Well, it’s the start of another school year, which is a bigger adjustment for some than others. I’m a seasoned veteran at this. I moved to Utah for college 5 years ago and have lived here ever since, taking classes on and off (mostly off) all the while. Unlike the masses who flock back home for summer, I have made Provo my home.

I am home for the summer.

I treasure the lighter traffic, less-crowded restaurants, and higher density of normal people that 20-somethings like myself enjoy over a Provo summer. As “everyone else” comes back every fall, Utah Valley can resume business as usual, because to “everyone else,” time stood still here until their Raintree Fall contracts began.

What an interesting town it is that I live in: A dumping ground for Mormon families all over the nation and world who wanted to straighten out their misled kids by throwing them into a veritable G-rated breeding ground with a bunch of other kids who are in the exact same situation. Yeah that’s a GREAT plan, or one with disaster written all over it. I forget which.

So Provo (and when I say Provo, I mean Provo/Orem as a college town, not the cities themselves with their native residents) is a melting pot of sorts (albeit with what appear to be mostly identical ingredients). It is a town with more than a few Texas-flag-adorned apartment windows, a town with enough regional American dialects that it’s a wonder we can all understand each other, even a town with one aggregate craving for In-And-Out Burger big enough to almost make us all collectively drive to Vegas this very second.

Along with this narrow individualism and home-state-pride, however, comes a mentality of blamelessness. Example: how many times have you heard someone complain about “those gosh dang utah drivers”? The ironic thing is, most of the time those very drivers that are being complained about probably just traded in their Washington plates for Utah ones last week. My point is that for anyone currently living here to criticize all things Utah is to criticize themselves, for we are all “THOSE people.”

If we are all outsiders looking in, are we not staring at nothing? Let us instead embrace our fate, that we’re not in Kansas anymore (figuratively, unless you moved here from Kansas, then literally), that we are in fact residents of the place we are now living. This way, if something sucks here, we’re all to blame. This way, you need not go TOO far out of your way to mention the disclaimer on your MySpace profile that while it SAYS you live in Provo, you’re always a (insert home state here) girl at heart. This way, when you go to California this summer to sell Pest Control or return to your hometown to rekindle the dwindling flame with that old high school sweetheart, you will know that if all else fails, there’s always a place for you in the social orphanage for 20-somethings that is Provo.