50 Students for 50 States: Nebraska
What is your name?
Which state are you from?
Have you lived there your whole life?
Describe your state in three words.
Flat, friendly, and farmers.
Are you proud of being from your home state? Why or why not?
That’s a tough question. Yes and no. I’m embarrassed to tell people I’m from Nebraska, but on the inside I’m proud of being from there.
How did growing up in your state affect your childhood?
Growing up on a farm gave me a lot of room for imagination. I was always outside. I had a happy childhood. I always had friends over and we went exploring. When I got older, I liked that my house was passed down and that the farm had been in my family for generations.
Nebraskans wear Air Forces and listen to rap and go to parties. We’re normal people.
What kind of local traditions did your town have?
It was such an average town. We have harvest festivals which was ironic because it was celebrating farmers, but a lot of the time the farmers couldn’t go. There were tractor pulls. We have a fair in late July where kids race sheep. There’s barrel racing and people catching cows. There’s a big parade where kids ride their horses through downtown and throw candy at us.
What was the culture like in your home state or town?
Most people love being Nebraskan. It’s very conservative, like very conservative. Where I live, it’s very farmy and rural. People are passionate about America and their trucks… and steak. The Huskers are a really big deal. Everyone is a Husker fan. There’s a bunch of little rivalries between local towns and sports teams. So there’s always this being at odds with everyone, but in the end everyone likes each other.
What kind of relationship did you have with your neighbors?
Our closest neighbors lived a half mile down the road. We were pretty close with them. My neighbors always bring us a huge Christmas gift basket. You could go anywhere in a five mile radius and we consider them neighbors. They’re all farmers. The farmers trade off favors and help each other out on their farms. Everyone knows everyone’s business.
What was your favorite thing to do in your home state or town?
I like going to Nebraska City and going to the Apple Jack festival. It’s during the apple harvest and people from all over go to it. There’s lots of apple themed food and events.
Are there any foods that your state is famous for?
Everyone calls us the cornhusker state so I guess corn. And Runza. We are also known for our beef, which I might be biased about because my dad raises beef cows. And of course, chili and cinnamon rolls.
Is there any slang from your home state that you use frequently?
Pop for soda. Supper instead of dinner. My dad says “I’ll see you after bit.” People don’t enunciate well so it almost sounds like an accent. We like to say, “Nebraska the good life” and “Nebraska: it’s not for everyone.”
Nebraska: it’s not for everyone.
Do you have any local celebrities?
Larry the Cable Guy. He’s the voice of Mater from Cars.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your home state?
My favorite part is how generational it is. People stay there forever. People are very loyal to each other and friendly. You know what to expect because things go by the farming seasons. I didn’t like how set in their ways people are. People don’t like change. Everyone knows everyone so they set expectations for you and have a lot of prejudices against you. There’s an expectation that you will be a Nebraskan for the rest of your life.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of Colorado?
I like the mountains and the little mountain towns. They are so unique and in a way they are similar to Nebraska towns. There’s a lot of opportunities here. Colorado draws in a lot of unique people and things. I like how diverse the state is between the city and the sand dunes and the Rockies.
My least favorite thing about Colorado is that it kind of gives me a headache. It’s really loud. The city stinks. The mountains give me a headache from driving and they make me feel unsettled sometimes. I feel like people aren’t very loyal here. It’s more come and go as you please. There’s less hospitality.
What drew you to CCU / Colorado?
I wanted to get out of Nebraska. I’m not sure if I just wanted to leave Nebraska or if I actually thought Colorado was cool. I also wanted to go to a Christian school. I wanted to connect with other Christians and make lifelong Christian friends.
How has living in Colorado changed your lifestyle?
- I’m more used to driving now – difficult driving through the mountains and the city. Colorado has made me more impatient. I notice it when I go home and I feel antsy and isolated.
Nebraskans are passionate about America and their trucks… and steak.
What has been the most surprising part of living in Colorado?
I was surprised how fast paced it is and how people are always wanting to do something new and fun.
If someone were to visit your home state, what would you recommend they do?
Try Runza, but don’t get the Runza. If you go in the Fall, you should go to Nebraska City and the Apple Jack festival. Go to a Husker football game and go to the Omaha Zoo.
After graduation, do you plan on staying in Colorado, returning to your home state, or going somewhere else?
If I stayed in Colorado, it would only be for a year. Otherwise, I think I’ll go abroad. When I’m raising a family or when I’m older I might return to Nebraska.
What are the most common stereotypes about your state and are they true?
People think it’s boring. That might be true compared to Colorado, but it has a lot of generational history and pride and loyalty.
What is the most common reaction you get when you tell people where you’re from?
Either they don’t know what Nebraska is and they’re unaware of anything about Nebraska or they will say “I’m sorry” or “Yikes.”
What is something surprising about your state that most people don’t know?
People think it’s pretty hick and farmy, but the majority of people in Nebraska think they aren’t. Nebraskans wear Air Forces and listen to rap and go to parties. We’re normal people.