Three Differences Between Northern and Southern Colleges

Going home for Thanksgiving gave many of us a time to reconnect with hometown family and friends. If any of you met with old high school friends now on their own college adventures, I’m sure it was fascinating to compare your college experiences from dorms, to parties, to meal plans.

 

Coming from a Midwest State, I met up with many old friends who now attend colleges and universities closer to the frigid north. Surprisingly, we had more similarities between our college experiences than differences, but there were still quite a few things that either made me cringe in fear or swoon in nostalgia.

 

One such difference: Football Games. The South may have some pretty insane teams, but I’d argue that the North has some even more insane fans. Insane in the sense that students will brave 30-degree weather in whatever game-day attire available just to support their team. This means that Minnesota and Wisconsin students will be arriving in full parkas and puff hats, while Alabama and Texas students will saunter to games wearing painted bodies and miniskirts. In my opinion, it takes a lot more grit to get hype for a football game when you can see your breath versus having to wear heels.

 

Next difference: Greek Life. Although Greek Life still thrives at certain Northern and Midwestern schools, it’s not nearly as prevalent and commonplace as in the South. Many Midwest schools don’t even offer Greek life, so students are forced to rely on expensive Uber rides to bars or house parties on weekends. Hearing about how hard it can be for some of my Northern friends to find parties was the first time I was actually thankful for frat row. 

 

Finally, the accents. Coming from the North to the South taught me just how strong my Midwest accent is. Any word with a short “a” sound in it immediately gets ripped apart by native southerners. Even just general word choice is fascinating to see between states and schools. From words like hammock to water ice to bubbler to pop, accents are a great way to determine who the true northern or southerners are at any school.

 

Overall my friends from both Northern and Southern schools have loved their colleges so far, with the most important aspect being keeping an open mind to new experiences and friendships.