Why NOVA Stereotypes are Stereo(hype)

By Sirisha Brahmandam, Design & Layout Editor

“Wait… you’re from NOVA?”

The first response you may get from someone when you tell them that you are indeed from NOVA is the signature snarky comment and subtle standoffish look. People label us as snobbish, and there is truth to this statement as we are home to some of the wealthiest cities across the United States; an esteemed education system, such as the world-recognized Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology; reliable transportation, including the Metro and one of the largest bus fleets in the country; and a flourishing economy that thrives due to its proximity to Washington D.C. and numerous job opportunities.

If the attitude associated with NOVA isn’t enough, we also have our own language. While describing the cold weather, Elijah Rochon (12) says, “Bro it’s jih like burr outside moe. Real live bouta freeze outside, no cap,” which roughly translates to “Bro, it’s really cold outside, dude. For real, I’m about to freeze outside, not kidding.” Lists have been created across the internet just so non-NOVA residents can understand the eccentric words and phrases that rarely make their way out of this area.

Residents of NOVA, along with the surrounding Maryland cities and Washington D.C., have been coined as being terrible drivers. With everyone in a hurry in such a populated and bustling region, smaller roads can become incredibly congested — a typical 10-minute drive can take upwards of 45 minutes. “I would compare rush hour on 495 and I-66 to a parking lot. I hate it,” says Jio Williams (10). According to the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Virginians have been nationally ranked as having some of the worst drivers. But at least our state is high on the list where we like to be.

To top it off, the weather that we are so gratefully blessed with can’t seem to ever make up its mind. One day it’s 75℉ and the next day is 35℉; even during the day, the temperature can fluctuate by 50℉. FCPS has made its mark numerous times on Twitter trends due to #closefcps, the hashtag that pops up every time a forecast of wintry weather is expected, with thousands of students and parents voicing their opinions about closing school. From #closefcps, our Member-At-Large, Ryan McElveen, has become a local celebrity, handling our desperate pleas and memes like a champ.

Even with these few stereotypes, don’t be so quick to judge Northern Virginia. The best aspect is the constant influx of diverse residents and communities, and, consequently, great food. Every corner is home to ethnic restaurants worldwide; Annandale is commonly referred to as Koreatown for its authentic cuisine. There is always somewhere to go in NOVA due to the numerous malls and outlets. If you’re in an outdoorsy mood, Great Falls, Cox Farms, and other parks are abundantly available.

People say the ability to go from city to suburbs in a matter of minutes as their favorite part about Northern Virginia. “Living between Mosaic and Old Town Fairfax, and being less than a 20-minute drive to all of Annandale, D.C, and Tyson’s makes it easy to shop and hang out anywhere desired,” says Leo Goldblatt (11). “It’s pretty awesome.” And a slightly longer drive can take you to historical landmarks like Old Town Alexandria, Jamestown, and Williamsburg.

Despite any flaws that NOVA may possess, one thing is for certain: it will always be our home. “Even though a lot of NOVA can be cringy to outsiders,” says Taylor Devlin (12). “it’s an area that we are proud of as a community.”