There are some valuable life lessons you learn when you grow up in South Dakota. Whether you leave South Dakota or stay to raise your kids here, these lessons will serve you well wherever you go in life. If you didn’t grow up in here, consider this your cheatsheet to learning lessons everyone else in SD learned the hard way.
1. Be prepared for anything.
In South Dakota, you learn pretty quickly that you can never be too prepared for a change in the weather. It's best to keep an extra blanket, ice scraper, shovel, and emergency kit in your car.
2. Season opener is a totally acceptable reason to skip school.
Not only do many teachers take hunting season opener as one of their vacation days, many students miss school for this state-wide holiday as well.
3. It's not the cold, it's the windchill.
It might be 23 degrees out but the windchill can easily make it feel like 0. The wind is what really makes it cold out on the prairie.
4. History matters.
With such a vivid state history, South Dakotans have the utmost respect for the events of the past.
5. Everyone forgets how to drive the first day of winter.
No matter how long you have lived in South Dakota, the first snow of the season brings out the bad driving in everyone. It is better to stay off the road altogether than to get caught out on the slippery roads with overzealous drivers.
6. Hard work is worth its weight in gold.
If you grew up on a farm in South Dakota, you probably learned this lesson daily. The work ethic of South Dakotans is unlike that of anywhere else in the United States.
7. Treat others the way you'd like to be treated.
Life's golden rule is honored in the state of South Dakota. Take care of your neighbors and they will take care of you.
8. Everyone should learn to DIY.
Hard work is valued and you can build and grow things that you would otherwise have to buy. In the spirit of saving money and living more than two hours from a Walmart, if you live in SD, you must be able to handle a good DIY project.
9. Mind your manners.
Whether you're at church or out at the store, it is always important to be polite. Sharing, chewing with your mouth closed, and keeping your elbows off the table are all important things learned while growing up in South Dakota.
10. Family always comes first.
Family will be there for you when no one else is. You work hard with your family and you celebrate together when one of you has a victory. Family is always, always first.
11. The best things should be kept a secret.
South Dakota is a state of beauty, values, and loyalty. The summers are beautiful and the winters really aren't that bad if you are always prepared. But just maybe, it's okay that we are one of the few states with under 1 million people. We enjoy being our own best kept secret.
If you can relate to five or more of these things, you probably grew up in South Dakota. What life lessons did you learn while growing up here? Which lessons did you have to learn the hard way?