1. No one knows where your town is. Whenever someone asks where you’re from, your standard response is, “You probably haven’t heard of it. It’s about an hour east of [insert name of medium-to-large city nearby].”
2. Of course, the other person will undoubtedly deny that they haven’t heard of it, ask for the name, and then laugh and exclaim, “Yep! Never heard of it.”
3. Then you get legitimately weirded out when people have heard of your town. You came through on BUSINESS three years ago? What do you do? Sell boredom???
4. Nightlife = LOL. All shops/bars/entertainment options are closed by 9 pm.
5. Getting any type of chain store is life changing. In fact, you rank the day you found out that a Costco was opening semi-nearby as one of the top moments of your life. It basically goes something like:
6. Team sports will always be a big deal. Even if you’re not a big sports fan, you still get oddly defensive if anyone criticizes your high school team. It’s just in your blood. Or maybe in the water. <–Very likely, tbh.
7. Downtown = fancy name for street with the most shops.
8. High school dating was awkward, because there was always a good chance you were friends with their ex.
9. Okay fine. It was all but guaranteed that you were friends with their ex. There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but you were living in a tiny pond! YOU HAD VERY LIMITED OPTIONS, DAMMIT.
10. There are no secrets. None. Unless you locked yourself in a windowless, soundproof room, someone you know definitely saw you sneak that cigarette, and the rest of the community will know by end-of-day tomorrow.
11. Everyone knows everyone. Even if you don’t know them personally, you know their face and probably have a very specific nickname for them, like “James Dean look-alike that sometimes hangs out with Greg Winthrop.”
12. Getting featured in the local paper isn’t a huge deal. The paper is basically the Oprah of your town. You get an article! And you get an article! EVERYONE GETS AN ARTICLE!!!
13. …But everyone will make sure you receive their copy of that issue, because you can never have enough copies of that article congratulating you on getting “Science Student of the Week.”
14. Shopping trips take twice as long as they should, because you’re guaranteed to run into at least five people with juicy gossip.
15. Visiting family in a big city is an absolute culture shock. What do you mean you don’t know your neighbors? Who feeds your dog when you’re out of town???
16. You’re an expert at entertaining yourself, because the chances that there wasn’t anything groundbreaking to do within an hour’s drive was about 100%.
17. Just going for a drive is a completely legitimate activity (and one of your favorite pastimes).