Chicken Biscuit Sandwich.

7. There are trees everywhere.

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So coming from Southern California, there were palm and eucalyptus trees here and there. In North Carolina, there are dense forests surrounding you. For me, this was really weird. I almost felt claustrophobic when I was driving around because I couldn't see the sky or the horizon.

8. The humidity is not for the faint of heart.

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I'm talking frizz for days. In the summer months, walking outside was like walking into a sauna.

9. Life moves at a different pace than everywhere else. 

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People there just take life a little slower. There's no rush or sense of urgency like there is in the big cities. People really know how to savor each moment.

10. Cheerwine is their best kept secret.

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From the city of Salisbury, Cheerwine is the perfect cherry soda to relieve some of the humidity. I'm not sure why Cheerwine isn't more popular in other states, but it sure is popular in NC. It's one of my favorite sodas now!

11. Crazzzyyy drivers… seriously, worse than LA. 

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Ok, North Carolina drivers are on a whole other level. From tailgating, to speeding, to cutting others off. I thought LA drivers were crazy but boy was I wrong.

12. Southern hospitality is a real thing that everyone should adopt.

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The people of North Carolina are so sweet. You can always count on your neighbor to look after your dog, or water your plants when you are gone, or invite you to their house for a glass of sweet tea. They take the time to get to know you and check up on you. They also never fail to finish their sentences with a "y'all." It was a nice surprise coming from LA, where people tend to be more to themselves.

Even though California will forever be my home, I am so glad that I get to call North Carolina my second home. The state has so much to offer: mountains, beaches, restaurants, sports events, to name a few. So go and visit, drink some sweet tea, and enjoy some good ole Southern Hospitality.

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47 Things All Female Athletes Have Said

Yes, I know I am sweating a lot. No, I do not enjoy practices. Yes, I have said all 47 of these.
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Whether you're a collegiate athlete, or a high school one, you have probably found yourself saying most of these phrases. Us athletes know that the athlete life isn't for everyone, and we often find ourselves questioning if it's still for us. So, this is for all my fellow athletes.

All my fellow athletes who know the struggle is undoubtedly real, and who find themselves saying these 47 phrases almost as often as I do.

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1. Do you have an extra hair tie?

2. What if we just said no? What if we just didn't run when the whistle is blown?

3. I, like, really, am not feeling practice today.

4. Do these pants make my quads look big?

5. Are you going to eat before or after practice?

6. I'm so sore.

7. Want to get McDonald's after practice?

8. Did you see that she wore makeup to a preseason practice?

9. I actually looked like a girl today.

10. I wonder what college would be like if I wasn't an athlete.

11. We're up before the sun way too often.

12. Is it gross if I don't shower after weights?

13. How hard do you think practice will be today?

14. Coach is literally crazy.

15. I ate like 20 minutes ago, so there's a 50% chance I puke during this practice.

16. I'm not going to drink the protein shake they gave us because it's going to make me gain weight.

17. I think my legs are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

18. I think my arms are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

19. Today in class a non-athlete was talking about how busy her schedule is. It was so annoying.

20. Thinking about preseason makes me want to cry.

21. Is it even healthy for us to have this many practices in one day?

22. I'll be right back, I'm having PGD (pre-game dumps).

23. I think I'm going to throw up.

24. I should have worked out more on my own.

25. How do other girls have the energy to put makeup on for class every day?

26. My legs are dead.

27. Why did we think being a college athlete was a good idea?

28. Do you think coach will be mad if I have to go pee?

29. I think I peed my pants a little bit during conditioning.

30. Should I wear my hair in a pony-tail, or in a bun?

31. I should probably start eating healthy soon.

32. Only six more practices until the weekend, we can do this.

33. I'd rather be sore for a week straight than climb into this ice bath.

34. They might have beat us, but at least we're still pretty.

35. I can't wait to celebrate our win this weekend.

36. How many hours of sleep did you get? I got 6, it was crazy, I feel so refreshed.

37. I look like such a boy right now.

38. Will you braid my hair?

39. That referee totally rigged the game. We should have won.

40. I think I'd hate being a reg (regular student).

41. It's OK if I eat this since we had conditioning this morning, right?

42. If you're not doing homework, get off the bus Wi-Fi, everybody.

43. These pants fit my legs perfectly but are huge on my waist.

44. I smell so bad right now that I can smell myself.

45. I bet my grades would be so much better if I wasn't an athlete.

46. Coach only gave us, like, one water break during practice. It was horrible.

47. I am so happy that I'm an athlete.

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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