I never thought living in a small town could impact me so heavily but residing in a closely communed area my entire life has taught me so much. I learned to care and offer help when something tragic happens, and that spreading gossip is not only wrong, but usually not even true. Through work experience, I have realized how different my childhood experiences have been to those of children who live in bigger cities.
For the past two summers, I have worked in a gated community near my hometown called The Village of Four Seasons. Most of the homeowners live in cities but resort to The Village for vacationing. Being a recreation counselor, I spend all of my time with their children, and I have picked up on how different their experiences are from my own. Two of the kids I spent time with live in Brooklyn. One day, one of them looked at me very seriously and said, “When you are talking around us you can say whatever you want because we are from Brooklyn, and we have heard it all before.”
Not only did I laugh a little because it was coming from a seven year old, but this also surprised me. When I was seven, I was not aware of vulgarity or racial slurs; I was never exposed to them, so my parents never had to explain them to me.
One key part of living in a small town is that when something tragic happens, everyone is affected, and everyone shows support. This is something that will stick with me no matter where I choose to live after high school. Over the summer, a few buildings in town caught on fire and everything was destroyed. Within hours an unbelievable amount of people had reached out to donate and help. I find this to be a great attribute to living in a small town.
My mother always told me, “It is not nice to spread rumors about others, especially when you do not know what they are going through.” To this day I live by these words. People seem to know everything you do in a small town, so if I chose to spread all the gossip I have heard, I definitely would have less friends, and less happiness within myself. I learned very this very quickly as I grew up.
One thing about a small town is that there is always family or people like family close by. I find it comforting knowing that no matter what, I will have people to support me close by. Knowing I have a lot of people close to me who care about me has also helped me make the right decision when put in a difficult situation. Making sure the people who have helped raise me know that they have positively impacted my life is something I value. No matter where I end up in my life, I will forever have my hometown to thank for many things.