10 Truths to Being an Out-Of-State Student at a State School!

Well, hey there, out-of-stater! Welcome to the ranks of the silly students who swapped states and still went to the state school. You are in for some of the same things that I’ve been experiencing for the past 3 years! I personally have loved my experience in North Carolina and felt it fit better with my personality.

Out of State Students have unique perspective when it comes to their college experience. Here are 10 truths I've noticed as a Virginian at a North Carolina school!

Whatever reason you ended up out of state, good luck and let’s get to the good stuff.


You won’t know all the major cities, yet alone where the counties(?) are located.

I don’t know if this is simply a North Carolina thing, but I think your county carries more importance than your city or general area. I’m not even sure if I know what Virginia county I live in. So when ever someone starts talking about their county….
Inner Me: I really have no idea where your county is.
Actual Me: *smile and nod*

NO, I really don’t have an accent. I’m from Virginia.

I’ve had several people try and convince me that I have an accent. I can tell you that if I have one, it isn’t southern. Virginia has an identity crisis on whether it’s in the south or north; so, it must be a Virginian{?} one. Expect to have your accent pointed out several times.

You’ll definitely hear, “oh, so you’re one of the smart ones here.”

UNC is notorious for the 80/20 rule. However, not once have I ever felt the smartest. Still expect this popular line of small talk.

Whatever the state is known for, pretend that its the best thing ever and that you know absolutely nothing about it.

For Virginia, one of the first things people bring up is our slogan: Virginia is for Lovers. Aside from the silly misconceptions about what people think it means, I can go on for a pretty significant time telling people what it does mean. The different types of BBQ has been explained to me several times and don’t think you can stop a NC native from talking all about the basketball history. Wisconsin, maybe cheese? Idk.

Don’t choose sides of any state argument.

Your opinion will probably be ignored anyway. Like which area code is the best, just stay out of it.

You can distract the nosy in-stater with “I just always knew I was a *insert mascot here*” when they ask why you didn’t go to your own state school.

Cue the best answer to the most annoying question I ever receive. I understand why you would ask why I wouldn’t go to UVA over UNC. But like after time 50,000, I’m quite over it.

Also, feel free to just adopt the most well-known city closest to you as your new hometown.

If you didn’t live in a major urban area, you’ll probably over exaggerate and say, “oh, I live like 20 minutes outside of *insert metro area here*” or “yeah, I can basically go to the beach/skiing every day during the summer/winter.” They won’t know the difference.

It’s super easy to explore your friends’ hometowns while you’re in the state, especially over breaks. Chances are you’ll probably be able to get free lodging too.

Road trip anyone??

Don’t be super intimidated by not knowing many or any people from high school; most people may be trying to escape their former selves or looking for new faces.

I don’t know many people who still hang out with their friends from high school. I thought it was odd when I came to UNC for my first year. Like why wouldn’t you stick with the people who were your friends for 4 years? College is a whole new ball game and sometimes you meet people who you mesh better with. Same goes for you!

You will leave after a year or two feeling like you really belong in that new state. Don’t worry though – your in-state friends will always remind you that they’ve been there longer.

This goes for basically anyone in college. When you live somewhere for longer than 2 years and you can sorta kinda navigate the town or city without a GPS, you start to feel like a local! The most awkward thing is when you call your college town “home” for the first time in front of your parents! But, I’m spending less and less time in my hometown each year!


It’s cool being an out of stater and no regrets about it either! There are some typical things we deal with on the daily too! Oh, and like the drive/flights to school kinda suck sometimes too! I hope you enjoyed this post? Did I miss any typical out of stater truths? Leave them down in the comments!

keep on keepin’ on,