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Pick Your Favorite: Northern vs. Southern Schools

This article is a collaboration by two writers from two chapters of Her Campus. Boston College and Southern Methodist University writers teamed up to give you a glimpse at the differences between Northern and Southern colleges.

Whether you are a high school student trying to decide between different colleges located in very different regions of the United States, or you are a college student who has embraced the culture of your school and its location and is just looking to #relate, read all about the differences between football season, weather, lingo and night life between colleges located in the North, such as Boston College, versus the South, such as Southern Methodist University.


Northern Style– Tailgating during football season is really popular, both on campus and off. People typically tailgate with their families or in the Mods, which are part of the housing for seniors.


Image provided by Wikipedia


Southern Style– Tailgating is an all day event. You wake up and typically get dressed in “Brunch Attire” which includes a dress and cowboy boots for women, and a polo or button up with khaki shorts or pants for men. After brunch, you head to the tailgate and most people make it the game.


Image by Karna Small



Northern Style– I can’t think of anything that stands out, except for the Boston accent! But I don’t think we have any specific lingo.


Image via Zazzle


Southern Style– “Y’all” is used on a daily basis, and whether or not you’re a local to the South or you just came here for college, you will say this at some point in your college career whether you want to or not. If your room is a mess, you might here southern friends telling you to “putting it up” rather than “putting things away”. We commonly call people by “Ma’am” and “Sir” just because we love to show respect to those around us. Regardless of your age, don’t be shocked if a store clerk called you “Ma’am” or “Sir” while paying for your groceries.


Image via Redbubble



Northern Style– We’ve been having a really warm fall, which is unusual, but normally it’s fairly cool. Our winters are almost always really cold and we get tons of snow.



Image via The Daily Doss


Southern Style– Texas heat lasts from April to October. It cools off a little in November, and if you’re lucky, you might get a few snow days in December or January. Expect random rain at any point in the year. The few weeks that it actually feels like winter are due to festivities around Dallas, rather than a major drop in temperature. 


Image via SMU


Greek Life

Northern Style– We don’t have Greek Life at BC, but I know that it is still popular at other northern schools! Even without Greek Life, there is plenty to do around school to meet new people.


Image via Boston College


Southern Style– Greek life is a huge part of many southern schools. There are constant Date Dashes, Formals, and various Greek Life philanthropy events going on. It is possible to find your niche without joining Greek Life at a southern school, but joining Greek Life is definitely a great way to instantly meet so many people.


Image via SMU Panhellenic



Northern Style– Being so close to Boston, there are lots of brunch spots close to campus. Students typically go off campus on the weekend to get brunch on Newbury Street or the surrounding neighborhoods.


Image via Lamotta Boston


Southern Style– Brunch is appropriate any day of the week. I think brunch is so popular because of the prevalence of Sunday morning church and the commonality of going to brunch after church services are done. People get dressed up and enjoy bottomless mimosas and insane Eggs Benedicts. The term “Brunching” is an actual thing.


Image via Zagat


Most Popular University Sports

Northern Style– Football is pretty big, but hockey is definitely our biggest sport.


Image via Twitter


Southern Style– Tailgating attendance is probably higher than the actual football game’s attendance, but football is the south in general is a huge event. Basketball is a big thing depending on the school. At SMU, students will camp out overnight to get tickets for the Student Section. It’s intense! It also helps that George W. Bush and his wife attend almost every single game, and if you’re lucky you can catch a selfie with them or even shake their hand.


Image via USA Today


Class Attire

Northern Style– Students typically dress up for class, and stick to classics. Especially up North, Bean Boots and Barbours become popular as fall and winter hit!


Image via Pinterest


Southern Style– Big T-shirts and running shorts are popular when the weather in hot, but once the weather cools off, people typically wear Athliesure or jeans and sweaters with knee high boots or booties.


Image via Amy Believes in Pink


What Students do on Weekends

Northern Style– Visiting the city is something that a lot of students choose to do. People will study, shop or go out to eat. There’s always something happening on campus too! There are plays and musicals, comedy shows, dance performances and sports games!


Image via The Voice of Downtown Boston


Southern Style– Visiting coffee shops to study and complete homework is a fairly popular trend. You can always see students exploring nearby cities during the day and the night. Night life is usually constant and starts as early as Wednesday nights. At SMU, in rain or shine, people are always ready for Day Parties and night festivities at clubs downtown.


Image via Dallas VIP


Regardless of what school you attend and where it is located in the country, enjoy the experience, embrace the culture, and live your college years to the fullest! Which one is your favorite?

Karna is a Junior at Southern Methodist University studying Public Relations, Advertising, and English. She is the Social Media Director for Her Campus SMU, as well as a member of STUMO and Alpha Chi Omega. She is from Orange County, California and loves going to the beach and spending time with her younger sisters when visiting home. When she is not studying, Karna is usually exploring Dallas, listening to country music, or updating her blog, Simply Karna.
Hi I'm Olivia! I'm a junior at BC who loves writing, photography, John Mayer, and anything beauty related.
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