Categories: College Life

10 Signs You Go to School in the Northeast

Everyone’s college experience is going to be different depending on where they end up studying. Here are a few unique things you experience going to school in the Northeast:


There’s no way that this could not start off the list. From early November through April, campuses are covered in snow. “When I was your age, we had to walk to school in 5 ft. deep snow, uphill both ways,” is something you scoffed at as a child until you decided on a Northeastern school and realized that it’s actually a thing.  The real geniuses on campus are the students who bring cross-country skis to class so they can easily escape a looming snowstorm. You feel immense shock when you get a snow day because days off from school due to snow are urban legend in the Northeast. Don’t fret, poor student, at least you’ll forever have bragging rights for having the most snow.

Nobody can beat your Athletic Program.

Okay, so you may not have the greatest football program of all time, but that won’t stop you from reminiscing about that one game way back in the 70’s that defined the greatness of your school’s football program. You find the Southern football rivalries cute, but no one beats the Northeast. Northeast universities are competitive against western and southern schools, but have a full blown hatred against any other school in the Northeast that tries to contend with them. In fact, your school’s unofficial motto is probably calling down another northeastern college, like Syracuse’s “It’s {insert time here} and Georgetown still sucks,” or Boston University’s very blunt, “BC Sucks!”

You can pinpoint where someone is from based on their accent.

There’s a lot more to it than just the “East Coast Accent,” and you either know that from being from the Northeast or learned it the hard way. You know you cannot just presume it’s a New York City accent because it will offend anyone from Boston and vice versa. Eventually you have fine-tuned skills and will be able to pinpoint the differences between the Bostonian, Rhode Islander, Mainer, Vermonter, New Yorker, Philadelphian, and Jersey accents. Once you get to this place you’ll be able to converse without starting a Boston-NYC turf war on your campus.

Sperry’s and Pastel Shorts are everywhere.

At some point you are going to walk through campus and see that there are a lot of people wearing Sperry’s, even though the nearest body of water is more than an hour away. Surely they’ll disappear when the snow hits, right? Oh no, those bad boys come in Duck Boot form for the winter months, and as much as you trash them, eventually you’ll give in and realize those people were onto something all along. The pastel shorts and Sperry’s combo are the rum and coke of Northeasterly fashion. As soon as it hits 50 degrees again in our cold little part of the country, the pastels will be on every frat boy north of the Mason-Dixon.

Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are staples.

You don’t mind waiting 15 minutes when the lines are out the door, because there’s something about a nice hot coffee in the dead of winter that warms your soul. And you have no problem conveying that to everyone who follows you on Instagram.

You’ve seen girls (or have been one) who hit the club in a short dress in -20 degree weather.

You know the effort that goes into getting ready. You refuse to let all of your hard work become ruined by an overcoat, static hair, or hat head. You don’t have to climb Everest, you’ve climbed all the stairs to that frat house on the hill in 5-inch heels with ice on the ground, and you’re proud of it.

You have very strong opinions on Tom Brady.

You either really hate Tom Brady or absolutely love Tom Brady. You might not even know anything about football, but you have an opinion on Tom Brady, especially after Deflategate. You might think Tom and Gisele are #RelationshipGoals, but that won’t stop you from tearing him a new one as he’s walking across your TV screen.

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You’ve picked up some very weird slang.

The people of the Northeast use some pretty strange slang terms that you might pick up while in school. “Wicked,” while stereotypical of the Boston-area people, has found it’s way through the rest of the New England states. “She’s basic,” is said to have started in the Boston area as well. Hockey terms may have also made it into your vocabulary, especially if you like to “wheel.” “That’s SOOOOOOO bang” will hopefully never enter your vocabulary, but on the off chance it does, you can blame the northeast.

St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal even if you’re not Irish.

This is one of the biggest drinking days of the year if you live on a Northeastern campus. You don’t have to be the faintest bit Irish to revel in the green beer. Side note: Order a Jameson if you don’t want to look like a rookie.

“Work hard, play hard” is everyone’s motto.

It might just be the hardworking nature of East Coast people, but “work hard, play hard” seems to be in everyone’s vocabulary. People spend as much time on their school work as they do partying. Some students pong it up in the library, because multitasking is a useful skill. Northeastern students know that the most respected qualities around these parts are ambition and drive, which will hopefully get them a job on Wall Street. However, we know that for all those sweating it out on Wall Street, there’s a Friday-Sunday alter ego partying it up in the Hamptons. College is just the tune-up game for the rest of life, and that shows when you hit a northeastern campus.

Jersey is an Exercise Science and Business Administration major at SUNY Potsdam and enjoys playing club rugby & other recreational sports outside of class.

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