If you didn’t grow up in a city or a suburb than you’re probably from a small town. I am certainly a small town girl at heart, being born and raised in the same town with a population that is smaller than the amount of students who attend my university. However, if you didn’t grow up there, your idea of a small town is based highly on misconceptions. Here are the 4 most popular misconceptions I have heard about small towns.
1. Small Towns = Farms
Although many a small town is brought on by miles a farms, it is not the case for every small town. Mine, for example, is in existence because of the military not farming. Some small towns aren’t in areas meant for farming anyway. Again, mine is in the Mojave Desert. That means not much water or soil made to farm and too hot for many animals. Farming would be a great waste in my small town. But just because my town isn’t made for farming, it doesn’t mean it’s not useful. As said before, the military is the main acreage owner in the whole place thus providing purpose to the town. Also, the desert is quite photogenic, thus why many a film has been filmed in the area (Holes, Dinosaur and the 2001 Planet of the Apes to just name a few). So even though many a small town can be stereotyped as farming families rolling down Main Street in tractors, it is not the case for all of them.
2. Everyone is Related Somehow
Let me start this off by just saying NO. I was definitely not related to every single resident of my town (thankfully). Although there are many a large family living there, not every single person is related. I was not cousins with my neighbors, my teacher wasn’t an aunt and the mayor was not my grandpa. So no, not every small town is a single, gigantic family.
3. There is Nothing To Do
Granted, small towns don’t have night clubs, malls or theme parks to keep people entertained. But, there is definitely things to do. My hometown was not close to any of the above items, but we made our own entertainment. Performing arts were a huge part of the town, with local and school theater, dance, and music to keep everyone entertained. During my 18 years living in my hometown, I did softball, karate, dance, choir, theater, and marching band. That is a great deal of activity, especially since they overlapped with each other a lot. And even if the town doesn’t have the plethora of activities that I had, you will always find ways to make your own fun. I’ve had plenty adventures up in the desert hills with friends or walking around the neighborhood with my brother. There is always something to do no matter where you are.
4. It is Impossible to Leave
This was a popular lie that spread throughout the teenagers in my small town home. The “black hole” of small towns seemed legitimate, especially when my own father could be considered a victim of the black hole being born in the same hospital as I and graduating from the same high school and he still lives there today. However, it is entirely possible to not only leave but to stay out entirely. College is the easiest way out, with myself and numerous friends all escaping the small town for bigger and better things. And although I love my hometown, I know I have no future there beyond Christmas visits with my family. And many a famous person has come out of small towns and stayed out. For example, Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 grew up in my hometown (although he prefers to claim he is from a different and smaller town,for who knows what reason). People can grow up in small towns and move out because the black hole doesn’t exist.
Fun Fact: All the above photos are of my hometown!