Despite being quite diverse, UVA students may feel like there is one definite majority on Grounds. Every time you ask someone where they are from, there seems to be a 70% chance that they are going to say, “NOVA.” Even though the actual percentage of students from Northern Virginia is much smaller than that, there is no denying they feel like their own community on grounds. If you happen to be from NOVA, here are some things that you’ve probably heard on repeat during your time at UVA. And if you aren’t from NOVA, here are the things that your friends who are get tired of hearing.
1. Where Did You Go To High School?
This is pretty much the least stalker way to figure out if you might have a common link to the person you are talking to. Since you go to the same school now it isn’t weird to wonder if you may know someone who they went to school with before UVA. Everyone in NOVA has at least heard of most of the other schools too, making it pretty likely you’re going to be able to say, “Oh, I know someone who went there;” thus, forming a brand new exciting friendship.
2. Do You Know *insert name* ?
This is an immediate follow up to the first question. It is a bit more of a risk, but has a bigger pay off. Usually the person you’re talking to has know idea who this person is, but when they do, it’s like you have become long lost cousins. Even though UVA is only two hours away from NOVA, having a mutual friend with someone from back home is like a full-on high school reunion.
3. OMG, Same!
This response is triggered by various statements. Be it your favorite restaurant, where you went to high school, what city you live in or which Starbucks you frequent, odds are that if you meet another NOVA native, they will at some point say this in your introduction.
4. Wait, Where Do You Live?
This question doesn’t mean “give me your address,” but more like what neighborhood do you live in? Between extended family and childhood sports tournament weekends, everyone from NOVA is pretty familiar with the major neighborhoods and towns in the area. Even if the follow up to you answer is “oh my old neighbor’s sister moved there,” it’s a big win.
5. Wow! We Live So Close!
This will always be said when meeting someone else from NOVA because everyone in NOVA lives within an hour of each other. It’s not exactly surprising that you live close once you’ve already established that you’re both from NOVA. It’s still fun thought to be surprised by just how close when you realize you’re both from the same city.
6. That’s Not NOVA
So you’re from the suburbs and don’t know how to classify where you live? Same. While people from Arlington, Alexandria and Centerville have pretty much put a boundary around themselves as “true NOVA,” some of us live a little further out in counties like Prince William (we may as well be from another state). Yes, even people from NOVA can feel the hometown hierarchy.
7. Oh, Everyone Is From NOVA
Nobody feels this more than out-of-state students. But what do they expect? UVA is pretty much everyone from NOVA’s dream school. Or at least the school their parents have been talking about since the day they were born. I bet we could narrow this down even more and say everyone is from Fairfax County.
8. Go CAPS
Okay so this may be spurred by the fact that the rest of the D.C. sports teams aren’t really attracting fans at this point. Seriously, no team has won a championship in 20 years. EXCEPT, this year the CAPS (Washington Capitals) won the Stanley Cup and it was A REALLY BIG DEAL. We expect everyone at UVA to be excited about this so just go with it.
9. You Go Home So Much
Well yeah, my house is less than two hours away, my mom is an excellent chef and I miss my dog. You’d go home all the time too if you didn’t live in California. Honestly this has to be the biggest perk of being from NOVA. You have all the freedom of leaving the house and going to school but your parents still might offer to come down and take care of you when you’re sick.
10. Were You At *insert some event*?
Whether it’s a concert, sporting event, county fair or food festival you can bet that your new UVA friends from your old stomping grounds were somewhere in that crowd. Despite being located minutes outside of the nation’s capital, there never seems to be much going on in NOVA. So, everyone flocks together for concerts at Jiffy Lube Live and the former Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena and we’re still not over it).