Provo: The Real U.C.
i have lived in provo for over a year now, and let me tell you something, it has been . . . um . . . an experience. i have lived many places in utah - i feel like i have a pretty broad overview of what the people are like here. i am a born and raised utahn - and i am proud of that, i don't care what the kids from california say. my experiences growing up would make a sociology major drool - i am a walking case study/thesis. i was born on the wrong side of the tracks, but ended up being raised in the upper crust of utah society surrounded by class, money and friends from all over the world. i went to a regular public high school where everyone actually got along (it was not uncommon to see the burn-outs high five the cowboys in the parking lot or see a jock walking down the hall with an art freak). i spent 6 glorious years after high school at a university in a small town and was lucky enough to experience the best college life available in the state (not biased, or anything). after college i traveled a bit - england, wales, scotland, california, washington, and i lived in hawaii for a short time. but nothing, and i mean nothing, could have prepared me for living in Provo: The Real U.C.
post-college, i went back to live in my old hometown so i could save money and find a job during the difficult economy of late 2000. i lived there about as long as i could take it (the single's ward was barely tolerable, but i managed to find some really cool friends there) and then made plans to get the heck out of dodge. when my daily freeway commute went from a managable 20 minutes each way to over an hour in 2005, i decided to move closer to work - right to the epicenter of byu all stardom. i had never heard the term "byu all star" until i moved to the U.C., but apparently they are a group of young working professionals, also referred to as YWP's, who graduated from college a number of years ago, yet still live in a student saturated environment, such as the U.C.
i knew that i would be on the older end of the kids still living around here, but what i wasn't prepared for was to live the high school DRAMA that comes with the territory. ah, but if i had only known. since i have moved here, i have gone from not knowing anyone and having no friends, to having a few really great ones, to gaining a few more through roomates, to gaining a few undesirable friends by default, to having said default friends try to destroy close group of friends a-la-mean girls, to being cut off from group of friends through strategic mean girls plotting, to having no friends again. the sad bit is that it didn't even take a year - this all happened in about five months time. i didn't realize that the sweet valley high books were based on fact.
if i have learned anything from living in the U.C., it is:
*never EVER tell anyone who you have a crush on
*always write your name on your jar of raspberry jam
*never give an open invitation to a get together - you never know who will show up and ruin your life
*keep your door closed when you go on a weekend trip - a stranger might end up crashing on your bed unbeknownst to you
*keep your laptop under close surveillance - supposedly leaving personal possessions out in the open automatically tags them as "community"
*hide your new bag of peanut butter M&Ms
*never give the location of your "safe house"
*lie about your weekend plans if you don't want someone to strategically invite themselves and end up ruining your life
*always have a backup plan on friday nights in case one of the sweet valley high twins invites all your friends to go do something and purposely leaves you off guest list
*have all dates pick you up around the corner so as not to alert any gossiping observers and ever-present paparazzi
*begin damage control early on by saying all dates are really just "friends"
*that the real friends don't watch mean girls for tips on how to survive high school and don't care what the default friends-of-friends say
and one more - i just learned this one the hard way:
*always properly cite any witty facts or sayings posted on your blog. those unfamiliar with chuck norris may assume you are the clever originator of such things (i'm flattered, really).
consider this a survival guide on living in the U.C. - use it well. (sidenote: interestingly enough, 3/4 of all U.C. inhabitants are actually from other states - the majority from one very large west coast state that starts with a c).