Photo: David Pineda Svenske/Shutterstock

15 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Utah

Utah Student Work
by Sofia Neilsen Mar 13, 2015

1. You had a jello drawer.

There was a place in your kitchen designated for boxes of multi-colored jello waiting to be mixed into salads with mandarin oranges, whipped cream, romaine lettuce, cranberries, or carrots. Whether or not jello was ever your thing, it was still the thing.

2. You’ve been asked how many moms you had growing up.

Even though you’ve never met a polygamist and marrying multiple people has been illegal in Utah since the late 1800s, people out of state are relentless in harassing you with the only detail they seem to associate with your state.

3. You had to complete a scavenger hunt to go to prom.

Getting asked to prom was more exciting than the actual prom because you’d be given clues to a scavenger hunt to find your invitation. A slip of paper with your date’s name on it was hidden: in the cereal aisle, a dumpster, at the bottom of a sheet cake, almost anywhere. You were expected to say “yes” the same way. Prom never seemed quite as thrilling by the time it came around.

4. You’re a ski resort snob.

You’re appalled by the slope conditions on what other states call ‘mountains’, and have no problem reminding people Utah hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002 for a reason.

5. You drove to Wyoming to buy fireworks.

Each July you stocked up on illegal fireworks to smuggle across the Wyoming border to spice up Independence Day and Pioneer Day on July 24th. This is about as rebellious as you got.

6. You know that Salt Lake City isn’t all of Utah.

You know there’s more to Utah than Salt Lake’s sprawling suburbs. Utah has amazing national parks and great small towns all over the state — Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Lake Powell, Uinta National Forest, Flaming Gorge, Moab, Green River, Bluff…

7. You don’t believe in ‘T’.

Not tea, but the letter ‘t’ — because as far as you can tell from your neighbors, you live in ‘Lay’on’ by the ‘moun’in.’

8. But vehemently deny having a ‘Utah accent’.

You swear you sound like the people on TV, so what’s the big ‘dill?’ So what if you ‘fill’ like having a ‘marshmillow’ for a ‘mill?’

9. You never got snow days.

When you heard about snow cancellations on the news in other states, you thought they were wimps — while secretly wishing you’d get out of school because there was four feet of snow piling against the door.

10. You don’t use your turn signal.

But hate those other Utah drivers that give the state a bad driving reputation. It’s not your fault — you’ve been conditioned to stop caring because every time you politely signaled and tried to merge, the other drivers stared straight ahead and pretended not to see you.

11. You hate the plague of endless road construction.

You’re not sure how long it takes to drive on I-15 due to daily accidents (caused by those other Utah drivers) and the construction zones that move back and forth on this major traffic artery but never go away. You can also name five major intersections that have been under construction so long you forgot what the original place looked like without orange cones. Note: The projects seem most ambitious near malls around Christmas.

12. You know nothing is open on Sundays.

The only places that seem to have normal business hours on Sundays are the Mormon churches found on every other block.

13. You have a love / hate relationship with DI second-hand stores.

You’re not crazy about the smell of those used goods at Deseret Industries, and happily drop off your own unwanted stuff, but that recliner you found there for your first dorm was okay. And the vintage Nintendo set. And the serving platter that was a genuine antique…

14. You’ve heard too many watered-down versions of the F-Word.

What the ‘ef’ is up with this ‘freakin,’ ‘flip,’ ‘fetch,’ and ‘frick’ thing anyway?

15. You forget how awesome Utah is.

Sure Utah has its quirks, but the community is unrivaled. Where else will a neighbor bring by a casserole dish stuffed with rich and gooey homemade funeral potatoes when your grandmother dies? Where else can you live a decent driving (and possibly walking) distance from some of the best hiking, climbing, boating, skiing, boarding, riding, rafting, camping, biking, and running available in world-renowned national parks? Where else do you read a billboard or a monument that says, “This is the place,” and catch yourself feeling lucky?

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