On February 26, 1999, I was born in Flowood, Mississippi. Nineteen years later, and I am still here. Flowood is one of those awkward towns that is not small enough to be considered a "small town" but definitely not big enough to be an exciting city. I do not expect anyone to know where Flowood, Mississippi is; people from Mississippi are really the only ones who know. After all, Mississippi has plenty of small towns to get confused with. One might know Flowood from some of its exciting attractions, like the Mall, filled with chain restaurants and unique stores such as JC Penny or Bed Bath and Beyond, or perhaps one has heard of Flowood from the huge lake we have. Yeah. That's it.
Picture it, a typical Friday night. What is the average high school student doing? The answer to this question is: nothing. Nothing is a pretty common activity among the high school students. They have a choice of doing nothing at a gas station parking lot, a park, or Sonic.
First, let us discuss the gas station parking lot. Typically, one would find the popular groups or the rednecks, but never both. I guess it depends on whoever gets there first. People will just sit in their cars wasting gas or sitting in the bed of the truck talking with friends, basically sitting and doing nothing.
Next, we have the park; this one gets a little tricky. The park is a great option to do nothing, but the students have to wait until about nine or ten o'clock before they can do nothing there because it is a children's park. Teenagers would not want annoying children enjoying their park to interrupt them doing nothing.
Finally, we arrive at Sonic. There is a bonus with this option! Sonic is a place where one can eat and then do nothing. As you can see, there are plenty of exciting options to look forward to when it comes to the weekend. No matter what option the students decide, they are surrounded by their friends, which makes nothing not so bad.
Students normally channel all of their boredom into school spirit. When football is in season, the student section definitely shows out. Almost every student will be in the stands on Friday nights. The school even has elected officials to lead the student section. One might think the only preparation for the leaders takes place the night of the game, but these people are wrong. Student section planning basically takes weeks of preparation and involves the entire community.
Parents and principals will email and harass the leaders with ideas and comments of their opinion on the student section. Although the comments and opinions sound as if they are negative or annoyed, but it is because so many people care. Because the entire community is involved, the city feels like a family. The level of intensity of the student section during Friday night football really has no explanation, but it's better than doing nothing.
In most cases, when students reach senior year they are so ready to leave and never come back. Seniors apply to colleges in Seattle, New York, or anywhere that's not in Mississippi. One thing these seniors are unaware of is the Flowood curse. Somehow, some way everyone always ends up back in Flowood. It does not matter how far you move or how determined you are, at some point in your life you will end up in Flowood. I find this comforting and haunting at the same time. It is so scary to think that you might end up just like your parents, working the same jobs in the same town.
Then again, Flowood is home. I hate to admit it, but I was one of those kids who hated Flowood. I hated everything about it. I hated that there was nothing to do, I hated the school, and I could not wait to leave. Now here I am, about to start my sophomore year and I genuinely enjoy my weekends at home. Although Flowood itself is one of the most boring places, it's the people that make it so great. It is the people that make me want to stay. I am very thankful to have grown up in this kinda small town.