1. DO NOT ever say you're from "The Valley" These silly people think that phrase means the San Joaquin Valley (AKA Central Valley.) They'll think you're from Fresno, Bakersfield or somewhere near one of those and you don't want to be from anywhere near one of those.
2. If you ever use the acronym CSUN (pronounced "sea-sun"), you will be met with questioning faces and "What's that?" Instead, learn to say Cal State Northridge.
3. No one stays for the credits at a movie. My theory is that in LA most people know someone in the credits but here on the Central Coast they don't care what stranger's names roll by.
4. There's only ONE freeway. You take "the freeway" or you just simply "get off at Grand Avenue" P.S. There's are actually two Grand Avenue exits on the Central Coast off "the freeway". One is in AG (Arroyo Grande) and one is in SLO.
5. DO NOT EVER call SLO "San LOUIE Obispo" They hate that. Call it SLO or San Luis. Period.
6. One does not simply drive over the grade. It is like the iron curtain. You only drive it if you HAVE to.
7. You won't drive 20 minutes with a beautiful view the whole way to get somewhere? HA! People from LA have to drive 20 minutes to get to the local grocery store! Here, you get spoiled. I know, you don't think you will, but you will.
8. You will have to get used to strangers looking you in the eye, smiling and making conversation. They don't want something from you, they're not trying to steal something from you, and they're not crazy. That's just a culture difference here.
9. If you're pulling into a metered parking space and someone gets out of their car and comes up to your window to talk to you, don't panic. They're not going to scream at you or shoot you. They're probably just being helpful and trying to save you a few quarters in the parking meters. Yeah, they're nice like that.
10. They have this thing here I like to call "rush minute." Traffic slows down a bit at the 5:00 hour for about 15 minutes. People slow down, especially where you can see the ocean from the freeway. They don't know "sig alert" or "stop and go" traffic. They have no idea what it's like to stare at a piece of graffiti or the same Herbalife building for an hour while you sit stuck in the middle of 5 lanes of parked cars on the freeway.
11. The way you learned patterns of traffic and complicated mazes of freeways is how you will learn times of year and microclimates. For example, you drive 5 miles North to SLO in the summer and prepare to get 10-15 degrees hotter.
12. The people driving 80+ miles per hour on the freeway are passing through. The people driving 50 miles per hour or less are locals.
13. The beach sand is so fine it will not only permeate your pores, it will get inside your electronics, your clothes, your bags: everything.
14. You can wade out miles and miles from shore and still be only waist deep in water. There's no drop off at these beaches.
15. Even your gas station attendant has a Bachelor's degree from Cal Poly. People go to college here and stay. It's a college town and your degree is not impressive here.