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.