Small-town life has many perks

Kali Lingen

Kali Lingen

I like small towns. There, I said it. I enjoy the small town life. Those hailing from these small towns know what I am talking about.

There are many reasons why I thoroughly enjoy small towns. My favorite thing about them is going to the grocery store and it’s basically a guarantee that I will see someone I know and want to stop and talk to. Also, there is a good chance the check-out girl is a neighbor of my parents.

Secondly, I like to be able to walk or drive down the road and wave to about five people. This past summer, I did an internship in a town with about 2,100 people in it. While making the one-block walk in the mornings to the post office, I said “hello” or “good morning” to at least five people and waved to another three. At the beginning of the summer, I had no idea who the people were that were greeting me. By the end of the summer, I learned who they are, or waved and greeted them back anyway. I don’t think that is something that is found in a large city.

In small towns, it generally seems like they never change. Maybe that is some of their appeal to me. It can also be a downfall, but in my mind, it feels like I haven’t missed anything. I have lived all over Minnesota and each small town I lived in was a little different, but they each had their own unique qualities that I loved nonetheless.

The idea for this column sprouted when my boyfriend and I were driving from Sleepy Eye, Minn., where my parents live, to the Twin Cities. He mentioned how he liked the larger city because it didn’t seem like vast nothingness. I like the excitement and the endless possibilities of things to do in the Cities, but I feel much more at home in a small town.

I know if I lived in a small town forever, I would most likely go crazy. I enjoy visiting my parents and seeing that nothing changes too drastically. I like visiting over holidays and while hanging garland on the front of their house, someone my father knows will drive by and honk. My mother tells me to just smile and wave because they work with my dad, go to their church, are a neighbor or have some other sort of connection.

Although larger cities have more to offer and a lot of more things to do, there is that small town feeling that I don’t think large cities can ever replace. I know there are parts of St. Paul, Minn., that have that small town feeling, but it just isn’t the same. In small towns, traffic (generally) isn’t a problem. The largest traffic problems most small towns in this area have are trains going through or tractors on the road, which are minor problems compared with rush hour traffic in the Twin Cities.

Small town living isn’t as bad as some people may think. At times, it can be quite relaxing and friendly. I do want to live in a larger place after graduation in May, but my heart will always be in small towns.