Ever since college began, I have started to realize that being from a small town is very unique, more so unique then I had ever expected. I have come to the conclusions that being from a little town in the mountains of North Carolina means much more then the fact that my graduating class was only a couple hundred students. All small towns have their quirks, but also their similarities. If you know what I mean, then you'll find the following to be true to your rural community as well.
1. Knowing that wherever you go, someone from your hometown will always be around.
A quick trip to the grocery store turns into a high school reunion. You see your friend’s mom, your ex-boyfriend’s mom, your principal’s cousin’s wife’s son’s brother’s dog. It’s quite charming at first, until you find yourself ducking behind the frozen pizza to avoid the girl who made fun of you in gym class.
2. Everyone knows your business
Although this may be attributed to having a reunion every time you need a gallon of milk, people know everything about you in your hometown. Your successes are broadcasted in the local newspaper and although the relationship status option is convenient on Facebook, it’s not needed in a small town. Your friends and even those who aren’t your friends, know the very details of your life.
3. The rule about not dating who your friends date - it doesn’t exist here.
Let’s be honest, there are many fish in the sea, but when your sea only has one high school and a burger king to eat at for a fancier date, the options of available men are limited, unless you head on down to the local jailhouse. You are around the same 35 boys from kindergarten to graduation.
4. No one ever knows where you are from, ever.
It’s nice to get away from your hometown, until someone asks about it and you find yourself in a ten-minute conversation identifying landmarks, nearby towns, and major historical events that might give a person the slightest idea of where you are from geographically. “Do you know where the White House is? I live about 4 hours south”
5. The hometown mudsling and lawnmower race may be a coveted event where you are from, but nowhere else.
Sure the amount of recreational activities is limited to cow tipping and driving through town at 2 a.m. However, when it comes time for the community to come together to watch lawnmowers race around a track, you best believe everyone shows up. Even your principal’s cousin’s wife’s son’s brother’s dog. If you think explaining where your town is to someone is difficult, try explaining the excitement of watching lawn equipment race for 3 hours.
6. Everyone is your cousin.
Your English teacher is your cousin. The sheriff is your cousin. The cashier at burger king is your cousin. You have more cousins in a small town then there are Girl Scouts in America. Those are just your first cousins too, then you have your second cousins, third cousins, removed cousins (because you just can’t forget about them), and the list goes on and on.
7. Football is life.
Your high school football team may be the worst team in the state and the only thing that could help them would be if Peyton Manning volunteered for a season. Nevertheless, those stands are packed on Friday night. Although we all want to believe each fan is secretly holding out hope that a miracle will happen and the team will at least score a touchdown, it’s really just an opportunity to go see your cousins or your principal’s cousin’s wife’s son’s brother.
8. Everybody always wants to leave
You spend high school talking with your friends about how you are going to get out of the small town you grew up in. Some plan to go into armed forces, others make really good grades to get into a college far away, and a few decide that dropping out and moving to the next town over is just the change of scenery they needed.
9. Everyone that talks about leaving, never leaves.
Let’s be honest, there are only so many apartments available in the next town over.
10. It may be a small town but it’s your small town.
Although knowing everyone and being related to everyone can be annoying at times, it’s good to know that you are surrounded by people who know you for who you really are and are always going to care about your well-being. Sure your high school football team will never be featured on ESPN and maybe you won’t find your prince charming during grade school, but the world is a big place. As you begin your own adventures, you’ll find yourself forgetting the bad and romanticizing the good of that little town you call home.