If You Grew Up In A Small Town, Everyone Knows Everything About You, But It Kinda Has Its Perks

If You Grew Up In A Small Town, Everyone Knows Everything About You, But It Kinda Has Its Perks

Everywhere feels like home when you're surrounded by people you know.

At my university, the vast majority of students hail from a big city or one of its equally as populated suburbs. Even though we're surrounded by cornfields, almost no one is actually from the area.

Except for me. I come from a small town about 15 minutes east of my school. By small, I mean like 5,000 people small. And let me tell you, I'd never thought I'd say it, but I miss that place all the time.

In a town that small, everyone knows everyone.

Every mistake you make, every bad thing that happens to you, someone in town is going to hear about it and tell everyone else. It's somewhat irritating, but it's worth it.

People from bigger areas just don't give off that vibe that exudes from us "small-town folk." It's the weirdest thing in the world to me that the people that pass by me on campus don't smile like they know me. In my hometown, whether you're familiar with the other person or not, you smile any time you encounter another living person. That probably sounds weird, but it's actually really nice.

While we don't have tons of restaurant or shopping options, the ones we do have are beloved. It's a good feeling to be able to walk into any local business (and small towns are full of them) and know who's waiting your table or checking you out. Similarly, you've probably seen your teachers outside of school and know they (some of them anyway) know how to party hard. I knew, and probably spoke to, every single person in my graduating class.

Everywhere feels like home when you're surrounded by people you know.

Don't even get me started on hometown pride. Any time anything good happens to any group of people, the whole town takes credit and brags about it in a good way. We hold each other up in tough times too, so those town-wide wins seem even better knowing the obstacles community members have faced.

Much of the bond formed by my community is due to our love of the high school. I would guess that at least 25% of the adults in my town graduated from our local high school and are proud of it. They continue to show their loyalty when teams get out on the field or court.

Oh and on that note, high school sports are the best. Trust me, you're much more invested in the games when you know every single one of the players. Plus, it's super cool to say "Hey, I know that kid!" when they win championships and awards (#ItsAGreatDayToBeASpartan).

But to top it all off, the picturesqueness of small towns is just as majestic as it sounds. My house is literally across the street from a cornfield and everyone has the coolest senior pictures because we don't have to drive far to find beautiful, natural backgrounds. On weekend nights in the summer, there's a 100% chance someone you know will post "bonfire at 9" on their Snapchat story because they have the space to make magical memories with a group of classmates-turned-friends.

Of all the things unique to small towns, country roads might be my favorite. Some of the deepest conversations I've ever had have occurred with a car full of people cruising through the country with the windows down and country music blasting from the speakers. It rarely mattered who was in the car; your deepest secrets always spill their way out while you're surrounded by small-town charm.

So yes, the rumors are true. Everyone DOES know everything about you. Sometimes, it sucks as bad as it sounds. But most of the time, it's pretty dang amazing.

Cover Image Credit: WCIA 3 News

Popular Right Now

16 Things You Know To Be True If Your Name Is Emily

*Immediately sends to five other friends named Emily*

Emily. The name of legends, great poets and just overall fabulous people. Emily has been ranked among one of the most popular girl's names for literally decades, so it's no secret that people named Emily definitely have a few things to bond over.

1. You have very specific preferences on being called Em, Emmy or Emmers.

And most likely only *some* people are given this privilege.

2. Every time you meet someone named Emily you instantly bond.

OMG, our parents were some of the most unoriginal people ever! Besties!

3. But secretly, you like to think of yourself as the better Emily.

Sorry not sorry.

4. Your middle name is probably Ann, Elizabeth or Marie.

Because your name is as basic as it gets.

5. You take great pride in knowing that you were the inspiration for names like Emma, Emmy and Emmaline.

And maybe you're a little jealous that your parents didn't at least try to do something a little more unique.

6. Whether it's work or school you always have to share your name with someone.

So you're probably used to attaching the first letter of your last name or broin' out and using your last name like some sort of athlete.

7. On the flip side, you were ALWAYS able to find your name on keychains growing up.

8. And unless your barista is feeling extra grouchy, it's impossible to get your name wrong on your Starbucks cup.

Unless you're one of those Emily's that spells it like Emmaleigh... *judging you*

9. Because at least you have a name no one has to ask how to spell.

Unless, well, see above.

10. You have spent hours perfecting the ideal "E" for your signature.

Do you make a backwards "3" or do you do a loopy lowercase "e?" The choice is yours.

11. And you definitely went through a phase where you dotted the "i" in hearts.

Because you just wanted to go for that extra ~GiRlY~ effect.

12. Your friends know better than to call your name in a public place.

Unless they want at least three people turning around.

13. Someone has texted you thinking they're talking to a different Emily.

Nope, nope. I'm Emily G., not Emily L.

14. You can appreciate that when you write the word Emily it's perfectly even on both sides.

15. And contains the perfect amount of loops.

16. Because while it might be super common, it's popular for a reason

Cover Image Credit: M Star News

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Day In Immigration Court

"America is a nation founded by immigrants" could not be more true in this space.


This past month, I started my summer internship with a local immigration attorney. Throughout the summer, I will be observing the day-to-day responsibilities of an immigration law office, which includes observing client appointments, compiling evidence and legal research for cases, and attending hearings at the federal immigration court in New York City. Immigration court is vastly different than anything I had ever experienced, and the harsh reality of the American immigration system manifests itself in the immigration courts themselves. Yet after only a couple of days witnessing various hearings in court, I want to look beyond the inefficiencies ingrained in our current immigration system and instead paint a picture so that you can understand the underlying effects of the American dream taking place.

There are two floors designated for the immigration courts in the federal building. After exiting the elevator, there is an overwhelming presence of individuals and family units awaiting their presence in court. One time I saw a woman holding a baby that was days old outside of the courtroom. Courtrooms are numbered and labeled with the last name of the immigration judge on the door, and individuals are expected to wait outside with either an attorney, accredited representation, or any other people accompanying the respondent before his or her trial.

Aside from the large conglomerate of immigrants on this floor, there are multiple signs taped to the walls contain directions in languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, etc. While on these floors, you cannot help but be surrounded by different people, languages, and cultures. In its essence, this is the presence of the American "melting pot" at its finest. There is something inherently beautiful about intersecting cultures and ways of life, and being in the presence of such different people can allow yourself to open your eyes to such different perspectives. Is that not what America is about?

The popular saying, "America is a nation founded by immigrants" could not be more true in this space.

Since my first time at immigration court, I have witnessed individuals win and individuals lose their case. However, a loss does not have to be the end for some individuals. There is an option to appeal the decision from the immigration judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within thirty days. In cases where the individual receives legal status, it feels as though a large burden is placed off of the individual's shoulders. No longer do they have to struggle through the American immigration system after years of perseverance, and in some cases, individuals can move towards becoming an American citizen.

It is almost funny to think that my presence in a government building could spark an inspirational motivator. However, I think my experience in immigration court is more humbling than anything. It puts into perspective the lengths that individuals take to make their case in front of a judge. For them, America is worth fighting for. Although there are various inefficiencies within the current immigration system, I am not trying to romanticize the reality of immigration court. Most of the time, the lines are long, interpreters are unavailable, and cases are more difficult than ever to win. However, instead of focusing on these points, I think it is important to re-focus on the bigger picture behind the immigration courts, realizing the positives amidst all of the negatives.

Although this is only the beginning of my internship, I am excited to see where this opportunity will lead me. I am excited to hear the stories of others, which showcase their determination against hardship and persecution. And I am determined to not only witness but also initiate change first-hand, one case at a time.

Related Content

Facebook Comments