As we continue to wind down for the school year, conversation picks up about summer plans — whether interning, studying abroad, or taking classes, most of us will visit home at some point during the summer. And this is where the reminiscing begins. Most people reflect on how much they miss their high school friends, favorite hang out spot or restaurants. I can honestly say, I don’t relate.
I used to love the seclusion that my hometown brought — everyone knew my name, I didn’t worry about locking the door, and everywhere I could walk to. Davidson, North Carolina was my safety net — somewhere that I wasn’t afraid to fall because I knew I would always be caught.
I absolutely miss my favorite barista at my local coffee shop or the fact that the deli I frequently visited always knew my order beforehand. However, in my new college town, I’ve found my new favorite barista and another deli where the staff knows my usual. I’ve made a strange place my home and given it a sense of familiarity.
Now, while I still love my hometown, it’s something that I’ve outgrown. I like that I can walk down the street and always see an unfamiliar face. I like that my friend’s mom also doesn’t double as a substitute teacher. But most importantly, I like that I was essentially given a reset button and created my own path.
As I embark on a new stage in my life, I recognize what Davidson has given me: a town square to ride my bike into, an incredible community of people, and an overwhelming sense of safety.
Davidson was where I went through all of my stages of life — whether learning how to ride a bike, registering to vote or the intense and quite frequent screaming matches with my mom, (yeah, sorry about that) my small town has nurtured me through thick and thin.
Sure, I’ve outgrown my home, but I still carry with me the invaluable life lessons that my quaint, little town has bestowed upon me: I will ALWAYS smile at people on the street (yes, even in NYC). I carry myself with an overwhelming sense of trustworthiness like everyone is my small town neighbor.
And while I love the hustle and bustle a large city brings to me, I appreciate the slowness and calculated decisions of that small, southern town.