Chick-Fil-A & College Football: What I've Learned At Auburn

Now that registration is over and the semester is finally slowing down, I've had time to reflect on my first few months here at Auburn. Coming from out of state, I expected an adjustment period and a little culture shock. The following stories chronicle my experiences thus far. 

True Life: I’m a Chick fil-A convert

Okay seriously. What is this sorcery? I had never indulged in this Southern staple until I set foot in Auburn. Sure, there are locations in Illinois, just not one terribly close to my hometown. I wasn’t sure how to approach the fast food franchise, so I enlisted a friend to go along with me for my first visit. And honestly… I hated it. It all tasted the same to me and what was the deal with the sauce (is it honey mustard or barbeque, really)? From that moment on I swore to myself to never step foot in that line again. But then breakfast rolled around… and my life was never the same since that #1 Chicken Biscuit meal. I now wake up hoping that the line isn’t too long after my 8 AM.

Chacos Are Not a Snack Food

When I first heard this term in passing, I swear, I thought that a Chaco was a slang term for those ice cream chocolate tacos. I just assumed that it was another favorite food like Chick-fil-A. Nope. I quickly learned about this cult footwear and the tan lines that accompany them. While I can’t say I own a pair myself, I’m just thankful they’re not Crocs. (But seriously…how do you put them on?)

The Strange and Wonderful World of Accents

This is definitely not a paragraph devoted to bashing the lovely Southern accent. It’s more so the hyperawareness of accents that comes along with moving into a new part of the country. Even though sometimes it is incredibly difficult to understand the deeper accents, I can’t fuss too much because I can’t even begin imagine how irritating my Midwestern vowel pronunciation sounds (because I just figured this out now). If anything, the local accents just make me feel like I’m perpetually walking around the set of Steel Magnolias and that is never a bad thing. Let’s just hope I can break the habit of saying “y’all” before I return home for winter break. 


Football Really is a Religion

I honestly never followed college football until I started school. But as soon as I witnessed my first home game I realized that what occurs in the SEC goes beyond school spirit; it’s a full-on lifestyle. What folks in Auburn call tailgaiting seriously should be considered a work of art in itself. Walking across campus both before and after games, I have never seen anything quite like it (and to the family that sets up a chandelier, I applaud you). From Tiger Walk to Toomer’s Corner, the enthusiasm and dedication of entire generations of fan is both admirable and incredibly touching. There is definitely a reason Auburn’s #1.

I Believe in Auburn and Love It

Though I’m still working on navigating campus and understanding all the Southern customs that seem to appear with each season, I have never witnessed such a strong sense of community like the one that exists in Auburn. Maybe it’s the university that brings everyone together or simply that the nicest people in the country all happened to plop down in this sleepy small town, but either way, I can’t imagine spending the next four years of my life anywhere else.