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Humans of USU: Alyssa Benson dreams of the simple life

On March 31, 2014

The Utah Statesman interviewed Alyssa Benson, a senior in veterinary science from Riverton, Utah.

Utah Statesman: Tell us about your hair.

Alyssa Benson: I haven’t had regular hair ever, I don’t think. My senior year of high school, I had a mullet. I’ve had a mohawk, and I’ve shaved the side of my head before. I’ve always wanted dreads, but I know you have to buzz your head after ... So I finally committed to it just in December. I didn’t want to do it halfway through the semester because I didn’t want professors to think I was crazy … Over Christmas break, I had my mom help me and we just YouTubed tons of videos, so it was like my Christmas present.

US: So your parents have been supportive?
AB: My mom has for sure. She has always been like, “Do what you want.“ My dad doesn’t say anything. He is not allowed to comment on my hair anymore, so he just saw the dreads and he was like, “Alright, that’s fine.”

US: What’s the craziest reaction you’ve ever received?
AB: I’ve had 50-year-old moms be like, “I love it. Can I take a picture of your hair?” … I find out how many people have actually always wanted them. I had a boy just flat-out tell me I was disgusting. The assumption is you don’t shower, you’re not clean. I’ve gotten some pretty crazy reactions, but usually positive.

US: We assume that you do shower?
AB: Yes, I mean, when I find the time. But for the most part, yes. And I have a giant shower cap that I put on my head so that they don’t get soaking wet, because it takes hours to dry them.

US: Who is your hero and why?
AB: One of my heroes, bear with me, is 2 Chainz because I think that he’s overlooked as a person, honestly. I just have a lot of respect for that guy. I just don’t think he gets enough attention. I really do love 2 Chainz. I listen to him every day and always before a test.

US: And that has good results for you?
AB: Always, always. Only if I listen to him, though. Or if I’m stressed out, I have to listen to him, have to dance to him at the house. My roommates love it.

US: What are you most excited for about the future?
AB: Probably living on a farm somewhere, owning a horse, and owning a truck and doing whatever I want, whenever I want. That’s a lot to look forward to … wear cowboy boots every day, with dreads.

US: What has been the happiest moment of your life?
AB: Me and my roommate run a different distance every year that we’ve lived together, so last year we ran to Idaho. That was 19.4 miles-ish. Something like that. In three weeks we’re running through Sardine Canyon, so that’s like a potential happiest moment. It’s from Logan Temple to Brigham City Temple, and if we can run it, it’s like 25.4 (miles.)

US: What’s your biggest fear?
AB: I think appearance-wise I present myself in a very certain way, and I fear that people have a pre-determined stigma of me. So I think that’s a big fear of mine, just that when people see me, or before people get to know me, that they’ve already thought something of me. I think for the most part people are pretty unpredictable, so I try to always give them a chance. I hope they’d do the same.

US: What’s the worst thing you ever ate?
AB: There was a “Fear Factor” that I did a couple years ago at some camp and I ate a pig’s foot. That was pretty gross. I’d say that’s probably the worst.

US: What’s the best advice you ever received?
AB: There’s a quote that says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” I feel like that’s such good advice to me. I feel like at this age, people have so many expectations for themselves, more than anybody else has for them. And you feel like you’re not supposed to be currently struggling with this or unhappy with this situation, so you have to be somewhere else. But that’s not how it is. If you’re at that point in your life, then that’s where you are. Wherever you go, there you are. It’s as simple as that. You have to be content.

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