Growing up in a rural area isn't quite the same as growing up in the suburbs or a city. In fact, they're entirely different experiences of childhood whether it's the environmentally or socially. I grew up in a rural town in the catskills my entire life. Needless to say, rural life wasn't exactly a niche for me. I envied suburban and urban life because of how much stuff they had to do without ever getting bored. I always had to travel a long distance to a mall or the movies. It sort of made me feel like going to the movies was a trip rather than an everyday pastime. On the other hand, not everything was horrible for rural life. And not everything about rural life was spectacular. Just like how suburban and city people feel about their hometown. Here's a pretty accurate list of what it's like to grow up rural.
1. It's pretty quiet almost all the time
This is a pretty obvious one when it comes to describing rural life. It does get quiet virtually all the time. My town tends to appreciate the calming sound of silence. The only times it ever gets loud is usually during an annual parade or when people have backyard parties. Other than those special occasions, it usually shocks residents when there is a lot of noise. It's almost like aliens have come to invade.
2. Everybody knows each other
Living in a small town is like living with a big family. If I'm walking around town, I will always find someone I know. And that someone knows me pretty well and is not even a relative of mine. This may strike you as creepy, but it can be comforting knowing that almost an entire town knows my name and who I am as a person. Whenever I am in danger or in need of help, I have the people of my town right there with me. And sometimes, I do also wish I was in a place where nobody knows me to make it more interesting.
3. Internet and cell service can suck
Another obvious one here but it is so true. Lucky for me, I had a good amount of cell service at my house since I was near a cell tower. But since there is only one cell tower, it cannot reach a far radius, especially for my friends that lived in the back roads or as I would call it the neck of the woods. My friends lived a far enough distance away from town where they didn't get any cell service so they depended on landlines. It wasn't entirely a huge problem since I spent most of my childhood without a phone. Whenever I was at a friend's house with poor internet, we would always find things to do without having to be glued to electronics.
4. Playing outside has never been more fun
Just like what I said about poor cell service, it used to never be a big concern. As a child, playing outside was spectacular. My friends and I used to come up with several games to play in our big backyards. A game that I always liked to play was manhunt in the woods. It was sort of like hide and seek but it was played in the dark. And since we had so much land to play on, most of my friends also had dirt bikes, snowmobiles & fourwheelers. They would travel around mountains for miles; spending an entire day exploring.
5. Winters can be depressing
I am not entirely a huge fan of winter but it was nice once in awhile to have a snow day. Usually, the winters just made everything feel absolutely blah. The roads were never plowed, it took forever to warm up the car in the morning and there were less things to do. Some of my friends spent time in the winter hunting and snowmobiling, but I was never a fan of those activities. So I spent most of my time inside watching movies and getting fat. And if you're from a city that also has a strong winter, you might think it's just as harsh. While it may be true, but it's a little different since you still have more things to do in your suburban town.
6. My school is a lot smaller
My graduating class had 26 students. I'm not even joking. Seriously, only 26! Some of you may have more than that in your homeroom class. So you might be wondering what in god's name was it like to be with only 26 other students? Well, I'll tell you that it's not that bad. We all know each other pretty well and we always look out for each other. We took pride in our small class size and made the most out of it. A lot of the schools with even triple the amount of students in a class can't relate to the experience my classmates and I had.
7. Having to describe where my town is based on distance of another city
This one frustrates me a lot. Whenever I am traveling and meeting new people, I always have to say "my town is like 2 hours from New York City". I know that people won't have a clue where my hometown is but It's just a plain struggle. Especially for all the people of rural life.
8. No matter how much I can hate it, it's still home
I'll be the one to admit it that I don't really like my hometown a whole lot. There really isn't much to do and there's no jobs. But there is something inside me that I still have a connection with my town. It might not be that it's too small or boring, but it's the one place I knew my entire life. I know it's entirety like the back of my hand. It's the most familiar territory I'll ever step foot in for the rest of my life. No matter where I live in the near future, I will always have my hometown to remember. It's the one place I can always call home.