NOVA? DMV? Nats? Caps?
What do all these terms mean?
As an out-of-state student, coming to William & Mary was a bit of a culture shock. I am from Marietta, Georgia which is a suburb of Atlanta. The most I knew about Virginia before arriving in Williamsburg in August of 2018 was that the Battle of Yorktown was fought in the state and that it was where George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were from. Past that, I was a complete newbie. Upon arriving for orientation, however, I was being bombarded with all of the terms listed above along with different Virginia cities as though I should know where they were! I had no idea where Fairfax or Midlothian, Virginia were, and I was too nervous to ask because it seemed as though I should have already known!
As I settled into my first semester, though, I began to pick up on what these terms meant. NOVA=Northern Virginia. DMV is not where you go to get your license but is D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The Nats and the Caps are the D.C. baseball and hockey teams, respectively. And, as I started figuring these out, I began to realize that being an out-of-state student brings a unique perspective into the classroom and into social situations. Many Virginians I met were interested about what it meant to grow up in Georgia, and how it is to be a “true” Southerner. As a history major, I have taken multiple classes on American history and was able to share about Georgia’s history with classmates who had a deep understanding of Virginia history but not so much on the other states.
Being an out-of-state student has also put me in some rather amusing situations. I have been told that I don’t dress like Virginia girls which made me laugh, and I have also been told that I can have a Southern accent which I had never noticed. Through it all, though, I have developed both a deeper love for Virginia as my college home and for Georgia as my birth state. I love Virginia’s deep roots in history, and I love Georgia for its Waffle Houses and Coca-Cola.
So, to all of the students who are either applying or have been accepted from out-of-state, don’t be nervous about coming to Virginia. The Virginians are very welcoming people, even if they claim their state is the best (it’s not; that honor goes to Georgia, of course). Being an out-of-state student makes you special here and provides you with a great talking point.