This past week has been extremely typical of a North Dakota winter. It has been bitterly cold and snowing throughout – the kind of weather everyone who has lived here is all too familiar with.
This weather and lack of sunlight leads many to a kind of depression until summer rolls around and the snow finally decides to melt and the sun comes out of its corner like an ashamed child.
So how could walking to class into beyond chilly wind be good for anyone?
In the long run, it develops a thick skin that is all too valuable in today’s world.
Today’s society is one in which we can hide behind a fake name on the Internet and say whatever we want to whomever we want. With this in mind, people will now have to learn at a very young age how to shake off an insult. In turn, this thick skin could also evolve into a level of maturity and wisdom.
Granted, this kind of weather has struck the entire Midwest. But North Dakota is the only one with so many opportunities – not just in the oilfield either.
Yes, the arrival of the Oil Patch has not only brought chances for a better life for numerous people, but it has also given North Dakota some national attention. Hopefully no North Dakotan will have to explain how there is indeed electricity in North Dakota and, yes, there are cars here as well.
But that’s not what makes North Dakota great. Compared to most other states, North Dakota is a blank canvas for anyone who wants to do just about anything. If someone works hard enough to get his or her own business off the ground here, the odds are they will come out in a good position.
On top of that, North Dakota has the most beautiful landscape in the country with the gorgeous badlands in western North Dakota and flawless open country as far as the eye can see. Keep your countless trees, Minnesota.
Above all, North Dakota has the No. 1 mindset of any kind of people – anywhere.
No, this does not include the recent influx of travelers, with a lack of morals, coming here to find work in the oilfield. I’m talking about the most grounded folks the world will ever see.
Being raised in Belfield, N.D., I learned how to be a responsible adult by the time I was in high school. In this small town of 600, the confined atmosphere taught me how to face my problems with other people rather than just swapping friend groups.
Simply put, everyone knew everyone.
This is the same culture all across the state. And no one can say North Dakotans aren’t social.
Rather, one has to go much farther out of their way to meet new people, so a person had to go out to different towns and make all new kinds of friends.
This small-town lifestyle also entrenches certain values and mindsets in people. They are given ample alone time to ponder the kind of people they are and who they want to be.
On top of it all, North Dakotans are the hardest workers in the United States.
In Belfield, the best lesson I was given was nothing is ever given. I, like many state citizens, know a person can’t go to a solid university by barely passing high school.
They also know one isn’t given a job out of college. They work for it. That’s why I’m working three part-time jobs while taking 18 credits this semester and maintaining a 3.75 GPA.
And I’m far from the hardest worker in this state.
Minnesota students at North Dakota State are always talking about how much better their home state of Minnesota is: how there’s nothing to do here and how there’s nothing to look at. For some, that might hold value.
But I guarantee no one can find a better culture and a better kind of people than in North Dakota.
Colton is a junior majoring in journalism.