On Being from the South

Sajal T., M1

I’m not the poster child for Mississippi — most folks brand me as a Jersey boy after two minutes of conversation (understandable) — but my veins flow with sweet tea and my childhood neighborhood looked like the set of “The Help,” so I carry the Deep South with me at all times. Missouri and Mississippi are typically considered sister states, and, apart from the oft-confused postal codes, there is good reason for it. Overly passionate college football fans and sentences punctuated with “ma’am” and “sir” are all the rage here, too, and it’s comforting. Four years on the East Coast for undergrad turned me cold and callous. St. Louis has partially warmed me back into a dapper Rhett Butler (depending on who you ask). If you’re also from Dixieland and are worried about possible culture shock in St. Louis, fear not. While it is a big city, bringing with it corresponding diversity and social eccentricities, the air is still unmistakably Southern, brimming with indiscriminate friendliness and cozy charm. Just don’t fall for the “authentic Cajun” food here — NOLA’s still supreme in that department.