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Things You Don’t Understand if You’re Not from Ohio

As the saying goes, “Midwest is Best!” As a native Midwestern to now primarily lives in the great state of New York, I’ve noticed a few things that only us Midwestern’s know.


“Ope” is a Midwest staple. You can’t go a day without hearing the word at least 50 times. It’s so weird when I run into someone accidentally here, and it’s just silence coming from them. Like girl, ope me. It’s so awkward without the mutual admittance of the word, it’s the Midwest way of admitting shock, but always the introduction to an apology.

I probably say ope a thousand times a day, it’s just a natural response to a situation.

The Rivalry Between The Ohio State University and University of Michigan 

The biggest day in college football is the Ohio State vs Michigan game. Ohioans deck out in their favorite team, make good food, and scream at the TV. And if you live in a divided house like I do, the competition gets intense!

Some people won’t even say Michigan’s name around game day, it’s just “ichigan.” It’s cursed on game day.

The “The” in The Ohio State University is Important

As an Ohioan, I can attest to the annoyance that students and alumni make over a three letter word. But everyone in Ohio knows that it’s not the Ohio State University, it’s THE Ohio State University. And when you are referring to the school, you can’t leave out that word. They even tried to trademark the word “The,” it’s THAT important.

Unlike Most States, We Can Spell Out Our Home State with Four People

We do this EVERYWHERE. I’ve done it at Great Escape here, everywhere in Ohio, so many places. So if you ever see people standing in a row with their arms all over the place, you best bet they’re repping the good ole state of Ohio!

Buckeyes Mean More than What You Think They Do

Buckeyes are not only a nut from the Buckeye tree, but our state university mascot, AND a chocolate/peanut butter candy from the heavens! Us Ohioans are versatile with our word usage!

Our Weather is Notoriously Bipolar

It can go to snow on the ground in the morning to sunshine and sweltering hot weather in the afternoon to thunderstorms in the evenings to hail all night long. Seasons? What are those? Ohio weather does what it wants.

It’s Called POP, NOT Soda.

I physically CRINGE every time I hear the word soda. It’s just a no from me. It’s pop, no question about it!

We Have Cedar Point

Almost everyone knows about Cedar Point, one of the best amusement parks in the country. Celebrities, foreigners, and out-of-staters come to enjoy Cedar Point in Sandusky!

Buffalo Wild Wings is Called B-Dubs in Ohio

Don’t ask why. No one actually knows why. It’s just B-Dubs. It’s weird to say the whole name.

We’re One of the Few States to Have the Most Number of Big Cities

Ohio is one of the most populated states in the United States. We rank number seven with almost 12 million people! We have Cincinnati, Columbus (capital), and Cleveland!


I-O! We kind of have a thing in Ohio that at big events, like sporting events, we scream out O-H! I-O! Even, Taylor Swift participated during her Reputation Stadium Tour. At the concert I attended, she said as a native from Pennsylvania, she’s always heard her neighbors did this, and it was her dream to participate too!

We Don’t Expect You to Have Any Clue About Where We Live

Despite being one of the most populated states, most people don’t have a clue about Ohio. We’re just lumped in with the Midwest.

When people ask me where I’m from IN Ohio, I’ve resorted to beginning with “Do you know anything about Ohio?” After that it’s “I live Fostoria, it’s in Northwest, Ohio. An hour from Toledo, 30 minutes from Findlay, two hours from Columbus and Cleveland, close to the Michigan border.” Just list it out, baby, chances are they don’t have a clue anyways. They’re missing out.

We Have the Best Christmas Lights in the Country

The Toledo Zoo has been voted many times to have the best lights in the country. As an Ohioan who only lives only an hour away, you best bet I go every year!

Our Highways are Fast

The first thing us Ohioans notice when we leave our fabulous state is that y’all’s speed limits are mad weird, and your interstates are mad slow!!! In Ohio, our interstates are 70 mph, not 55-65 like New York’s! As an Ohioan, the second I cross the border and the speed limit goes up, I press that gas to 80-85 like it should be on major highways.

We Always Drive at Least Five Over

Oh. My. God. Let me tell you that my 15 minute commuter to school is filled with yelling, because I swear EVERY New Yorker loves driving 35 in a 40. That’s not how it works. If the speed limit is 40 (which is weird, it should be 35), then the real speed limit is 45 or more. For New Yorker’s always having somewhere to be, they sure like to take their time and this Ohioan is not here for it.

We Don’t Have an Accent, You Do

The Midwest is known as the accent without an accent. Foreign actors and actress learn our accent because is the easiest to learn.

Tornado Sirens Blaring...Pfft What's That?

There were so many tornado warnings this summer, and every time I told my non-Midwest friends, they call freaked out and told me to get shelter. Meanwhile, me and every other Midwesterner effected went out. You know you're from the Midwest when you go outside to see if you can see the tornado. 


New York is definitely my favorite state in the entire country, but I’m a proud Ohioan. Ohio is unique, and it’s definitely worth your time to go visit and see for yourself just how awesome Ohio is.

Alyssa Guzman is a Senior at Siena College, and is the Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus Siena. She is currently Double Majoring in English and Communications Journalism with a minor in Writing and Communications. She hopes to one day be a New York Times Bestselling Author in Fiction, but plans on starting in the journalism world with dreams of writing for Cosmopolitan or the New York Times. In her free time, she enjoys fashion, writing, and listening to the newest Taylor Swift release. 
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