1. You’re constantly told that it’s water, not “wooder.”
When you tell people that you’re thirsty and need some “wooder” (pronounced just so), they always make you repeat yourself. Then they proceed to let you know, in no uncertain terms, that you’re wrong, and that the correct way to pronounce the word is “wah-ter.”
2. You really miss diners.
Once you leave the state, you also realize that you left behind the unwritten law stating that every town needs to have a diner. Where will you go if you’re craving brunch, your friend is craving Greek food, your second friend wants Italian and your other friend won’t settle for anything less than a burger? Looks like you’re actually going to have to pick a genre of food to eat when you go out. Tragic! (And no, Denny’s doesn’t count. Nice try though.)
3. You also really miss Wawa.
Life is rough without the divine convenience of Wawa, from late-night snacks to early-morning breakfasts on the run and everything in between. What’s even worse is when you attempt to explain what it is to an outsider. They’re usually disgusted by the idea of Wawa because they can’t wrap their mind around the concept.
4. You have to explain Joisey vs. Dirty Jerz all the time.
If you’re from North Jersey, people will make fun of you for being from “Joisey,” and the “Jersey Shore” references will never quite end. If you’re from South Jersey, people will make fun of you for being from “Dirty Jerz” and you’re as good as garbage in their eyes. It’s okay — one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
5. People are amazed at your knowledge of New Jersey’s geography.
If you’re from the south, you identify yourself by your nearest turnpike exit, and if you’re from the north, you identify yourself by your county. The universe is always conspiring to prevent you from meeting anyone from your side of the state, but even so, outsiders are always in awe of your ability to know the general area that the other person is from.
6. You have to differentiate between the shore and the beach.
The phrase “going down the shore” does not exist outside of New Jersey, and you just have to accept the fact that everyone else will want to “go to the beach” instead. Technically, the two phrases are just different ways of expressing the same sentiment, but it still stings when people correct you on it.
7. Your state is known as the “Armpit of America.”
You will overhear people having legitimate conversations about how they hate New Jersey. There’s just no getting over this one, and the best course of action is to just make peace with the fact that people will bond over their dislike for your home state. It’s all good though, because at least you appreciate good ol’ Jersey.