Southern Influence Juliana Humphreys

How do the values of Clemson, South Carolina influence students coming from the north?

Coming from New Jersey, I have experienced the leap from north to south while attending Clemson University in South Carolina. Photo on the left is of me at the Jersey Shore, photo on right is at a Clemson football game. Photos are mine.

Why is this topic relevant?

Culture shock: a sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation

When one thinks of culture shock usually it is in the context of changing countries. However, from my own experience I have learned that you can have a culture shock even just from moving to a different state in the US. Many students from the northeast (such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, etc.) also attend college here at Clemson making this a relevant issue.

What are people saying about this?


Primary differences that have the power to influence


One of the major differences I have experienced now that I am in southern United States is religion. While religion is practiced in the north, it is much more widespread and influential on the south. Clemson is included in a region of the United States known as the "bible belt".

Bible Belt Map (Areas in red). Photo Credit:


There is nothing quite like gameday in the south. While football is still popular up north, I had never experienced such school spirit and community until I came to Clemson. It is not uncommon to see tailgates on the weekend and everyone coming together to support their football team.


In comparison to where I came from, there is many different types of common foods in the south I had not experienced before. Restaurants such as Bojangles, Chick-fil-A, Zaxby's, and Cookout were typically not seen up north.

Some common restaurants found in Southern United States.

Literature Reviewed

I have read several blogs and forums regarding this issue as well as watched several videos of others talking about this topic. I have had my own experience moving from north to south, but it was important that I see what others had to say about their own experiences and how the changes effected them. Most blogs broke down the various differences that can be seen in southern united states rather than the north. Each article provided a slightly different perspective on the topic. The people writing these blogs and posts are typically college students who had gone through a very similar change as I had.

Research Plans

  • I plan to find statistics on approximately how many students from the northeast region of the United States attend college in the south. In order to do this I will have to come up with a way to define exactly what "north" and "south" is.
  • I will interview several students who are from areas such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. (anything around the northeast) to see what differences they have noticed and what kind of changes have influenced them when they came here.
  • I will take a poll on what students from the north think the biggest difference is here in South Carolina in comparison to where they came from.
  • I will talk to administration at Clemson University to obtain information on how many of the students enrolled here are in the designated northeastern states.


One of the main difficulties I may run across is making sure I am staying away from stereotypes as well as keeping my judgements as non-biased as possible.

Works Cited

"Culture Shock." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2017


Created with images by PIX1861 - "compass map navigation" • TimothyJ - "Church" • Sweet Carolina Photography - "Clemson Football" • Sarah_Ackerman - "Biscuits and Corn Muffins" • sarahstelmok - "Bojangles" • JeepersMedia - "Chick-Fil-A" • micah.d - "One of the best things about a trip to Louisville I LOVE ZAXBYS"

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