Growing up and consistently living in small towns, I used to absolutely despise it. As a teenager, I felt trapped in a "hick town." Although after taking multiple vacations with family, friends and my youth group, I discovered that big cities are super fun to visit and exciting to explore, but I was always relieved when I finally returned to my less hectic hometown. Which led to my conscious decision to be a college student in a small town as well. As I began my freshman year, I noticed that city people don't accommodate quickly to small town culture. To be honest, nearly every freshman I met seemed particularly uncomfortable with their different surroundings. Thinking back on the most common reasons, I want to explain how they're viewed with a small town girl's mindset.
1. Everyone knows EVERYTHING about everyone
OK, definitely true, but this has also taught you the glorious lifelong lesson that if you can’t trust this person to bury a dead body with you, don’t tell that person anything you’re uncomfortable with the entire town knowing. Nobody can keep a secret the way a previously burned small-town person can.
2. There’s nothing to do
Meaning what, exactly? There’s no big shot nightclubs, enormous shopping malls, or fancy Italian restaurants? Growing up in a small town teaches kids and adults to both create their own fun! Instead of going to a nightclub, let’s blare some old burnt CDs in the stereo and start a backyard bonfire with friends. Let’s NOT blow our hard-earned money on that extra pair of Vans you don’t need; instead, we can put $20 in the gas tank and drive around town having heart-to-hearts or much-needed rampages with anyone of your cautious choosing. And while most everyone will agree to Italian food, nothing will beat a good cook-out with family. (Hello, free food!)
3. All anybody wants to do is drink and do drugs
You seriously believe that drug usages are going to suddenly disappear with an increased populated city? No way. There are drug addicts and alcoholics all over this world. Just like there are sober people everywhere! If the people you associate with tend to be bothersome for that reasoning, I suggest you find a better crowd, which yes, might result in times of solitude during your search for better friends. BUT! That means you’re being taught independence and strength in that trying situation.
4. You can’t get away with anything
This coincides with the whole “everybody knows everything” thing, but the things you do wrong, those are your legends to your town! Killing my 7th-grade science class’ fish and being called “fish-killer” for the rest of the year felt like the end of my world at the time, but I now find it kind of funny. I eventually admitted to the crime and apologized to my teacher almost five years later. You know what she did? She laughed over the entire situation. The point is that you can’t take back whatever you did wrong, so why not join in with everyone laughing about it?
5. Closed-minded and judgmental people
I understand why it can be frustrating for somebody to consistently be struggling against traditional values simply because you were born with a different set of morals. But you know what? Your fighting will only validate what you truly believe in. If you’re even slightly uncertain of any of your worldview, you’re bound to discover that fairly quickly amidst the struggle. You might be feeling as though your fighting isn’t fair because so-and-so’s city is accepting of your belief. But you are growing through the arguments. You’re being taught how sure you truly are of yourself and all of the things you feel are important.
Maybe I'm a little biased on the subject; that's not the point here. All I'm trying to get across to future incoming/returning students from relatively larger cities is that living in small town is what you make of it. Any place you go can be dull and lifeless, it's your mindset that makes exciting adventures happen. I personally will continue to stick by my small town culture.