Going to school in upstate New York makes me realize how many things are unique to New Jersey. Here I settle the debate on which state has the best bagels and really, where the best people live.

1. Taylor ham is the best creation.

We are the only state blessed with this beautiful breakfast meat. Throw it on a bagel with egg, cheese, and ketchup, straight foodgasm.

2. We go 'down the shore' after prom.

Every high schooler looks forward to their prom weekend for two reasons: the party bus and the sleazy motel.

3. We have Garden State Plaza, Short Hills Mall, Willowbrook Mall and of course, outlets.

Why do you think it's so easy to have a shopping addiction? Bored, go to the mall. Rainy day, go to the mall.

4. We don't pump our own gas.

And we're not sorry about it. Call us lazy, but when it's subzero temperatures, I'll be sitting in my car while you're shivering and pumping your own gas.

5. No sales tax.

Again, another reason to have a shopping addiction.

6. Wawa is the best thing to happen to this state.

You know you're in Jersey when there's at least three Wawa's within a 10 minute drive from home. And no, it's not just an over-priced convenience store, they have the best iced coffee and best assortment of road trip snacks.

7. High school football games end at a diner with disco fries and a milkshake.

Every Friday night ends at the local diner with the rest of the grade dressed head-to-toe in school spirit wear. If anything defines my high school experience in a nutshell, it's this post.


Don't you dare call me dirty jerz, either.

9. Acrylic nails, always. 

They're a lot of maintenance, but for some reason every girl is willing to make that bi-weekly appointment to keep their nails looking Jersey as ever.

10. No one says "Joisey" seriously.

We know we have a slight accent and pronounce "coffee" and "water" differently, but "Joisey" just isn't in the JERSEY vocabulary.

11. The best bagels really do come from New Jersey.

Not New York.

12. You'll know a Jersey driver when you see one.

I am certainly one of them. If you're an out-of-stater, make sure to not use turn signals and not obey the speed limit.

13. You reference where you live by your exit.

Giving directions to your house is quite simple, "Just off of exit ____."

14. PNC concerts are the move in the summer.

$30 lawn tickets and a school bus rental is what high school summers are all about. I've been to at least five PNC concerts, probably didn't know the lyrics to any songs, but it's all for the experience and Instagram post.

15. High school football teams play their championship at MetLife.

If they were good enough, like my high school. I'm impartial, but I have so much love for West Essex now that I'm gone.

16. Don't come to a complete stop in the damn EZ-Pass lane.

It's called EZ-Pass for a reason. Please don't come to a complete stop as if you're about to throw change in the toll booth, it completely defeats the purpose.

I spent most of my life wanting to leave NJ and once I did, I realized how much I was leaving behind. So, to all my New Jerseyians, I have so much love for you.