Culture shock from Massachusetts to Alabama

<p>Hello, I am a perspective student from massachusetts who has applied to Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson, Florida State, West Virginia and UMass. I come from a rather liberal white colar massachusetts home. I am just wondering what kind of culture shock/ problems I may face comming to the university of Alabama from all the way up north in Massachusetts. I am a very easy going and slightly sarcastic person. I see myself as optimistic and compassionate and I love the idea of southern hospitality. Thank you for your replies!</p>

<p>There are many kids from the north. If you want, you could join the Class of 2016 group to get in touch with some of them. PM me for the link.</p>

<p>Welcome.</p>

<p>I really doubt that you're going to experience much/any culture shock unless you're shocked by being around friendly, helpful people.</p>

<p>In truth (apologies to my precious NE friends), I have noticed that students experience more culture shock going to the NE from the West, Midwest, and South....because the NE can seem less welcoming and friendly at times (but not our dear NE families that have come to Bama. :) )</p>

<p>Colleges are more liberal than the general population as a whole. Bama is more "middle of the road," but some think it's a bit right of center. The profs seem to be a mix...the STEM profs are often more "middle," while the others are usually more "lefty." </p>

<p>Bama was Obama-land during the last presidential election. I don't think it will be as much next year simply because of a decrease in popularity and support.....and I think that will be the case on most college campuses next year. I doubt we'll see the same amount of support in '12.</p>

<p>We are from extremely liberal So CT coast. There is really no culture shock at all at Bama. It's a big school, you have all types of students & Tuscaloosa has every chain restaurant you are used to plus many local gems. You will find the Southern hospitality you are looking for.</p>

<p>I haven't been to all the schools you've listed except Ole Miss. Great school, great Honors College, Oxford was a little small for S.</p>

<p>I think you'd really like Alabama. Bama is beautiful....have you visited? The town is good-sized and was named Most Livable City in America.</p>

<p>Clemson's campus is similar to Bama's in feel. However, the area is quite rural/agriculture and the off-campus hangouts are limited to a small area...so not much to do. </p>

<p>I agree that the city of Oxford is too small. I think another issue is that the school does not have the national draw of students that Bama has, so less diverse.</p>

<p>FSU is rather unattractive (was there last spring). The city is fine, but the school itself seems to be lacking money for refurbishing. </p>

<p>Have you visited Bama? </p>

<p>Are you eligible for any scholarships?</p>

<p>I second this...My DD is already accepted and deposited and she has been spending a lot of time on the Class of 2016 FB page. She met some really nice kids from all over the US. She is even considering rooming with one of the girls from KY.</p>

<p>We are from Chicago gomps5 and reading your post made me remember how I felt when 'Bama first came on our radar. My DD is a bit sarcastic, very liberal and I was concerned about culture shock. I spoke with many alumni who are local to Chicago, I lurked these boards and the more we heard, the more we were impressed.</p>

<p>We visited in June and I was just stunned by the true Southern hospitality that we encountered both on and off campus. It truly does seem to be a very special school with many great opportunities for the students. We visiting again for Capstone Honors Day, but our decision is made. 'Roll Tide!</p>

<p>Make sure to visit if you can.</p>

<p>My D was in total shock when she visited - she was shocked at how nice everyone was! And we're from the midwest, where folks are pretty nice to start with. It took D most of the day to believe that it was GENUINE niceness as well - she truly had a hard time accepting that this was the way the people at Bama really were because it wasn't what she was used to. She could certainly get used to it, though.</p>

<p>Coming from Maine, my son was VERY surprised at the friendliness of southerners (Texans, in his case). He said, "Mom, people come up to you and TALK to you!! My roommate asked if he could go to church with me!" I agree with mom2collegekids - I think it would be much tougher for a southerner to adjust to New England than vice versa. Huh, come to think of it, that's what I had to do! It took me a couple of years to realize it wasn't "me" - people are just more standoffish here.</p>

<p>My son is a current freshman at UA. He is a lifelong resident of greater Boston. His father (me) is a lifelong resident of Boston. His grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc. are all lifelong residents of Boston. We think the "South" refers to "South Boston".</p>

<p>In any case, he went to UA in August not knowing a single person and with completely random roommates. He loves the school and the assimilation was quick and easy. Yes, there was a great deal of culture shock. The shock of people that are friendly, warm, and helpful. People that come out of their way to help you if you are lost on campus. The shock of enormous school spirit and pride in their sports teams. Yes, there was plenty of shock, but certainly a welcomed shock to which we are not accustomed.</p>

<p>I truly believe his assimilation at UA is far better than it would have been at UMass where he would have known many, many people just like him. Fortunately, he took the road not taken and that has made all the difference.</p>

<p>Ditto, ditto, ditto regarding the experience of my liberal son from very liberal Hawaii. He (and we) are in love with Bama.</p>

<p>Roll Tide!</p>

<p>Sent from my PC36100 using CC App</p>

<p>My daughter was accepted to UA. We are from the Boston area and are really thrilled for her ...but are a little worried about the culture shock coming from the east. Although I read that it's easier for kids going east to west than the opposite direction, we are still a bit anxious about her fitting in. She on the other hand, loves the feel of Bama, and is sure it's the perfect fit! If you have been in our shoes previously, or currently, I would love to hear your comments and advice. Even simple things like the best routes...etc would be greatly appreciated! Any dorms lend themselves more to OOS students? </p>

<p>She's planning on rushing (another first for our family), so advice on that topic would be great too. </p>

<p>Roll Tide!</p>

<p>Mommyflyer...I can help answer question about recruitment at Alabama and am more than happy to help you and your daughter in anyway that I can.</p>

<p>-Have your daughter go on Facebook and "like" the UA Panhellenic page. It will give her LOTS of information about recruitment in the coming months.</p>

<p>-sign up for Saturday's Panhellenic Preview Day March 24th. Should be January or early February...they will be posted on their Facebook page and brochures will be mailed to those young women who have been accepted to Alabama.</p>

<p>-check out this link to the 2011 Recruitment hand book ( last years..it has TONS of info about the process and what to expect (hope this works..fingers crossed it has been finicky lately). Greek</a> Chic</p>

<p>-each year over 1600 young women go through recruitment at Alabama. If you talk with people they will tell you it is one of the most "competitive" recruitments in the country. Not "competitive" in nature but just that there are so many young women who want to participate.</p>

<ul>
<li>IF you do the following things I am sure that your daughter will have a positive experience.</li>
</ul>

<p>-Keep an open mind...many young women come in with preconceived ideas about a particular sorority they want. Each house at Alabama has 200 plus members and most likely will again have pledge classes of 80 plus members. With so many members I am sure that your daughter will find "connections" with many of the houses.</p>

<ul>
<li>you will need ONE and preferably TWO letters of recommendation for all of the 16 sororities on campus. It is preferred that these be written by someone who knows your daughter personally but a general rec form will work in a pinch. Ask everyone you know..you will be amazed how many women have Greek affiliations. If you have trouble finding someone to write your daughter a rec I would suggest contacting your local Panhellenic Association. </li>
</ul>

<p>-Your daughter needs a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to have a successful recruitment.</p>

<p>-put together a "Greek" resume..listing GPA, class rank, honors, awards, extra-curricular activities, personal info (name, address, parents names ect), and anything else that will make your daughter "stand out". </p>

<p>Please feel free to PM me..I am more that happy to talk about this with you and can give you more "in depth" info...ROLL Tide and welcome to Alabama!!!!</p>

<p>We think the "South" refers to "South Boston".</p>

<p>ROTFL!!!</p>

<p>Both of my parents are from Southie. My mom used to sing a song as she was working around the house...well, she sang many songs, actually, but this one included the immortal lyrics, "I was born down on 'A' Street / Raised up on 'B' Street / Southie is my home town...."</p>

<p>I'm Boston born and bred, but we love it down here in the South (NC), where we've lived for 22 years. DS was raised by a Boston mom and a Louisville-native dad, but he's happy as a clam at Alabama, where he knows kids from all over the world. Two of his suite-mates hail from Ohio and one from Tennessee. He has friends who come from points as far apart as Maine and San Fran. </p>

<p>Also--he was homeschooled from age 4 to age 18, but he's had no trouble adapting to a huge campus with thousands of kids. In fact, he loves it.</p>

<p>I truly believe his assimilation at UA is far better than it would have been at UMass where he would have known many, many people just like him.</p>

<p>I think 99% of my high school graduating class went to UMass, lol -- among those who went on to college, I mean. I used to visit my friends at UMass, back in the day, and the campus always struck me as cold and impersonal. Maybe it has changed, but it sure was forbidding then, with all those high-rise dorms. Just the opposite of the Bama campus, which is beautiful in that stately, gracious Southern way. (Not that there aren't beautiful college campuses in Greater Boston -- but they cost a lot more than Bama on scholarship!)</p>