Driving across the state border from Minnesota into South Dakota should be uneventful. There’s no toll road and no fence separating the two states – just a small billboard that welcomes you with the faces of former presidents. Yet, for a native Minnesotan, putting that road sign behind me instantly tenses my shoulders. South Dakota, where I’m a student at Augustana University, becomes the land of adult responsibility, homework, and a fishbowl social life. I’m not comfortable here. “Home” is suddenly very far away.
During the last two years at Augustana University, I feel like I’m lodging at a hotel. I unpack my bags and hang posters to try to make the dorm room more personal, but those blank, white walls still don’t belong to me. I can never relax, because there’s no place I can call my own. Sharing bathrooms and a bedroom with strangers is awkward and takes away what little privacy I have. It’s as if I inhaled one deep breath upon crossing the state border, and I have to hold that breath tight inside my chest until I return.
As time goes on, of course, I become more comfortable. However, when I cross the border back into the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there’s no mistaking the fact that South Dakota is just a place, but Minnesota is home.
By Camryn Hay. I’m a sophomore English major from Maple Grove, Minnesota.
South Dakota is peculiar from the perspective of a Minnesota native. The two states offer similar landscapes and people, yet I am not at ease when living in South Dakota. Crossing the border brings is a troubling task. Crossing into South Dakota feels as though I am abandoning the place I consider home. As I slowly approach the South Dakota border and leave Minnesota behind from the car window, my chest begins to feel empty. I feel myself trapped at the border where the states collide, where my senses of home collide.Confusion and uneasiness envelop me my as I cross this simple line on the map.
I have crossed many borders, but this particular border never seems to get easier. There is always the lingering thought that my real home in Minnesota waits for me. So, from the perspective of a current South Dakota resident,
Minnesota will remain my home.
By Vishe’ Rabb. I am a sophomore Business major from Springfield, Minnesota.