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Being from out-of-state can be rough, especially if you're from one of the best cities in the world. Don't get me wrong, I love college, but I also love my hometown. I think the best thing about being an out-of-state student is recognizing the differences between your new location and your old. Here are 10 things I've experienced as an out-of-state student from Chicago.
1. You get homesick for Chicago food chains. You have no one to talk to about how much you miss Portillo's chopped salad, Lou Malnati's crust or hot dogs from Superdawgs, because anyone that isn't from Chicago just doesn't understand how good they are.
2. When people ask where you're from, you automatically say Chicago, even if you're from the suburbs. Otherwise if you don't, your conversation will go a little something like this:
Me: Yeah, I'm from a suburb called Skokie, right outside of Chicago.
Non-Illinois Person: Oh, you're from Snookie? I've never heard of it.
3. If you do say you're from a suburb, their next question is usually asking if we go to one of the only tourist attractions they know about: the Bean. Nope, sorry, I haven't been there since my eighth grade field trip downtown. Besides, there's so much more to Chicago than ice skating in Millennium Park or taking a picture of your reflection in the Bean.
4. Ordering pop when you go out to eat is rough. You can't order a pop at a restaurant without getting made fun of for calling it pop. Sorry, but is soda even a word?
5. Chicago weather has prepared you for anything another state's weather throws at you. You roll your eyes when anyone complains about their winters or summers, because you know Chicago weather has brought you to hell and back. Other states don't even know what a cold winter means until they come to Chicago.
6. You hate when people ask you if Chicago got the nickname 'The Windy City' because it's windy. Nope, that's not even close to why we got the nickname, but here's a gold star for effort.
7. People will randomly ask you to say the word Chicago because they think you have an accent. We don't have accents, you're supposed to pronounce Chicago as Chic-ahhh-go, duh.
8. You get so excited when you find someone else from Illinois at your school. They understand the dynamics of each suburb, the different high schools, why Portillo's is the real MVP, and maybe you even have a few mutual friends. It's like a mini Taste of Chicago without the food, millions of people, and the actual city.
9. The drive home to and from college sucks. No matter which direction you're coming from, you have to drive through some midwestern state that has miles and miles of cornfields and, if you're lucky, a Wendy's every once and awhile.
10. Even though you went out of state for college, you feel proud every time you say you're from Chicago. No matter where you are or where you end up in life, you will always love your city, and you know that no other place is better than your hometown.
This article originally appeared on The Odyssey, the ultimate source for millennial content written for students, by students. The content captures real conversations in local communities across the country. Breana Brill is a contributing writer for The Odyssey and a first year student at Michigan State University.