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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Apropos of Nothing — Tips for non-native Tucsonans: Don’t hug trees, do love shade

    Moving to Tucson can be an adjustment to people from states with strange things like “rain” and “winter” and “front lawns.” I just got here less than two years ago, but I have figured out a thing or two (or four) that I can suggest to other out-of-state students struggling with adjusting to Arizona.

    Get comfortable with the desert wildlife

    When I moved to Arizona, I learned about these home-invading and highly venomous bark scorpions. So, I bought a blue light and was fully prepared to seek out and destroy any of those arachnid anarchists who dared enter my apartment. Then I realized something: I’m a Scorpio! Bark scorpions aren’t going to mess with a fellow Scorpio! I haven’t worried about them since. So, that was my solution. If you were born under a different sign, you’re on your own.

    Besides scorpions, there aren’t any animals to worry about, with the minor exceptions of: rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, centipedes, brown recluse spiders, tarantula hawk wasps, assassin bugs, javelinas, mountain lions, et cetera. At least the plants in the desert don’t sting or bite — oh wait, they kind of do. I once saw a car in a Tucson parking lot with a “Treehugger” bumper sticker. Then I looked around and saw that the only tree in sight was a saguaro cactus. “Sometimes love hurts,” I thought.

    But really, you shouldn’t worry too much about desert creatures as long as you act with reasonable caution. Sticking your hand under random rocks, for example, is still not recommended.

    Wear appropriate attire

    Sunscreen and sunglasses and hats are highly recommended, especially if you are light-skinned like me (I believe the politically correct term is “pigmentally challenged”). There’s a reason cowboy hats and sombreros were popular in the Old West, besides bravado over whose hats could contain the most gallons of moonshine. Peeling skin isn’t really a great look for most people. Neither is skin cancer.

    The good news is that if you like to soak up the sun (in moderation, of course), Arizona is a great place to do it. If you can actually tan, you have as good a chance of doing it here as you do anywhere. And if for some reason there aren’t enough sunny days for you, there are tanning salons near the UA, which I still find kind of hilarious.

    Don’t complain about the heat (much)

    No one likes a whiner. If you start complaining that “It’s so hot!” when it’s 90 degrees out, you just sound like a tourist. We Arizonans build up a tolerance to high temperatures and we handle them, no sweat. Actually, there might be a great deal of sweat involved, but we do handle them.

    This suggestion is not relevant when the temperature is 110 degrees or higher. That level of heat is insane. Once it gets that hot, you have a right to complain all you want — and you’ll use it.

    If you get too homesick for the Midwest and its pretty snow, try shoveling driveways and driving through snowstorms the next time you go back there over winter break. You will quickly find your nostalgia for winter lessening.

    Don’t forget to stay hydrated!

    Water is an awesome drink. Whoever came up with it must be making millions, because it’s pretty essential to human survival. Always carry water with you while driving or hiking or doing Civil War reenactments in triple-digit temperatures. Or you can beat the heat by deciding to never leave the house. Your call.

    Taking these four steps will help you transform into a desert rat. Arizona’s rugged landscape isn’t exactly most people’s idea of the Garden of Eden (although there are plenty of snakes), but the sunsets are amazing and the weather is almost always pleasant. Arizona is now your home, so you might as well adapt and enjoy it!

    Disclaimer: As a general rule, nothing in Logan Rogers’ columns should be taken seriously. Except maybe some things in this one.

    — Logan Rogers is a second year law student. Follow him @DailyWildcat

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