Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Small Town

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There are advantages and disadvantages to living in a small town. You are likely to have more frequent contact with neighbors in a small town than you would in a larger town or city, so it is important to take into account the pros and cons of having privacy. Also take into consideration other factors, including your plans for a family, the career opportunities, your finances, the schools and entertainment options. Your personality will determine whether a small town offers advantages or disadvantages.

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Many people who reside in small towns enjoy the closeness of knowing their neighbors and the details of neighbors' lives. If a baby is born, a child is ill or a relative dies, people in small towns often want to know about it and be there for you. This can be an advantage, especially if you are lacking a family of your own or enjoy a great deal of socializing. However, if you would rather keep the details of your life to yourself and turn your nose up at idle gossip, small town living might not be for you.

Jobs can be hard to come by in small towns. You might be required to commute out of town to work but then return to a peaceful environment at the end of a busy day. Housing might be cheaper in small towns, although commuting costs might be higher. Food and child care expenses might be reduced as people are more likely to have gardens and share produce or take turns watching each other's children.

One of the disadvantages of a small town is not being close to amusement parks, zoos or museums. However, people in small towns tend to come together during town picnics, festivals or fairs. Depending on your preferences, small towns might provide a relaxed, slower pace when it comes to entertainment compared to the hustle and bustle of a city, where there is constant movement, commotion and entertainment at every corner.

In a small town, class sizes are usually smaller and teachers and students can get to know each other and their fellow classmates on a deeper level. Many small towns have schools that receive national academic awards or are the highest achieving district in their states. CNN Money ranked Louisville, Colorado as the number one small town in America in 2011 and the school system is academically ranked among the top three in the Denver area. However, some of these towns noted high taxes as a trade-off for the outstanding school systems.

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The best and worst parts of growing up in a small town, the good and the bad of living in a small, southern town.

The Best And Worst Parts Of Growing Up In A Small Town

Ever since I moved away from my small town in western North Carolina, there have been many things I have learned. While there are parts of my town that I love and still appreciate, and there are some things that I wish were a little different now that I have had experiences outside of it. Here are a few pros and cons I find about my small town.

Pro #1: There's always someone there for you

Usually in small towns, a person has multiple family members or close family friends that are always there for you. If you are sick, there is most likely someone to pick you up from school. Need a ride to dance class? The neighbor's daughter probably is in the same class and can take you. There's always someone there who can look out for you and gladly lend lend a helping hand.

Con #2: Everybody knows everybody

This does have some pros with it, but there are also many cons. Growing up in a small town, I always saw people I knew everywhere I went. Sometimes, I just wanted to go to Walmart, grab something, and leave. That isn't always possible when you run into your 2nd grade teacher, that elderly lady at church that makes good poundcake, and that girl from middle school cheer you haven't seen in forever. Also, people tend to find out things about you before you know them yourself. Word gets around fast, and the news, rather it's true or not, will get spread. People can definitely get defined by a simple action for the rest of their lives in a small town, and I find that pretty unfortunate.

Pro #2: Growing up with the same people

This one can kind of seem like a con, but I personally loved growing up with the same people. I knew my same friends since I was 5, and it provides us with opportunities to really grow together. Along the way, some friends came and left, but having those memories that far back with people I am still close to today as a young adult is something I will always cherish.

Con #2: Not much to do

Towns are what you make of them. In mine, it was bowling, going to Friday Night football games, and going to Walmart at midnight because why not. Living in other places as I've gotten older, I have really enjoyed having access to more opportunities for leisure. I will say though, we did get creative sometimes growing up, which was always fun. I just liked living in a place where the nearest mall wasn't 45-minutes away.

Pro #3: Easy to get around

The first time I ever drove to Charlotte, I thought I was going to pass out. That amount of traffic was something I was never exposed to in my town with just a few stoplights. It really made me love and appreciate the simpleness of my town. Things were always close and never took a long time to get to. It never took me more than 20 minutes to get to school, dance, church, or the nearest Walmart. That is a definite plus for me.

Con #3: Everyone thinks the same

This one is a little controversial, and this is a very generalized statement, but it's something I feel strongly about. When I went to college and worked at a summer camp that was not in my town, I realized how much more this world has to offer. It also made me experience and see things I only ever heard about. Through college and working as a camp counselor, I was able to met so many people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, stories, and much more that made them have certain feelings about select topics. It really opened my eyes and heart to actually meet people who went through experiences that make them have opinions and beliefs on topic that people condemn in my town so often. People are totally allowed to have their own opinions, I just feel like at times people in my small town never experience or meet people who mind give them new perspective on topics, so they continue to have this small town mindset.

Pro #4: Having your own lingo

It's kind of funny when I am talking to someone from my neck of the woods around people who aren't. They always say we sound more country when we talk to each other, and we say certain words and phrases only we understand. It's like we're in this secret group or alliance and we have a code that no one else understands. I think it's pretty cool.

Con #4: Fewer opportunities 

Honestly, I might would live in my town after I graduated if they had more job opportunities for my specific realm of study. There is plenty of room for teachers, police officers, and small business owners. But other than that, there are not a whole lot of range of jobs within a small town. I want to be a communications director for an organization, and to become the best I can be in what I want to do, there is no way I can work in my county. That is just one of the things you have to face in small town.

With all this said, I really do love where I grew up. I had so many opportunities as a child and teenager that were advanced because I lived in a small town, and I would not be the person I am today without growing up where I did. I have just found that there are parts of other places that I like better and prefer over my town, and I think getting out there and experiencing those places was really good for me. I don't know if I will go back and live where I grew up, but my small town will always have a very special place in my heart.

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Waitlisted for a college class here's what to do, dealing with the inevitable realities of college life..

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Don't freak out

This is a rule you should continue to follow no matter what you do in life, but is especially helpful in this situation.

Email the professor

Around this time, professors are getting flooded with requests from students wanting to get into full classes. This doesn't mean you shouldn't burden them with your email; it means they are expecting interested students to email them. Send a short, concise message telling them that you are interested in the class and ask if there would be any chance for you to get in.

Attend the first class

Often, the advice professors will give you when they reply to your email is to attend the first class. The first class isn't the most important class in terms of what will be taught. However, attending the first class means you are serious about taking the course and aren't going to give up on it.

Keep attending class

Every student is in the same position as you are. They registered for more classes than they want to take and are "shopping." For the first couple of weeks, you can drop or add classes as you please, which means that classes that were once full will have spaces. If you keep attending class and keep up with assignments, odds are that you will have priority. Professors give preference to people who need the class for a major and then from higher to lower class year (senior to freshman).

Have a backup plan

For two weeks, or until I find out whether I get into my waitlisted class, I will be attending more than the usual number of classes. This is so that if I don't get into my waitlisted class, I won't have a credit shortage and I won't have to fall back in my backup class. Chances are that enough people will drop the class, especially if it is very difficult like computer science, and you will have a chance. In popular classes like art and psychology, odds are you probably won't get in, so prepare for that.

Remember that everything works out at the end

Life is full of surprises. So what if you didn't get into the class you wanted? Your life obviously has something else in store for you. It's your job to make sure you make the best out of what you have.

Navigating the Talking Stage: 21 Essential Questions to Ask for Connection

It's mandatory to have these conversations..

Whether you met your new love interest online , through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

1. What do you do for a living?

What someone does for a living can tell a lot about who they are and what they're interested in! Their career reveals a lot more about them than just where they spend their time to make some money.

2. What's your favorite color?

OK, I get it, this seems like something you would ask a Kindergarten class, but I feel like it's always good to know someone's favorite color . You could always send them that Snapchat featuring you in that cute shirt you have that just so happens to be in their favorite color!

3. Do you have any siblings?

This one is actually super important because it's totally true that people grow up with different roles and responsibilities based on where they fall in the order. You can tell a lot about someone just based on this seemingly simple question.

4. What's your favorite television show?

OK, maybe this isn't a super important question, but you have to know ASAP if you can quote Michael Scott or not. If not, he probably isn't the one. Sorry, girl.

5. When is your birthday?

You can then proceed to do the thing that every girl does without admitting it and see how compatible your zodiacs are.

6. What's your biggest goal in life?

If you're like me, you have big goals that you want to reach someday, and you want a man behind you who also has big goals and understands what it's like to chase after a dream. If his biggest goal is to see how quickly he can binge-watch " Grey's Anatomy " on Netflix , you may want to move on.

7. If you had three wishes granted to you by a genie, what would they be?

This is a go-to for an insight into their personality. Based on how they answer, you can tell if they're goofy, serious, or somewhere in between.

8. What's your favorite childhood memory?

For some, this may be a hard question if it involves a family member or friend who has since passed away . For others, it may revolve around a tradition that no longer happens. The answers to this question are almost endless!

9. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

We all have parts of our lives and stories that we wish we could change. It's human nature to make mistakes. This question is a little bit more personal but can really build up the trust level.

10. Are you a cat or a dog person?

I mean, duh! If you're a dog person, and he is a cat person, it's not going to work out.

11. Do you believe in a religion or any sort of spiritual power?

Personally, I am a Christian, and as a result, I want to be with someone who shares those same values. I know some people will argue that this question is too much in the talking stage , but why go beyond the talking stage if your personal values will never line up?

12. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Even homebodies have a must visit place on their bucket list !

13. What is your ideal date night?

Hey, if you're going to go for it... go for it!

14. Who was/is your celebrity crush?

For me, it was hands-down Nick Jonas . This is always a fun question to ask!

15. What's a good way to cheer you up if you're having a bad day?

Let's be real, if you put a label on it, you're not going to see your significant other at their best 24/7.

16. Do you have any tattoos?

This can lead to some really good conversations, especially if they have a tattoo that has a lot of meaning to them!

17. Can you describe yourself in three words?

It's always interesting to see if how the person you're talking to views their personal traits lines ups with the vibes you're getting.

18. What makes you the most nervous in life?

This question can go multiple different directions, and it could also be a launching pad for other conversations.

19. What's the best gift you have ever received? 

Admittedly, I have asked this question to friends as well, but it's neat to see what people value.

20. What do you do to relax/have fun?

Work hard, play hard, right?

21. What are your priorities at this phase of your life?

This is always interesting because no matter how compatible your personalities may be, if one of you wants to be serious and the other is looking for something casual, it's just not going to work.

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Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in challah bread or easter bread.

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

A few weeks ago, I was given a loaf of bread called Challah (pronounced like holla), and upon my first bite, I realized it tasted just like Easter Bread. It was so delicious that I just had to make some of my own, which I did.

The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

2 tsp active dry or instant yeast 1 cup lukewarm water 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 2 tsp salt 2 large eggs 1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash) 1/4 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Combine yeast and a pinch of sugar in small bowl with the water and stir until you see a frothy layer across the top.
  • Whisk together 4 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and add in eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a slurry, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour the yeast mixture over the egg slurry and mix until difficult to move.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. If the dough seems very sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky, but no longer like bubblegum. The dough has finished kneading when it is soft, smooth, and holds a ball-shape.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Separate the dough into four pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick and 16 inches long.
  • Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top. Braid the pieces in the pattern of over, under, and over again. Pinch the pieces together again at the bottom.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment and lift the loaf on top. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and away from drafts and let it rise until puffed and pillowy, about an hour.
  • Heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah. Be sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf.
  • Slide the challah on its baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. The challah is done when it is deeply browned.

I kept wondering how these two breads could be so similar in taste. So I decided to look up a recipe for Easter Bread to make a comparison. The two are almost exactly the same! These recipes are similar because they come from religious backgrounds. The Jewish Challah bread is based on kosher dietary laws. The Christian Easter Bread comes from the Jewish tradition but was modified over time because they did not follow kosher dietary laws.

A recipe for Easter bread is as follows:

2 tsp active dry or instant yeast 2/3 cup milk 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup white granulated sugar 2 tbs butter 2 large eggs 2 tbs melted butter 1 tsp salt

  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
  • Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  • Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Both of these recipes are really easy to make. While you might need to have a day set aside for this activity, you can do things while the dough is rising or in the oven. After only a few hours, you have a delicious loaf of bread that you made from scratch, so the time and effort is really worth it!

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer..

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake , have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart , no matter how dirty the water may look.

Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

You have no patience for the guy who can't back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average-sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up, and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment . The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why i chose a small school over a big university..

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin ." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

1. My school is incredibly unique.

There are so many different kinds of people that each bring something really special to contribute to the school which makes it so unique.

2. I am not just a number at my school.

I am a student that my professors know about and I like knowing that my professors can watch my progress.

3. I feel like I am contributing something to the community.

I like feeling like I can make a difference on my campus.

4. I really do feel like it is my home away from home.

It isn't just my school. It is absolutely my home away from home. I feel so comfortable there and it was as hard of an adjustment as I had thought it would be.

5. My professors know me and I feel that I can easily communicate with them.

I feel like they will do anything to help students succeed. I can always go to my professors. I like knowing that I have someone looking out for me.

6. The incredible people I've met

The people I have met at my school, even after my first year, have made such a huge impact on me. I know that these are people that I will stay friends with long after college is done.

7. Opportunities

My school offers so many different opportunities to get involved in things around campus. Even writing for the Odyssey was an opportunity offered to me by my school and I decided to challenge myself by writing an article. Turns out, I really enjoy writing. I might not have had this opportunity at a bigger school.

8. Students want to learn

I feel as though I am not just learning inside the classroom at my school. I am learning outside the classroom to from my fellow classmates who want to engage about the things we have learned.

9. Ability to join a sorority and have a house full of people I know I can talk to anytime I need to

I wasn't sure if being in a sorority was something I was interested in but when I met the amazing people in the sorority and how inclusive it was, I knew that it was going to be a good thing for me. The people I've met in my sorority have been so amazing.

10. I have figured out how I learn best because my school offers so many different ways of learning.

Because of the smaller class sizes, there is more flexibility in the way the class is taught. This was helpful because I was able to try out different ways of learning and figure out which way I learn best.

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disadvantages of growing up in a small town essay

The Pros And Cons Of Raising Kids In A Small Town

Raising Kids In A Small Town

For the first 13 years of our parenting journey, we raised our kids in large cities — Phoenix and Chicago, to be exact.

When our oldest was almost 14 and our youngest was 5, we moved to a college town with a population of 30,000 — more than two-thirds of whom are students — in the middle of vast acreages of farmland. The closest largish city is an hour and a half away. While our new home is not a one-stoplight town, it’s definitely a sea change from Chicagoland.

I was excited but nervous about the move. I spent my early childhood in a tiny town , and my husband was raised in a town of 7,000. Frankly, the cons of our small town experiences seemed to greatly outweigh the pros.

However, not all towns are created equal, and the small town we chose has a lot more to offer than the towns where we grew up. After living here two years, I’ve discovered some great things about raising kids in a small town, along with some things I’d change if I could.

First, the pros of raising kid in a small town:

It was a little bizarre to move to a town where half of my friends don’t lock their doors when they leave the house. Not that they shouldn’t, but they don’t feel the need to. I also have some friends who’ve lived here their whole lives who don’t lock their cars and will even leave their keys sitting in the car. Bad things can happen anywhere, but compared to even the relatively safe Chicago suburbs, crime is really, really low here. It’s a nice luxury.

I didn’t realize how much time and energy we spent in Chicago dealing with traffic. We can drive from one end of our town to the other in 10 minutes. There’s another town 15 minutes away that has more stores and restaurants, and we drive 30 minutes to another town to get to Costco. But we never sit in traffic. Rush hour here is more like rush 15-minutes, and it basically means you might not make it through a green light on the first go. We never have to plan for traffic. It’s awesome.

We had a lot of family, friends, and acquaintances in Chicago, but they were spread out throughout the city and suburbs. A cohesive sense of close community was sort of lacking. There was a larger big city identity, but there’s something about the “Oh, I know so-and-so who can help you out with that” small town networking that’s quite lovely. Even in our college town that has a lot of transient residents, there’s a community feel that’s palpable.

I was concerned about leaving the limitless number of activities the big city offered, but it turns out there’s a silver lining to narrowing the possibilities. Life is simpler with less. Having fewer museums, parks, restaurants, extracurriculars, etc. to choose from is actually refreshing. Less decision fatigue, more simple outings — it’s nice.

And the inevitable cons of raising kids in a small town:

Lack of Diversity

We live in a university town, which brings a level of cultural diversity that would not be here otherwise. So we’re not totally bereft. However, it’s still limited compared to the vast diversity one finds in a big city. Without the college here, our town would be quite homogenous. I don’t want my kids to grow up with one or two token friends of other races and backgrounds. Diversity is extremely important to us, so we purposely seek out cultural activities at the university that help broaden their view of the world.

Fewer Opportunities

I know I said that fewer choices made life simpler and that this is a good thing. Overall, it is. But I do feel bad when my kids express an interest in a sport or activity that our town simply doesn’t offer. We can track down most things, but not everything. Want to be a trapeze artist? Too bad, kid. Want to go to the opera? That’s a 90-minute drive. Major concerts? Five hours away.

Missing the City

There really is something magical about a big city. As much as I don’t miss the crowds and traffic, I do sometimes miss seeing the Chicago skyline lit up at night. I miss spending a whole day exploring the city and barely scratching the surface of it. I miss the hustle and bustle of downtown, the breathtaking architecture, the creative energy of humanity vibrating through it all. It was always so exciting to take the kids train into the city with our kids.

Less Complexity

Simplicity has an important place in kids’ lives. But then again, so does complexity. Sometimes I think about the things our kids are missing out on — learning to navigate public transportation, exposure to world-class arts and cultural experiences, witnessing and understanding economic disparity, and more — and I wonder if we are doing our kids a disservice by taking them away from the complexities of city life.

Then again, as with everything else on this list, there are trade-offs. It’s almost impossible to find a place that offers everything one might want for their children; each city or town has its bonuses and its pitfalls. I am thankful to have raised kids in a metropolis as well as a small town so that we are at least aware of how our kids are benefiting and what they’re missing out on.

I don’t think either choice is superior. No matter where we live, we can make sure our kids are getting the most out of where they live. We can teach them to bloom where they are planted, and also expose them to different ways of life. We can help them build the skills to thrive wherever they end up after they leave home. And whether it’s in a big city or a small town, we can give them a welcoming home they can always come back to.

disadvantages of growing up in a small town essay

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Life-Changing Lessons Learned From Growing Up in a Small Town

Big wisdom from little places.

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Growing up in a teeny-tiny community can definitely have its drawbacks. With so few people around, gossip pretty much travels at the speed of light. But it also has its perks; being raised in a tight-knit community often means feeling like your whole town is your family. And, you never have to set foot inside a big box store.

Finding “your people” is everything

Female friends relaxing in grass in remote rural field

When your town doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment, it’s important to learn how to make your own fun and find people who share your sense of humor. “Growing up in a small town taught me the importance of finding your people—like-minded friends who really ‘get’ you,” says Emily Farmer Popek, who grew up in Rickreall, Oregon.

“My best memories are of doing stupid, pointless things with really great people—driving around aimlessly, going to all-night diners to drink coffee, riding around in a shopping cart we found in the bushes. It didn't matter what we were doing. We just wanted to spend time together, and we always found a way to have fun.”

A tight-knit community can boost your confidence

A woman on a day hike.

Small towns may mean everyone knows your business, but it also means they’ll be there to support you through your triumphs and struggles. “The intrinsic value of growing up in a small community is measured by the assurance that where you live, people ‘see’ you and can call you by name,” says Bonnie McDaniel of Tucker Hill, Florida.

“You are not invisible, and the experience of having grown up surrounded by people who know you gives you a confidence that makes you walk boldly as you venture out into the world.”

Less really is more

Young boy eating oyster with friends and family

There’s no doubt that urban areas offer more to do in the traditional sense., but small towners know that more isn’t always better.

“What I learned from my hometown was less is more,” says Janelle Ledyard of Stillwater, New Jersey. “We had less to do on paper, but we made our fun outside with fewer distractions and more creativity. There were fewer people, but that meant there were more familiar faces and deeper community roots.”

Cherishing small businesses is essential

A woman in her clothing store.

Being intimately involved with the town’s businesses might actually influence your own career choices later on.

“My father has a woodcarving studio in our town’s small business district, Scituate Harbor, where I spent a lot of time growing up. The harbor has a strong community of small business owners,” says James Kukstis of Scituate, Massachusetts.

“Being around these people so much gave me a real appreciation for the importance of local businesses, and a drive to create things myself.”

Diversity is definitely a fantastic thing

Women with bicycles and yoga mat talking on autumn hilltop overlooking lake

When your hometown is so teeny you have to travel to another area for school, it gives you the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people.

“I grew up in a town which is only one square mile in size,” says Rebecca Chin of Malverne, New York. “Because it was so small, the schools from elementary to high school were combined with other towns. I grew up and went to school with such a great melting pot of people; all different races, all different backgrounds. It gave me such an understanding and appreciation for people of all walks of life that I don’t think I would have received if I lived in a larger town.”

Kindness counts

Woman giving a gift to her friend at front door, Munich, Bavaria, Germany

In a close-knit community, it goes without saying that everyone helps one another. And becoming compassionate as a kid will stay with you for a lifetime. “One thing you learn in a small town is how to be a good neighbor. And in a small town, everyone is your neighbor!” says Weesie Thelen of Hendersonville, North Carolina.

“You work together to celebrate milestones—weddings and baby showers, for example—and when the hard times hit, you show up with a casserole and a shoulder to cry on.”

Always be on your best behavior

Worker helping woman with produce outside market

With little anonymity in tiny hamlets, children learn quickly to stay on their best behavior when in public. “In a small town, there's hardly anywhere you can go without running into someone you know,” says Dalene Rovenstine of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

“You learn from a young age to be careful with what you say and do in public because even if you think no one's watching—someone probably is. As I've grown older and much of my life is lived out online, that lesson has translated well into how I behave on social media. Just like in a small town, on the internet, someone is always watching.”

Feeling inspired to give back to your hometown? See how others are working with their communities and learn more about Folger's Can-Do initiative here .

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Growing Up — Growing Up in a Small Town: The Joys and Enduring Memories

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Growing Up in a Small Town: The Joys and Enduring Memories

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Published: Sep 7, 2023

Words: 739 | Pages: 2 | 4 min read

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The joys of small-town childhood, the challenges of small-town life, the enduring sense of community, conclusion: nurturing the small-town spirit.

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disadvantages of growing up in a small town essay

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How Growing Up In A Rural Community Shaped Me As A Person

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You can’t change where you come from. But what if people judge you for it? This is a series I’ve been meaning to write for a while and I think it’s more important than ever to fight for our small towns.

I keep hearing about the death of rural communities. In fact, in 2014, 54% of the world’s population lived in cities. By 2050 it’s expected that 70% of all humankind will live in a city ! I understand the why behind this, but I’ve come to really cherish my humble beginnings. It shaped me as a person.

It made me a dreamer

Growing up in a small town, a lot of people said to me, “you’ll never amount to anything.” This type of talk and small-mindedness made me think deeply about what I wanted to do with my life.

I was always a bit of a dreamer. Naturally, growing up in a rural community, everyone around me (except my grandmother and mother) would tell me to stop all this dreaming stuff and to just get a job like everyone else. But I knew I didn’t want to work where it was customary.

It forced me to become ambitious

Growing up in a working-class family forced me to be ambitious. I became obsessed with thinking of ways that would allow me to be different and make a name for myself. It hasn’t been easy and I’m not where I want to be just yet. But we’ve got many exciting new things happening at the Cadman Capital Group  and I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks!

My parents would always take me to the city, day trips to London, etc. This is what set the fire in me if you will – and the flame hasn’t been put out yet.

It keeps me grounded

My small town values keep me grounded. Having my grandmother’s and mother’s support gave me the confidence to do what I needed to do to be successful. It helped me to pick up and leave when I was just 17 to go travel the world.

When I got back, my world experience helped start my own business. But without the support from the two of them to do what was right for me, I would have been completely lost.

The countryside is where I feel the most ‘me’

I still spend the majority of my downtime in the country. I feel the mos ‘me’ when I’m connected to nature – when I’m around water or can feel the light all around me. I spend my time fishing, walking, and thinking, which are things you really can’t do in the city.

I also understand that cities just aren’t for everyone. There’s a lot of good in small towns "“ in fact, I recently wrote a series about stimulating small business in rural areas . I touched upon why university may not be for everyone , how important trade skills are in modern society , why green is good for you , and 4 ways a small town can boost its economy .

I'm forever grateful for my experience growing up in a rural community. But most of all, for my grandmother and mother for supporting me, no matter what. I hope my children feel the same way.

Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies, operating in the international trade, retail, leisure, and investment markets. Learn more about Giles .

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This Is What It's Really Like Growing Up in a Small Town Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Updated on 9/8/2019 at 10:40 AM

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Growing up in a small town isn't everyone's dream, and it wasn't necessarily mine either, but it was my reality. I come from a town where everyone knows everyone, whether you know them personally or through a mutual friend. No trip to the grocery store is complete without running into your neighbor or someone you know from high school. I learned the "who's who" of the town at a young age, and knew that I would be surrounded by those people while I was growing up, whether I liked them or not.

As a teenager in high school, I didn't particularly care for the town I lived in and I couldn't wait to escape to college . I didn't like the fact that other people I rarely associated with probably knew everything about my personal life. I didn't appreciate when parents would gossip about their kids or their kid's friends, nor did I love when I or anyone I was close with became the center talking point. I felt trapped in my negative thoughts and desperately longed after the idea of leaving.

When it was finally time for me to pack up and move away, I felt an overwhelming amount of sadness to leave.

But as time passed I grew to appreciate little things about my hometown . I loved when the sunset turned the sky into a canvas of pinks and purples. I was excited when local events, like the seafood festival or the fair, came to town. I smiled when the cashier at the grocery store was friendly, asking how my family was doing and if I had a chance to try the new restaurant that just opened down the street.

When it was finally time for me to pack up and move away, I felt an overwhelming amount of sadness to leave. It was weird to graduate high school and say goodbye to my classmates who I quite literally grew up with. I dreaded every goodbye, no matter who I was saying it to. For the longest time I didn't understand why I felt uneasy about leaving, but now I realize that I felt emotionally confused because I planted such strong roots in the town where everyone knew my name. I knew that no matter where I lived next, this town would always be my home.

I could go on and on about how it's beneficial to leave the town you grew up in . You can't expect to experience all walks of life if you stay in the same spot forever, and you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't get out and explore the incredible world we live in . There's one thing about my town that makes it special, though. When I left, I realized what a strong community I had been a part of. Even though my town may not offer endless amounts of thrill and excitement, it does offer an endless amount of love and support. The sense of community that I feel when I'm home is overwhelming. Yes, everyone might know my personal business — and that does bother me at times — but that can also mean people are willing to help you out if you need it.

When I was in elementary school, my teachers and coaches were often the parents of my friends. Having these role models to look up to and listen to throughout my life made me feel safe and secure. I may not have realized it then, but I definitely realize now that the adults in my life look at me as their own. They want the best for me and my peers, and they won't ever stop encouraging me.

I don't think I would have the strong friendships I have now without growing up in my town. I've been lucky enough to call the same two women my best friends for my entire life . We grew up together, we've been with each other through thick and thin, and we've seen each other transform into the young women we are now. Without the bond I have with them, I'm not sure what my life would be like. I can think of several other people who have this same kind of bond with their friends, and it's all thanks to our home.

My small town taught me the importance of being there for each other, even when the going gets tough. The friendly faces I would see around town taught me to always be kind, no matter who I'm talking to. I learned how to be active in the community I lived in, whether it be through volunteering or supporting others in their efforts to make a difference. Most of all, I learned not to measure the significance of people by their successes in life, but instead by the consistent support and outpouring of love they offer to others. Without my small town , I wouldn't be who I am today, and I'm pretty proud of who I've become.

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