While cities and small towns are extremely different, their inhabitants have to go trough the same drill everyday in order to be content: work, socialize and aim towards forming or maintaining a family.
An urban environment, as proved by recent studies, impairs our basic mental process. Being surrounded by unnatural surroundings takes a toll on our mental and physical wellbeing. “After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control.” (Lehrer, 2009)
Living in a small town, on the other hand, is less stressful than life in the metropolis. In addition to the clean, fresh air and the lack of pollution, everyone is going at a slower pace; which results in fewer health complications, lower blood pressure levels and improved health.
The amount of strangers striding down the streets, the large number of tourists, the overpopulation: these characteristics of city living tend to give their people an individualistic attitude, as opposed to the closeness and friendliness experienced by people who live in small towns and must collaborate to make progress as a community.
Living countryside, though, is not as easy as it seems. People have to endure driving long distances to work, and employment opportunities are much more limited than in big cities. People generally earn less money and usually have to own a car and a house due to limited transportation and housing options.
Similarly, living in the city, can be tough on people. Competitiveness in the city is very common and workers fight to keep their jobs. Life in the “concrete jungle” presents a much greater risk of acquiring mood and anxiety disorders; it was associated with higher stress responses in the amygdala (an area of the brain involved with emotional regulation and mood).
Townspeople and city dwellers may live in the same country, but when visiting or interacting with each other, they are faced with a cultural shock. City kids are far more independent than kids in small towns; they become more detached from their parents and look to succeed on their own.
The most ambitious persons living in towns generally migrate to cities. We can find a great amount of references in movies, showing young men and woman moving to big cities to fulfill their dreams. These tendencies lead to a collection of a lot of smart people living in cities.
Big cities tend to have a better educational system than small towns. Growing up in a conurbation gives you more opportunities throughout your life: higher education, greater job opportunities, and more cultural richness. While living countryside is without a doubt better for your health, living in a big city is better for developing your intellectual capacities.
Living in an environment as big as a city provides you with the opportunity to meet all sorts of people, it gives you an understanding of other cultures and different social situations. In addition, people who excel at their profession usually live in big cities; which is good because children get to learn from the best teachers and ill people get to be treated by the best doctors.
Living in a small town or in a big city is neither a good nor a bad thing; it’s merely a question of choice and opportunity.
Lehrer, J. (2009, January 2). How the city hurts your brain - The Boston Globe. Boston.com - Boston, MA news, breaking news, sports, video. Retrieved October 10, 2011, from http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/01/04/how_the_city_hurts_your_brain/
Douglas Mental Health University Institute (2011, June 23). Stress in the city: Brain activity and biology behind mood disorders of urbanites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/06/110622135216.htm
Schulthorpe, P. (2009, January 2). I’m a city girl living with a country boy - The Globe and Mail. Home - The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/relationships-facts/im-a-city-girl-living-with-a-country-boy/article1860542/
Anderssen, E. (2011, June 23). Growing up in big cities linked to a greater risk of mental illness - The Globe and Mail. Home - The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/growing-up-in-big-cities-linked-to-a-greater-risk-of-mental-illness/article2073025/