I have lived in central Massachusetts my whole life. I’ve never thought about some of the things we do here that aren’t popular in any other place. For example, in my small(ish) hometown, we have 5 Dunks, 3 Starbucks, and another handful of coffee shops. We have 4 supermarkets in town, and probably 10 between two other towns. Within a 10 mile radius of the center of my town is any and every store you can imagine, from Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Marshals, TJMaxx, Homegoods, literally anything. What do you want to eat? Anything you can think of; Chinese, American, Pub, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Italian, fast food, fine dining, coffee shops. My cute, family-friendly, all-inclusive, high-tax-paying town has literally anything you’re looking for. And without going too far, there’s even more to do.
Growing up in Central Mass, I felt very open and able to go anywhere and do anything I wanted. Back in elementary school, we were lucky enough to be able to go on field trips to places in Boston, Worcester, Providence, and even New York (City). The aquarium, Museum of Science, Gillette Stadium, performance halls, and Boston. Being from a Central Mass town, I have had access to these places because within a one-hour radius of me, there are so many major places to go. Boston, Cape Cod, Providence, The North Shore, and if you branch out to a two-hour day trip, Southern Maine, Newport, RI, and for a bigger trip, Martha’s Vineyard.
My family has always been big day-trippers. When I was younger, we always went to the Cape. Wake up at 7, get there by 8:30-9, have a day at the beach, walk around Falmouth, grab a late afternoon bite to eat, then drive home and be home by 7:30-8. For a more elaborate day, wake up at 5:30, go to the ferry in Wood’s Hole, and spend the day on Martha’s Vineyard. Something I love doing is taking the train into Boston. In my small town, the commuter rail picks me up right at the edge of town and takes me right into the city. Copley, The Pru, Boston Common, Fenway, TD, The Lawn, Eataly, and Newbury Street. Day trips to Newport: walk by the water, cute little shops, the Marriot. Day trips are so popular around here. Nothing screams summer in Mass more than driving on I495 going to the Cape with all the windows down blasting some good music.
Central Mass has always been good to me. I went to the same school system for 16 years (including pre-k and kindergarten) and this school system was ranked top 5 best public schools in the state. It had everything you could ever want at a high school: strong athletics, a large music department, clubs, organizations, events, and student-led activities. My graduating class was about 375 students, and I can honestly say that I could name almost everybody. From Kindergarten through third grade, the town was split into three different elementary schools based on where you lived in town. For grades four through 6, everybody came together to an upper elementary school and you were meeting kids you had never seen before. Middle school was grades seven and eight. As for everybody, middle school was full of bullies, misconceptions, and rumors. I didn’t like middle school. But I met some of my best friends in middle school. When I got to high school, I really found myself. I got involved with clubs, student-run activities, was involved in the music department (the d-wing), and athletics. Throughout my senior year, I took a risk and got involved with a school production of a show called Mr. Whs, which was a “beauty pageant for nominated senior boys.” Going to a fun high school helped prepare me for college.
My small town is where I met my best friend. My best friend means more to me than anyone on this earth. I met my best friend when I was 3; we were at our brother’s soccer game. Since then, she has been my soulmate (but in a friend’s way). My best friend and I have been in fights, we have gone through times when we didn’t talk to each other, but it only made us stronger. My best friend and I started to grow apart in middle school because we made different friends, but we were still each other person. She’s the type of person who I wouldn’t need to talk to every day and would not need to see all the time, but when we talked again and saw each other, it would be like we were never apart. Having a best friend like that is like having a person be yours. We both know that there is absolutely nothing that can be done that could ruin our friendship, no matter how bad it could be. We have both been away at college for the year, made new friends, met a ton of new people, but we still text like nothing ever happened, facetime, gossip, and most importantly, have stayed best friends. She has made it so I never made bad decisions and stayed true to myself. My small town in central mass gave me the best thing that ever happened to me.
I will openly say this: I am from Westborough, Massachusetts, the 100th town established in Massachusetts in 1717. My small town has given me so many opportunities, given me, my best friends kept me close to family, and gave me a reason to branch out and go to school. My small town is a safe place I know I can always go back to. There is nothing I would change about home because it made me who I am today. I am currently writing this article in a small, local coffee shop near Endicott. Am I tearing up a little talking about home? Maybe…but Westborough is who I am. Westborough isn’t just a small town in central mass. My small town is home.