1. You’ve worn your Halloween costume over a snowsuit.

One of the pains of having snow in autumn is that you always had to buy a costume two sizes too big when you were a kid. You look back in photo albums and all you see is a lumpy-frumpy princess. Not quite the look you were going for.

2. You know someone (if not yourself) who’s hit a deer more than once.

This problem grows the more north you go. Driving at night is one of the more stressful times; you must watch for potholes AND deer crossing the road. Sometimes in a two-hour drive from North Battleford to Meadow Lake you can see at least 50 deer alongside the road. Keep your eyes peeled!

3. You wear mosquito spray like a teenage boy who wears too much Axe.

It seems like you need at least three layers of spray when fighting off mosquitoes, and it definitely smells like it. Central and Northern Saskatchewan, mostly covered in forest, have it the worst — not just mosquitoes but horseflies and sandflies as well.

4. You refer to hoodies as “bunnyhugs.”

In Saskatchewan, “bunnyhugs” are hoodies, “vico” is a small carton of chocolate milk, and we either refer to Saskatoon as “Saskabush” or “S’toon.” Master the slang and you’ll fit right in.

5. You’ve actually seen a dog run across a field for a few kilometers and still remain visible.

This stereotype about the prairies is actually quite true. Southern Saskatchewan is one of the worst places to drive if you want a scenic route. Unless you adore the sight of grain fields, cows, and combines.

6. You get defensive when people assume Northern and Central Saskatchewan are exactly like Southern Saskatchewan.

It might be a shock to those who’ve never been, but only a portion of Saskatchewan is flat prairies. In Central and Northern Saskatchewan, we have a lot of rolling hills and forests. My hometown is actually the northernmost city in Saskatchewan before the landscape becomes dense forest, and we’re closer to the central area.

Our lakes up here are amazing, and people from all over come specifically to Saskatchewan for great camping experiences. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, stop by and see for yourself!

7. You go to Manitoba and miss your appointment due to the time change.

As we go to other provinces in the spring or fall season, we tend to forget the rest of the country has a time change while here in Saskatchewan we stay the same. Depending on the province, we’ll either be wondering why the office isn’t open yet or giving an extended apology to the receptionist, explaining, “I’m so sorry. I’m from Saskatchewan.”

8. You develop special driving techniques for avoiding potholes.

At the age of 16, this is a skill you learn quickly. You’ll be paying more for replacing car parts than filling up with gas. Even though the Saskatchewan government is working hard to fix this problem, when spring comes you definitely need to pay attention to where you’re driving.

9. In January, you find -30°C to be a pretty nice day.

Besides the Territories up north, Saskatchewan has some of the coldest and harshest winters around. A normal winter consists of snow from October to April. The snow is usually past the knee, and sometimes it can be waist high. The temperature on normal January/February days is close to -40°C. Sadly, it can even get to -50°C!

If you can survive a winter in Saskatchewan, you can survive anywhere.

10. You’re never quite sure when spring is actually here for good.

This year was no exception. May 6th consisted of a mixture of snow followed by sun followed by rain that turned into hail, which turned into snow and finally melted. All this in the span of 24 hours. You know it’s spring when you have at least three weeks without a hint of snow in the air.

11. You’ve been ashamed of a bad farmer’s tan.

When you forget to change from a t-shirt to a tank top, and it’s 30°C outside — after a few hours you realize half your arm’s a nice shade of brown. Unfortunately, the other half is still as white as it was in December. Just like the farmers.

12. You’ve never heard yourself, nor anyone else, say, “No, duct tape can’t fix that.”

This roll of pure, genuine silver beauty can fix any problem. No leak in the sink is too small. PS — All the cool kids had homemade duct-tape wallets.

13. You’ve got that Rider Pride, and you’ve got it bad.

Rider Pride spreads all through Saskatchewan and is even worldwide. Going to a home game in Regina and being part of the Sea of Green is one of the most memorable experiences you could participate in. Especially a Grey Cup game on Taylor Field, when we come out as champions!

14. Despite all the terrible weather, you still always love coming home.

I lived in Uruguay for one year, and after my time there, even though it was cold and blizzarding, I was so happy to be home. It felt right to be back and watching a good ol’ Riders game.

A lot of teenagers move to Alberta or British Columbia as soon as graduation arrives. But most of them still have a piece of home in their hearts and hold it close. It’s not long before they’re back and raising their own families in this wonderful province of ours.