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The Truth about Utah Lifestyle from an Out-of-State Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As a California girl born and raised, moving to Utah my freshman year of college was something I had been mentally preparing for ever since I made my college decision. I had only been to Utah twice before moving to Salt Lake City! Now that I’ve been a Utah resident for almost eight months, I’m here to debunk what it’s really like to live in the Beehive State. 

Prepare for lazy sundays

Its reputation proceeds it, Utah is a very religious state.  According to World Population Review, approximately 68.55% of the state population are member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also known as “LDS” or “Mormon”). Because of this, Sundays tend to be slow and mellow. Many businesses and restaurants are not open on Sundays, specifically independent shops. Large establishments like Walmart and Home Depot will be open, but other than that, your Sunday shopping options may be limited. Despite the possibility of inconvenience, Sundays make a great day to relax, reset, or catch up on some homework. 

Take advantage of the outdoor sporting presence 

Skiing, climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and other outdoor sports have a large community in Utah, as the state is home to an array of mountain ranges and five national parks. When I was settling in Utah, the outdoor community was a little intimidating. I didn’t have much experience in any of these activities, but I don’t regret letting go of my ego to try new things. I have learned to ski, gone climbing and hiking, and snowshoed many times now! I highly recommend taking advantage of the outdoor lifestyle that Utah promotes, even if it’s embarrassing to be the last one down the slopes at first. 

Soda shops aren't just for soccer moms 

Utah and the Mountain West area are densely populated with drive-up soda shops. Before I moved to Utah, I had never seen a “soda shop,” but now that I live here, they seem to be everywhere. Places such as Swig and Thirst make soda concoctions with added syrups, cream, fruit, and more, with the option to choose off the menu or create your own drink. My friends and I have taken to stopping by Swig while we’re running errands or want a sweet treat on a Friday night. It’s fun to scroll the lengthy menu to find a new drink to try, as the options are almost limitless. The desirable price point is also a bonus for babes on a budget. Soda shops are worth a try at least once in order to get the “authentic” Utah experience.

Utah really does get all four seasons 

The weather in Utah is easy to adjust to. I have been pleasantly surprised at how effortless it was to get used to the weather in Salt Lake. As someone who has never truly experienced winter (California winters don’t count,) I was a little worried about being prepared for the cold, but I shouldn't have been! After purchasing a down jacket and some layering pieces, this winter has been very manageable. I have highly enjoyed experiencing all four seasons and what they entail. The warm summer, vibrant fall, and peaceful winter has made me excited to see what spring will bring to Utah. 

While the Utah lifestyle isn’t quite a culture shock, there are some staples that make it a little different than anywhere else. I’ve learned that embracing the Utah quirks is the best way to experience my time in Salt Lake City, and I highly recommend you do the same! 

Tyler is a first-year Health and Kinesiology student at the University of Utah. She loves spending time at the lake, true crime podcasts, and going to spin bike classes!
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