The Midwest is a region of the country that may not have the greatest weather, or nicest natural aesthetics -- it's extremely flat and rural for the most part. I was born in California, but grew up and and have lived in Indiana most of my life. Whether you're from the Midwest or not, it's a place that, at the end of the day, is good to call home. It can provide a great foundation to go off into the world and pursue your dreams. Whatever preconceived notions you had about the Midwest before reading this, put those aside and let me broaden your understanding so that next time you meet someone from America's Heartland, you don't say something that Midwesterners have heard one too many times.
1. "Oh, you're from the Midwest...that's, like, Chicago right?"
Yes, you're absolutely right. Chicago is in the Midwest and the largest city in the region...but, we're not all from around there. There's Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Dayton, Cleveland, and Grand Rapids just to name a few, and countless amounts of suburbs surrounding these cities. Chicago is awesome but there is a lot more in the region besides the Windy City.
2. "Wow, you're from the Midwest? That's cool! Did you live on a farm?"
The answer is, no, a lot of us live in suburbs. Even if we lived in rural areas, very few people in the Midwest are actually farmers. Nice try, though.
3. "You must like corn, then."
Corn is a matter of preference. Yeah, it's a staple in the Midwest, but personally I'm not a fan. Although it's a very versatile crop, and can be used for alternative fuels like ethanol. Not bad for a vegetable.
4. "The Midwest seems boring! What did you do for fun?"
Okay, we don't have any nice beaches, huge oceans, or large mountains, but there are more lakes than you can probably imagine and all of the major cities in the Midwest offer something for everyone. So, there's plenty of nature and city fun to be had. And, we have some awesome music festivals in the summer: Lollapalooza in Chicago, Summer Fest in Milwaukee, and Electric Forest in Michigan.
5. "Wow, you're from the Midwest? I would have expected elsewhere, like New York, or California."
This one comes from personal experience. Since beginning college back in September, at least several people have been shocked when I tell them I'm from Indiana and say that they would have guessed New York. I mean, I guess I'll take that as a compliment, but let me just use this personal experience to say that there are people of all walks of life in the Midwest just like everywhere else.
6. "Is all your food fried and over a thousand calories?"
The Midwest is definitely known for some of its fried dishes and signature fast food restaurants like Portillo's, Steak 'n' Shake, and Culver's. You can find a variety of foods in the Midwest like you can anywhere else. The Midwest is just as diverse as the rest of the country, in terms of being a melting pot of different people and cultures; and, with that, comes a variety of food.
7. "Isn't everyone super nice there?"
There is a hospitable vibe in the Midwest, but, like I said, you have people from all walks of life. Not everyone is willing to help you find directions if you're lost or exude friendliness at the drop of a hat, that's just reality. But hey, I'll take being from a place that has a reputation for being friendly.