A Walk Through Smalltown U.S.A.

A Walk Through Smalltown U.S.A.

It's more than just cornfields and cows.


Upon first glance, this place doesn't have much going for it. Hell, upon many glances you might still think that. The approximate five streets and worn-down houses make you believe that this town doesn't come from or lead anywhere. It's a loophole and all its citizens are stuck in time with it, but perhaps that's part of its appeal.

Walking through the streets, you hear almost nothing except the blaring of trains that pass through the middle of town every seven-ish minutes. Other than that maybe the birds chirp and you hear the occasional traffic from the main road in the distance. Suddenly you can't even remember the hustle and bustle of the city, but you don't miss it, not in the slightest. Silence has more personality than noise ever will. The quiet carries stories and histories in every breeze.

Sometimes the phrase "everyone knows everyone," gets over-used, but not here. Everyone knows the kid who rides their bike around the same block every day, the mayor who will also pump your gas, and the science teacher who's been around since your parents were in high-school. You probably know people better than they know themselves. Here you know people, not just acquaint yourself with them. Their secrets are public knowledge and newspaper material.

Your walk through town is just like all the other walks you've made through it. Walking from school or to a friend's house who also happened to be your third cousin. Because growing up here, you didn't have to be afraid of wandering. No crook or corner feels scary or unfamiliar. You know the shortcut down every ally, and which yards you can cut through. You know every crack in the sidewalk and the history of every building. You know which trees change an array of colors in the fall. You know the neighbors of your neighbors. This small, rural town is so knowledgeable.

It's not all good though you know. The timelessness of your town can cause so much fear and panic. Its comfort wants to entrap you, but you want to see more of the world, more than just fields and white men. Sometimes you think you'll never escape the town's charm. It's tricky loving something so intoxicating, but you take a deep breath of fresh air and know you wouldn't want to call any other place home.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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You Can Still Get Homesick While Having The Time Of Your Life

Not every moment has to be fun and glamorous.


We often look at college life and study abroad and backpacking trips on other people's Instagrams and see all the fun they're having and all the friends they're making. This is especially the case with study abroad, when these people seem to travel to a new place every weekend and live their absolute best lives. As a result, when we embark on these trips ourselves, there is often a disparity between expectation and reality that can majorly affect you both physically and mentally.

It's important to understand that even if you're meeting new people every day and exploring a new country every week and living out your dreams, there will still be days where you feel like you just want to go home to your group of friends and hangout at the local boba shops or sit with your family at home and just watch TV while fighting over the remote. While you're absorbing all these new and wonderful things around you while abroad, your body will yearn for something familiar, comfortable and secure. And that would be your life at home.

You may feel the need to just stay in your apartment for 2 days straight and binge watch YouTube or call every single one of your friends back home just to catch up. Or you may end up revisiting pictures from the past and salivate over the Korean BBQ trips you took back at home and get intense urges to eat food from home. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this. In fact, a good way to help appease these feelings are to search for the cuisine that you're craving for in your city, and go out of your way to eat it just to get that familiarity back. I have found myself at Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops in Paris more often than I ever was at home, and while others may consider this as a waste of time and that I should be experiencing only French food, it's a really good way to appease those feelings of homesickness. Trust me, the moment you take that first bite of beef noodle soup, you'll feel much, much better.

This isn't to say that you should only stick to the familiar even in a new city. Explore as much as possible and be open to trying new things, but every once in a while, when those feelings of homesickness hit, don't feel bad about buying that boba or starting that 3-hour long video call. After all, you can't have the time of your life if you don't take care of your mental health in the process.

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