What I’ve Learned from Living in Utah

Konnor Woodburn, News Editor

Utah is a very unique place, and there are some things that are part of daily life here that aren’t very common in other areas. Having grown up in Montana, there are a lot of things that when I moved here I noticed were different, and it took a while for me to adjust to the changes I observed. There are a lot of different life lessons that we have learned here, but I’m not sure that most Utahns really know and recognize all of the things that are different and have shaped us over time.

There is a distinct difference between people who have lived in Utah their whole lives and those who haven’t. Those who have lived here don’t notice the things that set Utah apart, they just take them for granted and assume that things are the same everywhere. Those of us who haven’t lived here as long notice the smaller things. Junior Katherine Weber said, “I feel like it’s a lot cleaner here… There isn’t as much swearing.” People here have learned how to keep things looking good and keep lives a bit better.

I’ve noticed that we have different social groupings here as well. Outside of Utah, most people have multiple groups of friends: church, school, neighborhood, and those groups generally don’t interact with each other all that much. Junior Roslyn Reeves said, “Everyone is all spread out. I had my church friends, my school friends. In Utah they’re the same.” Here, Utahns have learned to combine their groups and have one larger group made up of all the things they’re involved in. Before I lived here I had friends from all over, and most of us didn’t go to the same schools, the same churches, or even live in the same parts of town.  Friends that you met in preschool ended up going to different schools and were in different religious organizations, so it took more effort and you made other friends when you all changed environments. Utah is the exact opposite of that, where your friends usually go to the same school or church as you, and that’s how you got to know them. This helped me learn how to combine friend groups and have one giant circle of friends that I could do things with, instead of having a ton of groups that were individual and didn’t know each other.

Additionally, we as Utahns have learned to live with religion as a major cultural aspect of our daily lives. Sure in most places there are tons of religious people. But not very many other areas of the world have a religion that is so infused into the lives of everyone who lives there, whether they are a member or not. This was one of the first things I noticed when I got here. Even Utahns who aren’t Mormons are influenced by LDS members. The cultural values of the church that first arrived here have spread into being what could be called a “Utah Culture”. This has also proved to be a point that I found to be different, and it really changed my view on how an area is influenced culturally. Since I grew up outside of Utah I had to be more accepting of other religions. I was used to being in the minority religiously, and because I was now in the majority, I learned that I could relate to the others who weren’t.

Utah has taught me a ton of amazing things. I want to be able to continue to learn more, and also be able to help teach others all about the things that I’ve learned from living here.