Confessions of a Southern Yankee: North vs South


Christopher PhilippsPhilipps Grayscale
By Eagle Staff

On April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter, a nation split,

causing families to separate and brothers to turn

against brothers. The conflict divided the citizens

of America into two groups, the northerners and

southerners. Although that was 150 years ago

and the country is now considered ‘one’, the separation still exists today, something I know all too


If you have not heard the words “Boston” screamed through the senior hallway yet this year,

unfortunately for you and me, at some point this year you probably will. In most cases, they are

shouting at me, one of the few that still walk the halls of St. Thomas and call themselves northerners.

Having grown up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, I pictured the south to be state after state

of arid desert, with an occasional city full of cowboys who ride horses to work in the morning and

back to their ranches after dark. When I was told in September, 2011 that my family would be moving

to Texas, I could not help but think back on the southern stereotypes and wonder if they were true.

Now that I have lived in the south for almost three years, I have a more clear understanding of both

the pros and cons to living in each region. The culture differences between both the northern and

southern halves of the country are so distinctive that it is hard to believe that we are still one nation.

To find out which is the better place, certain aspects of each culture have to be compared.

Although Houston is one of the few cities that are not particularly known for having strong accents,

colloquialisms like ‘y’all’ and ‘tennis shoes’ are still very prevalent and makes northerners very clear

on what side of the Mason-Dixon line one comes from.

Up north, specifically in Massachusetts, the deeper into the heart of Boston you travel, the more the

culture shows. Ask any local they will tell you that downtown, the vineyard (Martha’s of course), Cape

Cahd and the North in general is wicked pissah.

Being at an all-male school, girls are on the minds of many students throughout the school, which

often comes up in conversation. This is why the Northern Girls versus Southern Girls argument is one

of the most important topics to discuss.

In the North, the ladies are most commonly seen in UGG boots, scarves and sweaters throughout the

long winters, yet excess clothing does not take away from the beauty of the classic Yankee girl.

However, the southern belle is an appearance that many northern girls often look up to. Maybe it is

the close proximity to the equator, but it is pretty hot when it comes to the south, which can apply to

more than just the weather.

Although sports are an immensely popular everywhere in the U.S., the south holds the reputation for

having the most spirit and overall enthusiasm, especially when it comes to high school games. The

professional sports category, however, has to go to the north.

Many of the northern states, too small to support individual teams, root for one team instead of

attempting to support their own individual programs allowing the growth of vast and dedicated fan

bases. Teams like the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins are also perfect

examples of how prestigious and successful organizations can give rise to some of the greatest athletic

legends like Larry Bird, Tom Brady (and his lovely wife, who, not technically an athlete, still deserves

an award) and David “Big Papi” Ortiz.

General attitude is another aspect that should be considered. Southern hospitality is an aspect that

makes the south significantly more desirable than the north. Whether in restaurants, businesses or

just overall social interactions, the kindness of southerners can almost always be expected.

Unfortunately, the northern mentality is to mind your own business, which can come off as very

discourteous to visitors that are not aware of the customs.

State pride is another southern trait that is very much absent in the northern states.

The only time that the Massachusetts state flag is ever publicly displayed is in front of government

buildings like town halls. Here in Texas, the state flag is shown more than the actual American flag.

State pride goes to such an extreme that even some middle schools pledge allegiance to the state flag.

Until a Massachusetts Edition Ford F-150 is created, the north will never be able to live up to the

patriotic attitude that the south so explicitly demonstrates.

With so many elements to consider, the North versus South argument is challenging to determine. By

assessing the few aspects previously discussed, the achievement for the best region in the U.S. has to

go to the South.

Although I feel like I am betraying my brethren by saying this, I truly believe that as wicked awesome

as the north is, the Southern lifestyle brings the fire like no other.