So, without further ado ...
Rexburg really isn't that bad — seriously
I’m from Rexburg. And, no, I’m not apologizing for it.
I love watching people’s faces when I answer the standard questions:
My name is Breanna. They smile. Sometimes they even say, “Oh, that’s a pretty name.”
I tell them I’m studying communication. That usually gets a good reaction. “Ohh … are you going to be a journalist or something? That’s cool.”
And then, the clincher: I grew up in Rexburg. Silence.
Or, sometimes it’s worse than silence. Just last week, a visitor in my apartment got to that point in our conversation and promptly turned to my roommate. He asked, “So, is she normal?”
I’m not kidding.
Reactions to my hometown in my time here have ranged from laughter to expressions of pity to an awkward fumbling of keys in the attempt to say something humorous or consoling.
While I admit I find these reactions comical, they still lead me to ask: How did locals get such a bad reputation?
Maybe it’s because many BYU-Idaho students can’t imagine growing up in a town so small. But my roommate is from Paul, Idaho, and that’s not even big enough to put on some maps. And you don’t hear her apologizing.
Maybe people pity me because I grew up in a homogenous religious “bubble.” But most students here are LDS, so it doesn’t make much sense for them to hate something they helped create, does it?
But, more likely, we’re just misunderstood. So I’m here to debunk some rumors about locals and stand up for the land I love:
1. We’re not all potato farmers.
But, we probably know one. Several, even. We maybe even worked for one at some point during high school. And, yes, Madison School District really does cancel school for 10 days for potato harvest. You can thank us when you eat your Wendy’s French fries.
2. We don’t all live at home.
Yes, many locals DO move out of the house. And even if some don’t, they still attend a college ward and are part of the campus. But independence shouldn’t stop anyone from taking advantage of free laundry.
3. We don’t like the cold, either.
My friend recently told me as we walked across campus, “Breanna, no offense to you or anything, but Rexburg is really cold.”
I found this, too, amusing — it was as though he expected me to either 1.) Not realize it was freezing, or 2.) Prefer the cold. Since the second is absolutely ludicrous, let me debunk one last misconception:
4. We’re not Eskimos.
No human being could possibly acclimate to the Rexburg tundra. We just know how to dress. You should have seen me last January — I wore four sweaters at a time and legwarmers for days.
And we have beautiful summers, by the way.
So next time you meet someone from Rexburg, skip the stereotypes. Forget about them for everyone, for that matter, and focus on the individual.
Forget about Texans being egotistical. Forget about giant Utah hair. Forget about Oregonian tree- huggers. Forget about Californian surfers. Forget about fiery redheads. Forget about dumb blondes. Forget about east coast snobs.
When you really think about it, we’re all pretty similar despite our license plates. Get to know individuals — you might discover there are more “normal” people than you think.