Being born and raised in Texas and having lived in a new state for the past month, I can be the first to attest that Texas in indeed a country of its own. The most prominent difference I noticed while being in Georgia was the change in language used and dialects. Now when I say “y’all” or “fixin” people just look at me funny and wonder what redneck town I rolled out of. Being that Georgia is in the south just as Texas is, I was clearly surprised by this happening. After just going along with it for the first two weeks, eventually the ridicule and infinite Texas jokes finally got to me and I decided that it was time for a change.
Soon after I began to step up my code switching game around all my fellow classmates. “Y’all” had now turned into “you guys” and “fixin” had now turned into “about to”. My friends and teammates had immediately noticed the difference in my language and took note of my now more sophisticated talk as they called it. Even though the Texas jokes subsided, I couldn’t help but realize how truly uncomfortable I was with this new way of speaking around people. I really had to put my maximum effort into ensuring that my southern state of mind didn’t slip out among the groups of people I spoke to everyday. Clearly I was not meant to speak like a northerner and nor did I want to speak like one.
The act of intentionally switching one’s language to accommodate their surroundings or code switching is not nearly as easy as it sounds. I tried, partially succeeded, and then decided that I was going to speak exactly how I had for the past 18 years of my life. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can never take the Texas out of the girl.