What to expect if you are not from Texas


Here are the most important things to know about Texas if this is your first time living here. Texas culture is very different from other states, and it can be confusing for those who have never visited the state before.

Let’s start off with food, because who doesn’t love food? Texas is famous for Whataburger, Blue Bell ice cream and Tex-Mex.

What is Tex-Mex? Texas-style Mexican food that blends both cuisines and makes your mouth water. Speaking of Mexican food, tacos are huge in Texas and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

For an after-dinner dessert, you’ll find yourself paying six dollars a gallon for Blue Bell, because it’s just that good.

And when you crave some fast food at 2 a.m, you bet Whataburger will be open so can satisfy your hunger.

It’s also important to try to understand Texas weather. I say “try” because it has no pattern and is very spontaneous. It could be raining one minute and sunny with clear skies the next. You are not safe. Be prepared for a lot of rain, some hail and ample humidity which can happen at any given time, despite the season of the year.

However, the seasons do have a more solid pattern. Summer usually lasts until Sept. Fall comes around Oct/Nov, where it will be chilly in the morning and evening, but during the day, it will be warm. Winter begins around the end of Nov and ends early March, when the weather snaps from temperatures in the low 40s and 30s

When I say winter, I don’t mean you’ll need to bundle up and whip out snow boots. The temperature ranges from the low 20s to mid-to-high 40s. Whether you hate or love the cold, native Texans learn to adapt. Trust me. Learning to go with the weather that changes every five minutes is what separates  loving Texas and being constantly annoyed.

Texans are also very chatty. By chatty, I mean we share unwanted information about ourselves or of our cousin’s friend’s neighbor’s dog. There is no in between. However, it’s very nice to feel welcomed when you’re in a restaurant or starting at a new school.

Along with politeness, the vernacular of Texans is unique. I made a list of some local words that will be thrown around often, and this is only a short list.

The most obvious word is “y’all.” We take advantage of “y’all” because it’s so much easier to say than “you guys.” HEB: HEB is a grocery store which stands for Here Everything’s Better. It definitely lives up to its name. Rodeo: Yes, Texas does have actual rodeos. They are fun and crazy and everything you imagine it will be. Feeder: a road parallel to the highway. An example would be, “Get off the highway and take the feeder, then turn right.”

While a different vocabulary can make driving in Texas confusing at first, the challenge doesn’t end there. Texans also have a special way of giving directions: instead of describing distances in miles, the average Texan uses units of time: it might be 10 minutes to the grocery store or a few hours on the highway to a nearby city.

But it’s not nearly that far a trip if you go to Trinity. The San Antonio Spurs play about 15 minutes from campus. The Spurs are a favorite among students, as well as the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks (basketball), the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys (football) and the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers (baseball). It takes a while to learn them all.

The names of our professional sports teams are very Texas-centered. We are obsessed with Texas, especially its shape. You’ll see Texas-shaped tortilla chips and necklaces and constant comparisons of the size of Texas to smaller states and countries. Texans are also very conscious of their history as well, more so than many other US states.

Though some of you might be hesitant to use “y’all” or enjoy typical Texas things, keep in mind that the Texan mentality is contagious.  With its strange mixture of Southern pride and Western practicality, you might find yourself with an accent before you know it. And after a while, y’all may just want to stay in the Lone Star State.