Moving away to college was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. It was also a huge culture shock. When I arrived at my new home, I found that I was moving from a major city to a farm town in the middle of Illinois. I learned to both love and hate my college town. Everyone knows the struggles of living between cornfields and having to drive an hour to get to a Steak n' Shake, but often overlooked are the total perks of living in the middle of nowhere.
1. You'll never get lost
It takes about 2 minutes to drive from one side of town to another. When someone tells you their new apartment is on Jackson street, you're likely to know three of their neighbors. You'll probably be able to walk the streets blindfolded after your first weekend.
2. You'll spend lots of time with friends
When there isn't much you haven't done before, you'll learn to find new things to try with friends. My favorite include competitive napping and late night drives into the abyss past the town boundaries. You'll have lots of adventures and probably even get sick of your friends at some point.
3. Going to your favorite restaurant is that much more fun.
Have you ever piled 6 people into a car to drive 2 hours to the nearest Ihop? I have. It was a blast, and made those pancakes taste that much better than if we had only had to go around the corner to satisfy that craving.
4. There are more opportunities to be involved.
In a town like ours where the university makes up the majority of the population, the town and university work very well together. This creates a ton of opportunity to get involved in your community!
5. It's less busy.
There aren't a ton of distractions, so you can just relax more. Instead of dealing with a lot of people, you can spend the day in the park just laying down by yourself with some deer.
6. There's less crime.
You don't have to worry about getting shanked for the money you don't have. The police are present, and while that might be unfortunate sometimes, they do a lot to protect students.
7. When your amazon package arrives, it's the best day ever.
We don't even have a target. There's just not a lot of places to shop around here. So you end up ordering what you need on the internet. And when that package arrives, it's like you're a five-year-old on Christmas.
8. The parties are kickass.
When there's nothing to do, college kids will part-ay. There's usually one street that you can walk down and find 10 parties in a row. Just pick the one playing the music you like and have fun. There's just nothing that can compare to a party in a small town.
9. It makes going home so much better.
I've never been so excited to see a Sonic in my life. It's the little things available in cities and suburbs that you miss when you're stuck between two cornfields. Being able to run to the mall instead of planning a day trip is something that I took for granted. So every time I go home, I make sure to savor all the little things that my town doesn't have.
Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere has some definite drawbacks. You can't see anything but corn, you don't have many chain stores or restaurants, and no one ever knows where your town is. But behind that is the love for this crappy town that no one knows. I know everything about my town, but I'm constantly finding new little things to love about this dump. So if you're nervous to move to a town in the middle of nowhere, don't worry. You'll have just as much fun, maybe even more, than people in big cities.