Stereotypes By State
“So where are you from?”
Seems like a harmless question at first, but really it’s just a vaguely disguised excuse for people to judge you based on sweeping generalizations of your hometown/region. Case in point: take a look at these candid opinions gathered from a very unscientific polling of Syracuse students.
Snooki and the Jersey Shore gang may have given NJ natives a bad rap. Non-New Jerseyans continuously express disdain for their trashy behavior and attitude problems. “Spoiled kids from the suburbs,” said one spiteful sophomore. It may seem that New Jersey kids have formed a sort of cult on campus—you might recognize them by their vaguely orange skin tones, bizarre accents (coffee = cauffee; water = wauder), and penchant for first-pumping at parties. But consider this: New Jerseyans are people too. Strike up a conversation with one and you might find that he or she is actually a decent, moderately classy human being.
Opinions on New Yorkers widely vary by region. Long Island natives were repeatedly described as snooty and stubborn. The words “country club” and “preppy” popped up quite often as descriptors of LI culture.
On the other end of the spectrum were those who called the Big Apple their home. Street-smart and always in a rush, these guys get a rep for being somewhat confrontational and constantly bragging about the fact that they live in NYC. In fact, anyone who lives within a 60-minute radius of the city basically claims it as his or her home. Beware of these suburb-dwelling, faux-New Yorkers though. A majority of them couldn’t find their way around the city without an iPhone.
Finally, there are those who reside in “other” parts of the Empire State. Whether they’re from a small-ish city like Syracuse or out somewhere in East Bumblefuck, their swag is certainly distinct. With slightly wonky accents, many proudly claim to have made it out of “hicksville.” Though some of these towns may have vast swaths of open land or include more cattle than humans, the general perception is that people from these areas are down-to-earth and friendly.
If their inability to pronounce the letter “r” isn’t a dead giveaway, you might realize that you’re dealing with a bona fide Masshole when they won’t shut up about their beloved Red Sox or Pats. In all fairness, though, Massachusetts, like all states, is home to a wide variety of people—some are sane and fun to be with; others need to be taken in small doses. The same goes for prim-and-proper Connecticut folks and granola types from Vermont and New Hampshire. Feel free to wear your sweater vests or grow your organic hemp in peace, but you might wanna quit bragging about your hometown for five minutes.
California kids are usually easy to spot: when they’re not complaining about the disappointing quality of East Coast bud or shitting themselves over a few snowflakes, you can probably catch them longboarding to the nearest health food store to pick up their supply of coconut water and guac. As an east-coaster, I feel wholly unqualified to delve into the NorCal/SoCal rivalry, but apparently it’s a sin to mistake a San Franciscan for a San Diegan. Sure, Californians are chill, but maybe a tad too chill? Some can’t seem to get their heads out of LaLa Land and into the frigid, fast-paced East Coast environment. Still, it’s hard not to be jealous of their perma-tans and happy-go-lucky “whatever, bro” attitude.
This is for you, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, et al. Though you may feel underrepresented as a regional demographic, take solace in the fact that many find your tranquil way of life endlessly fascinating. Aside from Chicago and a handful of other cities, the majority of students have a mental picture of your hometown as something out of Little House on the Prairie. We know you’re tired of the cow-tipping jokes and we apologize for our collective ignorance. On the bright side, students ranked Midwesterners as the some of the kindest and most genuine people on campus.