This I Believe

Bradlee - Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 20, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I’m 21 years old and currently live in the state of Pennsylvania. I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me that she thought the whole state of Nebraska consisted of nothing but farmers. She proceeded by stating her thoughts on the weather in the state as consisting of: “mild winters since it is a southern state.”

I corrected her erroneous statements by providing her with a first hand view of the lifestyle and climate of Nebraska. Afterwards, I sat down in my chair that night and pondered her interpretation. This had not been the first time to have a conversation on this topic. I had come across this conversation before with other friends who expressed this same interpretation of not only Nebraska, but of many other states.

I have moved around to a number of different states in my lifetime. My father was in the military and received location change orders every four to five years. I was born in Germany, and before I had turned 16, I lived in four different states: Pennsylvania, Illinois, Utah, and Nebraska. With each new location, I discovered new lifestyle and social changes. I learned to adapt to these new environments by meeting new friends, and enjoying their personalities and being accepting of their lifestyles.

By living in each of these different states, I have learned that each region offers its own uniqueness. For example, I found that Utah relies on its beautiful mountainous landscape for recreation. Yellowstone National Park, the Great Salt Lake, hiking trails, and ski resorts offer great venues to enjoy this beautiful state.

Pennsylvania reflects on its rich history. The state offers beautiful rolling hills, with deep rich forests, separated by two completely diverse, yet influential cities. Pittsburgh, the city in the western part of the state, represents true blue collar workers; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, the eastern cities of the state, present scholarly attributes.

I have also learned Nebraska is known as the heartland of America. The people of Nebraska take great pride in the landscape of their state with many lakes, walking paths, and recreational parks. Nebraska also consists of a world-class zoo in the Henry Doorly Zoo. The city of Omaha also shuts down for a week in the summer to host the College World Series, where thousands of fans pack Rosenblatt Stadium—they consider this their Super Bowl.

Living in a variety of states and experiencing different lifestyles have given me a better appreciation for the various lifestyles around me. I believe I am more understanding of diverse backgrounds and alternative cultures. By the way, I explained to my friend that Nebraska winters were the coldest temperatures I have ever experienced, but I guess she will have to find that out for herself. I believe each person should expand their horizons and experience more diverse backgrounds to have a better understanding and appreciation for the lifestyles around them. This, I believe.