Growing up in a small town is very different from growing up anywhere else. No one ever knows where your hometown is, everyone knows everyone, and you have to learn to make do with what you have. While most of us dreaded our small towns growing up, we’ve learned it’s a part of who we are. Here are 12 signs you grew up in a small town.
No One Has Heard Of Your Town
Whenever someone asks you, “Where are you from?”, 99% of the time, no one has ever heard of your small town or knows where it is. Rather than going through the hassle of giving exact directions, you resort to saying you’re from the most known town or city in that area. Even then so, sometimes people will still be confused and have no idea where you’re from.
You Knew Everyone In Your Graduating Class
By the time you reach graduation, you’ve been in the same classes as your peers since the first day of high school or even before then. Although you may not be best friends with everyone, you still know your classmates pretty well. If your graduating class was as small as mine, 20 people to be exact, you knew everyone’s name, what they wanted to major in, and what college they were going to.
People Will Drive Around To Pass Time
It’s no secret, there’s not much to do in a small town. That’s why people would spend hours in their cars driving around with the music blaring. Although driving around in your car doesn’t seem like the most exciting of activities, it passed time and led to great conversations. With multiple back roads to traverse, you and your friends could be driving around for hours.
Everyone Knows Everyone
It’s not uncommon for you to meet someone and then realize that your parents, grandparents, or other relatives grew up with that person or their relatives. I can’t tell you how many times I befriended someone growing up just to find out that my family knew them. Before you knew it, you were discovering second, third, and fourth cousins that you never even realized you had.
You Had To Travel Outside Of Town For Events
Unlike big cities, there were never any big or special events going on in the area. The most exciting event to happen every year was the local carnival and despite the safety hazards, people would line up for miles to jump on those rides. If you wanted to attend Pride, a concert, or even go to a mall with more than one level, you had to travel at least an hour outside of town.
It Takes Months For Trends To Reach Your Town
Whether it be fashion, technology, or lifestyle trends, it always took a while for them to finally reach your small town. I remember when wearing feathers in your hair became a big trend and I knew I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. After purchasing a handful of styles and rocking them with my everyday wear, people from my town started to take notice. By the time everyone was wearing feathers in their hair, the trend had died. While us small town folks thought we were so cool, new trends were taking over.
You Can’t Go Anywhere Without Seeing A Handful Of People You Know
After coming home from college for Christmas break, I went with my parents to the local Walmart to shop for groceries. Within that hour long shopping trip, at least 6 people approached us to say hello or catch up. It’s not uncommon for your parents to tell you that they ran into someone they know when they left the house. With only so many places to dine out or go shopping, it’s hard to not see someone you know.
You Give Directions Based Off Of Landmarks
There aren’t many occasions when you have to give someone directions because your small town is so easy to navigate. However, when you do, you’ll usually end up saying, “Take a right at the statue near the old Jones house” or “You just have to pass McDonald’s and take a left.” When you live in a small town, everyone knows the local landmarks making it easy to point you in the right direction.
Uber, Lyft, And Food Delivery Apps Are Nonexistent
Growing up, we only had one or two places we could order delivery from, one of which was usually a Dominos. Since moving to the city, I’ve grown accustomed to utilizing apps like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. Whenever I go home to visit family on breaks, I have to remember to be humble and rely on “old school” methods of transportation and ordering take out. This is because my town is so small that, despite these apps being active for years, they have yet to reach my town. You know you’re from a small town when it hasn’t progressed as much as the big cities.
People Recognize You From Your Last Name
Growing up, I remember introducing myself to multiple people and them always recognizing my last name. If I was at school, the teacher recognized my last name because they taught my parents or sibling. If I was applying for a job, the owner recognized me because they knew my grandparents or because my parents had worked that same part-time job when they were in high school. One day, I was volunteering at an event where we served ice cream to the elderly, and 5 people started sharing stories about my family and how they knew me as a baby. Every time someone has recognized my last name, there was a 90% chance I had no idea who they were. Growing up in a small town, this wasn’t uncommon in the slightest.
Friday Night Mall Is The Most Exciting Part Of Your Week
As mentioned before, there isn’t much to do in a small town. That’s why going to Friday Night Mall was the most exciting part of the week. After an exhausting week of classes, everyone would go home, get ready and catch a ride to the mall. Despite there only being 5 stores in the mall, we would walk around in circles for hours. Throughout this time, we would meet up with our friends or say hello to people we would see every week. Although there wasn’t much to do at the mall, it occupied our time and was better than staying home with your parents.
Despite Hating Your Small Town Growing Up, You Appreciate Where You Come From.
As a teenager, I hated my small town with a burning passion. I hated that there was never anything to do, I hated that everyone knew everyone, and I hated that we were so out of touch with the rest of the world. From the moment I entered my Freshman year of high school, I was already making plans of where I would go to college and how I would leave my small town. Looking back on it now, my town wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be in my head. It’s refreshing to leave the place I once called home and venture out into the world. However, I always find myself coming back to visit family, friends, and escape the craziness of the city. When you come from a small town, you learn to appreciate the little things. In a way, being from a small town has kept me grounded and humble. Despite hating my small town growing up, I’ll always remember the good times and appreciate my home away from home.