Being well south of the Mason-Dixon line, Florida is geographically as southern as southern gets. While many Floridian towns have salvaged their southern values, others have not been as lucky. Orlando is a melting pot of cultures mixed into one metropolis. Why do our values not match up with our geographical standing? We have let our rooted southern manners and traditions escape us as each culture has moved in. This is no way a bad thing! But adopting a southern lifestyle will help us reconnect with our roots and gain a new appreciation for life!
Here are some helpful tips on regaining our southern status without overdoing it:
Take a Deep Breath:A southern state of mind is a slow and relaxed one. Instead of letting Orlando’s bustling energy stress us out, we need to take a breather and realize that as long as the sun keeps shining, life is good.
Indulge in Mom and Pop Diners: Eating at fast food restaurants is a quick solution for grub during our busy lifestyles. But after we decide to take a deep breath, we also need to dine-in at the rare family-owned southern styled diners located near UCF. Townhouse in Oviedo is a great place to dip into some of that tradition.
Crank Up the Country Music: Now don’t get me wrong. Living in Orlando, I have come to like house music, but not all the time. Country music is a great change of pace.
Cowboys Orlando is a diamond in the rough of Orlando nightclubs. This country bar is known for its entertaining line-dances and southern atmosphere. If you’re not into hearing country all night long, no problem! Many regulars line-dance to popular hip-hop music too!
Take Time for Your Family and Friends: The one thing that I love about southern traditions is the importance they put on families and friends. When all is said and done, your family will always be there for you. I feel that the person that you become is based on the friendships you’ve made and your family’s influence on you! Always keep the people you love dear to your heart.
Treasure your Classiness: Orlando is known for getting wild, and while getting wild is fun, it doesn’t make for morning-after happiness. Maintaining your classiness while going out is the key to keeping your southern values. So instead of jumping on the bar the next time your favorite song comes on, think twice. Remember to be a Jackie, not a Marilyn!
Maintain Tradition: Tradition is what southerners cherish most. While UCF doesn’t have the most traditional football program or Greek system, we still have traditions we cherish as students. As being an Alpha Delta Pi, our favorite tradition is our southern-themed semi-formal known as Mallard Ball. This is when all sisters and her dates dress in camouflage and party out in the boondocks. Southern-themes definitely ensure a good time!
Now don’t mistake channeling your inner southerner as decking yourself in Lilly Pulitzer and pearls or wearing bowties at unnecessary times or monogramming everything you own (A little monogram is acceptable). Instead, we need to search for an internal southern clock that is more timeless. Taking a breather from the hectic pace of Orlando will help you de-stress. Indulging in mom and pop diners will satisfy your fix for some southern flavor. Cranking up country music will call for a different kind of party! Valuing your families and friendships will help you find a love that is unmatched. Staying classy will make you the most desirable collegiette! And finally, maintaining tradition will bring more meaning to the events you love doing!
Even though many won’t consider us southern, that doesn’t mean we can’t adopt that mindset! No one can stop us from enjoying a sweet iced tea while watching some football!