In defense of small towns

There are many truths about living in a small town — McDonald’s is far away, I never lock my house, Domino’s doesn’t deliver and nobody ever knows where I’m from. 

But some myths about living in the country that impact the way people think about me are outdated, unfounded and need to go. 

Nothing about me is ever as shocking as when I tell people that I live on a farm, outside of a tiny town, outside of the smaller town that they may have heard of once. The response is usually the same: “Really? But you don’t seem like you’re from a small town.” 

The assumption that makes them surprised is the belief that if you’re from a small town, you must be disadvantaged and uneducated. There’s an assumption that rural communities lack quality education and as we are so often told, this is the key to success in the real world. 

My small town education was not inadequate. Although it was a hike to get to school, students who wanted to, could get out of their education the same value they put into it, just like anywhere else. 

My school wasn’t particularly fantastic, but it wasn’t affected by being in a small town. 

Living in a rural area doesn’t inhibit success, but believing it does can. It’s demoralizing for people from small towns when others assume that we aren’t as prepared for university as city-raised students. It adds another challenge when other students doubt you because of where you’re from, and these doubts can seep into your own self-perception.   

The person sitting next to me in class and I both made it here and I’m not the exception. Despite others’ belief, my intelligence and ambition aren’t rare among people from my community. 

It’s foolish to assume less of anyone based on where they’re from. 

The assumption that city-born kids are more likely to be smart or successful in life than students from rural areas is an unnecessary barrier to their success.  

Brigid is one of The Journal’s copy editors. She’s a second-year political studies major. 

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.