Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Southern Etiquette 111 Taught by a Southern Girl

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wake Forest chapter.

As we say in the south, “Hey y’all!”

 Being in a diverse college such as Wake Forest, people come from many different places. For example, one of my friends Jennifer Rokus is from bright and sunny California. She also happens to be a writer here at Her Campus Wake Forest! If you read one of her latest articles, “Southern Etiquette 111 Taught by a LA Girl”, you would have noticed that from her perspective, the South is a strange and slightly confusing culture, and that she also asked for a response: “Honestly if Wake Forest could invest in a Southern Etiquette class that would be awesome”.

So, as a southern girl with plenty of southern culture to spare, I thought it would only be best to spread my knowledge of a region I know only too well.

1. Door Holding

            Here in the south we hold doors open. And when I say open, I mean open. It is just common politeness to hold the door open for people, even strangers. The problem lies when people don’t know how long to open the door for. According to Californian Jenn (AKA Jenny from the block), “I never know how long to keep the door open for”. Well Jenn, no fear! The correct amount of time to keep the door open depends upon the distance between the person and the door. If the person is ten feet away, chances are you do not even have to keep the door open, but if there is a person super close to the door the average door holding time is about 30 seconds or however long they need to get to the door.

2. Saying Sorry


When you come to the South, you might often confuse it with Canada. This is because we say sorry…. A lot. You will find that here we say sorry for most things, even if it has nothing to do with us. For example, if you get bumped into by a southerner, you will most likely get an apology.

3. Being Nice

People had a lot to say about this. New York native Wake Professor Meghan Ferrence said, “I like the politeness, even if it’s fake. Having someone be nice to you matters.” And students Peter Chu (Shanghai, China) and Parrish Ballard (Hong Kong, China) both said “People are really nice here.” One Mac Vivona (New Jersey) even thinks “southerners are way too nice here, and they are so nice here it makes you sick”, but I personally think that’s a part of our charm. Being nice is just something we do here!

4.“Bless Your Heart” and other turns of phrase

Things everyone knows about the south includes our turns of phrase. We love to say things like y’all and of course “Bless Your Heart”! This is something that takes time to learn, but eventually you’ll be speaking like a true southerner in no time!

Have a great day y’all!


Photos via:






Freshman student at Wake Forest University. Avid Pancake Enthusiast and lover of all food (even though she has many allergies).
Hailing from Chicago, this Midwesterner turned Southern Belle is the Editor-in-Chief of Wake Forest University's chapter. When she isn't journaling for fun in her free time, she is obsessed with running around campus in giant sunglasses, wearing gold glitter eyeliner, and munching on trail mix. She's still struggling on saying "y'all" and not "guys" and has yet to try Cookout's legendary milkshakes. Follow her on twitter @Hmonyek!