There’s nothing quite like being from Nebraska. Growing up here – or at least living here for a long time – means having some pretty great experiences that most other people won’t get to have. You can truly call yourself a Nebraskan if you’ve done just about all of these.
1. Had a farm job.
Whether it was detasseling corn, walking beans, picking apples, or any of the other important jobs farmers love to hire youngsters for, this was a really important part of growing up for many Nebraskans.
2. Driven a tractor.
Even if you don't live on a farm, chances are you've been at the controls of a tractor at least a few times. And if you did grow up on a farm, your first time driving one was probably before you were knee-high to a grasshopper.
3. Spent a day at the beach.
...A lake beach, that is. Which, let's be honest, is a whole lot better than a shark-infested ocean beach, right?
4. Pulled over to answer the call of nature.
There's a whole lot of space between towns in most of the state, so if you're driving between two of them and need to "go," well, those trees are nature's rest stop.
5. Had more than a few close calls on the ice.
Winter driving is treacherous around here. We've all been in the position where all you can do is grip the steering wheel tight, grit your teeth, and pray that the car coming up behind you can manage to stop in time.
6. Worn red on game day, even if you had no intention of watching the game.
It's a state pride thing. Even if we (gasp!) don't even like football, we've likely worn Husker red just to show support.
7. Gotten stuck on a road behind a farm implement.
You can probably cross this one off even if you've never lived in the country a day in your life. That's because in Nebraska, these babies are all over the place.
8. Lived through sub-zero temperatures and above-100° temperatures in the same year.
If you're from Nebraska, that doesn't even sound unusual to you. It's just a normal year.
9. Gone outside when the storm sirens sound.
Our storms are legendary, and you just can't get the full experience if you're cowering in the house every time one rolls through.
10. Gotten lost in the country.
People laugh when we say we get lost on purpose, but it's a fantastic way to see some of our state's beautiful backroads. (And, of course, we also get lost on accident sometimes...but we tend to play it off like we meant to do it.)
11. Gone tailgating.
To be perfectly honest, we don't need a game or other event to go have a barbecue in a parking lot or drink beers sitting on somebody's tailgate. Whatever the occasion, this is good old fashioned Nebraska fun.
12. Lived through at least one tornado.
Or, heaven forbid, actually had to outrun one. We love our storms, but we know when it's time to stop messing around and get into the shelter.
13. Been in at least one parade.
We're really big on parades here, and we're not at all picky about who gets to be in them. In some small towns there are more people in the parade than there are watching from the sidewalk.
14. Gotten sick at the county or state fair.
Take all of the great (terrible) food, the fast rides, the hot sun, and the overwhelming excitement, and you've got the recipe for a slightly unpleasant experience in the middle of an otherwise-fun day. Don't be embarrassed, though - it happens to everyone at least once.
There are about a million other things that are essential parts of the Nebraska experience – what would you add to the list?
For a few things that no self-respecting Nebraskan would ever be caught doing, check out
this list from the archives.