Throughout my college career, I have met an extensive number of northeast inhabitants that migrate to Fairfield University for the nine long months of the school year. I love this about the Fairfield population. The majority of us can revel at the unique joy that the East Coast brings to us, despite being dispersed throughout different regions.
Since going to Fairfield, however, I have noticed that during a conversation with those who do not call New Jersey their home, I am often put on the defense. I believe that this subconscious defensive act stems from a traumatic experience dating back to my first year of college, in which I was introduced to the apparently common notion that, “New Jersey is the armpit of America.”
Appalled to hear so many people express obstinate feelings towards New Jersey, I decided to devote this article to explaining why the Garden State does not qualify to hold the aforementioned title.
Unbeknownst to many, New Jersey has birthed numerous public figures. The list of unmistakable talent that comes from New Jersey is long, but some names may come as a shock to many supporters of the anti-Jersey party. For example, there is Queen Latifah, Shaquille O’Neal, Frank Sinatra, Bon Jovi, Meryl Streep, Buzz Aldrin and the Jonas brothers.
These are top notch, fairly unproblematic celebrities, which is a true rarity these days. Has anyone ever had an issue with the most gentle giant, Shaquille O’Neal? Absolutely not. Not only does New Jersey water produce some of the best bagels, but it apparently plays a role in creating some of the most iconic performers, actors and athletes.
It is important to note that New Jersey is an extremely versatile state in terms of its terrain. While most people tend to think of the Jersey shore, which is where the best childhood memories are made by the way, many forget that the state offers more than just the typical scene of Italian-American men moseying along boardwalks in their wife-beaters.
In fact, one can find the opposite environment if they travel to the left-most tip of the state known as Sussex County. Coined as the greenest county, a tourist can go there to visit any farm in the Springtime and will most likely come across a plethora of newborn animals as they take an educational tour about the importance of buying local produce. If you are not the type to enjoy the ocean or vast farmland, there is also the option to visit several notable attractions. A few examples include Six Flags, the Liberty Science Center and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
To close out this short yet effective argument, I am ending with the special element of community that is found in New Jersey. Those from New Jersey are bonded by the underlying appreciation they have for the hidden treasures that the state offers. The camaraderie amongst those who have spent any significant amount of time in New Jersey is apparent, and says a lot about the state and its people.
Although this was only a glimpse into the underrated magnificence of New Jersey, I’m hoping it was enough to stir more respect in the hearts of those who believe the cruel title of the state being the “armpit of America.” This title is certainly not fit for a state that does nothing but shower its people with love and beauty.