California And Idaho Are More Similar Than You'd Think

California And Idaho Are More Similar Than You'd Think

California and Idaho are two sisters of the West.

As a person who has never lived in another state for any extended period, moving to Idaho was a bit of a shock for me.

My bedroom view of a thousand lights shining in the night was replaced by the streetlamps of the road in front of the building, and the dark slopes of the mountains. The constant noise and urban bustle of the Los Angeles area were replaced with a quieter, yet still busy downtown brimming with activity.

Though I’m living almost a thousand miles away from home, this may be the most relaxed I’ve been in my entire life. This sense of tranquility and belonging comes not only from the immense kindness of the people of Boise but also some of the surprising similarities I have found between metropolitan Idaho and California.

The first similarity I picked up on when arriving here was the attitude of both states. If there’s one state that can match California’s endless ambition and quest for more, in the search for better medicine, better technology, better universities, etc., it’s Idaho. The same persevering spirit that led pioneers and settlers to transform the largely inhospitable Southern California desert into a thriving metropolis is alive and well in all parts of Idaho and is reflected in its history.

As I’ve also noticed, Idaho thankfully has the common courtesy to not be as stubborn as some other states in what we would consider “rural America.” Idaho and Boise especially are close enough to the West coast states to absorb new ideas and embrace change more frequently but are also far enough away to retain their own identity.

State and local pride are also large parts of both Californian and Idahoan identities. Though I wouldn’t say that we’re aggressively patriotic to any degree, California retains a sense of accomplishment and self-pride matched by few other areas. Idaho rivals this pride in spades, with massive support of sports teams, local industries and businesses, and public buildings and spaces. Both states care greatly about their own environment and demonstrate this through regular boosting of community and environmental awareness, as well as tireless dedication to public works, committees, and activities.

The biggest and perhaps most important similarity I have found between my birth state and my adopted home is their willingness to innovate. By this, I don’t just mean dedication to improving technology or living standard, though both have this in spades. I mean that both possess the foresight and humility to acknowledge their current problems, as well as any that may arise in the future.

California and Idaho are more dedicated to problem-solving than any other areas I have ever visited. I have seen this firsthand in my hometown of Orange, where our community works to solve issues like drought and rampant coyote activity. I see this every day at Boise State University, where students are faced with looming challenges such as urban development and the disappearance of affordable housing within the city.

The same spirit that drove the brave and industrious to build a new future for themselves is alive and well in these two states, which is something I couldn’t be prouder of. During my time in Boise, I hope to grow closer to its people, culture, and attitude, secure in the feeling that Idaho is as much of a home for me as my own house.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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8 Reasons Maryland Deserves a Visit, Hon

Maryland is a small state, but it has a big personality.


Maryland has so much to do, from the beaches on the East coast to the mountains on the western border. These are just 8 of many reasons our state is worth a visit!

1. It is the best place to eat Maryland Crabs.

I hope you like Old Bay!

2. Ocean City, MD has so much to do!

You can lay on the beach, go swimming, play a game of mini golf, walk on the boardwalk, play carnival games, ride carnival rides, go to clubs (if you are of age), and have the best french fries of your life ('sup Thrashers) all in one place!

3. You can visit Assateague Island off of the coast of Maryland and Virginia.

There are wild horses on an island off of the coast of Maryland and Virginia, 'nough said!

4. Baltimore's Inner Harbor is full of good eats and fun activities.

You can simply walk around the Inner Harbor, ride the paddle boats, tour a submarine, go to the aquarium, or ride the Spirit of Baltimore all in the same general vicinity.

5. You can visit the National Harbor in Prince George's County.

There is so many things to do here. You can ride the huge ferris wheel with enclosed cars, ride a mechanical bull at the Cadillac Ranch, visit the MGM Grand Casino and the big Gaylord Hotel.

6. Sugar Loaf Mountain is a great place to go hiking.

7. Great Falls is also a great location to visit!

You can visit Great Falls on either the Maryland or Virginia side. It's like a mini Niagara Falls.

8. You can root for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

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