A Southerner above the Mason Dixon Line? Gasp!
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A Southerner above the Mason Dixon Line? Gasp!

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A Southerner above the Mason Dixon Line? Gasp!

After growing up in the South for my entire life, I made the big decision to move up north for college. I knew it was going to be different, but I had no idea of how drastic the change would be.

At Villanova, every third person you meet is from New Jersey, so being from somewhere else can be cool and interesting, but also, as in my case, it brings with it a bit of teasing and poking fun. I don’t mind it though because I'm proud of being a Southerner (mostly) and cherish the things that make us one of a kind. After my first year, these are a few of the differences I’ve noticed…

Y’all: The contraction of the words ‘you’ and ‘all,’ a phrase that reigns supreme down south, is pretty rare up north. This is probably how I give myself away most often, and it is one of the easiest ways to spot a fellow Southerner. Maybe I should probably try to say it less than I do, but hey, it's a part of my southern charm and I've said it forever so why change now, right?! Also no, I don’t have an accent, sorry to disappoint. 

Sweet Tea: Nowhere makes it the way your grandmother does, but in this case, something is better than nothing, so enjoy your Arizona flavored tea from Café Nova.

Grocery Stores: Say goodbye to your local favorites, Harris Teeter or Piggly Wiggly, as they can't be found up North, rather Giant is the chain of choice. Also just to point out, grocery carts are not known as ‘buggies.’ I quickly learned this is not the case among my Northern friends, as they hit the ground laughing at me one day when I offered to get the ‘buggie.' Duly noted.

Grits: As defined by Merriam Webster, grits (or as Grandad would call them, Hominy) are a type of coarsely ground corn typically eaten for breakfast. I have no other way to describe them, except for delicious, when done properly of course. What they have in the Spit is not true grits.    

Yes Ma’am, No sir, etc: Emily Post‘s etiquette guide was practically a second bible, and we southerners were taught early on that thank you notes, hospitality, and yes ma’ams were simply common courtesies. Whenever I’m around an adult, saying ma’am or sir is an inevitable and innate reflex. The first time I went home with a college friend, I said "yes ma'am" to his mom and everyone in the car just stopped to stare at me-- oh well, at least it’s polite!

Chick-fil-a: Breakfast just isn’t the same without chicken minis and hash browns, not mention the glorious sweet tea (see above). The widely abundant southern fast food chain is quite rare up north, so enjoy your chicken sandwich when you can, because they will be few and far between. NOTE: There is a Chick-fil-a in the King of Prussia Mall and the Airport, plan accordingly. AKA not Sunday.

Fellow Southerners: These are the other rare people that also find themselves up north. No matter where exactly they are from, if you find them, they automatically become your friends, and you'll want to keep them around because they understand your references of local terms and places.

Weather: I’m not ashamed to admit, the first day it was freezing cold, I picked up the phone to call my mom to complain about the dreary conditions and to ask for some more weather appropriate outerwear. Coming from a place where the chilliest it gets is maybe 45 degrees, I was in for a shock when the temperature just kept dropping. I won’t even get started on the snow.

Sororities: Although sorority life isn’t as ubiquitous as it is at home, it’s still quite popular up north. I think it’s such a great opportunity to have a connection with people from all over the country, including above and below the Mason Dixon Line.

Despite all of these differences, I have learned to embrace my new surroundings while continuing to hold onto my southern roots that make me who I am. I'm so lucky to be able to call Villanova my second home, even if that does technically makes me a Yankee now…

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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