Growing Up in A Small Town: My Experience

College, in many ways, has already taken me in and made me it’s “prisoner”. I complain about the dining hall food but eat it anyway, stay up late doing all of the homework I didn't do before, and go to class when every bone in my body begs me to stay in bed. It’s only been four weeks, and yet I still have already created my morning and night routines, and I stick to them religiously. I do all of the things that I am “supposed” to, but yet I don’t feel the way I am “supposed” to. I am homesick. I miss my town, and everything in it that I thought I hated. I miss being woken up by cars speeding down my road. I miss seeing the same people in Stewart’s every morning, and knowing that without fail, they would have the latest news on what was happening in our town. I miss the one pub that had decent food, and the Shirley Temple that I knew was waiting there. I miss the school, and knowing that no matter the kind of day I was having, someone would cheer me up. I miss my home.

I used to think that my small town in upstate would swallow me whole. I was terrified of never leaving, and becoming just another small town girl, living a small town life. Every day I dreamt of leaving, and planned out my perfect college experience before I had even gotten accepted. While I knew I would miss the family that had given me so much, and that I loved more than anything, I didn't know what else I would truly miss. What I never expected was the pain that I would feel once I left; the loss of something I had never realized was a blessing.

I never imagined that the school I once had so much contempt for, would become a home. People look at small towns, and lament at the lesser opportunities, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. I was involved in cheerleading, band, chorus, yearbook, and the school musical, and that is just the start of it all. Because of the K-12 school, and the grand total of around 330 students, I got to be a part of so many things, and dip my feet into so many different hobbies while I was at Worcester. The teachers and faculty are some of the most caring and talented people I have ever met, and they supported me in everything I set my mind to. (I promise, I sound like an advertisement, but this is my actual experience!) Although my first few years in middle school weren't the best, I found the most solid group of individuals to help me through my darkest days. These people probably never grasped how much they meant to me, but they quite literally transformed my high school experience. They made me into the confident, radiant, beautiful woman that I am today. The worst part is, is that I took it for granted until I came to college and realized how lucky I was to have this amazing support group.

The town was so small, and that meant news traveled fast. This was mostly seen as a way to spread gossip, but the best part was when you would hear of someone else’s achievements or good things that happened in people’s lives. People shared in other’s successes. My favorite thing was to watch all the people from town gather at the block party, or go to a school musical, or even just come support the students at a sporting event. I know I’m sugar coating it a bit, mostly because I miss it, but it wasn't all good things. There were bad things, like the slander, lies, and preconceived reputations. It wasn't fun to see someone in my family specifically, get targeted on a plywood sign in front of the neighborhood Stewarts, or be harassed by others. I don’t write this so that people will move to a small town, because it definitely isn’t for everyone. But even through the horrible things that happened, I love my small upstate country town, good old Worcester, NY. If you see me on campus, you’ll know I talk about it entirely too much, but I will never forget where I can from and my roots.