What It's Like Growing Up In A "College Town"
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What It's Like Growing Up In A "College Town"

The good, the bad and the ugly of living in a college town

What It's Like Growing Up In A "College Town"

Growing up in a college town is unique in many ways. Although there are some downfalls when it comes to sharing your hometown with a bunch of crazy college kids, there are a lot of perks, too, and when it comes down to it, we wouldn't have our towns any other way.

People only know your town because of the college

This is especially true if you live in a small upstate town. Whenever I tell people I'm from Oswego, their usual reaction is, "Oh, like SUNY Oswego? Do you live near the college?" Yes, SUNY Oswego is in my town, but there's more to offer than just the school, believe it or not.

People wonder why you didn't just go to the college in your town

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"You must have applied to Oswego then, right? Why didn't you just go there?" This question always confuses me. Why didn't I want to stay in the town I've been living in my whole life? Why didn't I want to live at home and commute? The same reason you wanted to go away to college, key terms here being, go away. No, I didn't apply to the college in my town, because it never once crossed my mind that I wanted to stay home for school.

But, there are a lot of people who do stay home for school

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Although for me staying home was never something I considered, for many others having a college directly in their town is a great option. If you live at home you save a lot of money, and even if you live on campus, it's nice having mom and dad so close.

The stigma of being a "townie"

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I honestly didn't even know what it meant to be a townie until I told someone who goes to SUNY Oswego that I was from the town and they laughed at me. For the record, Urban Dictionary defines townie as "A college-aged person who never leaves the town in which they went to high school in and they do not work or attend any form of college," so for those of you calling us college kids home on break "townies," you're apparently using the word wrong. Besides, I don't understand the negative stigma of the word to begin with, it's not our fault we were born here!

Getting possessive when you hear college students calling it THEIR town

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Oh, I'm sorry, have you lived here your whole life? No? Then stop calling my hometown your town -- you're only here for four years! Of course, we're all hypocrites because as soon as we get to school we do the same thing, but it doesn't stop us from acting like crazy jealous girlfriends when it comes to our town.

Also getting possessive when they bash it

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Let's get one thing straight: I'm allowed to rant about how much Oswego sucks, but as soon as I hear one of the college students hating on it, I'm suddenly the town advocate, going on and on about how great it is. Bottom line is, you chose to come to school here and live here, I didn't, so why are you complaining? It's like the unwritten rule about siblings: you can say anything you want about your bratty younger sister but as soon as someone else does, you go into protective older sister mode.

Having a million drunk food places

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Calio's, McDonald's, at least seven pizza places... if it's greasy, you name it, we have it. And they're usually open into the wee hours of the night on weekends, which took me until I got into college to realize it was to cater to the drunk college kids' needs, not my own personal 3 A.M. sober cravings.

And a lot of bars

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It wasn't until I met people from non-college towns that I realized maybe the amount of bars in Oswego isn't exactly the norm. Every Thursday-Saturday you're bound to see crowds of college kids staggering around, especially during Bridge Street Run, which is SUNY Oswego's celebration for the end of the semester.

People assume you've been going to crazy college parties since high school

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For the most part, the college scene is kept pretty separate from the daily lives of people who live in the town. I wasn't aware that SUNY Oswego was, quote-on-quote, "lit" until I went away and other people told me that's what they had heard. I couldn't really confirm or deny it either way because I'd never been to any college parties in high school.

High schoolers trying to act like college students

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And then, of course, there are the high school seniors with fake I.D.'s attempting to blend in with the college crowd. Unfortunately, they're not fooling anybody, and even if you can get into the bars, that doesn't change the fact you have gym class the next day at 7:30 A.M. Besides, college students can usually see right through you, especially if you're acting drunk after one beer, and instead of impressing everyone, you'll probably end up embarrassing yourself.

A lot of people work at the college

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It seems like everyone has at least one family member affiliated with the college in some way, including me. Not to mention the awesome summer job opportunities. It seems like half my graduating class works at SUNY Oswego during their breaks.

Being conflicted over which team to root for in sports when the college from your hometown plays the college you attend

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This is especially true for Oswegonians when it comes to hockey. A lot of us grew up watching Laker hockey so I know for me personally when Oswego would play Geneseo I had a hard time deciding who I wanted to win. Although I'm proud to be a Geneseo Knight, I think my true allegiance will always lie with the Lakers.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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