The Differences Between Georgia and Ohio | Enduring All Things

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Differences Between Georgia and Ohio

A few months ago, Tayler from The Morell Tale wrote a blog post about the differences between Utah and Texas after she had live in Texas for about a month. I thought this was a brilliant idea and knew I had to do it for Georgia and Ohio.

So I've been meaning to write it for a long time. I finally got around to starting it a couple months ago and kept meaning to finish it. I had it tentatively scheduled three Fridays in a row, but obviously I didn't make any of those dates. I think it's because it ended up requiring a lot more research than I thought and I mostly kept putting it off. Anyway, since Pearson and I are in Georgia visiting our families right now for Christmas, I thought today would be a great time to finally publish it. I hope you at least find it interesting.
When we moved to Ohio, I thought it was going to be a difference like night and day. I had never lived anywhere outside of Georgia or Arkansas and none of my family had ever lived above the Mason-Dixon Line. I had only traveled above it to visit NYC.

Also, Ohio is considered the "Mid West" as opposed to the "North." But before I moved here, I considered everything up north the "North." I especially thought that way once I realized that Ohio was in the Eastern time zone and that it's basically a direct north shot from Atlanta. Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either and most people don't when I tell them. But here's a map to prove it.
Source // We take I-75 all the way to Cincinnati then we get on I-71 to Columbus.
Anyway, I say all this to say that Ohio and Georgia are not as different as I expected. I thought I'd never hear country music or see cowboy boots again. But I was wrong. However, there are some interesting differences that people might not think of so I knew I had to write this post!


Ok so this one's a little obvious.

Funny story: Pearson and I both grew up in Georgia where it almost never snows. We went to college in Arkansas where, when it snows, the entire university has a snowball fight on the Front Lawn. So the first time it snowed here in Columbus after we moved here, we got really excited, bundled up, and headed outside to play. We threw snowballs at each other and tried to build a snowman. But it didn't take us very long to realize that we were the only people outside. And we live in an apartment complex with quite a few kids. We didn't get too excited after that.

It's weird to have to wait for your car to warm up before leaving for work. And it's weird to scrape ice off your care every time you leave. And it's weird to have to go to work with a foot of snow on the ground.

I get really depressed in the winter here when I never want to go anywhere. But that's a story for another time.

Traffic/The Size of The City 

This one is maybe not so obvious.

I think most people know that Atlanta is big. But I'm not sure most people know to what extent. The Atlanta metropolitan area is home to 5,522,942 people and comes in as the 9th largest in the country (source). Whereas the Columbus. OH metropolitan statistical area has a population of 2,021,632 (source). Under the combined statistical area model (larger than just the metropolitan statistical area), the Columbus metro is the 25th largest in the country.

Both cities have a freeway/bypass that goes around the city. In Atlanta, it's 285, or the Perimeter. In Columbus, it's 270, or the Outerbelt. These two freeways are not that much different as far as miles long, but it takes so much longer to get around 285 than it does for 270. I'm always blown away by how far we've gone on the Outerbelt.

Also, since Columbus is so much smaller and traffic isn't nearly as bad, we do a lot fun things downtown than we did in Atlanta. Granted, in Georgia we actually lived in a suburb that was pretty self sufficient. The Mall of Georgia was about a 15 minute drive from my house. It took more than an hour to get downtown with any sort of traffic at all and we basically only took that trek for Braves games. I love being able to drive across Columbus in 30 minutes tops. It's pretty great!


There are no professional sports in Columbus. Okay that's actually not true. We have a pro soccer club, The Columbus Crew, as well as a pro hockey team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. But no baseball, basketball, or football. However, there is a minor league baseball team. The Clippers. And Ohio State might as well be a professional football team. And a professional basketball team, for that matter.

It really is an interesting phenomena though. In Atlanta, there's Georgia Tech of course. But it's also not far from Athens where University of Georgia is. Both of these schools are d-1 schools. Ohio doesn't have that. So everybody is a Buckeye's fan. Everybody. And they're shocked when they find out that you're not. You just don't get that where I'm from.


Honestly, there isn't as big of a difference in the language as I thought there would be. Some people say "pop" instead of "soda" or "soft drink" (Let it be know, I will never call it a "coke" unless it is in fact, a coke).

Also, nobody says "y'all." And I've certainly changed here and I now usually say "you guys." But sometimes I slip up. Especially after visiting home. Once I was teaching 4th grade Sunday school and I said "y'all." I didn't even notice that I said it until one little girl raised her hand and asked if I was from Texas... Um, no! Texas isn't the only place where they say "y'all"!!


Did you know, in Ohio, you are allowed to drink in bars and restaurants if you're under 21 as long as one of your parents or your spouse who is of age is present and gives consent? Crazy, right? And in both Georgia and Ohio, you are allowed to drink under age on private, non alcohol-selling premises if your parents are present and give consent. I had no idea! (source)

In my experience, in general, the community in Ohio seems to accept alcohol so much more than Georgia. There are liquor stores inside the grocery stores. And there is alcohol everywhere. You can walk in Wal-mart and the first thing you see is a display of whatever beer is hot this season. In October there was a display of pumpkin beer on the end cap of the children's costume aisle! And most fast food type places (like Piada and Chipotle, not McDonald's) sell alcohol. I was blown away by this when we moved here.

However, in Ohio, you have to be 18 to sell alcohol in closed containers. When I was 16 I worked as a cashier at Kroger and I scanned cases of beer for customers with no problem.

In Georgia, it was illegal to sell any kind of alcohol at any time on Sunday until 2011. You are not allowed to have open containers outside in public in either state. In Ohio, people just get around this by opening a beer and pouring it in a red solo cup. I'm sure the same is true for Georgia, I just was never around it in Georgia, so I don't know.


Now, of course I only have a limited experience here, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with simply the number of "Churches of Christ" in the Columbus area. I always thought the "north" had like no churches. Granted, Ohio isn't really the north, but I used to consider it to be. However, a lot of churches of Christ in the North Atlanta area have 500 to 1000 members. As far as I know, we attend the largest church of Christ in Columbus and I think we're sitting at around 300.

Also, in Georgia, if you go out to a restaurant for lunch on Sunday after church, almost everyone in the restaurant is dressed like they obviously just came from church. In Columbus, I'd say about half look like they came from church and most of the rest of them look like they either just rolled out of bed or just got back from the gym. There are a few in the grey area wearing jeans and polos, but usually they're in one of those two camps.


Georgia is always a red state (except in 1992) and usually by a long shot. Ohio, however is a swing state. But this year, they were exceptionally similar in the way they voted for the president. In Ohio, 51.3% voted for Trump, 43.2% for Clinton, and 3.2% for Johnson. In Georgia, 50.5% voted for Trump, 45.4% for Clinton, and 3.0% for Johnson. According to those numbers, Georgia actually voted more democratic than Ohio did. That blows my mind!

Do you live in a different state from where you grew up? How is it different and how is it similar?

This has been a fun post to write. And it turned out to be much more informative and fact based than I originally intended, but I'm really glad. Thanks for reading!
Besides personal experience, I got my data mostly from here.

Follow me on social media:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...