As a student, I have always dreaded standardized writing tests. Although writing is my strong suit, the thought of sitting in a room trying to cramp my thoughts down onto a small piece of paper in less than in hour does not appeal to me. However, when I took an FCAT writes practice test this past week, the topic struck my interest. We were told to write about whether we preferred living in a small town or a big city, and I knew my answer right away.
I quickly scribbled down all of the reasons why I love living in a small town. However, I was not always this way. When I was younger, I thought living in a town like Sebring was terribly boring. I thought I wanted to grow up and live somewhere like New York City or Boston, with no real reasoning for this decision.
Now that I am a bit older, I realize how much I love living in a small town. While it does come with the occasional downside, I would not have wanted to grow up anywhere else. Living in a small town has given me the best childhood I ever could have asked for.
A small town like ours has a sense of community that cannot be found in any big city. When tragedy strikes our town, we come together in support. No matter what the situation, we have each other's backs. Sebring, and all of Highlands County for that matter, is able to join together in both good times and bad.
I love being able to walk into the feed store and be greeted with a, "Hey Emily!" or run into old family friends at the grocery store. The stereotype that "everybody knows everybody" is true, and it often gets a bad rap. I personally feel that this simply makes everywhere feel like home.
In a big city, if you saw someone on the street, you would probably never see them again. There is almost no chance of running into an old friend at a restaurant. It's extremely unlikely that high school students are going to graduate with a class of about 300 with people they've grown up with. These things are part of daily life in small towns, and it's hard to imagine that others don't live this way.
When I was younger, all I could talk about was wanting to move as far away from Sebring as possible. I wanted to move to a big city to get a change of scenery, but now I want just the opposite. While I don't plan on living in Sebring for the rest of my life, I definitely want to live somewhere with the same small town charm.
In big cities, kids don't grow up playing in their front yards, drinking out of water hoses, pulling each other in little red wagons. They grow up looking out of apartment windows and learning how to ride the subway. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to raise their children that way.
My FCAT writing practice prompt definitely got me thinking. It's actually kind of funny to picture that I once wanted to live in a world surrounded by concrete and skyscrapers when now I couldn't want anything more opposite.
I love living in a place where our whole town celebrates an undefeated Blue Streaks football season. I love living in a place where Dee's is everyone's favorite restaurant. I love living in a place where the county fair is the biggest event of the year. No matter what big cities may have to offer, small town life will always have my heart.