A New Jerseyan’s Guide To Survival At An Out-Of-State School

It’s a tough world out there. Lucky for you, we know how you feel. 


1. Pretend you know how to pump gas.

People from the other 49 states find it very strange that we don’t know how to or simply can’t pump our own gas. It’s not our fault - it’s illegal. To avoid the obnoxious *gasp* and the follow-up questions, just smile along and pretend you pump your gas all the time - and just hope that the responsibility doesn’t fall on you during a road trip.


2. Drop the Central Jersey argument.

We all know it exists, but sometimes people just won’t budge on this. I live in Central Jersey, and I still have to give into the debate sometimes. At an out-of-state school, you have to know where to draw the line in order to avoid an extra heated argument - just know that you’re right inside! Hold your head up high, and walk away from the psycho that’s trying to tell you that Central Jersey doesn’t exist.


3. Laugh off the Jersey Shore years.

Yes, they happened - and yes, you more than likely had a mini Snooki poof for a while that took you ages to perfect (and you were proud of it, too.) We’re always going to hear about Jersey Shore when we tell people where we’re from, so let’s not make it any worse by admitting that we played into the fad. Just laugh along when out-of-staters make jokes, and then put your old Facebook albums on private.


4. Know when to stop the pizza/bagels argument.

Obviously, our pizza and bagels are better, but this gets redundant - people from other states are really tired of hearing it (except New York, of course). If your new friends just aren’t getting the magnitude of the situation, then it’s best to just drop it. You’ll need some friends in an out-of-state school, and then they can come visit you in NJ - then you can show them how much better the food is instead of just telling them.


5. Save your energy for the pork roll/Taylor Ham debate.

We can’t keep arguing about food, but when it comes to this one, even New Jerseyans are split. North Jersey calls it Taylor Ham, the rest of the state calls it pork roll - if we can’t unite on this, then we can’t fight with people from other states about it. We’ll have to give this one a rest until our state can make a unified decision.


6. Don’t show anyone your license.

“Why aren’t you smiling?” “Why do you look so mad?” It’s the law, people - I don’t make the rules! Even though it really is against the law to smile for your license picture, it does sound hard to believe. Every time my license has been out in the open, I’ve regretted having anyone lay their eyes on it. Instead of getting flooded with questions about New Jersey’s strange laws, keep your license where no one can see it, and don’t hold it out for too long after the bouncer checks it.


7. Bring something to remember Wawa by.

Wawa is basically synonymous with home, so when you get homesick, you’re probably missing Wawa too. Just like you bring pictures and tokens of your hometown, friends, and family, you should bring something to remember Wawa by too. When you’re surrounded by Sheetz, and people who like Sheetz better, you’re going to need it. And of course, count down the days until you can reunite with your friends over Wawa coffee.


Good luck, collegiettes!