1. You don’t consider yourself as a southerner and sometimes think that Northern Virginia should be its own state.
2. You believe that you grew up more open-minded, cultured, and progressive than the rest of Virginia.
3. You were probably involved in two sports, two music and/or arts classes, and an extracurricular activity of your choice.
4. There was never a still moment, and you were never bored. But one disadvantage of that was the overwhelming number of options you had – where to shop, where to eat, where to take a hike, which historical sites to visit, and what events to attend.
5. You had access to large public libraries.
6. There were many well-maintained recreation centers you could choose from and some of them even had waterslides.
7. You applied to 10+ colleges and many of them were far away, but you ended up going to UVA, Virginia Tech, William and Mary, JMU, GMU, VCU, CNU, ODU, or Radford.
8. You scoffed at anyone who claimed that D.C. was only 20 minutes away from anything.
9. You think you’re a pretty good driver because you managed to drive through the Beltway, I-66, and I-95 many times without getting killed.
10. If you had somewhere important to be, you tried to leave at least an hour in advance, but then ended up using that entire hour because of road work, congestions, or delays from an accident.
11. You still don’t know if taking the Metro to D.C. or driving to D.C. is better because both are pretty bad experiences.
12. Your parents considered sending you to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and you spent 6th through 8th grades preparing for it because, you know, just in case you had to apply.
13. Getting straight A’s in all honors and AP classes wasn’t anything special. It was expected.
14. Field trips involved visiting most of the museums in D.C., Jamestown, Yorktown, and Pamplin Historical Park.
15. You enjoyed the bus rides to these field trips more than the sites themselves.
16. You spent a great deal of your childhood touring cookie-cutter model homes because your parents considered buying one and moving to another county or another side of town.
17. You have no idea what your most of your peers’ parents did for a living because it was usually confidential.
18. It was normal to see independent church services being held in your neighborhood schools.
19. You’ve probably been to the National Gallery of Art far more than any other museum.
20. You’re astonished by how much people are willing to spend on houses and endure claustrophobia in neighborhoods that had houses all crammed a few feet from one another.
21. There’s always construction and road work near where you live and even up to one hour away.
22. You had five career choices: doctor, lawyer, business administrator, teacher, or engineer. Any other interests were considered as hobbies and nothing more.
23. You remember 2010 as the year when you got two full weeks off from school because of a huge snowstorm. You also remember your parents yelling about being stuck on the road for eight hours straight.
24. You thought that the way the county handled snow days was inefficient, lousy, and headache-inducing.
25. Everyone you know has been to Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Shenandoah Valley, and Virginia Beach for vacation.
26. You were either someone who loved Tysons mall or hated it.
27. The popular people at school excelled academically and defied most stereotypes in movies.
28. Parking in high school was a disaster, and you envied those who lived close enough to walk.
29. You could find a Chinese buffet in most shopping centers. You also tried Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and a variety of other cuisines.
30. Your graduating class had 400-600 students, and if you were ranked in the top 25 based on your GPA, you sought out ways to tell every adult in your family about it.
31. You most likely were pulled over for going only two to five mph over the speed limit.
32. Anyone who made a Facebook in 2010 probably friended everyone from every high school in Northern Virginia. And if you were one of the few who made one a few years later, you were perplexed by how everyone knew everyone.
33. You think that road congestions before 7 AM are normal.
34. You’re tired of having to explain what SOLs are and how much you hated spending half of each school year preparing for them.
35. You get super excited whenever you discover a writer, blogger, YouTuber, or songwriter that grew up in Northern Virginia because those are rare.
36. You never really lost that Northern Virginian competitive edge or the desire to be the best.