Things I’ve Learned on the Road: California Edition


I have been spending an extended amount of time visiting the brothers of Delta Delta and helping them cap off a tremendous year of growth. They have nearly doubled in size and have been making huge strides forward as an Alpha. I wanted to revisit this series and share some of the things I have learned in my time out here.

The first thing you have to understand about California is that it is huge. Its economy would be the third largest in the world if it was a country. Everyone has heard the phrases “Socal” and “Cali”, but just as prominent is Norcal. There is a lot of debate about where it begins, but if you wanted to chop California into two regions (you could really go up to four or five) Monterrey on the coast is a good dividing point. Norcal has a lower population density and a lot of evergreens. The people tend to be more down to earth and definitely more likely to spend every weekend hiking than California’s southern residents. Also– the term “hella” is totally owned by Norcal. Not only do Southern California residents not use it, they actually cringe when they hear it. 

Everyone Hates USC
While Chi Psi has storied traditions at two schools that cannot stand each other in Cal and Stanford, everyone can agree that out of California’s largest premier institutions of higher learning that USC is just the worst. The amount of disdain that I have encountered for the Trojans breaches a point where it just becomes part of the culture. It is as natural here to hate USC as it is growing up in Michigan and hating Ohio State. The USC stereotype is that they are snooty, materialistic, egotistical, and dependent on their parent’s wealth.

Water Polo and Volleyball
Both of these sports are huge in California. Delta Delta has multiple Brothers who played both of these sports in high school, and if you haven’t heard we happen to have a beach volleyball court right in front of the Lodge. The rank of most likely pickup sports in California is: 1) basketball 2) volleyball 3) soccer. I would imagine that other states would play both of these sports a lot more if they happened to be located on the Pacific Ocean. 

Soda with Real Sugar
I have never been to a state that has more soda/pop made with real sugar available than California. Although not unheard of and certainly available elsewhere, it is definitely normal for a restaurant to have it available. First off– pop with real sugar tastes so much better than the variety made with high fructose corn syrup. But perhaps more importantly, high fructose corn syrup has a number of health risks associated with it. For someone who has a family history of diabetes, I try to avoid corn syrup like the plague. I could also probably write a senior thesis on California’s massive set of state law’s and regulations of the food industry but I will spare you all. 

If you have not heard of In-N-Out I would suggest that you get more up to date on your pop culture. Few things beat the combination of a double-double with fries (animal style), and a chocolate shake. Family owned, every food item comes with a bible verse. Every store is within a certain distance of their distributors to ensure that nothing is ever frozen. People from the East Coast might say Five Guys is better and while there are merits to this–namely that the fries at Five Guys are unreal–In-N-Out is so much cheaper so it really is not fair to compare. 

Cali – Don’t do it!
Yeah, don’t ever call it Cali unless you want people from California to hate you. 

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