10 Country Songs For When The Small Midwest Town Nostalgia Hits

10 Country Songs For When The Small Midwest Town Nostalgia Hits

Somehow I always end up in the country music section of Spotify when I'm feeling nostalgic.

Chances are if you grew up in a small town in the Midwest, country music was at least somewhat popular if it wasn’t the preferred music genre in your town. In my small Ohio town, country music was pretty popular. Through middle school and high school I remained adamant that I definitely did not like country music. How could I be the small town girl who wanted to get the hell out of this town and make something of herself in a big city if I liked Zac Brown Band?

Well, I did leave my small town and I have been thriving in Chicago. However, when that nostalgia hits I somehow find my way to the country music section of Spotify. I may never want to live in a small town ever again, but when I’m pining for the simplicity of being a kid in a small town again, country music is definitely the cure.

Here are my 10 favorite songs to listen to when I’m feeling nostalgic:

1. “Homegrown” by Zac Brown Band

This upbeat song always is usually the first one I look up when I dive back into the country genre.

2. “Raised on It” by Sam Hunt

A good bop to remind small-town kids just how they grew up and that not everything about it was that bad. Also, Sam Hunt is really cute.

3. “Cop Car” by Keith Urban

Okay, so I always told myself that even with my “I want to be a big city girl and let go of my small town roots so I can’t like country music” mindset I can still like Keith Urban songs. This is because he’s actually Australian! Either way, this song is great and perfect when I miss the days of small-town adventures.

4. “Marry Me” by Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett is another country cutie. Plus, he and his wife are relationship goals. This song really has nothing to do with my childhood in a small town but I had to put Thomas Rhett on this list. I debated between this song and “Unforgettable”…okay let’s be honest, “Unforgettable” will probably be on this list at some point.

5. “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker

There is a sports bar that’s down the road from the town I grew up in and my family and I often frequent there karaoke night. When I’m home I look forward to Friday nights there. Country music is the genre that the karaoke singers pick from and I feel like this song is sung pretty much every time I’m there and I’m totally okay with it.

6. “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band

This song just had to be on this list. How could it not be? It’s a classic and I feel like this song brings out my small town side the most. It’s a really fun song and you can’t not sing it when it comes on the radio.

7. “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves

I love this song. It’s a song that basically tells you to do whatever the hell you want and not to care what other people think.

8. “Leave the Night On” by Sam Hunt

I had to throw another Sam Hunt song on this list. Mainly because the beginning of this song is hella relatable if you grew up in small town. “They roll the sidewalks in this town all up after the sun goes down. They say nothin’ good happens here when midnight rolls around.” One of the strangest things I noticed when I moved to Chicago was how late everything was open until! You mean this entire city doesn’t shut down at 9 PM?

9. “All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood

I loved Carrie Underwood when I was growing up. She has such an amazing voice and this song is one my favorite songs by her.

10. “Unforgettable” by Thomas Rhett

I told you this song would make it on this list.

There are many other country songs that I find myself listening to once I dive into the genre on Spotify. I have a friend who always likes to tell me that I like country music. However, while I’m well aware that you can live in a big city and still love country music and I am remaining firm in my belief that I don’t actually like country music I just listen to it for nostalgia purposes.

Okay… maybe I’m lying to myself.

Check out these songs on this playlist.
Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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