We're just a few weeks away from welcoming thousands of new residents to Tuscaloosa as a new semester begins at the University of Alabama. How can you tell the newbies from the lifers? Check out our list!

1. Road work is a fact of life.

You cannot escape it. Resign yourself to your fate. You will encounter a minimum of two road work projects at any given time, so just suppress your rage until it turns into heartburn and eat Tums like they're candy.

2. The best time to go out to dinner is in the summer.

This has nothing to do with patio dining options. I love University of Alabama students; I really do, but y'all all know that if we are keeping it 100, we've got to admit that it's just easier getting a table at a restaurant when there aren't 50,000+ college kids in town.

3. Tailgating is no joke.

Tailgating is a big deal. It's not just some rando folks grilling hot dogs before a game--it is a social EVENT.

4. Don't expect your car to stay clean for more than a day.

Mud, pollen, dust from the daggum road work--washing your car is a waste of time. It will look good for a few hours, and then it's getting dirty again.

5. Deciding where to eat lunch or dinner is an epic poem.

There are SO many incredible options for dining in Tuscaloosa and Northport that it's impossible to choose. And if that's not bad enough, you've also got Waitr and Crimson2Go--and they'll literally bring whatever you want to your home. (And I wonder why I am fat...)

6. Stop lights are apparently just a suggestion.

Anyone from Tuscaloosa will tell you that you've got to wait a minimum of 3 seconds after the light turns green. Why? You can almost guarantee that someone is running that red light. Yes, we have red light cameras, but people still run them like it's a half marathon.

7. We're all neighbors here.

Tuscaloosa was devastated by an EF-4 tornado on April 27, 2011. After the storm, Tuscaloosa stepped up in a major way. We took care of one another--mending fences, roofs, and picking up debris in an effort to help our neighbors pick up the pieces of their lives. We take care of each other here.

8. Everything is planned around football season.

If you invite me to your wedding and it's on a Saturday in September, I'm not going. Everyone in Tuscaloosa plans their lives around football season; it's not fanaticism, it's just fact. 5Ks, concerts, family reunions--it's all planned around the football schedule.

9. Speaking of seasons, we have five.

Our seasons are Lite Winter, Tornado, Summer, Football, and Second Tornado.

10. "Roll Tide" is the Southern Aloha. 

"Roll Tide" is literally the perfect phrase for any occasion. Say it when greeting strangers on the Quad before a tailgate. Say it when you bid your Uber driver farewell. Say it when your boss sneezes in that big meeting. Hell--I've even heard people say "Roll Tide" at funerals. That's just the way we do it down here.

Roll Tide.

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