A UNC Northerner gives her perspective on the South

‘I knew there would be a lot of rednecks’

Hot and cold. The Yankees and the Red Socks. Drake and Meek Mill. Some things are just too different. The North and South are no exception.

To find out more about our neighbors above us, I sat down with resident northerner, Lauren Dombrowski.

Moving to the South from Long Island can be a bit of a culture shock, which is exactly what happened when senior Lauren Dombrowski moved down the coast to the Tar Heel state.

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After realizing Carolina knows how to do it best, she packed up her bags and headed to UNC after only visiting Raleigh briefly many years before.

Lauren said: “I knew there would be a lot of rednecks, so I thought everyone was going to talk really slow and think that I’m really annoying. When I got here, it was way worse than I thought, but then it got a lot better.”

Some of her favorite aspects of the South include the beautiful scenery and the fact that she can have multiple trees in her yard.  Being able to see chipmunks everyday – something that does not happen in New York – was also an upside for her.

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After spending time here, Lauren said: “Everyone is so nice and smarter than I’d thought they’d be.”

The largest difference, she mentions, is the pace of life and peoples’ attitudes.

“I was in New York this summer and, like, you don’t look at people.  If you make eye contact with someone, you’re dead, but not like dead-dead, just bad.”

The moment she deems as the most southern experience since being here includes the state fair and a pig race, which she actually missed by a few minutes.

“My friends and I were totally lost and then we walked through this gate and this man was saying, ‘Are you with the tractor pull?’ Naturally, we said yes and walked through the tractor race because he thought we looked country enough.”

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Rapid Fire Questions

Sweet tea: “Ugh, I don’t like that.”

Bojangles: “Yum.”

Lilly Pulitzer: “No.”

Vineyard Vines: “Eh.”

Grits: “I’ve never had them.”

Biscuits: “Yum, yes.”

Rocking chairs on porches: “Like Cracker Barrel?  That’s all I think of.”

NASCAR: “There’s a track in Charlotte, right?  I want to go before I graduate, like I feel like I should go.”

BBQ: “I don’t eat meat.”

Fried chicken: “Oh, I eat chicken though, just not red meat, but fried chicken I don’t really like.”

The confederate flag: “Insensitive.”

Country music: “Eh, take it or leave it.  I went to a Jason Aldean concert and it was fun!”

The weather: “Yeah, it’s nice.”

Camo: “No, no, no.”

Tractors: “Um, well the tractor pull?”

Monograms: “I had those before I came down here.”

Cowboy boots: “Um, they used to be cool.”

Seersucker: “Okay in moderation.”

“Y’all”: “No.”

The War of Northern Aggression: “Doesn’t exist.”

Muddin’: “I wanna go.”

Lauren is a New York slice with a cold glass of sweet tea and living proof that a northerner can survive and thrive below the Mason-Dixon line.  If you see her around campus, make sure to say, “Howdy!”

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