For the last week Lance Pauker and I have been getting the full experience of life in Fargo, North Dakota. We’ve tried some incredible foods and hung out some of the nicest people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. So many people that have never visited the Midwest really have no clue what it’s like, other than stereotypes and broad, outdated generalizations that couldn’t be further from the truth. We visited North Dakota State University and local coffee shops to ask college students about the biggest misconception of living in the Midwest. Their answers varied, but had one general theme; it’s not that bad at all. Actually, it’s pretty great.
What is the biggest misconception people have about living in the Midwest?
“They think we’re all just complacent and satisfied with just doing whatever for the rest of our lives. I have dreams to do huge things and just because I live in North Dakota doesn’t mean I can’t do them.”-Manny T.
“You can’t have thriving cultural centers like Chicago, Indianapolis, or St. Louis and claim the Midwest is nothing but a big cornfield, which I feel is what people think.” -Andy S.
“Everybody always asks me how cold it is here. Like it snows year round or something. It’s basically the same weather I had when I lived in New York.”-Andrea R.
“People think there are no beaches, no hospitality, and everyone is overweight. The food is awesome, but we’re not all obese.” -Marisa F.
“A lot of people think we are fat, poor uneducated conservatives. I’m none of those.”-Jeff H.
“I feel like everyone thinks we all live on a farm. I’ve never even been to a farm or seen one in person, but people probably think that’s how I live. It’s definitely not.”-Megan P.
“They think the only thing to do for fun is go to field parties or drink in the back of a pickup truck, but there are so many cool bars and restaurants that, if you put them in New York, they would blend in perfectly.”-Tyler W.
“We don’t all say “don’t cha know” or “you betcha” like most people think. Some do, but it’s not everybody.”-Ryan B.
“That we live in tiny shacks in the middle of nowhere. I lived in New York and paid crazy money to live in a glorified closet. Most houses here would cost millions in New York.”-Jon M.
“Everyone thinks we all love country music. I hate country music and so do almost all of my friends.”-Beth S.
“People think that everyone is nice. I mean I guess it’s friendlier, but not EVERY person is going to hug you and want to be your pal.”-Conor T.
“For some reason there’s a feeling of superiority people that aren’t from this area feel over people who live here. It’s like, just because you grew up in a different part of the county doesn’t make you any better or any worse than anyone else.”-Michelle R.
“Some people think we’re all hicks and that’s just stupid.”-Matt L.
“Why does everyone think we don’t have access to airports or that we don’t read books? I read all the time!”-Richard S.
“That we’re all super religious and wear long denim dresses like a Pentecostal church in the 80s. We have all the trendy stores that everyone else has, and if there’s something we don’t, there’s always online shopping”-Jessica G.
“Just because we live in the Midwest doesn’t mean we all look like Larry Bird.”-Jordan H.
“A lot of people seem to think all of our colleges are just party schools, but that’s not true at all. Only around 10% of our students at NDSU are even in a frat or sorority. It’s a great place to get an education.” – Erica N.
“People always seems to think that all jobs are blue collar and there are no real corporate careers to be had. Both of my parents have corporate jobs and I plan to work corporately in the Midwest after I graduate.”– Amy B.
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