By Christina Muñoz |
Once I decided I would attend Baylor University, I couldn’t wait to move to the south. I always wanted to live in Texas since I grew up visiting my cousins in the Lone Star State each year. It was a dream come true. Little did I know the differences I would encounter in my new home. Here are some major differences I’ve noticed between life in New Jersey and life in Texas.
- Wawa vs. Whataburger
Within the first week of living in Texas, I became overly exposed to the term “Whataburger.” “What-a-what?” I would ask my new friends. As a Jersey girl, Whataburger meant nothing to me — I just couldn’t believe no one had ever heard of Wawa. Now, that was odd. New Jersey natives rave about Wawa, this amazing convenience store with the best hoagies. We just can’t get enough of Wawa, especially when we’re at the shore. But, when I asked my new friends about it they replied, “Wa-what?”.
- “Fill it regular” vs. Pumping your own gas
While Texan high schoolers might work at movie theaters, it’s common for New Jersey high schoolers to work at gas stations. Back home, it’s illegal to pump your own gas — check out the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act and Regulations. Weird, right? But, that’s all I’d known until I came to Texas. When I go to a gas station back home, I roll down my window and instinctively say “fill it regular” to the gas station worker. I still hesitate to grab the gas pump because it feels like I’m breaking the law. The saying is true: “Jersey girls don’t pump gas.”
- You guys vs. Y’all
I was highly aware of this one before coming to Texas. Some of my high school friends even joked about not being friends anymore if I came back from college saying “y’all” or talked with a southern accent. Freshman year, my Baylor friends knew I was a “you guys” person so the first time they heard me naturally say “y’all” it was a big deal.
- Small state vs. Big state
I never realized how big Texas is until I left Waco on a 10-hour bus ride and ended up still in Texas. New Jersey is so small it’s almost impossible to stay within its borders. From my house, I can get to New York or Pennsylvania in an hour. In Texas, you might have to drive 14 hours before you come across the border, depending on your starting point.
- Pizza/bagels vs. Texas BBQ/Tex-Mex
Texas may have its own version of pizza and bagels, but it’s nothing like the real deal back in Jersey — back home we have actual bread. I’m still in disbelief of the popularity of Domino’s pizza here. On the bright side, Texas has its own classics specific: Texas BBQ and Tex-Mex. I guess that makes up for the lack of good pizza and bagels.