Just about two weeks ago, I packed up all my earthly belongings (well, okay, mostly just my clothes) and moved to South Carolina to work with our new chapter at Coastal Carolina University. Needless to say, transitioning from spending the last four years in the Northeast to the South has been quite the adjustment. Here are a few things that will take some getting used to:
- Pace of life: Holy cow. My dad warned me about how slowly things move in the South (he lived in North Carolina for a few years after college) but oh my Lord, it’s really something to experience it firsthand. I spent my collegiate years in Boston, Massachusetts–the land of where everyone speed walks (especially when it is snowing,) people will literally shove you out of the way to get on the T, and folks generally live by the mantra of “don’t bother me, I’ve got places to be.” Let’s just say the same rules to do not apply here. People take their sweet, sweet time accomplishing tasks. Case in point: the line at Time Warner Cable when I attempted to get my wifi set up. But hey, for what the South lacks in efficiency they make up for in friendliness.
- Fried everything: Every morning on my 20-minute commute, I drive by approximately 15 fast food restaurants. There is a Chik-Fil-A in the student union at CCU. Basically, there is temptation at every turn. Have you guys ever had Cook Out?? It’s a fast food burger chain where you can get an entree, two sides and a drink for $5. You know what you can get as a side? A corn dog. A. CORN. DOG. (Obviously, I did it.) And don’t get me started on Bojangles. I’m only two weeks into my stay here and have already quickly come to terms with the fact that I need to seek a healthier lifestyle while I’m here if I want to be able to zip my pants by the end of this school year. So I willingly made a kale salad today for lunch. The South is doing weird things to me.
- Sun exposure: Umm…I casually got SUPER burned on my shoulders today while tabling with Sigma Kappa at an activities fair. The sun just burns a little brighter down here when it’s not downpouring and/or thunderstorming so loud you think the world is ending. Daily SPF to all exposed skin is gonna be a real thing, y’all.
- Everyone drives a pickup truck here: No seriously, everyone here drives a truck. I grew up in the Midwest, where the only people I know who drive trucks are farmers. Everyone in South Carolina loves trucks–men, women, students, adults–trucks don’t discriminate. Maybe I’m missing out on something?! Also, everyone here seems to love a good car window decal (the most popular ones: monograms and sorority letters).
Have you ever lived in the South? I’d love to hear your stories and any recommendations for the Myrtle Beach area!