What It's Like Living in Indiana, Being from New Jersey
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

What It's Like Living in Indiana, Being from New Jersey

By a true Jersey girl.

What It's Like Living in Indiana, Being from New Jersey

First off, let me say that because I grew up on the east coast, the midwest never appealed to me. I couldn’t have pointed out Indiana on a map to save my life. Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, all the same right? When I was applying to colleges to transfer, I just felt drawn to Indiana for some reason. Like all I could see in my near future was cream and crimson. I obviously knew it would be a different lifestyle from my East Coast one, but having been here for two months, I can now articulate how it feels and what the differences are.

What is the deal with biscuits and gravy? I thought that was a southern thing, but apparently it’s a midwestern thing too. I didn’t realize the extent of it until I started working at one of the dining halls here and all everyone wants for breakfast everyday is biscuits and gravy! I tried them for the first time and I give it one thumb up. Not my first choice, that’s all.

The roads are definitely different. You can’t just make a left turn onto a street in New Jersey, especially in the middle of a highway. You have to pass the street you want to turn left on and go around a jughandle so that you end up on the street you initially wanted to turn left on. In a lot of cases in New Jersey, you can’t turn right onto a highway either, you have to turn right before the light so that you enter through a separate entrance to the highway that has a yield sign rather than a light. However, no matter how small the Jersey town is, the traffic lights never become stop lights after a certain hour. Here in Bloomington, after around 8 p.m, the lights just become a blinking red, signifying a stop and look before continuing, so that people aren’t waiting too long at red lights. It makes sense efficiency wise, I just think it’s interesting that this also happens on highways and not just residential roads. The first time I saw this, I thought all of the lights were broken in Bloomington!

I’ve never seen so many churches in a 20 mile radius. My hometown in New Jersey has less than a quarter of Bloomington’s population and we have a Jewish temple, a Buddhist temple, a Muslim mosque, a Catholic church, and a few churches for other Christian denominations. It seems like there is a church on every corner here and I don’t know where the other religions’ worship places are hiding! Also, I’d never seen anti pro-choice religious parishioners protesting outside of churches before I moved here. Really weird and not at all what I expected/wanted to see in a college town.

In New Jersey, the atmosphere of the different towns seems to be similar. Here in Indiana, there is a very clear distinction between Bloomington and anywhere outside of city limits. I went hiking in Spencer, Indiana, which is a half hour from Bloomington and I thought I had been transported to the deep south. Scary.

The first thing everyone wants to know when I tell them I’m from New Jersey is if people are nicer here. The answer is yes and no. People are definitely more likely to just wave and say hi if they pass you on the street and the homeless community is not as verbally and physically aggressive here. In fact, they barely approach people that aren't homeless. But in terms of overall welcome and friendliness, I have to say there’s no difference. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin. My first weekend here, I nearly had a breakdown at an air pump because I kept accidentally deflating my bike tires and this kind lady gave me quarters to keep trying and helped me pump the air correctly. She was sweet as pie. On the other hand, I will never again return to the Atlas because I have never experienced such a bad attitude from bartenders anywhere in my life. My friend and I went there because on Saturday nights they’re supposed to have $1 “shame shots” where the bartender chooses which shot you take. We asked for them and the bartender said, “no shame shots tonight, you’re going to have to spend more than a dollar.” Okay.

I asked for a whiskey cocktail that they didn’t know how to make. I looked it up on my phone to make sure I had the accurate contents and they said they were not going to make me anything that I had to look up on my phone. The rudeness during this entire exchange was unfathomable and I’m happy to say that I’ve never left a bar feeling that uncomfortable on the East Coast.

Some differences are subtle, while others are common and noticeable. The midwest has been very welcoming to my east coast tendencies, but you know what they say; You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments