1. You wish there were other people beside you who said things like “super awesome,” “hella,” and “sweet, dude.”
Like any place, California has its own slang and you never feel silly reveling in it. Until you leave. And then people mock you for sounding like a surfer, even though you’ve never lived close to the ocean.
2. You spend a shameful amount of money on avocados.
Back home, avocados aren’t a luxury, they are a staple. When you see one for 3 dollars, you don’t even question buying it. Avocados 24/7 is your goddamn right.
3. The rest of your money goes towards Vitamin D supplements.
The sunny weather in California often gets taken for granted, until you leave and experience a straight month of cloudy skies and rain. You miss your best friend, the sun, and whenever you don’t see him, it’s another Vitamin D down the gullet to keep away those blues.
4. You haven’t driven a car in over a year.
California, as awesome as it is, isn’t exactly known for its stellar public transportation. No longer do you have to drive just to get to the grocery store or even work. You do find yourself missing road trips, though…
5. You find yourself craving things like chia seeds, wheatgrass shots, and almond butter.
When living back home, you sometimes laughed at all the hippie health crazes people cycled through. But now, you find yourself dreaming about smoothie recipes and making your own cheese.
6. You no longer have a tan.
A good tan is an art. It doesn’t matter if you live in Northern or Southern California; you’re going to have some color in that skin, or people think you’re sick or anti-social.
7. You’re getting fat.
You don’t even have to try to stay in shape when you live in California. People will be calling you up for hikes, bike rides, or yoga class all day, every day. It’s not just about working out. It’s about being seen working out.
8. You go into a valley girl/dude accent when talking to other Californians.
When you Skype your friends back home to gossip and someone overhears, it can be embarrassing. Every Californian thinks they don’t have an accent, until someone rudely points it out.
9. You grow angry at people back home who are not acknowledging the drought.
There’s a drought, people. Conserve your water. Please, leave something of California for us to enjoy for when we come back home.
10. You can’t even remember what In-n-Out tastes like.
It was magical, right? You have faint memories of gooey cheese and grilled onions, but it feels like a fever dream.
11. You no longer get free weed.
I’m sorry, you want me to pay for you for weed?! Hahahahahhahaha, good one. Wait, really? I thought this was a sharing space.
12. You no longer remember the annoying things about California.
You tell all your friends to come visit you because California is all sunrises, majestic forests, salty surf, and sunsets. Nope, no downfalls at all.