10 Things People Say About South Dakota

Coming to the end of my first year of college at Liberty University, way out here in Virginia, I've had quite a few questions about South Dakota. I thought I'd write down a quick list of questions I have been asked about little old South Dakota.

1. I think you're the first person I've met from there!
Well, I hope I'm a good representation of what people from South Dakota are like. Although, don't take my sarcasm as an accurate description of everyone-some people aren't necessarily as sarcastic as others. 

2. Do people even live there? 
Well, yes. Otherwise I wouldn't be from there. But really, even though the population of SD as a whole is about 10% of the population of Virginia, there's still plenty of people around. 

3. I thought only cows lived there? 
Although this one might be more of a joke than an actual question, you're not entirely wrong. If you ask me this, I'll probably grin and shake my head, but eventually tell you that there's actually more cattle than people. Like, a lot more cattle than people. Four time more cattle than people. (I even looked it up - see?)

4. What do you do for fun?
Good question. Uh...work? Considering the nearest Walmart (yes, we hang out at Walmart for fun occasionally) or mall is 80 miles away, that's kind of a special occasion. Mostly, I hang out with friends, go to the river, watch movies at the drive-in, and find stuff to do outside. 

5. Are there bison in South Dakota?
Good job! There are! And no, I didn't ride them to school; thanks for asking. Also, I usually call them buffalo. Purely preference, though.

6. I graduated from a small school. There were 60 kids in my class.
Even if this isn't technically a question, I usually share my own thoughts on this one, just to see people's reactions: I only graduated with 16 kids, and even that is considered a large class in a lot of SD towns. This little discussion usually leads to...

7. Did you go to a private school?
Yes, I went to a private school; it's a Christian boarding school. ("Boarding school" usually gets people and is the thing that seems to be a recurring joke with my friends here) I have to admit, usually I throw in the "boarding school" part to see the looks on people's faces. Most likely, it's major confusion. Believe it or not, SD actually has enough people to have a boarding school. Who knew, right?!

8. Oh, South Dakota's up by Canada, right?
When I was asked this question, I didn't really know how to respond. I thought geography was a high school graduation requirement. My thought process for answering this question was: Hmmm...I could explain that, no, it's not "up by Canada", or, I could just go with the easy answer, since apparently the Midwest is kind of a forgotten section of the country. 
I took the easy route out of that one- Yes.

9. You sound like a Minnesotan.
There's a difference.

10. How long did it take you to get here?
It's confusing. Twenty-three to twenty-five hours, depending on where I'm coming from. But that's not really an accurate answer, considering I live East River. Do I take the time to explain this, though? No...so I usually answer with 24 hours.

Although this list is not everything I've been asked about my home state, these are my favorite questions and/or discussions I've had with people. Even though I may come across sarcastically (or what people here call "sassy"...) I really do enjoy explaining SD to people. 

It makes me excited when people learn the difference between a farm and a ranch. Or East River and West River. Or discover that people show cattle for fun. 

And it makes me laugh when people exaggerate their ooo's. Because really, it makes them sound like Minnesotans. And there's a difference. ;) 

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