Small Town Girl Truths

I'm Just A Small Town Girl, Living In My Small Town World

This is my life soundtrack

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For all of my life, I have grown up in a small town with about 14,000 people in it. I know that some people grew up or live in smaller towns, but to me that's pretty small. I think I've always enjoyed living in it, even though its not the biggest place and it doesn't always have the stores I need to get specific things. In my town, we have knitting shop and a bike shop and I am still amazed that they are in business. It is one of those towns that you'll drive right through if you're not careful. I also go to school in a small town that has a population of 18,000 people, so there's not much of a difference.

The thing I like about living and going to school in a small town is the amount of space we have. When you drive anywhere, it is likely to see open fields and forests all around you and to constantly see wildlife on the side of the road. To get to the grocery from where I live, I have to drive at least 15 minutes away... and I know that doesn't seem that far away, but it feels like it. To get to my old high school, I have to drive at least 20 minutes away and prepare to be in lots of traffic on the way there.

As I ride around Boone (where I go to school) and see all the things that make it a small town, I am reminded of how much I love being in a small town. I love Boone because I can refer to a single location and someone will know exactly where I'm talking about. I love the small towns that surround us which make me fall in love with Boone all over again every day. I love talking to someone who lives here and hearing how much it's changed and how different the town looks as more and more students come to school here.

I know that when I go home, I can see just how much has changed while I was gone for a short three months. In my town, we have train tracks that go through the middle of downtown and a bridge that crosses across them. I think that by growing up in a small town, I have a different outlook on life than those who were not raised in a small town. I was raised to be appreciative of the things I have and not the ones that I don't have. I was raised to look at the small things in life as if they were the biggest things ever.

I don't think I would ever change where I came from or where I go to school. I honestly don't think I could ever live in a city because they're just too big. I live right near Charlotte, North Carolina, and every time I drive into there, I get lost and have to use my GPS. I know that in most towns, people have to use highways, but I'm glad the areas I'm in allow me to use back-roads to get everywhere. The part I love the most about my small towns is that everyone knows everyone and everywhere. I think that a small town really shows how a community is supposed to be.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

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It Was A Culture Shock To Come Back Home To Pick-Up Trucks And Sweet Tea After Being In A City

It seriously makes you wonder, 'Like how did I ever live here?'

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Going to college in the north is very different from the south for obvious reasons, but going to college in the north AND in a big city is even more interesting and culturally different from the south.

Not a day went by during my first two years at Temple University where I wasn't completely entertained by the wonders and crazy moments the city had to offer to me. I love living a fast-paced life, and living in the city definitely gave me that opportunity, but what I was never prepared for was well...the trash.

Like, Philadelphia is dirty. Dir-ty dirty.

I've grown accustomed to seeing trash in the streets, on the sidewalks, and in the few patches of grass between buildings, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing when I come face to face with it.

Despite the trash, however, I love how open-minded and accepting everyone is in the city. It was nice coming face to face with strangers and being able to sense that they had the same progressive viewpoints as I did.

Now let's flip the switch and talk about coming home...

For those who don't know me, I'm from a city called Macon in the good ole peach state of Georgia. Now, Macon is country. I feel like when people think of the south they think of all the cute little things about the south like country accents and sweet tea, but there's a lot of unpleasant things about my city that makes me reluctant to come home.

For one, it's slow as hell, but I guess leaving the city makes anything else seem slow right? I mean, talk about a culture shock. One second you're almost getting run over by city-goers rushing from point A to point B, and the next, well you're surrounded by pick-up trucks and MAGA hats. A culture shock.

I guess I'm one of those people that isn't proud to say I'm from the city of Macon, but I have to pay homage to it because if it weren't for growing up in this conservative, significantly slower-paced city, I wouldn't be the outspoken, bold woman I am today. My hometown made me want to get out, explore the world, and be my own person, and now Philadelphia has become my second home--a place where I finally feel free.

So yeah, you could say it's definitely a huge culture shock coming back home to my hometown of Macon, Georgia, but in a way, I'm thankful for that culture shock, because it is a testament to my growth and shows how far I've come since the last time I was home.

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