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The 6 Stages of Trying to Describe Where I’m From

When I moved to Alabama, I never knew how difficult it would be to describe where I’m from. For reference, I’m from a small town in southeast Georgia. It’s a town known as Kingsland, but usually, people haven’t heard of it. It’s basically located in the furthest southeast county you can reach in the state of Georgia: right before the Florida border and right on the ocean. For some reason though, this revelation seems to shock people. Instead of saying the city, I usually just say “southeast Georgia”. However, sometimes people want to know more. Whether it be during an icebreaker for a class or just during a general conversation, people have a tough time understanding that you can be from Georgia and not live in a major city.


1. “Oh, you’re from Georgia? I love Atlanta!!”

I’m not sure what it is about the south, but everyone automatically assumes you are from Atlanta or a surrounding suburb if you say you’re from Georgia. Part of this is my fault I guess. Georgia is a big state. It’s understandable for them to assume I am from the largest part.


2. “My grandparent/aunt/uncle/best friend/goldfish actually lives in Atlanta!”

That’s great! I’ve been to Atlanta maybe 4 times since I’ve lived in Georgia. Three of those times were because of the airport.


3. “Okay so wait, if you’re not from Atlanta, where are you from?”

I think I started out the conversation by saying I’m from Georgia, but maybe I blacked out? No, I didn’t? Okay. Still, this is probably my fault again. I wasn’t specific enough to begin with. I’m beginning to learn from my mistakes over the years and I’ve started to clarify where I am from regionally in Georgia.


4. “Okay, southeast Georgia. So like, Savannah??”

We are getting much warmer here; we are officially on the correct side of the state, however, still two hours off. I’ve been to Savannah maybe once. I have heard it’s gorgeous there though!


5. “Oh, so like near the border of Florida? So, you like basically live in Florida?”

At this point in the conversation I’ve usually given up and I just settle. I’ve been to Florida way more times than I’ve been to the various parts of Georgia. So yeah sure, I basically live in Florida.


6. “Wait wait wait, so the county right before you enter Florida? On the coast?”

YES! Finally! Oh my goodness. This is usually the point in the conversation where I’m excited because “yes, they know where I’m talking about,” but at the same time, I’m also like, “wow! I can’t believe I spent so long describing this to you even though I’ll probably never see you again!”

Of course, the conversation doesn’t take on as much sarcasm as I internally feel. I’m aware that it can be a challenging to picture a place you’re not all that familiar with. Plus, I enjoy describing where I’m from. It’s always exciting to tell people you grew up on the beach, literally. There’s only so many people here at UA who can say that!


Header Photo by Tessa Rampersad on Unsplash

Shaina is a senior Psychology major with minors in Communication Studies and Social Welfare at the University of Alabama. 
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