25 Signs You Grew Up In A Small Town

18 Nov

25 Signs You Grew Up In A Small Town via The Small Stuff Counts BlogGrowing up in a small town is something the city kids (like my husband) will just never understand. I say I live in a small place now, but it is huge compared to my hometown. Actually, I didn’t even grow up in a small town, but rather on a dairy farm in between two small towns in northeast Iowa: one with 600 people (at least that’s what the welcome sign claimed), and the other with 2,000 people. If you also grew up in a small town, then you will be able to relate to this list.

  1. The grocery store was also the place to rent movies, drop off dry cleaning and leave your rolls of film to be developed.

  2. You could name every person in your graduating class.

  3. When you called the wrong number, the person who answered politely gave you the correct number.

  1. You used the alley entrances to businesses more than the front door.

  2. You never carried a key for your house because it was always unlocked. And, just in case, the only key was “hidden” in your mailbox or a flower pot so your neighbors, relatives and mailman would know where to find it if needed.

  3. You could charge things at businesses without a credit card (and the clerk knew who to charge it to without asking for your name).

  4. Teachers always referred to you by your oldest sibling’s name. They probably taught all of your siblings plus your parents.

  5. People could always find you. Flower deliveries made it to you no matter where you were at the time because the delivery person knew where to look and who to ask.

  6. You were somehow related to nearly everyone in town.

  7. Store owners left their doors unlocked with a sign that said “gone to the bank, be right back”.

  8. An exciting day was driving the 30 miles to the nearest WalMart or McDonalds.

  9. Your parallel parking test in drivers ed. was pointless because there were rarely cars to practice parking in between, so you just drove right into the spot and the teacher gave you an ‘A’.

  10. Everything shut down for high school football. When the team made the playoffs, the musical was rescheduled because the lead actor was also the quarterback.

  11. Driving a tractor to school was an acceptable thing to do, and there was likely a day designated to doing so each year.

  12. When high school sweethearts move back to your town and get married, the weekly newspaper dedicates two entire pages to the details of their wedding.

  13. A high school girl was crowned the town queen during your annual festival.

  14. You were encouraged to bring a prom date from a different school just so there was a crowd at prom. Oh, and prom likely included a sit-down meal for everyone before the dance, which probably took place in the high school gym.

  15. The only traffic jam your town ever experienced was during the annual tractor parade.

  16. The school secretary assembled a list with the details of all the graduation parties so everyone knew when to be where.

  17. People gave directions by referring to the only stoplight in town.

  18. You went to school with kids from eight other tiny towns.

  19. It was cool to hang out with or date someone from a neighboring school, except during football season when they were considered enemies.

  20. If you weren’t at church, concerned churchgoers would go out of their way to find out if you were okay.

  21. When you are back in town to visit, no one has to ask you where you live now or what you do because they keep up on every detail of your life thanks to all your relatives who still live there.

  22. When people ask you where you are from, you sort of mumble your tiny town’s name and then automatically tell them what larger town it is near. If they look confused, you just give up and tell them the nearest metro (even if it is an hour or more away).

There is a lot to be said for growing up in a small town. While this list is an overview of my personal experiences and observations in my hometown, I’m sure you can relate to many of them if you grew up in a small town.

What’s missing from the list? Comment below with things that came to mind as you were reading. This list is endless, so comment away!

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303 Responses to “25 Signs You Grew Up In A Small Town”

  1. shelly November 20, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    i love growing up in a small town, my town didn’t have a bank or stores it had bars and gas stations but you knew everyone and there was always someone to hang out with

  2. Whitney December 23, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    When your neighbor says “I saw your shed light on and turned it off for you…”

    Most directions go something like this “take a left by Tohnsons old home (they haven’t lived there for 20 years) and then go up the road by the old bean field, and then go towards where smiths have that open chunk of land but be carful because there is a big pothole on the dirt road where the Taylor’s truck got stuck in the mud a few years ago.”

    Its always we’re going over to town (the closest town that has 5,000 people instead of 400) and up to the other small town and down to another small town…

    Not only knowing everybody in town but also knowing their schedule… I love it!

    • emilylcounts December 23, 2013 at 7:00 am #

      Neighbors turning lights off for you – love it! Thanks for visiting my blog, Whitney.

  3. Perry Reed December 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    When you give directions by referencing someone’s property (usually a farm).

  4. Carl Mayer December 16, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    Its a small town when the weekly newspaper prints obituaries on the front page or there is only enough news and advertising for 5 pages. Yup, page 6 is blank.

  5. Pamela Hoffine December 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    only one traffic light, one bank, one pharmacy (for a while they didn’t have one so they had to drive to another town), one grocery store, Most people drive out of town for work . that meant traveling snowy roads in the country (that didn’t get plowed), one gas station in the 70’s i think they have 2 now . in the 90’s they got have fast food. , burger king

  6. Jamie Chipman December 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Playing frisbee in the middle of Main street with your friends at midnight….while the cop kept score!! Fun times, but I was ready to get out….

  7. Vivian Sue House December 1, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    You never worry “if” you will make the team. Everyone has to make the team just to have enough people for a team.

    • emilylcounts December 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Great point! Everyone has to be in everything to make it all go. My big-city friends are always shocked to hear how many activities I was involved in.

  8. Clint Brill November 29, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Many of us started driving to school when we were 15 and the school parking lot would look like a muscle machine car show if you saw it today. Every school play you tried out for would guarantee you a part and you would letter in any sport you went out for.

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