33 Things You Know If You Grew Up In A Small Town

33 Things You Know If You Grew Up In A Small Town

Here's a hint: It's not at all like the movies... and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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I was born and raised in a town with less than 2,000 people. A town where everyone truly does know everybody (I'm seriously not exaggerating). My high school graduating class was less than 100 students -- and it was the only school in the entire town. It truly doesn't get much smaller than the town I grew up in and the surrounding areas. After moving to Tallahassee about a year and a half ago for school, I realized how different my upbringing was from most others.

Those of us who grew up like this know it's nothing like what Hallmark and other movies try and portray it as -- but that's not a bad thing. If you truly grew up in a small town you'll be able to relate to these thirty-three things.

1. You don't eat out a lot.

But when you do, it's ALWAYS the same restaurant that everyone goes to and you end up spending hours there because you have to talk to everyone.

2. There are more churches than restaurants. 

I didn't need food that much anyway.

3. You went to kindergarten with the same group of 50 you graduated high school with. 

Everyone knows each other and each other's business.

4. You spend your "free time" working on your farm.

... Or someone else's.

5. Your idea of a night out on the town is sitting on the bed of trucks in Walmart parking lots blaring music until curfew. 

This is our version of going to the club.

6. There's that one sweet old lady that everyone calls "Aunt _____", but she isn't actually anyone's aunt. 

We are all family.

7. You can't do anything without the entire town (including your parents) knowing about it by the end of the business day.

I can't sneeze without my neighbors knowing I did it.

8. High school sports are NO JOKE. 

Everyone in the entire town will be in the stands on Friday nights cheering on the mediocre football team.

9. You've actually seen someone drive a tractor to school.

It's more common than you think.

10. FFA is a religion. 

Agriculture is life.

11. There are more cars than trucks. 

I'm sure you can relate.

12. A trip to Walmart takes several hours because of all the people that you see and have to talk to. 

This means I have to leave two hours in advance.

13. You have to drive at least an hour to go see a movie. 

This also means leaving way in advance.

14. You have to drive at least an hour to find a mall.

Once again... prepare and leave early.

15. You don't have WiFi.

It's impossible for you to get connection and everyone you meet outside of your town thinks it's absurd.

16. You've probably dated one of your friend's exes.

Sadly, there just aren't that many people to choose from.

17. You were driving four-wheelers and other ATVs before you turned 13. 

Life skills, am I right?

18. You learned how to drive in someone's work truck in a field. 

We all have to learn somehow.

19. A tractor has made you late for school. 

Try telling your school this and see if they allow it as an excuse.

20. You understand what number 19 means. 

Sorry to those who don't get it.

21. You have THE camouflage jacket or 

or Carhartt jacket.

22. A date is going to McDonald's for ice cream. 

Because there isn't much else to do.

23. Your high school math teacher was also your dad's high school math teacher. 

It all stays the same.

24. There are more cows than people. 

This might explain my social skills...

25. You can identify more vegetables or animal breeds than you can designers. 

And you like it like that.

26. Everybody truly does know everything about everybody. 

Once again, we are just one big family.

27. At least half of your town would take a bullet for you. 

It's the beauty of everyone know everyone.

28. You're not scared being alone after dark. 

We all help each other.

29. If your car won't start after school, you're going to have a group of at least 5 people trying to help you.

And they'll get your car running better than before.

30. Any and all festivals that your town has are guaranteed to be HUGE and incredibly fun.

The whole town looks forward to these.

31. High school homecoming is a BIG DEAL to everyone in the community. 

There still isn't much else to do.

32. You always feel so loved. 

One. Big. Family.

33. You wouldn't trade your small town for anything. 

It's my home.

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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