Once upon a time I enrolled in a summer art class at the Savannah College of Art and Design. My roommate called me a Yankee and told me of her first kill of deer-hunting season.
In her hometown, classmates would exchange deer jerky like sticks of gum.
Now, you have to acknowledge that I grew up in a suburban town in the Northeast. Each spring, the family of deer in our backyard grows and I ooh and aah over the itty-bitty baby bambis. And here I was, hearing about deer hunting season?! Oh dear.
No worries-my roommate and I became the best of friends and we still talk today! But oh boy-did I get a taste of “the South.” Little did I know that years later the pursuit of a college education would land me in a similar boat-or season… of learning. Hehe.
When I committed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I was greeted with “Y’all’s” and “Sweetheart’s” and southern hospitality.
It’s been quite a change from my New York City Attitude-esque hometown, but I wouldn’t exchange it for the world.
Here are 5 things Out of State Students Didn’t See Coming
1) Brand Shock
Sure, you’ll probably luck out with Starbucks and CVS. But besides those, get ready for a real taste of the Twilight Zone. In Connecticut, my hometown, I shop at Stop&Shop and Shop Rite. Here in North Carolina, popular grocery stores include Harris Teeter, Kroger, and Food Lion. This is why meal plans exist.
2) Culture Shock
Have you been to a State Fair? Cool, but where?
In North Carolina, you can win a frozen turkey in a rifle contest.
And eat deep-fried oreos. Oh yeah. Life is good.
This is me and Bae, posing with Mother Nature at the North Carolina State Fair —————>
3) People Shock
Going to school out of state means leaving all your friends behind. It also means that a LOT of the people you meet will know a LOT of people at your new school already.
Of course, I was all too bubbly to worry about that when I first arrived at UNC. And despite the numbers of childhood friends and alliances and secret lover-cough- relationships already in place, you’ll find your people.
Your many peoples. <3
4) Political Shock
Who are you voting for? Why? When? Are you sure? Question mark? Question mark?!
You’ll run into political shock just from moving to a new town. Moving to a new state just invites the change. Moving from my largely liberal Democratic state of Connecticut to the largely conservative North Carolina was quite a change I didn’t really think about before arriving on campus.
To be fair, Carolina (UNC at Chapel Hill) is a largely liberal and Democratic school. The University at this point has publicly announced its intent to ignore the HB2 Bill’s request for bathrooms to be segregated by birth gender, due largely to student and employee transgender populations.
Don’t worry-no matter where you end up, there are people that share your political mindset. But like the UNC Fall Fest pictured above, you’ll always grow from the multitude of clubs and opinions on your college campus.
5) Weather Shock
Four seasons, crop tops, froyo, and snow. Sounds like Connecticut to me.
Before moving to North Carolina, I never owned a pair of rain boots.
The picture to the right is me. Slipping around in sneakers with an umbrella sandwiched between my back and violin case.
It doesn’t really snow at Carolina-when it does everything shuts down-but it does rain. A lot. The strange, movie-like rain with the sun shining and birds singing and clothes and items getting soaked. The college experience 🙂
Rain brings these beauties too.
Until next time.