By: Tricia Spellmon

I am originally from a small town in North Jersey. A place where the smell of Taylor ham and cheese, fresh bagels, and homemade pizza are right around the corner. When I decided to attend a university out of state, I did not realize the many benefits.

Going to school out of state has exposed me to a culture that I was not aware of. From the fashion to the food, I am learning something new every day. Not only am I under 30 minutes away from free museums, but I am also a metro ride away from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. My friends are always introducing me to a new way to spend my weekends. I am also meeting different types of people all of the time and have learned that cultural norms change from city to city. Going to school in New Jersey would have definitely sheltered me. Maryland has enabled me to become a more diverse individual and step out of my comfort zone.

Of course, at the end of the day, anyone from Maryland can tell that I am from Jersey. As the saying goes, “You can take the girl out of Jersey, but not the Jersey out of the girl.”