The Difficulties of Living in Tucson


Mekayla Phan, Features Editor

Tucson, Arizona: A breathtaking city of crimson-gold sunsets, beautiful scenic desert views, and rich colorful history. For many people, Tucson may be the perfect place to live – simple, tranquil, and comfortable. However, there are many cons to living in this dusty town that only Tucsonans know.

#1: The Arizonan weather 

Living in the desert, you face an unforgiving heat all summer long. Summer temperatures reach over 100 degrees, with so much sun that we had to put it on our map. When I was little, I would look forward to family trips to California where they have beaches. But in arid Tuscon, you don’t have the luxury of water. And everything here literally burns. Whatever you touch in the outside world, is scorching hot – your cars will turn into baking ovens (solar-powered). A small gust of wind feels like a blow dryer in your face. There are days where it will seem like you are just languishing under the sun. And it’s not a laughing matter, people have actually died because of the intense heat waves and severe dehydration. You always have to be conscious of leaving your children and pets outside for too long. All you can do is just hope that monsoon season comes soon to save you. Then you get to deal with flash floods, wind, and and humidity.

While during the winter,  temperatures can be very cool and nice – there is rarely ever any snow in Tucson. Which sucks growing up as a kid and wanting to live the “Winter Wonderland dream”.  Which bring us to the second con of living in Tucson.

#2: The seasons never really change

Only the temperature slightly does. While all the other places are flourishing with green trees and flowery bliss during spring or colorful leaves in autumn, it seems like it doesn’t affect the desert very much. During spring, you are already hearing the summer cicadas; when fall comes along, the trees are already dead and barren. But we don’t have many trees in general, because…

#3: Cacti

Yes, yes. It is truly amazing and unique that we one of the few places that grow the saguaro cactus. However, these prickly plants are dangerous. You need to be on the watch for them (especially the jumping ones). I have seen a few people run into them before. It’s not a pretty sight. It is undeniably painful.

#4: The desert wildlife

Mountain lions, bobcats, rattlesnakes, scorpions, coyotes, javelinas – need I say more?

#5:  The roads

There are no cross-freeways, which makes everything even more tedious and inconvenient than it should be. Like, why does it take 25 minutes to go from a point in the east side to downtown? Also, the road ways are so rough and bumpy, I would say we can put more money to fix it, but then what will happen to our Education system? It’s already bad as it is.

However, speaking about the roads…

#6: The drivers

Arizonan drivers are arguably one of the worst in United States…. Though we may not be the most dangerous in the terms of more overpopulated cities, we are still in the top five for carelessness. Everyone has experienced more than enough of those people who don’t turn right on red or forget to put their blinkers on.

#7: There is nothing to do

The number one complaint that Tucson teens use today, but it’s still partly true. We don’t have any top concerts or events that visit us much in Tucson. And though our Mexican food here is pretty tasty, there aren’t many other good diverse restaurants out here. Most of our touristy attractions we have in Tucson is out in nature, but with a raging heat like this, nobody wants to do anything. That’s why the snowbirds only come to Tucson in winter. They don’t necessarily want to live here, they want to retire here.

Though even Tucson has many imperfections and challenges, it is still the city I grew up in. It is the city where I made discoveries,  it is the city where I made connections, it is the city where I made irreplaceable memories. And it is the city that will still live in me. That’s why even with all the difficulties you can face, Tucson is still a great place to live.