Why I've Loved Growing Up In A Small Town
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Politics and Activism

Why I've Loved Growing Up In A Small Town

You can take the girl out of the small town, but you can't take the small town out of the girl.

Why I've Loved Growing Up In A Small Town
Becca Thomas

As much as I love big cities, the small town I grew up in will always hold a special place in my heart.

I have a friend who just visited from Minneapolis, just for a night, but of course, a trip downtown was a must. Now when I say downtown, one might picture skyscrapers, city trains and thousands of crowding people. But when I say downtown, though, I mean three blocks worth of small boutiques, two coffee shops, an ice cream stand and in my case, a beautiful lake beach. I know not all small towns are the same, but I like to think that they hold similar qualities—ones which I have really learned to value.

For anyone who has had the opportunity to grow up in a small town like I have, I hope you realize how truly blessed you are.

Growing up in a small town, there’s a sense of familiarity that’s unlike any other. You can barely go anywhere without running into someone you know, you’ve been to every restaurant in town too many times to count because there’s only a few, every street is etched into your mind as if it’s written on the back of your hand, you know someone who lives in just about every neighborhood—the list goes on and on.

Growing up in a small town, you hope that everyone loves your town as much as you do. Like I said, I have a friend in town for the night, and I couldn’t wait to show all of my favorite places and tell her all about the memories I have at each place. Since the town is so small, I was able to walk her around all of it—twice. Every time I have a friend in town, I’m ecstatic to show them the place I love so much, and hope that they love it just as much as I do. I think that no matter where someone grows up, most people can appreciate the charm of a small town.

Growing up in a small town, you learn to find fun in everything. When there isn't a mall within 50 miles of your town, a concert every weekend, a huge sports stadium or an amusement park nearby, you learn that there’s more to life than just going places. In high school, my friends and I would camp out and have bonfires, play ghost in the graveyard in cornfields, climb buildings—do whatever we could to have fun. I think that since we didn’t have endless amounts of things to do, we all became a lot closer and creative with how we had fun. Sometimes, I definitely wish there was more to do around my town, but now—at least I know that wherever I go—I can have a good time and be content with what’s around me, no matter how little that may be.

Growing up in a small town, you learn a true sense of community. Sure, there might be a little more gossip floating around in a small town, but for the most part, you learn to help everyone out just because they would do the same for you. I trust the people who live in my town more than most people and know that if I were in need, someone would be there to help. If my car were to break down, or I needed to use someone’s phone, or wanted to know who the best person is to go to when I need some advice, I know the majority of people I ask would be willing to help. Knowing I have people who I can count on, whether I know them personally or not, is a very welcoming feeling.

Growing up in a small town, you need some time away. I’ve always heard the typical, I can’t wait to get out of this small town and start my life. I felt like so many people felt like living in a small town was holding them back, but that’s not how I felt in the slightest bit. In reality, though, I think that everyone who has grown up in a small town, deep down, truly does appreciate it. Deciding to go to college near Chicago—in a bigger city than what I’m used to—was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but it hasn’t made me wish I had grown up somewhere else. No matter how far away life takes you, something will always bring you back to that small town.

Where you grow up truly does play a huge role in shaping who you are as a person, and I’m more than thankful for the small town I grew up in. I know that small towns aren’t for everyone, and I may not end up in a small town in the future, but I do know that I will always come back here.

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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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