Have you ever tried to describe your hometown? College kids have it tough, meeting a bunch of new people. We’re expected to have a speech down-pat, two sentences or less to explain exactly where we’re coming from. That’s really frustrating to me, especially when people tend to have their own ideas about your home, so they don’t bother to listen to yours.
The stereotypes for hometowns exist for a reason, though, I guess. At Mizzou, people from the “great state of Chicago-land” have to defend their claim to the Windy City. The farther your suburb is outside the city, the more offensive you are to “real” Chicagoans. Having lived with one freshman year, I got used to this distinction.
When it comes to the St. Louis area, you always get asked the question. “Which high school did you go to” quickly becomes the most annoying thing to hear on campus. Even more annoying is when the answer is a school just ten minutes down the road from you (and is most assuredly not in St. Louis).
I proudly claim my small town as home (well, not here for security/privacy/creeper-prevention reasons). What do people think when I say I’m from a small town in Missouri? They think tractors, overalls, and hillbillies. I still have friends that think I live in a cornfield. Are there farmers where I’m from? Yes, yes there are, and I’m proud to call some family friends. Did I live in a cornfield? No, no I did not.
My favorite part about coming from a small town is going back. Being home for weekend is like a big family reunion. How does this girl spend a Friday night? I spent mine at a party for the local car dealership with my parents. In the fall, I’d be spending it at the high school football game. No matter where I go, I’m bound to see people I haven’t seen in years. The great thing about my town is that it doesn’t matter. They still want to know how you’re doing, they want to be proud of you. It’s nice to know that people care.
Does this make my small town worth any less than bigger cities? I don’t think so. Don’t assume my experience is quaint and cute just because I have to drive two towns over to go bowling. It’s quaint and cute because I love my home and the people around me.