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11 Ways You'll Be Stereotyped for Living in California

by Julia Kitlinski-Hong Oct 27, 2016

1. Nothing makes you angry.

Californians are thought to be totally chill, dude. Although this may be true for some blissed out surfers, most residents are not as laid back. We still get irrationally angry over traffic, rainy weather, and waiting in line for our favorite restaurant while we’re hangry.

2. You must know movie stars.

When people think of the Golden State, they often think of Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general. Sadly, living in California does not guarantee your next-door neighbor will be Julia Roberts or Adam Levine. Although this statement has a higher chance of being true in Los Angeles, it usually is not the case, especially in Northern California.

3. You are highly liberal.

We may be known for our push to legalize marijuana and our support of marriage equality, but that does not define every Californian’s beliefs. There are some highly conservative areas like Orange County down south, and parts of the Central Valley that swing right and support Republican ideals.

4. You only eat healthy food.

Californians may have their fair share of juice bars and kale salads, but we also crave junk food in equal measure. The fast-food culture is strong especially in Southern California, where chains like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and In-N-Out were founded, just to name a few.

5. You live right near the beach.

Unlike on TV shows like The O.C. and Laguna Beach, most Californians do not have oceanfront views. That type of real estate is expensive and is out of budget for the majority of our state’s residents. Even if you are rich enough to afford a beach condo, you might not even live near the ocean. There is a good majority of California that is inland, where it can take hours to get to the nearest ocean spot.

6. You know what a major earthquake feels like.

The last major earthquakes were the Loma Prieta in 1989 (Bay Area) and the Northridge in 1994 (Los Angeles). These two earthquakes measured 6.9 and 6.7 respectfully on the Richter scale and caused billions in damage. A lot of younger or transplant Californians have never experienced a major quake of that magnitude. There have of course been smaller earthquakes, including ones that lasted a few seconds, and felt like nothing more than a brief swaying of the ground.

7. You have never seen snow.

There many not be snow in major cities, but there are easily accessible mountains like Lake Tahoe in the north and Mammoth in the south, where you can ski and snowboard to your heart’s content. One of the best things about living in a state with such a diverse climate is that you can be at the beach one day, and the snow-capped mountains the next.

8. You are always tan.

California is often associated with perfect beach weather year-round. While this may be somewhat true for those living in Southern California, a large majority of the north can have foggy or overcast days where we don’t see the sun for a week. This explains our pale complexions and over-enthusiasm for days that are 60 degrees.

9. You live in San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego.

These may be the three most well-known cities in California, but they aren’t our only cities. There are small coastal towns like Santa Barbara, and the state capital of Sacramento, that have their own charm. There’s also Central California, which is made up of mostly farm towns and provides more than half of the nation’s produce.

10. Mexican food consists of 90 percent of your diet.

It’s true we Californians are proud of our Mexican cuisine, but that doesn’t mean we exist solely on it. There are plenty of other cuisines that we are spoiled with, like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Peruvian.

11. You live in a state without any real history.

It is true that California does not have the historical charm of the states on the East Coast, but it has plenty of its own unique history to claim. There is the Gold Rush, mass immigration from countries like China and Japan through Angel Island, and the Spanish missionaries — and those are just a few highlights.

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