Life Lessons from a Small Town
Growing up in a small town is an excellent way to learn strong values. It was serendipitous that I was able to grow up in a subtle farming community where I graduated high school with the same group of children that attended my kindergarten class. Everyone knows everybody in a small town which has a few benefits. It means you can have a tab at the local convenience store and pay when you receive your paycheck and on any given day, you can walk down into the post office and greet everybody you see by name. Growing up in a small town had a significant impact on my life. Giving me the opportunity to learn to be a healthy, confident person with a love for education, and a great sense of community.
The first significant impact small town living had on me was a healthy diet. Most land in the town is farmed for fruits and vegetables, so when you drive the roads you often see what looks like seas of bright red strawberries. Along with hundreds of peach trees which are lined in perfect rows. Farmers will allow you to pull off and pay for a basket that you can fill with fruit you pick yourself. I can still recall the feeling of a wooden basket being so weighed down with fruit it created red patches on my skin where I gripped the handle. You leave the fields with hair smelling so strong of strawberries you will swear you used a shampoo. In addition to picking fresh fruits, hunting your own game is popular in small towns. It is not uncommon to hear the crackle of a fire in your neighbors yard as they grill their fresh caught fish. With such an abundance of produce and meat families typically cook at home. America has an obesity epidemic, and a lot of it has to do with the convenience of fast foods. As a child growing up in a small town, we did not have fast food restaurants in our area. If you wanted something from a drive thru, it meant driving at least half an hour each way. Which I felt was annoying as a child now I see it gave me an opportunity to become accustom and crave fresh foods. I now use what was instilled in me as a child to prepare most meals at home for my family. We have vegetables and fruit every day, and it does not feel like it is a chore. Not only does it make my family and myself healthier, but it is teaching our daughter the importance of a healthy diet too.
Furthermore, you do not experience an abundance of crime in a small town which creates an enviroment for confidence and independce to mature. Parents often feel safe enough to allow their children to explore the town without adult supervision. On any given day, you can hear screeching of bicycle tires as kids "burn rubber" on the town sidewalks. Living in a place with a sense of security gives you the freedom to be independent. You learn not to be too dependent on your parents and seek out your own adventure. I can still taste how succulent and delicious the first meal I cooked myself was. Learning to be independent helped to build my confidence and taught me who I was as a person. As a result, when I graduated high school, I welcomed the opportunity to pursue my own life and made my own way. This attribute is quite advantageous while raising our daughter. My husband is active duty military, which means I play single parent and manage our household while he is deployed. We do not live close to family members, so I do it alone. Consequently, I excel at doing so; as a result, of the independence, and confidence I gained living in a safe community.
Specifically another great impact is my passion for education that I believe comes from the small class sizes in my old town. Smaller class sizes mean that a student gets more individual attention from the teacher. As a result, the student typically gets better grades and is held responsible as a student. In addition, living in a town where everyone knows everyone means your mother probably has the teacher in her directory and bumps into her a few times a month....
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