Auburn University is home to students from all over the country (and the world) but most of us can agree that the majority of the people you meet on Auburn's campus are from the South. From being born and raised in suburbs of Chicago to attending Auburn for almost four years now, I have noticed many differences between the two places I've grown to call home. The line between the two is very real.
1. When the weather is predicted to be in the 60's and you're the only one wearing shorts.
Growing up in the North, when spring sprang and the temperature rose into the 50's and 60's, that meant it was finally time to break out the shorts and t-shirts that had been hiding in the back of the closet, getting their annual winter hibernation.
Auburn University student, Tori Haumann (senior, Naperville, IL.) said, "When the weather gets up to 65 degrees up north, we are all outside tanning in our swimsuits. Here, everyone is bundled up in coats, pants and boots."
2. The first time you go to a "meat and three" style restaurant.
"Meat and three" style places are very common in the South but not so common up north. The expansive amount of options, not to mention not knowing what half of the food items are, can be quite overwhelming for a first time customer. Trying to decipher what everything is yet ending up with the typical plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and macaroni and cheese, is typically the experience most first-timers have.
3. When you show up to the football game wearing a t-shirt and jeans.
I grew up going to football games at Northwestern University. Students wore shirts and sweatshirts representing their Northwestern Wildcats often paired with jeans or sweatpants. Football in the South is a tad different. Show up to Jordan-Hare Stadium wearing a t-shirt and you'll get confused looks from the crowd all clad in game day dresses for the women and festively colored button-down shirts for the men.
4. Speed limits are only suggestions...and it scares your southern friends to death.
One major thing I've noticed with driving in the South is that people tend to honor the speed limits
Auburn University student, Tori Haumann (senior, Naperville, IL.) said, "In the North, the speed limit is considered a minimum, whereas here is it treated like an actual limit."
Where I grew up if you were not living by the "9 and your fine" rule you weren't doing it right. "30 miles per hour? 39 and you're fine." Here, we're lucky if we see an Alabama license plate going 37 in a 35.
5. When there's an inch of snow on the ground and everyone around you acts like the world is ending.
In the South, an inch or two of snow can cause people to start abandoning their cars on the highway, which means that the term "Snowpocalypse" is not far off when the occasional flurry makes an appearance. Alabama doesn't have the access to salt trucks like we do, we can give them that credit. However, when classes get canceled for three days because of an inch of snow, it's comical for us northerners. We get to text and Snapchat our friends who are at school up north, trudging through three feet of snow and still going to class, while we sit in our hammocks because, even though there was an inch of snow, it's back to being 60 and sunny.
6. When all your Southern friends are getting engaged but you're in no rush.
One major difference I noticed coming down south is that people get engaged and married at a much younger age. Where I grew up, getting engaged and then married was something that was understood to happen after your school years, after you get a job and can support yourself. Down here, it seems as though a "Mrs. Degree" is not fictional. I've known many people who have gotten engaged and/or married during their college years at Auburn, whereas students up north have not noticed the same phenomenon.
7. When you go back home and "y'all" slips out.
Being from Chicago, "y'all" was never a part of my vocabulary growing up. Instead, we said "you guys" when referencing a group. After living in the South for four years, some of the vernacular was destined to slip into my mouth, and while I never thought I would see the day I where was saying "y'all," but here we are.
Saying "y'all" is so much more convenient and it rolls off the tongue much smoother than saying "you guys." The first time a Northerner goes home and lets "y'all" slip in front of their friends or family, they are almost guaranteed to get some sort of snarky comment. To those snarky comments, I say, "Y'all just jealous."
8. When you finally learn to appreciate the cold weather.
One of the big reasons I wanted to come to school in the South was my hatred for snow and the cold weather. I never liked being cold when I was a kid, summer was always by far my favorite season. So naturally, I thought I would relish in the Alabama heat, right? WRONG. Coming to school in Alabama has made me appreciate the cold Chicago winters more than anything.
Don't get me wrong, I like the heat, but when it is 85 degrees and I'm sweating on my way to my final exam in December, something is not right. The humidity is also not something to underestimate. Between the excessive heat and humidity, northerners definitely learn to appreciate the cold, dry weather they leave behind.
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