Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reflection as a North Dakota Resident

There was a time when I was in elementary school and I always thought about how cool it would be to be from a different state. Being from Mandan, North Dakota, I felt like I must be invisible compared to big places like California or Texas. Then an adult told me how great it is to be unique and what an advantage I had as a North Dakota resident. I remember having to think about that for a while, and now I definitely agree. I stand out on national applications. I appreciate that I can look up at night and see every star in the sky. And, I am one of about 700,000 people that lives in these 70,000 square miles of hills, valleys, and plains. Now I am pretty thankful I am from such a dynamic state!  

Most people that have never been to North Dakota are instantly curious. There have been a few times I have been on a vacation and other tourists have had a lot of questions about North Dakota. For some reason, a lot of people don’t know that we have modern technology around here. My responses are typically something along the lines of “well no, I didn’t need to ride my covered wagon to get here.” Or “Actually, I have used electricity before!” Or “Yes, there is plumbing where I live.” My TV comes in color, I don’t do my homework by candlelight, and I didn’t even ride my buffalo to school today (but I think that could be more fun!).

If it isn’t an immediate Oregon Trail style reference, a lot of people will comment on our weather. I have to say that while it is cold, I get a real sense of pride knowing that I have lived here during some intense weather. It makes me feel pretty tough when I can say that I know how to handle extremes. I can jump my car battery, drive in a white-out blizzard, and make a sandbag for a flood like nobody’s business! Some of my favorite activities including camping, fishing, and skiing I have all learned in North Dakota. It’s been a pretty happy 25 years of living here!

I have noticed North Dakota is popping up quite a bit more in national news lately, which is so exciting to me! We had ESPN Game Day on NDSU campus and we all felt like celebrities! There have been a few articles recently published about our staggering economic boom in Forbes and The New York Times. It’s exciting to feel like everyone is really starting to take notice! http://rutlandramblings.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/50-interesting-facts-about-north-dakota/has a list of really fun facts about North Dakota, so I understand everyone’s new curiosity.

My favorite on this viral list I have seen of “You know you’re from North Dakota when…” is “You drive to town during a blizzard just to see if the weatherman knows what he's talking about.” http://jdmoncada.tripod.com/humor/youreinnd.html I have definitely made sure the weather is actually “that bad” a few times! To me, it’s all part of what makes living in North Dakota such an adventure :) 

Meg Pulkrabek RD, LRD
Miss North Dakota International 2014