Moving to the south, what to expect?

So I've lived in the chicago area my entire life and will shortly be moving to nashville TN for school. I generally know what to expect and quite frankly I think it will be for the better. I was raised a christian (though I'm now atheist), and I tend to have more conservative political views as well as lifestyle. So I like to think I'll fit right in, even though I'm coming from a much more liberal and progressive area.

What I mainly want to know is how my lack of religious faith will bode with the people of Tennessee which I know is part of the bible belt? Again, I was raised on christian values so I generally live my life like a christian, I just don't' believe in god anymore nor do I go to church. Will I be an outcast for this, or is the stereotype about the bible belt exaggerated?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • It shouldn't make much of a difference. At least not with the younger population. We're *generally speaking* a lot less "strict" with things like that than the older more traditional population. Just to be honest, you may be an outcast at first but once you make more friends and learn southern customs then you'll be fine.

    I love living in the South. You'll get used to our different expressions and way of talking. We say "ya'll" a lot. I don't live in Tennessee though, I live in Virginia.

    Southern food is the best in my opinion though. There's nothing like home cooked fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and cornbread. Lol Sweet tea is the norm and basically a way of life. Haha And if you order tea at a restaurant it will automatically come sweetened so if you don't want that then you should specify unsweetened.

    I don't think you'll have any problems:)

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What Girls Said 3

  • Things like rent will probably be a lot cheaper.

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    • Yeah I already noticed that. About 30-40% cheaper.

  • Expect redneck bible thumpers

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  • well you'll be able to order sweet tea at any restaurant so that's worth it all right there ;) I live about 45 minutes from Nashville and you won't have any problems. you're way over thinking it ;)

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    • I'm more of a fan of unsweetened tea lol. Every time I ask for it, they always ask if I'm from the north.

What Guys Said 6

  • Well I'm originally from the Peoria area so I can't speak about the Chicago side of things. However, I do live in the greater Nashville area so I can give you info regarding the area.

    Traffic is ridiculous from 6-9am and 3:30-7pm. Rent is cheaper the further you get from Nashville but the commute time and $ spent on transportation will likely make up for any difference.

    Real estate here is ridiculous. You will likely spend 30-50% more on housing here than most other areas in the country. However there is no state income tax and there are plenty of jobs to be had.

    Values: truthfully most of the people that live here aren't from here. There are lots of churches and you're in the Bible belt but it's not something that is shoved down your throat. People are generally friendlier down here, except in traffic and then it's everyone for themselves.

    Recreation: there is a lot to do here. If you appreciate history there is enough to keep you occupied for quite some time. You like food there are a variety of options. Then there's the downtown Nashville area. Clubs and girls. Get a buzz going and just walk around. It's a great place to people watch. There always seems to be some kind of festival going on as well.

    Welcome to middle TN. Hope you enjoy it

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  • You'll be fine. Enjoy. Nothing beats a southern woman.

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    • So I've heard. I truly hate the women up here in Chicago. I'm kind of hoping that I'll meet my future wife while down her studying. Who knows.

    • That was pretty funny. Aside from that video obviously trying to poke fun at it, in all seriousness, I think the way southern women act and talk is cute.

  • It is never a bad thing to move from Chicago.

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  • Well it's not like you'll be walking around professing your religious beliefs (or lack of) to everyone you meet. In the south, you'll find that people will most likely be a lot more personable towards you, friendly, and their way of talking will seem a bit intimate at first. They'll do the whole "honey" or "sweetie pie" thing (unless you're going to a bigger city, but even then...)

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    • Yeah I noticed fast how much nicer and personable people are. Another plus about moving there.

  • Ha ha...Liberalism..is not prgressive...its regressive. You're chances of getting shot are going to drop dramatically. The people will be more civil. Hopefully, someone (a good role model) will take you under their wing, and show you why atheism is a joke. You'll be much better off in TN...best of luck to you!

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  • I think it's exaggerated. I haven't been to a church since I was maybe 12 and that was to hang out with some of the people there. As a teen, I didn't even know that many people that went to church regularly and if they did, they didn't talk about it. People aren't sitting around preaching about what others should do.

    Unless you have an uppity attitude about living anywhere in the south, you'll be fine.

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    • Yeah I'm generally exited for it. I personally think I'll fit it 100x better in the south than in the north. I'm a southerner at heart. The only thing about me that isn't southern is my lack of religion. I just am curious if people are going to act like I'm the devil as soon as I tell them I'm atheist. Seems like its really not all that much different based on what you say.

    • You might come across a few of those people here and there, but for me, the only people that have really bothered me about religious stuff is Jehovah's witnesses.

      I can't even remember the last time I had a non internet religious conversation.

    • We have them up north to. I'd say about once a year they'll come to our door trying to get us to convert or something. I guess no matter where you are, there will always be religious extremists. I figured its what you said. That generally you'd barely notice the difference.

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