When applying for colleges, I made a promise to myself that I could not go to school in New Jersey. Don't get me wrong, I am more than proud to be from the good old Garden State. But that's all I've ever known. I simply needed a change, and longed to experience new things from new states. Yet here I am, writing this to you from Maryland, realizing I did not appreciate some of the things only Jersey has to offer.
"Pork roll, egg, and cheese on a hard bun please!"
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed when my friends told me they did not know what pork roll was. I even had to resort to calling it "Taylor Ham" just to see if maybe they would be familiar with that. Nothing. I was feeling kind of sorry for my southern friends. What kind of life is a life without ever having experienced pork roll?!
Living in New Jersey is great for people who always seem like they are in a rush. We don't waste any time. Not only are we fast drivers, but we walk and talk just as fast. It wasn't until I started living somewhere besides Jersey that I realized not everyone is as fast-paced as I am.
No one warned me the nearest Wawa would be the next state over…
Happiness is a large, customized Wawa sub. It's not only great on-the-go food, but it's convenient and cheap. Heading to the beach? Stop at Wawa on the way. On your way to work? Why not get your daily Wawa fix in before you go! Yet who knew it would be so hard to find a Wawa around here.
Pumping your own gas???
Now I don't have a car here, but I still appreciate New Jersey for never forcing me to learn how to pump gas. Watching my friends shiver as they stand outside waiting for their car to be filled makes me realize how fortunate us New Jerseyans are for always having it done for us instead.
No bagel or slice of pizza is ever going to be the same
If you're from New Jersey, you've been spoiled with the deliciousness of bagels and pizza. It's no secret we have the best there is, and every other attempt at these foods will have you feeling let down. There's nothing like a homemade bagel or slice of pizza from New Jersey. If you believe otherwise, don't knock it till you've tried it.
Late night out with your friends and you don't know where to get food? The diner. Early morning breakfast scheduled with your friend? How about eating at the diner! Going to lunch with your grandparent? You can never go wrong with the diner. No matter where you live in New Jersey, there's probably going to be a diner within a few miles of your location at all times. If there's one thing that taught me, especially being away with not a diner in sight, it's that I really love diner food.
There's nothing like the Jersey shore. Yeah okay, so it has a bad rep because of the MTV show, but it's also the place where I made some of my happiest memories as a kid. Beaches in other states are great, but they just aren't the same. No feeling of excitement compares to the moment you hear you are going "down the shore" for the weekend.
Even for people as directionally challenged as me, it isn't too hard to get around to places in New Jersey. Everything is always a short drive away. We may be the most densely populated state, but we still fit a crazy amount of things to do. Cities, small towns, beaches, parks, mountains...whatever you are in the mood for doing, we probably have it, and it is probably not that far away.
Even though recent reality TV Shows like "Jersey Shore" and "Real Housewives of New Jersey" have slowly ruined our reputation, New Jersey is the stomping grounds for some of the most well-known people in the country. How can you top Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, or Whitney Houston?