8 Things I Left Behind In The Small Town I Grew Up In
Start writing a post

To My Small Town Girls, Here Are The 8 Things We Left Behind When We Left Our Towns

To my friends, my readers, and my little sister: don't be afraid to live a little.

To My Small Town Girls, Here Are The 8 Things We Left Behind When We Left Our Towns

Murphysboro: where memories, best friendships, mistakes, growth, and life experiences will always hold a very special place in my heart. Most young adults like myself couldn't wait to get up and leave all of their small town problems behind. A new future meant a new life, and a new beginning.

After being away for almost two whole years now, one thing I will say is, "Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, because being on your own and starting over is SUPER scary." I don't want to say that to scare you though because "scary" can be good and SO exciting.

I'm proud to say that my small town taught me to always look at the bigger picture and appreciate the small things. It taught me that it's OK to make mistakes, it taught me to take relationships seriously, it taught me to be strong, it taught me that life doesn't wait for you to get back up, it taught me that it's OK to leave. Life is really quick and we hear that SO often, almost a little too much. My town may not have much, but it has love, character, history, memories, and my heart.

My small town showed me that leaving a lifetime of habits, is in fact, OK!! Stepping outside your small town will always be frightening, by soon you will realize that; that little dot on the map that some people didn't know existed will always be YOUR home and that home doesn't need to be just one zip code.

1. Everyone Knows Everyone

Sure, living in a place where everyone knows everyone and EVERYTHING can be really frustrating but you when you look at it from a different perspective, it's what brings your town closer. When you do something really good, you are recognized by almost the WHOLE town.

From your high school recognizing you to the local businesses showing their support on their signs. When you mess up, you have people that hold you accountable for your mistakes and keep you inline. (I mean come on, did you really think your parents would never find out??). When something bad happened, it becomes personal. When one person hurts, the whole town hurts.

2. Home-cooked Meals

Wow, I never thought I would miss something SO much. Living off pizza rolls, ramen noodles, and frozen TV dinners can get really old and not to mention: unhealthy. Oh, how I will always wonder how I will be able to cook like my mom or actually have the energy too.

3. Your Comfort Zone

How do you meet people when you move to a town where you know NO ONE at all??? Yeah, I had no idea either and I cried about it A LOT. I learned though, that stepping out of my comfort zone was something that I had to do. I am such an outgoing person around people I know, but there's a little shell you have to get through when you first meet me. SO I had to get past that, AND IT WAS HARD.

From asking people in my classes if they had a pencil (even if I already had one) then introducing myself, making connections at work, getting to know my guests, and just simply putting myself out into the world. THE WHOLE REALITY OF LIFE THOUGH, is stepping out of your comfort zone. Don't get too caught in a routine and take time to self-reflect.

4. Dirt Roads

Clearing your head on a dirt road after a long hard stressful day or week isn't a choice anymore. Listening to music and wasting gas driving around with your friends isn't a choice anymore. You have to find something else and something new to get you through those times...maybe even save a little money on gas, too.

5. People Know Where Your Town Is

"I'm from Southern Illinois" "Oh so you mean Chicago??" Nice try, but Chicago is 7 hours away from my little home town. I wish you could see how different my town of cornfields and flood water compares to Chicago.

6. Small Town Friends

Have I met amazing people even best friends moving away from home? YES. Will I always miss and talk about my friends from home? YES.

Those people were with me through some of my hardest times growing into the girl I am today. They're the friends that I started Pre-School with and the ones I graduated high school with. They are the ones that will always be apart of my life no matter how far apart we move from each other.

Never forget where you came from but don't be afraid of the welcome arms your new town welcomes you with.

7. You Never Feel Alone

No one knows who you are. You are just another face in the crowd going on with their everyday life, just like everyone else, and that my friend, is very terrifying. No ones knows your life stories, no one knows your car, no one knows where your house is, no one knows you at the grocery store anymore.

8. Hiding From Your Fears

I thought I knew who I was and exactly what I wanted when I left my small town. Yeah, I was COMPLETELY WRONG. I went through so many changes and went through the whole process of finding myself again. It's been an amazing adventure though. Don't get too caught up in sticking to "normal." Let life do its thing, and really live it.

To my friends, my readers, my little sister: Don't be afraid to live a little. Never settle in this big big world. The truth is, you will go through a million open doors just to see that there is just as many closed ones... and that's OK, because that's all about growing and experiencing. Life is a rollercoaster, growing up is a rollercoaster.

Your roots are planted in your small town, that place you called home your whole life will always be waiting for you to come back for a visit. Don't worry about that. You need to grow. That tiny dot on the map will always have a heart for you, just like you have a heart for it.

Report this Content

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

The Best Bagel Recipes For Every Personality Type, In Case You Need Another Excuse To Eat Carbs

I'll approve of pasta for breakfast any day, but this is more socially acceptable.


I've had times in my life at which I've told myself I need to cut out carbs. Those moments last about a minute or two before I start daydreaming about rice and pasta.

Bagels hold a special place in my heart — for many of my college friends and me, a bagel sandwich was the go-to breakfast after a long night of drinking. Years later, I still love to indulge in the occasional carb-filled breakfast. As much as I love putting in an UberEats order from bed, nothing beats the feeling of pulling some fresh-baked bread or pastries out of the oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Scrolling through Instagram can get stale after a while, especially if you're constantly refreshing in the hopes of finding something new and exciting. Should you be looking to add some inspiration to your timeline in the form of self-love tips, relationship advice, or love secrets, here are 11 relationship coaches you'll LOVE following.

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a college freshman, or new to college, this is for you. If you are in a new time in life where you don't know where this change is going to take you, where you might not have your community yet, this is for you. Or even if you are stuck in a rut of everyday life where the new normal is quarantine and isolation, this is also for you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

As Illinois Reaches Its Highest Death Toll Since June, I Urge You To Stay Home And Wear Your Mask

69 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in a twenty-four-hour period, the highest amount since June of this year.

Photo by Noah on Unsplash

As we are approaching colder weather, we are also approaching a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state of Illinois. On October 21, 2020, Illinois recorded its largest daily COVID-19 death toll since June of this year. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 69 deaths of people who contracted COVID-19 were recorded within a twenty-four-hour period, raising the state's death toll to 9,345 since the start of the pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

When "Mean Girls" said "In girl world, Halloween is the one time of the year where you can dress up like a total slut and no one can do or say anything about it," they were damn right. Halloween is the perfect excuse to buy that raunchy costume and show your partner that you're that B. Coming from a very single (yes, very single) 20 something-year-old, I have already got my Halloween costume on lock, and now you will too.

Not only are these 10 Halloween costumes dangerously sexy, but you can wear them in the bedroom whenever you want to give your boo a surprise, yes, year-round. Whoever said you can only dress up on Halloween is seriously disturbed.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ariana Grande released her first single called "positions" since "boyfriend" with Social House and it is a BANGER. This song is absolutely incredible and I am SURE you will agree with me once you listen.

I'm a sucker for a single with a video and that's exactly what we got. Ariana's been pretty quiet during the pandemic, and we all assumed she was working on some new music, and we were right.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Rejection Of Black Lives Matter Mural By Phoenix City Council Doesn’t Stop Gizette Knight

The Phoenix City Council rejected a proposal for a Black Lives Matter Mural in downtown Phoenix. But Gizette Knight says this is not the end.

Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Community organizer Gizette Knight, CEO of Reality Dreams LLC, is not giving up on the Phoenix City Council's rejection of the Black Lives Matter mural.

Keep Reading... Show less

For me, chai isn't just what I drink — it's a core part of who I am. Sure, I'll switch it up every now and then with a cup of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, rose, or Darjeeling, but I always come back to chai.

Nearly every tea lover has one tea they repeatedly drink and go back to, whether it's a daily morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my good friends has almost eight cups of jasmine tea every single day — she drinks more tea than water, actually.

Keep Reading... Show less

In a world where physical contact is a liability, the ease of slipping into despair and isolation has never been so tempting. Perhaps the greatest kindness we can lend to one another is reaching out to the people that meant something to us before everything changed. Here's why you should message your friend today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments