Hella Nor Cal or totally So Cal?

If you call Southern California home, you will most likely connect to this article on a whole new psychological level. Differentiating between Northern and Southern California can be challenging; however, I have found that they are worlds apart in more ways than one.

Now, there is no clear-cut line of Northern and Southern California, but a general consensus believes NorCal starts around Santa Cruz, up to the northern most border. MidCal, an area that is mysterious to most Southern California locals, is a complete mystery. It roughly stretches from Carmel down to the San Luis Obispo area, including cities like Fresno and Bishop. In what seems as a nearly unanimous agreement, Santa Barbara is where SoCal begins.

Both sides of my entire family calls Southern California home. I lived there for the first few years of my life until my family and I moved to Roseville. This “hella” cool suburb outside of Sacramento. Many start college and hear this strange word that they can’t quite define, “hella.” It’s used to add emphasis to certain statements like “I’m hella mad right now.” As soon as some begin to use this word, they have officially become a NorCal resident. Over the years of going back and forth between the two sides of the state, it’s clear they are completely different. So the question remains, which is better? Was coming to college in Northern California the right decision? Let’s define some substantial differences before deciding. 

It seems many college students from SoCal choose to go to college up north to get away from the fast-paced lifestyle or to escape the hold their parents have on them. 

Either way, transitioning from a place of constant traffic and acai bowls to a land of actual seasons and Sushirito is a nice change of pace. This change may be refreshing to some, but it is definitely a culture shock in many ways, even though it is still within the state of California. 

Lifestyle between the two polar sides of the state varies in many ways. The stereotype regarding Northern California is that a majority of the people enjoy marijuana, this may be a factor in the laid back way of life. Southern Californian’s seems to always be moving at a very rapid pace. This is especially true when it comes to driving. People in Northern California seem for the most part to be very cautious and often dreadfully slow drivers. 

The freeways up North are usually one or two lanes and have a third lane for carpool that is only effective during rush hours. The only toll road most will find usually is to cross a bridge. Protected double yellow lines are unheard of. In addition, the only way to really know what season it is in Southern California, is by the Disneyland decorations. Northern California overwhelms many with an abrupt temperature change, sometime in mid-October where many suddenly have to pull out those Ugg boots and oversized hoodies. It seems that Southern California is all accepting of fashion, behavior, eye contact, speech and over sharing. The only rule is to be original and put yourself out there. SoCal-ers love to self-promote. 

In the end, both ends of the state offer a variety of attractions and deterrents. Depending on what you’re looking for, California seems to have something for just about everyone. Personally, I find myself constantly craving some fast-paced energy and an occasional acai bowl, so I look forward to hopefully attending graduate school down south. 

However, I will miss the pines and being a short distance away from Tahoe, and home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants. All in all, California rocks.