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Nov 21 2015
by Kelsey Oliveira

What Happens When You Live in New England and Go to School in the South

By Kelsey Oliveira - Nov 21 2015
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Entering college as a freshman is difficult enough. But traveling to a completely different region away from everything you've known to enter college as a freshman? Personally, I'd have to say that's a bit crazy. But I made that decision myself. So maybe I'm a little bit crazy. But I think it's good to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while.

I grew up and currently live in Massachusetts, known for brutal winters, fast-paced lifestyles, Dunkin Donuts on every corner, and the best sports teams in the country (although I may be a bit biased to say that). I went to school with the same friends from elementary to high school, with many of them living just a few miles away from my house. So what made me leave this sense of familiarity and comfort to area of unknowns? I soon realized I wasn't the only one seeking new adventures.

Going to school in the South provided a completely different atmosphere than what I'm used to, having to adapt to a few things along the way.

Wearing Shorts in...Fall?

Back home in New England, I can only wear shorts up until the beginning of September, with temperatures beginning to drop and winds picking up to begin a brisk Fall season. In the South, however, that is far from the case. It's already November, and I still find myself needing to wear shorts and t-shirts everyday, as the temperature still remains in the mid-80s. I didn't even bring a coat with me to school! It's just funny and interesting when the temperature drops slightly for a few days, and the wardrobe of the locals turns into my normal fall/winter attire...and yes, I'm still in shorts! Although I do love wearing shorts and being in the sun this late into the year, I do miss being able to wear sweaters and boots.

Beware: Hide All New England Sports Apparel

Sports play a huge role in New England culture, with locals rallying behind our teams year-round. I, myself, fit into this category, as I love gathering with my family and watching the latest game and teams play, depending on the season. As I moved down to the South, this sense of comfort with my home town teams faded down a bit. I'd go out on campus wearing a Red Sox shirt, and people would "joke around" with me saying how bad the team was and how much they disliked them. It took awhile to get used to seeing fans of teams from this region, but I began to embrace my sports apparel despite the comments, finding some fellow supporters along the way...we are known as the best fans in the nation for a reason!

Where's My Clam Chowder?!

One of my favorite things about living in New England is the amazing food we have to offer: clam chowder, fresh lobster rolls, coffee milk (only a few are familiar with this delicacy!), and so much more! I loved knowing I was able to get a cup of clam chowder at any time without hesitation, as it is a local staple. I shouldn't have taken this privilege for granted though. Going down to the South, it has been very difficult being exposed to different types of seafood that they have to offer: crawfish, catfish, and tried attempts at New England Clam Chowder. I've put my feelings aside and have tried a few of these meals, but to me, nothing will compare to having a lobster roll while sitting by the water.

Although I attend school in the South, I am still rooted in my northern lifestyle; I always will be, no matter where my travels take me. I'll surely be sporting shorts well into the Florida winters of 50 degrees while I see locals wearing puffy coats. But, I'll always appreciate the underlying lessons that I've learned in my short amount of time living in the South; I accept and embrace the new culture I have been immersed in calling it a second home, but I'll always stay true to my northern roots, despite these new changes. You know New Englanders, we can't live without our Dunkin!

Lead Photo Credit: ManiacWorld.com

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Kelsey Oliveira - University of Central Florida

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