I graduated from a some-what small high school in central New Jersey, but I decided to attend college in Oklahoma. Now, the question on most of your minds is probably, "What's it like going to college half-way across the country?" Yet the answer is probably not what most people imagine. The expected answer is probably something along the lines of how much I love it, but I do miss my friends and family at home.
Both of those things are 100% true, yet my experience at Oklahoma State University has been filled with more questions and concerns of where I'm from rather than anything else.
OSU is a pretty large university, we have an amazingly diverse campus of out-of-state students and international students! Yet somehow, when new friends find out I am from New Jersey, it is the most shocking thing that they've heard in quite a long time.
Here are five questions I get -- A LOT:
1. Why'd You Come To OSU?
2. Was the drive long?
This one may or may not be the most obnoxious to answer. Of course the 1,300 mile drive that takes 24 hours is long. Is there any more to the question than that?
3. Wait, you don't know how to pump gas?
This one is for all of my fellow "New Jersey-ians" who go to college out of state. It seems to be such a shock to everyone from other states that we don't know how to pump our own gas. My roommate had to teach me how to use a gas pump when the dreaded moment of my gas light popping on for the first time here at school. I guess it isn't quite easy for everyone out here to grasp the fact that we have gas attendants to do the job. On the other hand, maybe it's just hard for all of us New Jersey folk to understand why anyone else would pump their own gas.
4. What's WAWA?
I can't be too mad at this question since WAWA is a regional chain. But for everyone still wondering, WAWA is the magical combination of a gas station and boujee convenience store that offers just about anything anyone on the road could possibly need. Some of their amenities include a high tech hot food and specialty drink ordering screen and some of the best damn reasonably priced coffee on the market today. Some of you might argue with me, but my WAWA puts your Sheetz, Love's, On Cue and Buc-ee's to shame!
5. Can you say __________ for me?
I grew up in New Jersey since birth, so to me I don't have an accent. However, attending school in Oklahoma certainly does put a spotlight on my pronunciation and slang differences. The most common word that I've been told I say weird is "coffee" that I apparently pronounce "caw-fee." And although I have started saying "y'all," I apparently prove that you can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can't take New Jersey out of the girl.