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The Struggle of Not Being Country on the University of Wyoming Campus

I’ve never owned a pair of cowboy boots in my life, never liked country music, (unless Taylor Swift back in the day counts, she’s my girl) and, dare I say, I am definitely not what you would call a ‘cowgirl.’ Yet, I go to the University of Wyoming, home of the Cowboys.

Being in Laramie, Wyoming you are constantly surrounded by camo, boots and cowboy hats. It’s just a way of life here. Even our mascot, Pistol Pete, is the caricature version of an old time cowboy. For those of you coming to UW and knowing you would much rather hang out in a coffee shop than go swing dancing, I want you to know, you’re not alone.

I never feel like a true cowgirl at football games when I wear my cute sandals or Vans; there’s something to be said for being a city-girl living in hicktown USA, also known as Laramie. I just don’t understand cowboy boots. I get they are good for riding horses because they have the little heel for the stirrups, but why would you want to wear those all the time? To me they are uncomfortable heels without the cuteness factor. If I’m going to go through all that pain, I’ll just wear my adorable Tiffany blue heels. Also, a lot of cowboy boots I’ve seen have no traction. Now, some of you may not realize this yet, but it snows nine months straight in Laramie. Pro-Tip: If you’re walking in between Coe Library and the Union, you’ll want some traction. Otherwise, I’ll be sitting in the Book and Bean doing homework and silently giggling as you fall, sorry not sorry.

Another thing I don’t ‘get’ is swing dancing. Do any of you actually know what you’re doing? The few times I’ve been dragged to the dance floor to swing dance, I’ve just flailed around and people told me I did well; I know for a fact I didn’t because I literally went limp while they spun me around. Is that even enjoyable? Do you liked being flipped upside down and getting motion sickness because of all the twirling? It genuinely confuses me. We broke the world record for the largest organized swing dance and I couldn’t be a part of it because I’m swing dancing impaired. It’s a big deal here. People will just randomly swing dance in Washakie. I’ve seen it happen before.

Finally, country music. I guess since I don’t live the country lifestyle I don’t get why you want to listen to 16 different songs that talk about backroads, mud, and beer. I guess if I liked drinking Bud Light while going ‘mudding’ and wearing cowboy boots and camo, it would speak to me a bit more. Josh Turner is our first performer at UW this fall and I seriously have never heard a single one of his songs and some of my friends were flipping out about him coming here. Why can’t we bring my girl Taylor Swift, am I right? I guess I’ve just never seen the appeal of country music, which is unfortunate because that’s the music predominantly played in this town. There are safe havens, though like coffee shops Coal Creek and Turtle Rock which never play country music, it’s glorious. Also, Denver is a fast two hours away and is home to Red Rocks Amphitheater, A.K.A. the best music venue in the country. Seriously, a giant variety of artists play there throughout the year and it is definitely worth the drive.  


So, to my city-dwellers, riding-boot wearers and non-cowboys of all kinds, know that there are others like you and honestly, you’ll fit right in at UW. This is the most diverse place in Wyoming and they cater to it well. Even if you’ll have to listen to country music a fair amount, we won’t force you to wear camo. And if you do wear it, at least you’ll be invisible. Camo. Invisible. Get it?

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Sarah Ott

U Wyoming

Sara is a senior Marketing major at the University of Wyoming. She is a Co-Founder and Campus Correspondent of Wyoming's Her Campus chapter, along with President of the Student Alumni Association, and Director of Marketing for ASUW Student Government. When she's not having mental breakdowns from stress, she enjoys cuddling with her roommate's cat and hiding under a mound of blankets. All she really wants is to live somewhere where it's warm year round and to not be berated for her massive tea consumption. To check out her ridiculous and crazy life, check out her Instagram, username: twigott
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