12 Things You Would Only Ever Know If You've Visited 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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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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