Caitlen Ramey is a freshman journalism major and writes "Cait's Corner" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Caitlen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is equally terrifying and exhilarating to begin to venture off to bigger places but please know that I grew up in a small town. You might be thinking that you also grew up in a small town, thinking of your humble beginnings surrounded by 10,000 other people. That may seem “small,” however, I mean tiny when I refer to the town where my heart still resides. A town so small that you have to map out the whole state to explain where you are located; you’re “30 miles west, 15 miles north, and 6 miles east of …” A town with no stop lights, a few houses thrown across a couple dirt roads and the smell of fresh fertilizer lurking in the air.
The dust from the corn fields after harvest and knowing how to perfectly speed down those country roads without hitting one of the hundreds of potholes, and knowing the sheriffs by their first names. A town where you can confidently go to your neighbor’s door for a cup of flour because the nearest grocery is 20 miles away. World, you might not understand where I come from but after all, I’m just a small town girl.
Many people may complain about living in a small town and I can relate to that. A small town has no secrets, only corn. But at the same time, as I’ve matured and ventured off to experience life outside my roots, I’ve grown to love it more and more. The local gas station is the hot spot, a small army of little old farmers meet each morning and discuss their lives over doughnuts and coffee. You learn these people’s names, there’s no stranger here.
I grew up in a small high school (even smaller than your class of 200), I graduated with 25 of my closest friends, we have watched one another grow up from the age of 6, and some were even diaper mates. We have all experienced loss, heartbreak, happiness and celebrate one another’s success. My school’s faculty were also very good at multitasking. I was a student-athlete; my health teacher was also my volleyball coach and adviser of one of my clubs, my neighbor was a softball coach and bus driver and my history teacher was also the basketball coach. Some of my teachers and coaches have become close friends, so who says we can’t start a snap streak?
Muncie, Indiana, is my temporary home and I love this community in which I live. But Smalltown, USA will always have my heart. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a sunset over a cornfield or spending Friday nights at a basketball game (my school didn’t have football). Everyone knows the fight song and the stands rumble until the final buzzer. The referees are often friends with the coach but that won’t stop them from calling fouls. It’s a community.
Where you come from says a lot about you, what kind of opportunities you were presented with and how you were raised. Small towns are unique because they’re a place where you can leave your mark and be known for years to come. When you come home to visit, you are greeted by the entire town with love and high spirits. Life is so much simpler without the city lights blinding you from looking up and seeing the stars. For those of you who didn’t have the glory of growing up in such a tight-knit community, I believe it’s something that you won’t get anywhere else.