5 Ways I Know I'm Not in Texas Anymore
I love Texas. It’s a beautiful state that’s full of life and culture that cannot be beat. There’s nothing like fields of bluebonnets, Blue Bell ice cream, and good old Tex-Mex food. I grew up in Dallas and Houston – I’m Texas born and bred. But there’s no city like New York City. Although I miss Texas, I’ve made New York my home and have noticed a few differences between the two places. Here’s 5 ways I know I’m not in Texas anymore:
1. The Weather
The last few weeks of August going into September during the fall semester at Barnard are slightly reminiscent of a Texas summer. It can get pretty hot and humid as the heat gets trapped in all the concrete around the city. But instead of being hot then slightly-less-hot year round like in Texas, these things called “seasons” happen. When fall hits, the weather cools down and rain starts to fall frequently. The leaves on the big tree in the quad at Barnard (where all the first-year dorms are) turn from bright green to a brilliant yellow as they begin to fall. When winter comes along, you’ll wake up one morning and find the whole campus covered in snow. It’s a beautiful sight and you’ll drag all your friends outside to play in the snow before you discover that fingers get cold pretty quickly in freezing temperatures (speaking from personal experience). After the last few cold days, spring comes around and it’s like the whole city awakens. Students hang out on the steps by the Diana Center and Low Plaza, eating lunch and catching up with friends. You’ll spend time in Riverside, Morningside, or Central Parks because it’s just too pretty to stay inside.
2. The Food
Texas has great food. From queso to barbecue to literally fried anything at the State Fair and the Rodeo, there’s a lot of variety to keep your stomach happy. While I’m still on the search for queso in the city that’s not made from Velveeta, that doesn’t stop me from trying all other food available. Whether it’s pizza, bagels, whatever funky new food is circulating on social media, or the tiny restaurant that a friend’s classmate’s roommate recommended, there’s no shortage of delicious food in the city. While it may not be the Tex-Mex I know and love, New York has no shortage of delicious food of all kinds.
Willa, who is also from Texas, and I love finding new food around the city, like my matzah brei sandwich and Willa's delicious mac and cheese!
Let’s be honest, if you want to get to get anywhere in Texas you need to drive. Public transportation just isn’t really a thing in Texas, even in the major cities. I mean the city of Houston is over twice the size of New York City but people still drive everywhere. I love driving, but the subway system is great. You never have to worry about not having enough room for everyone in your car or how you’re going to split gas money. You just hop on the subway, with a station conveniently located right next to campus, and the whole city is available to you. The 1 Train will become your best friend at Barnard as you go off on some cool New York adventure and return home at the end of the day.
In Texas, football is some sort of religion. Doesn’t matter if it’s high school, college, or professional football, people are obsessed. I was dragged to a solid amount of football games in Texas, on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday nights, the TV was tuned to whatever game was on, and whether someone was a Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans fan, they had a plan on how their team could win the Super Bowl. If you’re like me and your football knowledge was acquired by watching Remember the Titans and half a season of Friday Night Lights, then sports probably aren’t that high on your priority list. At Barnard, sports do exist, but they don’t dominate campus. I went to exactly one football game this year, it was the homecoming game when Columbia played Dartmouth and we won, thank you very much. You can attend as many games as you want, but it’s not a huge part of campus culture. You get to decide how often you yell out “ROAR, LIONS, ROAR!”
5. Language and Manners
In New York, my name has changed from a soft, drawn out “Paaaay-ge” to a short, concise “Paige.” Gone are the days of being surrounded by slow southern drawls and that world-famous Southern Hospitality. Everything in New York is a little more fast-paced, people don’t have time to draw out a one syllable word into three. New Yorkers aren’t rude, they’re just busy people with places to go and people to see. It’s an exciting environment to be in and some of my habits and mannerisms have changed because of it, but I will never stop saying “y’all”. Ever. It’s the best word.