A Coloradan’s Guide to Life in New Jersey

Hannah Villa
Hannah Villa

Coming to New Jersey, I knew that I had to learn a lot. Growing up in Colorado and attending school in Kansas had not necessarily prepared me for the fast paced East Coast way of life. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I knew I was in for the time of my life! Being in Jersey for now only a week, I have already learned so much. So, here are some of the most valuable tips this East Coast transplant has to offer.

1. Even if you do not know what in the world you are doing, act like you do. This piece is crucial, especially for driving purposes. This can also come in handy when walking on a new campus without a map and the buildings are not labeled. Never fear, you will eventually get to where you are going, but you might arrive later than expected.

2. Whatever time the GPS tells you that you will arrive, always budget 15 additional minutes. This goes off of my first point and my fear of tardiness, but always, always always leave 15 minutes early. No matter where you are in New Jersey, you will hit some form of traffic. Just sit back, turn up Call Me Maybe and thank yourself for getting up early.

3. Never EVER leave the house without your umbrella and rain boots! Because no matter how nice it looks outside when you leave for the day, it WILL rain at some point, and no one likes to be rained on in their business casual attire. I recommend leaving your rain boots in your car or bag so that you always have them near. And ALWAYS carry your umbrella in your bag; you will never regret it.

4. Do not be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves.¬†This I have had to do a lot because, quite frankly, sometimes I cannot understand a thick East Coast accent. While I am getting used to the vernacular up here, I must say it is quite different than what I was used to. So when you find yourself in this conundrum, politely ask the individual to repeat themselves and listen carefully. A couple of my favorite Jersey words: sorawrity (sorority), warter (water), g’head (go ahead).

5. Invest in some bug bite itch reliever. Maybe this is just me, but I seem to be absolutely covered in mosquito bites. Now this is, of course, avoidable if you prefer to stay indoors, but no matter what time of the day I go outside, I always come back a wounded bitten warrior. So, I recommend finding your favorite remedy and sticking to it. Personally, I like Aveeno anti-itch cream, but I am never too shy to try new products.

6. Stop and admire the beauty. This one is a biggie for me mainly because I am such a picture taker. I often find myself stopping dead in my tracks to whip out my phone and snap a shot. So I encourage you to stop sometimes and admire the beauty that surrounds you. The architecture, greenery and landscapes up here are breathtaking, so take a minute to slow down and take it in.

7. Have FUN. One of the most important pieces of advice I can offer! To live on the east coast is one of the most amazing opportunities I have had thus far and at the end of the day, no matter what I am doing, I always try to have fun. Whether I am aimlessly walking on campus, stuck in Jersey traffic, or trying to order at a traditional Italian restaurant when I do not know what anything on the menu is, I always try and take a step back, look at my life, and smile. Laugh with yourself, go new places, step out of your comfort zone, and be open to new things.

So with that, I hope you have learned something new about this gorgeous state and region.

And wherever you are, always remember to be yourself, laugh, and take in the beauty of each day.

That’s it from this Jersey girl.

Until next time friends,

Hannah

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