12/01/2013 01:14 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2014

Iowa vs. New Jersey

Since I have moved to Iowa, people have asked me multiple times, "What is different about Iowa than New Jersey?" I will admit there have been differences that I have picked up on. My aunt suggested to me before I moved to write down what is different because after a while they will seem pretty normal. So I took her advice and here is my list of differences from my life in New Jersey when I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and life in Iowa where I go to public school and can drive anywhere.

Jimmy Johns: Anyone from the Midwest will know what this is. And right now this is my current obsession. Jimmy Johns is a chain restaurant that makes sandwiches that are so good! And they deliver. Hallelujah, I have found the Promised Land. Des Moines has so many great restaurants and the Midwest has chains that the East Coast has lacked experience.

Dahls: A supermarket that has changed my life! Seriously, Dahls has everything and I love going in there. I might be a little weird for loving a supermarket but let me tell you, they give out free cookie samples. I love cookies and a good store.

BOYS: I GO TO SCHOOL WITH BOYS NOW! That transition was a weird one! In my first classes at my new school, I was sitting and there were boys next to me. I just remember this feeling of bewilderment. Like, do I talk to them? If I write a memoir I think the title is going to be Boys Come From Mars: How Anne Deals With Members of the Opposite Sex in Academic Situations.

"Guys": They say the word "guys" when addressing groups, A LOT. They have other speech differences too, like saying "turn up" when they are excited. It's contagious though, so when I visit my friends and say things like "turn up" and "guys" excessively they will know Iowa has rubbed off on me.

Coffee Shops: It is really common to go to coffee shops to study and do work. And not just Starbucks. Caribou Coffee, Smokey Row and other shops have become my new study space and it is a great place to meet study groups or even just to plug in headphones and smell the brewing cappuccino.

There are more differences, but I think these five are pretty outstanding ones for me. Des Moines has other great things besides food despite the recurring theme of this blog. I like Des Moines and these differences I found between here and New Jersey are only a few. I like Des Moines but here is a blog I am dedicating to the little funny differences that I picked up on but really like about this place.