You’re moving to the South!?
Yes. This was the initial shock I received when I told my friends and family that, yes indeed, I was going to college in Georgia. And not just Georgia, but Georgia SOUTHERN. Even the name emphasizes the southerness of it all.
Now before you get your panties in a bunch, no this post is not going to be about which is better. There is no clear cut way to decide whether the South or West Coast is better. Although I am quite biased, instead of sharing my opinions, I wish to tell you the differences in culture since many people do not get the pleasure of experiencing both sides to the extent that I have.
Because I am a lover of lists, might as well start one.
1. Fashion. Oh goodness the difference in style. When I came to the South, I was shocked. So used to snapbacks, bro tanks, and tight jeans was I. For starters, I had no idea who Lilly P was. Everywhere I looked there were boys dressed in short, colorful shorts, collared shirts, and boat shoes. Instead of living in your bathing suits, people lived in Nikes. I saw most girls in over-sized shirts and “Norts” (AKA Nike shorts) and “Chacos” (these weird strappy sandals which aren't really my favorite, but moving on).
In LA, everyone was always dressed to impress, so i’m 99% sure I stuck out when I wore dresses and skirts to class every day while most everyone else came in sweats. No hate on the sweats game, but I was not used to the new standards of what was socially acceptable. Before my first day of college, one of my roommates asked me to help her decide which T-shirt matched her new Nike shorts. I found that strange.
2. Seasons. Experiencing actual seasons in the South was a shocker. I was so used to spastic-but-mostly-perfect sunny weather in LA. Humidity is not my friend and neither is the cold. Safe to say I am spending as much of my summer in LA as possible.
3. Courtesy. In LA, if you want to be left alone, you got it, but in the South it's a whole new ballgame. The first thing I noticed when I got to the South was: OH MY GOD, PEOPLE ACTUALLY HOLD OPEN THE DOOR FOR YOU. Not only do they hold it open, but they will actually wait for you even if you're far away.
Back in California, I used to think a guy was a god because he would hold open the door for me AND help me into the car. Here, it became a standard thing. Everyone is constantly waving and smiling at each other, whereas in LA, unless you really know the person, you're not getting much. Southern hospitality IS actually a thing. Who knew?
4. Skating. In California it’s a way of life. In the South, you're kind of a tool if you ride a skateboard. Oops.
5. Beliefs. I am a little more blue than red if you know what I mean. Personally I think the two party system is bs, but if I had to align myself with one of the two parties, I suppose I swing left. I have gotten a good amount of grief for this. I get a lot of “Oh, of course you're a Democrat; You’re from California.” This might shock you, but not all people from California are Democrats. Also, I had never seen so many Baptist churches in one place before coming to the South.
6. Hunting. The South loves it. I have never shot a gun. Nuff said.
7. Beaches. I was surprised to find that the Atlantic waters were a lot warmer with smaller waves compared to the Pacific. The sand is harder and the sandbars are crazy in the South. You could walk so far out and still have your head above water. Beaches in California will always be my favorite though. Better surf. Sorry.
8. Moonshine. Only in the South. You get to choose whether that's a good or bad thing.
Overall, the West Coast and the South both have their pros and cons. If you want to see just how different the types of people are who live there, go check Tinder.