1. If You Aren’t Super Proud Of New Jersey, G.T.F.O.

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey There’s no other state in the union that can elicit a more powerful reaction of state pride than in New Jersey. Maybe that’s because New Jerseyans have to constantly be on defense about how amazing they are in order to deal with all of the New Jersey hate. But the reality is that there’s just a lot to love about this state: gardens, farmland, busy cities, great location, fresh produce, bagels, and pizza, just to name a few.

2. No One Calls It Joisey

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey Living in Jersey, you learn real quick that no one actually pronounces it “Joisey.” And the people that do pronounce it “Joisey” soon learn the only response to that is either a drop kick or, if you’re lucky, a simple: “Go Back To Staten Island, a**hole!”

3. Going Down The Shore Really Is The Best Thing Ever

Let’s talk about the real Jersey Shore. One of the best parts about living in Jersey is going down the shore (ignore the incorrect grammar—if you say, “going down to the shore” you might be dropkicked like that guy who called NJ “Joisey”). In all seriousness, the shore has some of the most beautiful beaches in America, like Cape May, Spring Lake, and Long Beach Island. Stunning.

4. New York Doesn’t Even Know What A Bagel Really Is

Whoever started the lie that the best bagels are found in New York had obviously never been to New Jersey. If you’ve lived in New Jersey your whole life, you learn the minute you leave the state that a bagel anywhere else in the world is not actually a bagel. And if you move to New Jersey, you learn you’ve been lied to forever and that a real bagel only exists in the magical bagel land of New Jersey. Bagel Chateau, O’Bagel, or basically any deli you go to in the state will provide you with all the proof you need.

5. You Don’t Know Pizza Until You’ve Tried New Jersey’s

With the exception of Italy (and even this is questionable…) the best pizza is in New Jersey. This is just a fact.

6. Whether You Call It Taylor Ham Or Pork Roll, It’s Better Than Anything You’ve Ever Tasted

When living in New Jersey, you learn that the only answer to the question “SPK?” is “Of course.” Taylor Ham (or Pork Roll if you live in South Jersey) with salt, pepper, and ketchup is a classic New Jersey meal, regardless of what you call it. This delicious, godly creation is a huge part of what makes living in Jersey so great.

7. The Sopranos Is A TV Show—Not Real Life

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey “Oh my god, you live in Jersey? Are you, like, in the mob?” No. But I do often find myself recognizing places where they filmed scenes in the Sopranos. You know, filmed… because it’s a television show.

8. That Being Said The Dominance Of Italian Culture Here Is Legit

OK, so not everyone in New Jersey is a member of the Italian mafia. But ask anyone from New Jersey, “Quick: how many people named Tony do you know?” And you may hear a list of 30-40. Yeah. And turkey on Thanksgiving is an afterthought. The lasagna on Thanksgiving is the real main event.

9. The Frustration Of Dealing With BENNYs and Shoobies Every Summer

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey The amazing beaches on the Jersey Shore are part of what attracts hundreds of tourists from NY and PA, especially in June, July, and August—which is something that New Jerseyans are not exactly thrilled about. They’ve even given them nicknames: BENNYs (NY) and Shoobies (PA). You learn quickly when living in New Jersey that part of New Jersey culture is to get frustrated with outsiders crowding their beaches.

10. Except For The Sports Teams—They Can Stay

Remind me one more time where the New York Giants and New York Jets play? Oh, that’s right. They play at the MetLife Stadium—in East Rutherford, N.J.! New York can pretend that these sports teams belong to them, but everyone knows they are actually New Jersey’s. And I’m pretty sure there are more Eagles fans in South Jersey than anywhere else in the country.

11. If He Hasn’t Already, Bruce Springsteen Will Change Your Life

Try listening to Bruce Springsteen’s, “Jersey Girl,” and not getting all sappy and romantic and teary-eyed about your first love. Yeah, it’s not possible.

12. For Being The Butt Of A Ton Of Jokes, Hell Of People Sure Seem To Want To Live Here

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey New Jersey has the most people per square mile out of any other state in the U.S.—and this is a point of pride for many a New Jerseyan. Yeah, it’s congested but that’s part of what makes it so friggin’ amazing—the words “lonely” or “isolated” don’t really exist in a New Jerseyan’s vocabulary. So to any hater out there who say that no one would ever want to live in New Jersey: Check your math, bro. Everyone does live in New Jersey.

13. Even If You Are Stressed Out 99.9 Percent Of The Time, You Know Your State Still Rocks

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey So, a recent study by Movoto concluded that New Jersey is the third most stressed state in the union, behind only Florida and Georgia. What can we say? New Jerseyans live a high-stress/high-reward kind of lifestyle. Yes, there are aspects about this state that can make you pull your hair out now and again (the turnpike in the months of June, July, and August for example), but at the end of the day, refer back to No. 2 on this list and you’ll get why it doesn’t matter all that much.

14. You Don’t Know The Meaning “Brawl” Until You’ve Seen North And South Jersey Go At It

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey Let’s be honest: one of the first things you learn when you’re living in New Jersey is that there are actually twoJerseys—North Jersey and South Jersey. There is nothing that the two regions can agree on: Taylor ham vs. pork roll; sub vs. hoagie; New York vs. Philadelphia; Giants vs. Eagles…etc. etc. Regardless of who you believe is better, however, you learn something real quick when living in New Jersey: North Jersey is louder and prouder and will put any South Jerseyan in their place.

15. And “Central Jersey” Is Constantly Undergoing An Identity Crisis…

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey You may have noticed that in all of that bickering about which region of the state is the best region, there was no mention of the strange, shadowy land called “Central Jersey.” And that’s because—for all intents and purposes—it’s quite possible there is no such thing as Central Jersey.

16. Except For When It Comes To Politics

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey Tucked between two very Red regions of the state, is a strange land unlike its Christie-loving, Christian-loving North and South Jersey neighbors. The one thing Central Jersey is known for: Its politics. It’s a straight up oasis for liberals in a land full of Republicans.

17. And Rutgers And Princeton Keep Central Jersey Interesting

At least Central Jersey has Rutgers and Princeton. What better way to shake things up than by throwing in a bunch of noisy undergrads, college sports, a plethora of college dive bars, and mom and pop quintessential college town vibes that’ll make anyone smile? OK, Central Jersey (if that even is your real name!) I guess you did something right…

18. When Living In Jersey, You Are Defined By Your Parkway Exit

There’s a lot to learn about a New Jerseyan that can be learned by asking one very simple question: “What exit?” When you tell someone from Jersey what exit you live off of on the parkway, they will instantly know more about who you are as a person, what your sports teams preferences are, what kind of lifestyle you lead, whether you call a sandwich a hoagie or a sub, and so much more.

19. North Jersey = Dunkin’ Donuts. South Jersey = Wawa

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey Another thing you can determine based on what exit someone lives off of the parkway? Whether they prefer Dunkin or Wawa. If you live in Jersey, you learn to pick a side and stick with it.

20. In Jersey It Is All About The Diners

This is one that everyone can agree on: No state in the union has better diners than the state of New Jersey. Diners are a crucial part of every aspect of your childhood and young adulthood. Disco fries at 3 a.m. are the best thing in the entire world. And New Jersey diners will never cease to surprise you with their amazing, around-the-clock breakfast options. Like Captain Crunch French Toast. Yeah, that’s a thing. Wrap your head around that one.

21. Everyone’s Secretly Happy That Outsiders Don’t Know How Awesome Jersey Is

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey For some strange reason, most outsiders believe New Jersey is all pollution, no pizzazz—even though we’re the freakin’ Garden State. There are hundreds of gardens, 730,000 acres of farmland, and the best damn corn and tomatoes you’ll taste in your entire life. Oh, and the cranberry bogs! Yeah, New Jersey has amazing cranberry bogs. I don’t know who started the rumor that New Jersey is ugly, but we’d like to personally thank them. That just means more farm fresh produce for us to enjoy without tourists sticking their noses in our business.

22. Staten Island Ruins Every New Jerseyan’s Life

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey For some reason, people cannot wrap their brains around the fact that New Jersey is not Staten Island. Thanks to a group of lovely, tan guidos and guidettes from Staten Island (Thanks, “Jersey Shore”), pretty much everyone thinks New Jersey is all about fist pumping, spray tan, and hair gel. It. Is. Not.

23. For Some Inexplicable Reason, Half The State Roots For An NHL Team In Philly

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey Speaking of ridiculous things South Jerseyans do—they also root for the Philadelphia Flyers, even though New Jersey has a perfectly fine NHL team of their own, the Jersey Devils. Luckily, the top half of Jersey is sensible enough to realize this.

24. NYC and Philly Are For Partying Only

We may hate when they come to Jersey, but we love going to them! Living so close to two major cities, Philadelphia and New York, means that New Jerseyan weekends are filled with trips to bars, clubs, and sporting events in Philly and NYC. Sure, this might make us hypocritical. But that’s OK. We’re from Jersey, what do you expect?

25. The Devil Is Real, And He Lives In South Jersey

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey Something you learn growing up living in Jersey is that the Devil is real. And that he’s a resident of South Jersey. Seriously. He’s a part-goat, part-bat creature that terrifies the Pine Barren region of New Jersey with his frightening screech. Creepy!

26. Don’t Believe The Hype, Hoboken Is Awesome

Hoboken is freaking beautiful. It’s the best of NYC at half the price. Gorgeous views of the NYC skyline, plus better pizza and bagels. Why people have convinced the world that Hoboken is a terrible place to live is beyond me.

27. Rules For Going To Atlantic City: Have An AARP Card Or Be A Part Of A Bachelorette Party

Living in Jersey, you learn two things about Atlantic City: 1) It’s a city for people over the age of 65 2) It’s a city of bachelorette parties. There isn’t one New Jersey resident with an AARP membership who hasn’t been to Atlantic City. And there isn’t one soon-to-be-married woman who hasn’t been there, either.

28. How To Avoid Toll Roads In New Jersey: You Can’t. Sorry.

So. Many. Toll roads. People will tell you that if you live in NJ long enough, you learn all the back ways and it becomes easier to avoid tolls—but I’m pretty sure that’s just a lie they tell you to make you feel better about losing your life savings to toll roads.

29. How To Drive On Jughandles Without Losing Your Mind—Or Your Life

30 Things You Learn While Living In New Jersey As if the driving situation in Jersey weren’t bad enough, there’s this lovely New Jersey creation called “the jughandle.” What is a jughandle? The short answer is that its part of the Jersey Devil’s plan to turn New Jersey into hell. The long answer is that it’s a traffic ramp on the right side of the road that enables left-turning traffic to take a left…yeah. You heard that correctly. Basically, you can’t turn left in New Jersey without losing your mind. However, New Jerseyans do enjoy watching tourists be tortured by this little invention.

30. The Statue Of Liberty Is Technically In... New Jersey

That’s right people, the ultimate emblem of America is actually in New Jersey waters! So, as a New Jerseyan, you learn young that one of the most effective comebacks to anyone hating on New Jersey is: “Oh, so you must hate America.” Sometimes living in Jersey means headaches, stress, impossible left turns, and dealing with a legendary devil. But, it’s also Taylor Ham, fresh produce, gardens, picturesque views, good old-fashioned North vs. South rivalries, and—of course—Bruce Springsteen. A totally worth it trade off. What’s something you learned living in New Jersey? Tell us in the comments below!