Someone Explain To Me How To Survive A Small Town

I just recently got married to a wonderful man and relocated to a small town where he grew up.  I am from a big city and have always enjoyed the diversity of the city.  I have a nice house and stability.  I have been extremely depressed here lately because of the atmosphere of this small *** town.  My husband and I were the talk of the time when I first moved here.  Seems like everyone knew so much about us without any interaction.  Apparantly, the god fearing folk were upset that we moved in together before we got married.  When I walk on the streets it is almost a ghost town and there is virturally no traffic.  Last night we went to an early dinner and no one was in the restaurant.  The bartender was on a emergeny run so I could not order a drink.  The only two stores here are two dollar stores. I took a hip-hop class and the instructor thought it was a gossip session.   I have 2 college degrees and cannot find a job even as a cashier. Customer service here is non existant and I oftten go into stores and find noone around.   I can go to the dollar store and find out all the gossip of the town in a matter of minutes.  Seems like thinking outside the box is a hard concept here.  Went to the library to use the computer and could only stay on for 30 minutes.  Even though all computers were open I was told the policy for extended time is for me to ask ahead of time and I could not get back on the computer.   Got into a tiff with the lady at the licence bureau because she was adjusting my hair for the photo ( who does that?)  All businesses shut down at 8pm.  There is no place to go for salsa or country dancing.  TEll ME what do these people do?? 

As you can hear, I am having a tough time coping with this town.  I really jumped the gun when I thought things here would be easy.  Anyone have any words of advice or encouragement.  I seemed to be angry at the lack of open mindness and if it were not for the internet, I would feel completely lost. 

Thanks for letting me vent

cindy0215 cindy0215 41-45 70 Responses Apr 10, 2010

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Being a business owner in a small town is the worst!!! People act like You owe them something... they don't want to work... they don't appreciate all the work that you do bringing a service to them that they previously lacked... and every other week there are rumors floating that you are going out of business... They may get just what they gossip about, though, because after 2.5 years we just can't handle being the 'ugly step-child' any longer! They will all eat themselves inside out!!! Give me Los Angeles ANYDAY!

sister, totally get where you coming from. Truth be told, you will go nuts without the life you like. Every person deserves to live the way he/she wants. What is the use of living when you can't even relate to anybody near you.
My opinion: please find yourself some get-away to the city for the weekends and eventually ask your husband to JUST understand you and move back to the city.

Run -

All I can tell you is..... Start talking to your husband about moving! My husband is from a small town and I almost moved there, thank God for his GRACE that I couldn't find a house. Our marriage would never have made it living in that god forsaken microscopic town. If you don't do things the way they do it or have your own opinion on things you're seen as uppity or proud!!!

I moved from a big city to a small town almost two years ago and am in a similar boat. I am 28 years old and moved when I was 26. This place is fine as long as you have the same lifepath as everyone else but if you are in any way different you are screwed. Its extremely unusual that I am still single and I get lots of question as to why. Most people here get married their senior year of high school when they turn 18 or shortly after. I want to move to a big city again but it will be years before I will be able to thanks to my financial situation. Plus, I have family here fighting me every step of the way. Nonetheless, I feel like I should be living it up somewhere cool at my age rather than being stuck in this boring, sleepy town.

People get married at like 18? Where are you living?

Refreshing. After three years of living in a small town, I woke up this morning at 4am wondering.. "Can I do this anymore? How far behind the times am I? Am I still living in 2010 when it's 2014?"... Yeah, it's scary. I lived my entire life in a huge city, where cultural events were plentiful, diversity, the arts, theatre, lectures, symphony, orchestra.. on and on... I'm in my late 20's now, 29 to be exact. I moved to southwestern Colorado for the outdoor lifestyle you could say, and to trade in the city life for nature.. Yeah, the good comes with the bad I now see. I chose a smallish-medium sized town because of the affordability. I had been traveling out here ever summer since I was 17, so finally I made the big move at 25.

Since the, I've experienced nothing short of 99% rude attitudes, clueless people who seem to have no outside perspective outside of gossiping and hating on one another, and little to nothing to take part in culturally. There is an 'elite' group, in Telluride, however this supposedly 'enlightened' group of people are as snooty/gossipy as it comes. There is no where in between here. It's either join the rich elite's club who think they're better than every one else, or continue to rot with the cultureless small townies. HELP!!!

And so this morning I randomly googled "support for moving to small towns", and this popped up. It does seem encouraging to know many other people are going through this... Some one, friend my on Skype! I need city people to relate to on this one..

Which town are you in southwestern colorado? Is it Grand Junction by any chance?

I live in Grand Junction, do you?

I used to about 2 years ago, not anymore, now I'm in seattle. But I loved Grand Junction. It was a great town, nice people and I hada great job.

I know this post is old but some of the replies are still new. I also moved out to a small town for love. The smallest population I've ever lived in was a suburb of 270k people. I was living in one of the most populated urban cities with 2.72 million people in the city. Now I'm in a town of 24,000 and having complete culture shock every day.I'm a tech freak and you can't find a tech magazine ANYWHERE here and the only electronics store is Target & Walmart. I'm also a gluten-free vegan and my options for foods are so slim and twice the price of anywhere else I've ever lived. I am fashionable and keep myself well groomed, and everyone here dresses like bums. I'm also an atheist in a town with 30 churches that are all super nice while the houses around them are old and falling apart. I don't like any of the people either. I like my boyfriend and his kid and our dog, 3 cats and 5 fish. People here look at me like I'm a strange alien. I'm used to having lots of guy friends too and the guys here are too scared to even look me in the eye or mumble a word to me. Women hit on me a lot here, which is weird. I mean, I'm bi so I don't care, but I don't want to make friends with people who want to take me away from my boyfriend, you know? Everyone goes to church or drinks. It's near impossible to get a job here because everyone is competing for minimum wage jobs that I'm way overqualified for. Luckily, there's at least a community college here where I'm going to go back to school and get a tech degree, but the technology they are using is WAY out of date. I'm hoping that'll change soon.Reading this post and all the replies has really helped. I feel so isolated here in this small town (24k is tiny to me). I mean, I like that 5:00 traffic doesn't exist, but I don't like not having options for anything. Medical care sucks, no support groups, no anything really... It's just such a limited way of life and everything I am used to is gone. If I want civilization I have to drive 1.5hrs away. I guess I'm struggling to adjust more than I want to admit.

Thanks for sharing. I too am in a small town that sounds similar to yours. It's amazing to me the group think that dominates here. It's like the creative types are not only not welcomed here, they are cast out! My attitude is, fine, you don't want me here and my talent, I'm GONE! This place doesn't deserve to have people here who question things, who believe in progress, and who believe in acceptance and inclusivity. Not if they don't welcome them, why would you try to change a place that isn't asking for change? They elect politicians that are in a never-ending ******* contest to see who can be the most cruel to society's minorities. Everything is either white or black here, culturally. There are no 'others' -- they get alienated and isolated and eventually either leave or kill themselves slowly OR conform and pretend to be like everyone else, and then eventually all that **** gets internalized and everyone really does think and act the same. EFF that. I'm still going to call a spade a spade, still going to think freely and still going to be creative and inclusive. I know, however, that this strategy will only work if I leave here within a year or so (I'm close to that now thank god). Stay here long enough, and I'd be forced to either accept the values of people here or somehow change them, which is a burden no visitor should have to bear. Small towns are ok in theory I'm sure, but in practice this is a living hell hole for anyone who may be considered an 'other' --- ethnic minorities, political minorities (e.g. leftists such as myself), religious minorities, gays/transgenders, interracial daters, etc. Note that in the vast majority of big cities, these groups are not really 'minorities' --- as there is no religous majority in NYC, there is no racial majority in NYC, gays everywhere, etc. Only when you come to a small town do you realize how different-in-a-bad-way you are, instead of your differences being welcomed and appreciated like in a big city. I don't believe all small towns are the same, but any small town in North Florida or in the South is bound to have many of these characteristics. Those who stay without questioning or living anywhere else ever will never understand--- they don't know what they don't know. Like Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Life is too short to live somewhere where your true self is not appreciated or welcomed. I say move somewhere open-minded asap.

You're not alone! I too come from a small town although the one you mentioned sounds worse. Always wanted to move to the big city and when i did it felt so right! Like i was at home. The convenience of everything available at your doorstep , the great customer service, the driven people you meet, the lights, the high energy levels around that scream out LIFE!
However I've had to move back to this small town for family and the only reason i'm here is because of them, they need me right now and i'm more than happy to be here for them but i don't want to be this frustrated me. I have no life otherwise - forget work, forget having a social life because more than half the people here are small minded and you can't even relate to them!
What i decided to do is to start spending time with myself, there has to be a way so i started reading a lot of books, watched documentaries, started painting, started exploring the outdoors, started cooking all kinds of dishes, basically start developing hobbies and learn things which you have otherwise never had time for in the cities. Youtube can teach you a lot of things too, you can even learn a new language online!
You might actually learn a few things about yourself in this time and explore things about yourself that you never knew existed. The key is to stay occupied.
Wish you best of luck my friend.

It will be okay :)
I grew up in the smallest of towns...I think my favorite one so far has only 200 people.

The Best thing about small towns is that once you make friends..they will be your friends no matter what and forever.
I personally enjoy simple. My life has always been simple..I wake up..go to work..get home. .fish..horses..anything you can imagine and with quiet you really can reflect and get to know yourself better....don't worry about gossip....that's their issue they will have to one day deal with.

But I know how you feel..see I recently moved to a huge city and I feel lost and alone and out of place...people think I'm out of place just as people see you as being out of place. . I honestly think the feeling for both of us is just the change..just the change.

But you are definitely right about not being open minded...I don't think I could ever really be open minded..not about a lot of things. And I think cities scare me like small towns scare you....Both for the feeling of being alone... you may find that weird...I heard it's weird haha..but true.

You will adapt I promise and really you have your husband and he's your best friend too so smile and be happy :) even a fake smile will turn into a real one.

As for prestige or class or one will care...what makes them happy is being comfortable and the acceptance they will always have. You will make will meet nice people....and you just may learn to love your new life . And don't worry about everyone finding out everything about me when i say that they may laugh at you but really they don't care..everyone is friends with everyone and soon enough when you need them they will be there for you though out anything :)

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Thank Heavens I am not alone. I'm praying that I can move back to civilization soon!
Everything you guys are talking about is true for me too. There are days that I don't think that I can take it but somehow time goes on. People here do not like the fact that I comb my hair and wear clean clothes. I am from a small Southern town but do not remember it being like this crazy place. This place makes me embarrassed to be from the Southern United States. I think the worst part is the Bible belt philosophy. I am a spiritual person but don't like to be preached to every waking hour. I have met some of the most crooked, horrible people in the whole world here and they sit on the front row of a church. I think it is crazy the way people follow these crooks like sheep and believe their crocodile tears. It is horrible to see how people ruin others lives and laugh about it. I too stay inside my house like a prisoner because I cannot stand being around anyone here.

A highly low ranked university (I am embarresed to join any community arts groups). Walmarts full of obese uncultured people, there are no sidewalks, a library not updated since 1972, local news station ( the female news reporters wear neon green with pearls, streets and resturants are usually empty, Downtown consists of, 3 blocks ( With only one side of the 3 blocks inhabited), buffets, pickleball, potguts, Yoga instructors (Who only know "Downward Dog), a country town with no country or southern culture (Except for the "Cracker Barrel), Getto/Country Bumpkins (Who only interested in their backward and antiquated Christian theologies, low income garage sales, only one nice grocery store (Only old people Shop there), subdivisions, only mini-bus public transportation (Toothless and 3 kid female passengers/people who look like mutants), buffalo wings, ***** malls, people who are nosey, sexist, racist, women who think jogging pants with Victoria Secret on the ***, black roots/ dirty greys/no black women with natural hair (Only thin greasy perms), clubs/bars that are disgusting, No health resturants, empty public parks, every resturant has bad chinese food, no museums of interests, all summer festivals revolve around elephant ears and bad beading, a farmers market ( usually no customer or only the elderly,
empty movie theaters....Trust me, the list continues. My fiance' transferred here for better pay and I attend university online. My fiance' can't leave his job yet, because of fear of losing his benifits and not having found a better job. I hate it here! I am from a large city and used to riding public transportation). I have no friends. I just stay in the house with my little cat. Some times I cry because I feel that my life has just stopped. I am afraid of being doomed. My fiance' says that, in order to "Get a life", I may have to lower my standards. I don't want to become complacent in this place. I don't want to change who I am! To other people out there....You are not alone, many people are experiencing it too. I feel like i'm on "Green Acres". I am looking into joining an online: Band, book clubs. ^_^ Don't give up. Try to be creative or start your own groups or events. Ciao!!!

I just feel so much better reading these experiences. I know I'm not alone now.

I hear you I hate my town, too. I was not born here, so everyone hates me. If you didn't grow up here, you get treated like crap and talked about. People are always nasty and rude to me because they figure I don't matter anyway. I am college educated, work, own a home, and try to do what I'm supposed to. But it doesn't make any difference. I'm not from here, so I'm trash. I've had people I don't even know make up things about me. I'm tired of how we don't even get a chance we are judged even though I don't really know what we have ever done that's so bad. I am trying to get my husband talked into moving anywhere else, preferably either a bigger town where people aren't up in my business, or out in the country. I hate it here. I feel so unwelcome. Now that the kids are out of the house and we sold our business what do we have left here. Nothing. I hope you were able to move somewhere else that you get treated better. No one deserves this. It is like a slow death, every day a piece of your soul dies. I will never, ever live in a place like this again. Everyone looks down their nose at us, like they are better. All they want to do is sit in the bar drinking, smoke crack, and sleep around. It's boring, depressing, and like you are in jail. So I feel you.

I hear you shellbelle. My family and I are going through the same thing. We moved to this rural, mountainous area for the peace and quiet of country life. It has been a nightmare from the start. I hate it here, not the area and it's beautiful surroundings, but the small minded mentality of the people in this community. Churches about one every mile that are filled to the hilt every Sunday, but yet these same people are the most hypocritical, hatefilled, lying, manipulating users that ever walked this earth. Gossip? If these people can't find out anything about you, they have no problem making things up. We have found out more about our lives and our activities from the gossip going around then we ever knew we did, and of course all untrue. The attitude of the people who are looking down on you, is not a reflection of you or what you may or may not have done, it's the mentality of these people who have no desire to better themselves or their lives and are threatened and envious of someone who has. I have found that the people in the community where I live have no desire to better themselves or their community. They prefer to live off the system. Drunk driving, drug use, underage drinking, you name it, is rampant in this community and nothing, absolutely nothing is done about it. If you want a job here, you had better know someone, because you won't get hired otherwise. What jobs are around are minimum wage and that's it. I'm not bothered that the people in this community aren't welcoming to us. After having a few talks with some of these people, I don't want to associate with them, what bothers me and is very disturbing is that these people have such sorry lives that they have nothing better to do then to cause stress, drama and conflict for people they don't know with their lies and their actions and have no problem with it. I'm not into drugs or drinking and I don't give my young adult children or their friends alcohol or prescription drugs, we have valid drivers licenses and our cars are insured. We work, pay our bills and support ourselves and not spread gossip because we are just to busy living our lives, so it only makes sense we don't fit in this community. We are everything they are not. :) Thanks for letting me vent

Wanna hear a Really ignorant small town story? They cyberstalked and then consequently rapped and tried to traffic an innocent women.. and when they could Not Succeed in doing that .. They Started a rumor and then falsely reported that she and her family were Child Abusers. And from that, then they stalked her from state to state across the country over the course of two decades.. And Still maintained their indignant innocence and continually defended and subtly accused and threw around unfounded, unsubstantiated allegations and rumors to this day about this .. emotionally exhausted and battered poor women.. That's Surviving a Crazy Small Town for ya people. Word, peace out!
oh and support hand guns for women and personal protection everybody - it's your right!.

I too feel the frustrations and helplessness you are experiencing. I moved from Vancouver, BC Canada to a 1000-population town in rural Saskatchewan (prairies). I fell in love with a farmer and moved for him. Now, 3 years later, I feel like I'm going crazy. Everything from the way they pronounce their words, to the cutting gossipy bs they engage in, to the devout religious crap they push... It's insane. I have always embraced cultural differences and given space to people who think differently than me. But now? I could fill this town with fire... The expectations they place on you are ridiculous. I bought my vehicle from a dealership in the city (not the one in my town) and they won't even put air in my tires now. They call me a "traitor". But everything here is jacked up!! I paid $25 for a broom at our hardware store because I'm supposed to support local business. **** that!!! Vaseline-d and bent over, no thanks!!!

The grocery store is impossible, everyone comments and says shy about the food you're buying. I can't get stamps or a bottle of pop without getting stink eyed from the old hillbillies having coffee in the back room of the convenience store. I listen to my co worker sit on the phone all day and talk **** about her "friends". Everyone here drives the same vehicles, dresses the same, ugh!! God forbid you stand out, they won't shut up about you.

My biggest peeve is the lack of desire to grow with everyone. All these women are doing is looking to get married and pregnant. No one wants an education (I have a degree) and everyone is so satisfied just burying their head in the sand and having 4 kids. It's like going back in time. I know how you feel and I can't stand it either!!

Bah ha ha, I googled I hate small towns and this pops up. l am also in rural Saskatchewan now. Sometimes I contemplate running my car into the church on a Sunday morning.

Love your screen name. Lol. What part of Saskatchewan are you in?

This made my day bahahaha! I hate the small so called "Bible belt" town we live in!

I have been living in a small townoutside Louisville, KY for 14 tears and loathe it. I grew up outside of Philadelphia. My husband is from this state and his parents moved to be closer to us so I am stuck. I don't think small town people are simple minded I just think they can be self-absorbed at times. We have just recently started attending a new chruch and everyone says hello during meet and greet but no one actually "talks" to us. We're not from this town. I have even taught in the school system and if you are not from here you never really feel like you fit in. I guess I am seen as a bit too bold and serious. If I had my way I would be living by the ocean or in a really big city like Philly or better yet, New York. SoHo would do! I just keep hanging in there. I have found that I just keep to myself and watch what I say. Everyone knows everyone you know! What I wouldn't do to meet someone that doesn't already know 20% of the people I know. Very restless and just praying through it.

It's great to finally find people who feel the same way I do. As the rest of you are, I am also struggling with living in a small town. This is a tiny semi-rural town (actually it's even referred to as a village) environment that I just can't tolerate. I have lived here since I was a little kid and was ready to leave many years ago. I am extremely depressed, bitter, and angry. I feel as if my family and friends don't even completely understand my frustration not only with this town but the general small-mindedness of the nearby small "cities." In my opinion, the general region I live in is very closed off to change, new ideas, and different types of people for the most part. Where to start? (Now, granted I have encountered some intelligent, broad-minded, and accepting individuals. They were people who were either educated, have traveled at least a little bit, or were just naturally curious to know what was beyond their back yards.) I'm not going to generalize everyone I've haven't met yet, but from what I've observed and experienced, I live in a very provincial, narrow-minded, and cliquish area. The majority of the time it strikes me how generic and interchangeable many people are. People much of the time are too similar. They act, think, speak, look, and dress alike. That wouldn't bother me so much if I wasn't always being singled out for my differences. Over the years, I have been stared at, ridiculed, heard ignorant comments, and have been marginalized for my personal choices, or ignored all together. I am very miserable and uncomfortable in a small town environment. I feel nervous and apprehensive to go out for something as simple as grocery shopping. I made up my mind recently that I refuse to conform to the simple-minded and frankly stupid norms of this area. I am resentful with even being with my family all these years and their disapproval and criticism. Granted, it was only with good intentions so other people wouldn't give me a hard time. The last two years, they have tried to hold back comments and accept me more, but I still sense their disapproval and confusion as to who I've become. I am fed up with walking on eggshells and pretending I don't see the disbelief and restraint in their faces. I hate everything about the area. I despise the lack of diversity in its people (cultures, languages,religions, subcultures, expressions of unique style, different hobbies and interests.) I loathe everything closing down early, the limited services and businesses. I am someone to likes to be enriched with alternating between different experiences and situations. Sometimes I like to stay in and do arts/crafts, writing, music, reading, movies, etc. Yet if I want to have a night out, the commute to anything decent is a 30-60 minute drive! Even worse there are really no jobs here (except minimum wage), it's not a good area to start businesses, it is lacking in any cultural/ recreational amenities. I prefer a variety of independently owned businesses such as music stores, bookstores, museums, art galleries/shops, boutiques, higher end consignment shops,(and ok sometimes discount outlets like Burlington Coat Factory, TJX companies,)cafes, ethnic cuisine restaurants,farmers markets, antique stores, and libraries with longer hours! And we have to go 20 minutes away for basic services such as hardware and furniture stores, accountants, cleaning supplies,and basic services to run a house and daily life tasks. There is no public transit whatsoever here. In the nearest town, there is one junction for a train to Boston. And Fall River has a bus system. Yet in my village, there are no trains, buses, taxi services, trolleys, or metro rails of any kind. I have to drive everywhere and I only got my license two years ago. As a kid, I always had to ask people for rides and set my schedule around them. I don't hate all small towns, it's just there is nothing offered here. It's only about 5,000 people. It is not a very educated area. It is not a college town, tourist town, or economic thriving center. It's surrounded by forest and only recently did this village add a Stop&Shop center. Wow. "Downtown" includes a couple of gas stations, one summer ice cream shop, one diner, Subway, one antique shop, one art gallery, one tiny convenience store, one bank, and a church. This is just a bedroom community. I have had on occasion a few friendly people wave to me on occasion and I was shocked. It was nice though for a few fleeting moments. I've traveled to many other places like New York City, Virginia, Vermont, NH, Maine, New Jersey, PA, and overseas. Many people here seem to not traveled (not everyone has the means to do so) or have no desire to see other states, provinces, or countries. I feel so lonely and even my two friendships are strained because no one can deal with how angry and negative I have become. Yes I admit, I'm very insecure and still trying to carve an identity and niche for myself. However, living in a small town doesn't help. There are no social or professional opportunities that allow branching out and expansion. I'm a young single adult at 21 who is ready to start over and have a fresh start away from where I grew up. I hate being trapped where all my negative experiences occurred and not being independent enough yet to leave and live life more on my terms. I took the semester off from school to figure out what exactly would be the right major for me. Now I realize just postponed my prison sentence here. I'm going back to school in January and finish 2-21/2 years for my bachelor's degree. My family even can't believe sometimes in places like Fall River and Boston, just sometimes how some people today still look down on immigrants. Even educated professional ones that become US citizens. I'm a first generation born American and that also causes strain between a couple of my friends and me. Their families have been here for at least several generations, so can they know what's it like? Everything about me sticks out. I dress very fashionably and warmly too, because I may be from the northeast but I still get cold with anything under 80-something degrees. I speak very properly and don't say cuz instead of because. I'm have hobbies that are different from what my friends like. I care about business and global occurrences, rather than what goes on in my backyard. I've tried so hard to not pick up the New England street slang and accent. Overall, my tastes and preferences don't match my environment. I hate the freezing cold weather three seasons out of four each year. I love the heat and the sun. I'm big on individuality and self-expression. I've realized not a large city person nor a small village/town person. It is very hard to find like-minded people in a small town. Nowhere is perfect but I've had enough. I want a best of both worlds medium-sized city or town. I'm finishing school, saving my money, finding work elsewhere, and never looking back before my soul suffocates. Good riddance!

You can do it!!! Can you transfer before the 2 or so years are school are up? I so feel your pain. . . When you move to another place you will find that your "being different" that so many people give you **** about is actually what they rest of the world considers normal! They're the ones who are abnormal, not you! There is life beyond a small town with it's soul-murdering ways. . . Good luck picking out schools to transfer to :D

Hi there again klk22 , as to the college question I either have to stay instate or go to college that has a metropolitan tuition reduction policy in a nearby state. The reasons that I am trying to tough it out for another couple of years are because most of my undergraduate requirements will be transferred over to a state school and the tuition is more reasonable instate. One other option is Rhode Island College in Providence ri. My town happens to fall under the MA cities they reduce out of state tuition for. Yet it is still almost twice as much with room and board and other fees. It is much cheaper commuting to school nearby. I think RIC would be a better social fit and it still has academic and internship opportunities. Providence is a more diverse, eclectic, vibrant, and artsy small city. For me, it would be a major step up. I have seen the upperclassmen housing in apartment style and some people even get small rooms to themselves and only have to share a bathroom. One part is thinking that I don't know who I will have as roommates, part of me would want to get away from the college environment sometimes and not have to deal with noise when I' m studying or prefer my privacy. I don't like the restrictions of living on campus such as there not being a stove and oven to cook meals in. Apartment style suites have kitchenettes, common living area, it's own bathroom, and the possibility of having your own room or sharing a room with another person. There would be two to four bedrooms. RIC has more spacious on campus housing than anywhere else I have seen. Ideally I' d like to live in off campus housing near the college and take public transit to school or have a short walk to school. There don't seem to be many apartments within really close proximity to the school and I am not driving in the middle of providence. Frankly, I am scared to drive around here because many of the drivers in RI and MA drive like a bunch of reckless lunatics! I mean even when there is no traffic, people will still honk at you, tailgate, flip you off, and cut in front of you suddenly without turn signals. Heaven forbid anyone doesn't go over the speed limit or actually abides by traffic rules and not tailgate on top of other cars! I do not understand how some of these people have their licenses and they should be revoked immediately. Plus the rent is ridiculous I can't afford fthousand dollars a month nor do I know enough people who could split the cost. That would not count utilities, food, and all other bills. Oh and making all roommates are paying their share of the rent. Even in on campus housing, I 'm afraid of ending up with slobs, party animals, or any other kind of outrageous roommates. On the other hand, living on campus would allow me to utilize and access tutoring centers, academic resources, professors, and dining options on campus covered by Meal plans. My family is paying my college tuition so they gave me two options: commute nearby or live on campus. Part of me craves a significant lifestyle change and another part is dying to bite the bullet and just get college over with. I never wanted the traditional college experience. I only pined for the day college and any schooling would be over so I can move on with my damn life. I originally had it all planned out. I would go to UMASS Dartmouth, commute, save money for moving out later, and there would be less money to pay back. I was formerly going to be a Spanish language major with a minor in international business. I even started writing a business plan to eventually run my own language translation service or become a purchaser for fair trade companies who needed intermediaries between themselves and the artisans they hired. I even thought of opening up my own fair trade artisan crafts store after 12 to 15 years of experience. At twenty I broke down. I felt detached and isolated from everything around me. I felt stifled living in the same small place with the same people. The stagnation and aggravation got to me. I felt as if all my options were being closed when finalized my college transfer decision. I realized I had never given myself a chance to fully explore my identity and sense of self as I grew up. After senior year, I realized I was not going to college for the right reasons. I went immediately because I thought that was what the expectations. I should have traveled on my own for a little while and have become involved in meaningful internships or do ducal enrollment when I was younger. I could kick myself. Postponing continuing for my bachelor's degree was a self imposed delay to my life. I regret it every second. My family was very disappointed and reluctant to let me take time off school. I would have miserable at umass Dartmouth but depressed with a purpose and goal in mind. I would be half way through junior year now. I am such an idiot. Also due to my gap I maintained at community college I would have paid less tuition at umass. It is just that I felt suffocated and trapped still having to stay here. Truthfully I didn't have any desire to go to college in a town like Dartmouth. It would just be seeing same people I grew up with and frankly I don't find Dartmouth to be a very open minded and socially accepting place overall. Being in southearn Ma is a nightmare. It is too homogenous, socially conservative, and lacking innovation in improving quality of life for its students and residents. Downtown Bedford is somewhat better. There are some international students and transplants from other us regions but ukase Dartmouth generally feels like a school where most of the students are just local and that frankly drives me insane. I took a tour of the school and it seemed like a prison. In the end, I hope I make the right decision for myself.

I have read a number of responses of people about living in small towns. Its been fun to read because I thought I was the only one who was having a miserable time.

I left my hometown in the middle of Nebraska when I graduated from high school and went to college. Once you get a college degree there are no jobs that you would like to do in the small town because now you have your four year degree. I got married to my girlfriend and we headed to Omaha. It was a great place to be.

I did go into sales and was very good at meeting people and enjoying the larger city. It took a little bit to get used to it, but there were always so many fun things to do. I met my new neighbors all the time and became friends with them on a regular basis. The other nice thing is in the larger town there are so many things to do. I had season tickets to basketball, went to baseball and played golf with others. Life was a joy. I did get divorced, but did date because it was fairly easy to find a lady that wanted to.

I did enjoy staying in Omaha because I had a major medical issue and the Dr.'s were much better in the large town -vs- going and living in my small town. Well, after twenty years I finally had my surgery and could no longer work. No kids, no wife and needed someone to watch over me. I had to move back home. I have been here two years now. It is horrible.

I know many people I went to high school with and was friends with them during school, but they don't want anything to do with me. Maybe because I have no kids, not married or because I am disabled. Basically I have stayed to be close to parents. When they die, I am leaving. I hate small towns. I live here now and have no friends. I sit in my apartment by myself all day and that is pathetic. Wish me luck on moving and getting over my loneliness. Thanks

I'm 25 years old, a woman, who lives in a small town in Sweden in 5 moths now with my husband. Before that I lived in Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, abroad, and also after I moved here I lived abroad for three months then moved back here. This is definitly one of the hardest things I have ever been through in my life, I tried so hard and for a long time to manage living here and even to like living here, but I absoutly HATE it here. I regognize myself what some of you here has written aboute. I feel like a complete total Alien here, like I have nothing in common with the people here, that my life has COMPLETLY changed and I am totally completly absolutly depressed angry sad suicidal frustraded tired bored alone becausse of this. I had mental problems Beforefor sure, but sins I moved here I feel like I have even more completly becomed insane. Sweden in a western country so it's a lot better here then in many other countries in the World, BUT it's a small country with few people especially here in the country side of Sweden. I have school here untill next Summer, I don't want to drop of school (that will obvously make my life worse) I also had to sign a agreement to live in the apartment me and my husband lives in now to stay live here untill next summer. wich means I am stuck here and have to stay here untill next summer, wich is a toatal NIGHTMARE. me and my husband looked a lot and for a long time for our own apartment to live in a long time that diden't cost to much in Stockholm, it's very hard to find that there not only for us for everyone. We where running out of Money time and patience and coulden't find anything there, so finally we diden't have Another choise then too look outside of the capital city, so we found a cheep big apartment kind of near to the centrum here that we will have for a long time and where we will live alone. It's obviosly important with security and safety in life and to survive so we moved here. I know that I had to do it, so I understand that I did but it's one of the WORST most horrible terrible things I have ever done in my entire life I regret it so much I wish so badly that I had found any other solution. The remaining months I have to stay here will continue to be HORRIBLE but I somehow have to find ways to survive it so I next summer can move back to my Lovely city Stockholm, I'm born there and lived there most of my life, ore Another big city abroad. It feels like the only thing keeping me alive and not breaking down too much to even be able to handle school and those nessesary things is the hope belive Dream (and knowledge? I can't know for sure but I HAVE to move so I'll dare to say that I will) that I will move away from here in 7 months, even do those months will feel like 7 years. And at least I have my husband so I'm not completly alone, I could hang out with my neighboure and like Three of my classmates but I really can't. I really tried but those people are very mentally ill ore/and that we have nothing in common and are too different from each other, there is no one else for me to be with sins there is so few people here, almost nowhere to meet people and most people just want to be with people they allready know ore to be alone, the only few other ones are so mentally ill that I can't be with them. So I will rather be alone here and spend time with my husband here then to be with those people. Living abroad for Three months sins I moved here helped A LOT lot lot it was so so SO much fun and just AMAZING in SO many way's! And that I've been visiting Stockholm during some weekends (I don't know exactly how many times) sins I moved here have helped and made me VERY happy a lot LOT lot to! Let me know id any of you are around my age and in a simillar situatuion especially if you diden't know ANYONE in the small town Before you moved there from the big city. I would really REALLY like to talk to someone I can REALTE too, I REALLY need that.

Why can't all of US just create our own small town! God, I am utterly, hopelessly miserable. I dream, yes, like at night when I'm sleeping, dream of living in a city, like where I'm from. Any city. Vegas? Seattle? Whatever. I HATE this tiny town of rubes in Northern Colorado. Hey! Hey everyone, did you know that Fort Collins has the most college educated per capita than ANY other town in the whole galaxy? Just ask ANY Fort Collins resident over 40, they'll be glad to tell you all about it! Here's a little math: It's a small town with a big college. So of course, most of the people that work at the college are (stay with me here) COLLEGE EDUCATED. I just hate it. Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. It's a small nowhereville hole with feedlots and corn fields. And, yes, a college, from which the truly enlightened will graduate and move from. And BTW, Fort Collins, you're not THAT far away from Greeley, so get over yourself.

I have a rather whacky lifestyle, at least according to the norm here. I have no children, nor do I want them, I actually want to invest in myself rather than living out my failed dreams through my child and I am happy to do independent activities most of the time. GASP! HORRORS! Grab a torch, villagers! The song "small town" by JC Mellencamp says it best "I can be myself in a small town and people let me be just who I wanna be" but he left out the rest that goes, "as long as I'm born here and just like everyone else". The women, oh the women. Backstabbing fake two faced judgmental breeders whose only living aspiration is to be at their pre-baby weight. And the ones who are supposedly progressive, here's a little info; The Olive Garden is NOT real Italian, an amethist necklace does NOT make you a white witch, Joanie Wilson's dance factory is NOT Alvin Ailey, and if you try to discuss any supposed mutual interests, the self righteous small town entitlement always comes through and we always end up back at the same subject: Your kids.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore! OK, I am, because I love my husband, and he has a job he won't leave. But I still hate Northern Colorado. Thanks for all your posts here people, I am relieved to know I'm not alone!

Haha I ran away from Fort Collins to a much much smaller town up in the mountains! And it's like I have the black plague here, NO one will hang out with me.

I feel your pain. I live in Cut Bank, Montana. But I was born and raised in San Francisco. I traveled much of the world, only two continents I haven't been to are Europe and Antarctica. I came here to help my mom and grandma finally move out of this hell hole. It started ok, people remembered me from when I was young and here for a couple years. (I am 31 now). My wife and I made friends, but in retrospect, it was the worse decision we had ever made. The first couple we made friends with seemed cool at first. In fact, one of them hooked me and my wife up with jobs at Pizza Hut. On my wife's birthday, their house burned down. So we open our doors to them. The couple had two awesome kids, age 6 and 1 1/2. We had a daughter who was 6 months younger at the time. (I say had, because now we have two daughters.) I thought things were going well, but apparently they weren't. After paying to get their car fixed (It was useful, being that we still don't have our own car) and changing most of our daily routines to attempt to be as accommodating as possible, as is our way, they left and began spreading rumors, causing me to lose my job. My wife still works at pizza hut, but they only give her 10 hours/week. We made new friends, and then they began spreading more dangerous rumors. They have the entire town believing I am an international crack smuggling car stealing pimp! It got to the point where the police attempted to actually raid our apartment! And all this started about a month after my mother passed away (she died in december, and it all started in january). Just yesterday, I was standing in the shade of our neighbors RV smoking a cigarette, though where we were standing was in OUR driveway. They tried telling us we had to leave, and even threatened physical violence if we don't get out of our own driveway. Then THEY call the cops, and presented with everything, the cops gave ME a citation. They said I was throwing my cigarette butts on the ground around the RV. Even showing the officer that I roll my own cigarettes, and the butts on the ground were clearly Marlboro. We cannot get more work, no one will rent us a bigger place, which we desperately need, and we are basically confined to our house. Walking anywhere elicits evil looks. Admittedly, we do have 3 friends we truly trust. One I have known since I was 16, and the other 2 are Natives (we live right near a reservation). I have yet to figure out how to get out of this messed up situation, but I do know that my whole life I have never been so depressed, oppressed, disrespected, violated, or hated. Even the fact that I am Buddhist has come under scrutiny. People actually call me a devil worshiper! As if Buddhists do anything even remotely close to devil worship! I have needed to vent this for quite a while, and I thank you for listening...

Oh jeeze, tell me about it. I've lived in a Small Town all my life... which is actually only fourteen years. But still! Luckily my town happens to be a bit bigger than where you live. We have one Grocery Store, and a few small businesses down town. (An Amish Furniture store, Two small restaurants, a Chiropractor, and a Crafts store. Then some miscellaneous areas. Lol) Most people in our town go to work in larger cities around us. One thing I can certainly relate to you about is the Gossip. Everyone seems to know everything about every other person at any given time. Then again I live in Minnesota. Us Minnesotans seems to be gossipy ^^'. I find my town rather boring for most of the year. All we have is Western days which is like the fair but only lasts for three days. (I play in the marching band for it, Yay!~) Add that to the fact that I really have no friends. (60-70 kids per grade in School. Not many choices for friends really.) I spend most of my time inside on the computer or practicing my instruments or artistic ability. I guess Small Towns aren't that bad. They allow you to spend more time on bettering yourself I guess. :/ Can't wait to get out of this place though.~

I have had a real hell like the one you described. In fact I am moving back to Northern VA from Pennslytucky. The sad part is my husband & myself were born and rasied here. We moved to Norhtern VA after college and moved back to our home town after 21 years of being away. (Big Mistake) The people treat us like we have a desease because we actually moved away and had some life experiences. I say small towns breed small minds and am very thankful my husband & myself got out of here when were young to know how the real world operates. Small towns have peopl worry way too much about other people's lives instead of living their own.

I was born and raised in a small town in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. I married my high school sweetheart who came from a large family there and spent the first 40 years of my life there, so I think I have a fairly informed opinion of life in small towns. Small town life is NOT idealistic or wholesome or wonderful. It's not just bad for people who move there from a city, the experience can be just as bad for someone who has lived in that town that entire life if you are a person who has their own mind, likes to experience new things and someone who doesn't thrive on gossip. I truly believe that small town life brings out the worst in people and if you're a good person, especially one that is intelligent, your life in a small town will be a living nightmare. I never fit in and I could never figure out what was wrong with me, I'm intelligent, I tried to expand my knowledge by doing distance education university courses, I refused to gossip or be part of a clique. Those are all big mistakes if you want to fit in a small town. My marriage ended not because of any big scandal, but just because my husband and I grew apart and I stayed living in the small town because I thought it was in the best interest of my children to have them live close to their father and their extended family. The 7 years that followed were the loneliest and unhappiest of my life. I was now the 'divorced single woman' in town and I was suddenly a supposed threat to all of the married women who had nothing better to do, women I had known for 40 years. I couldn't even say Hello to men I had known my entire life without someone getting mad and a story starting about a supposed affair I was having. In the 7 years that followed I wasn't invited to a single social gathering. I quickly found out that people in a small town are exactly like a flock of chickens and as soon as you're missing a couple of feathers they'll all peck at you incessantly. They thrive on gossip, they don't care about the truth, they only care about adopting whichever mindset will keep them part of the popular cliques. They love to think they 'know' you, but no one will ever ask you questions because they really don't want to know the truth...malicious stories are much more fun for them. There is no escape in a small town, it's like being in a prison.

Small town life is suffocating in more ways than one. It's suffocates your mind, it suffocates your sense of excitement and adventure, it suffocates your creativity, it suffocates your hopes and dreams, it suffocates your soul.

8 years ago I moved to a very large city and BLOOMED!!. Suddenly I was surrounded by people who were embracing their individuality instead of hiding who they were just to be part of the status quo. I was surrounded by people who supported and embraced change and new ideas. I was surrounded by people who had no idea who I was. No gossip. No malicious rumors. No people commenting on my buying different groceries than I had the week before... ( yes, that's part of small town life. NEVER buy different groceries than you normally do because it will raise the red flags for all of the town gossips.)

City life is rich and vibrant, interesting and exciting while small town life is exactly the same day after day, year after year. City people are friendly and accepting. Small town people are cold and judgmental.

Six months ago I was offered a job position that was just too good to pass up. It was in a small, remote town on an island. I took the job even though my gut instinct was telling me not to. But then one small town shouldn't turn me off of all small towns, right? I moved in to a neighborhood in a very small town where most people had lived their entire lives. I tried very hard to keep an open mind and look at the place I had moved to as a new experience and not as another small town. I smiled at and tried to start conversations with people in the grocery store... I was met with cold silence. I waved to my neighbors and called hello's over the fence....more cold silence. When I had moved to the city 8 years ago I hadn't even unpacked the moving van and two of the people who lived in the area had already stopped to offer help and to welcome me to the neighborhood. In the small town I had just moved to I unloaded an entire moving van by myself while my new neighbors walked by and not a single one offered an ounce of help. I moved to this new town three weeks before Christmas, I worked for a large employer in the town and I had hoped that this combined with the fact that it was the Christmas season would make it so I would get invitations that would help me meet people. I didn't get a single invitation. I spent Christmas entirely alone, even though I told every person I encountered that I had just moved there, my family was far away and I didn't know a soul. Not one person offered a hand in neighborly friendship. Within a month I was feeling like I had moved back to the small town that had taken me 40 years to escape from. I slid in to a horrible black depression and started feeling suicidal, desperate and very trapped. One day I woke up and knew if I didn't escape then I never would because it truly felt like my life was over. That day I gave away every single thing I owned to a charity, got in my vehicle, left and never looked back. I spent a month with family recovering and then moved back to the big city. Walking through the busy city streets, sitting in funky coffee shops and just savoring the rich fabric of the amazing, beautiful patchwork quilt that city life is has healed my soul....again. I'll never live in a small town again.

Small town life is a toxic cesspool that brings out the worst of people's natures. People need sensory stimulation and new experiences to keep growing. Small town life is all about stiffling growth, it leaves a person stagnant and makes their souls and the good parts of their nature die.

You said it just right. I keep praying and wishing that my husband will open up and try living in the city. I am glad that you found your happiness again.

Dear MissingBoston,

I truly hope that your husband will open up and try living in the city too. I honestly feel so bad for you. Your description in a previous post of saying you feeling like you're in captivity is one I understand so well. I truly believe that being a small town person is an ingrained part of who a person is and has nothing to do with where they are born or raised. I was born and raised in the very same small town that I always despised. Some of us are born as city people and some of us are born as small town people and it's doesn't seem to matter where we got our start. I lived in a small town for 40 years, but I was never a small town person.

This is the first website I've ever posted a personal response on and I don't know the protocol for responses to other people on the internet. MissingBoston, if you need a friend who really understand I'm just a mouse click away. I used to think the friendly, empathetic part of me was the 'small town person' in me...isn't that a horrible joke? ( I always wondered why people in the small towns I've been exposed to weren't as friendly as me until I realized the only place small towns are full of friendly people is in country songs.) Since moving to one of the biggest cities in Canada I've learned that the friendly part of me is actually the city person that's always been a huge part of my soul even though I didn't get to meet that person until I was in my 40's. .

Please know that although we've never met you have a friend who completely understands. I spent four decades in a small town and there's probably not a scenario that I haven't been through and can't sympathize and empathize with. I'm here anytime you need to vent or want validation for how you feel.

Sending you big city friendship.

Thank you :)

Thank you. I love hearing your stories. I find it quite inspirational. Your inspired source of hope, could not have come at a better time. I was so close to giving up. But now, having read all the shared stories here I feel vindicated. I will stop beating myself up. I am genuinely not the problem, the small town intolerance of anything 'other' is. Thank you. :)

Everything you said is so accurate. I would express myself by using better words, but I just moved from a small town after being stuck there for ten years, and cannot speak normally yet. The small town stiffled my abilityto express myself well, after not having any meaningful or intelligent interaction for so many years.

This is so true!'

Hi! Sorry, I'm so curious which small town did you live in? I currently live in Vancouver with my boyfriend (maybe future husband) and we are considering a move up north to take jobs that offer way more money and benefits. After reading all of these stories, I keep thinking that maybe it's just because they are in the states. I know that sounds biased but I've visited at least ten different states and Americans in general seem to have different views than Canadians (I think that's normal). Anyhow, I'd love to know which small town you lived in. I've always lived in Vancouver and am not sure how well I will adapt to a small town. It seems like a great idea but after reading your post I'm so hesistant.

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I was born and raised in Boston living in a small town of Bethel Vermont. My husband was born and raised here so me, being the daring one, I come to this small town and feel like I am in captivity. There are people here who think they know me better then myself. They fabricate stories that in which at times I laugh because, I quite shy. Other times I cry because if the ludicrousity. I have spoken to my husband of this but he is partially blind to what is going on. We have three children who were born and raised here so it's harder to move away and my husband wants to live out his glory days. Inside, I am dying. I feel like people are constantly watching me but will never speak to me. They are waiting for me to pack my bags and leave as if it were that simple. It is fear of the unknown. Here, your rank is about your last name, how much money you have. Every other "hero" only volunteers to hide the skeletons in their closet. Ignorance is bliss, at least fit these people.

My partneralso grew up in a small town, and he doesn't.see it as well either, although he is just starting to get it now, now that we've moved away from it! Just remember that even if no one else you know gets it, there's still truth to what you're saying. And we get it! :) Sending you hope!

Well I live in a small town and all I can say is there really is nothing to do. I can't stand my town, although I'm only 16, I feel like I should have been born somewhere else. I am so different from all the other kids around here and my parents don't buy me anything even though they are extremely well off. All my friends have boats, dirtbikes, snowmobiles, and other fun things. But nope, not me. Even though both my parents work full time, and they leave their banking in information on the computer so I know thy have money. (214,789 saved up in various accounts with little to no debt) I ask for things but they just tell me, all my friends are spoiled. So what, am I the only non spoiled kid in the whole ******* town? Anyways that's what people more or less do in small towns, and do drugs, lots and lots of drugs.

Cindy, I wish i could offer you advice.......but the problem with my advice is that it would further discourage you. I have done some pretty great things considering living in a small town as it wasn't always this way. I made some bad choices growing up and at the current time am paying for some of those decisions. I wouldn't take them back because then I wouldn't be me but the thing about the small town is I will always live them because here no second chances are offered. You are either in and welcome or you drug down and made miserable by all those more miserable. Small towns are stuck in their ways, they are made up a different cliques where like minded people laugh at each other and gather at a local watering hole because aside from drinking the pain away what else is there to look forward too. Its the only place in America where you can be hated by someone without ever speaking to them somehow. Its a place where the coolest people, the most looked up too individuals are usually the most useless. People flock around these type of people because it offers them some sort of excitement from the reality of this boring lifestyle. Anything that offers change or spontaneity, whether good or bad, is an exciting risk worth taking. People don't meet and make their decision of you, their decision is made of you based on rumor of folklore that has been passed around long before the first handshake or conversation. Perception is 99% of reality and In the small town you can see and live that truth every day. I hear of people that dislike, or that have told my gf that I did such and such or why are you dating someone like him he did this and that. Mind you this coming from a person whom I don't know, never met, and now don't want to. Scratch off one more from the list of new people I will never meet here. Talk about new people, I guess I desire to meet new people and that almost never happens here. Nothing ever happens here . If you want to be social or see people the only place to go is a bar and the music is too loud to talk anyhow, so ive tried that only to figure out why bother. Its the same people, pounding shots trying to figure out who they can get drunk and try to take home. Then you sit at home a prisoner and stare at the wall and wonder if this is all that there is?? You start to go crazy, literally, like solitary confinement in prison and you dream that there really must be something wrong with you because nobody likes you. Then you watch terrible people that are obviously (no offense) worse people in character, morals, success and every other measurable attribute living the great life, tons of friends, the life of the party, and you can only wonder why?? I still haven't figured it out yet. The reason is because there is no figuring it out, its the small town sickness. Ill tell you what, Im getting a cure in the form of getting the Hell out of here.

I desire to be around positive influential people with bright ideas, and dreams and I have yet to find any here in my town. I often wonder why I cant leave and its probably because these people beat you up so that you don't even know if you can. I don't do anything to anyone, i spend the majority of my life catering to anyone, and try to brighten everyone day and I get **** on in the process. You cant win I feel as the game is rigged. I guess now I am just rambling but the thought of speaking to someone who can validate this feeling is welcoming by nature. I apologize if this isn't helpful but I guess if I were you I would just tell your husband that you need to go. Happiness is worth everything, is it not. Life is too short to live unhappy and that's advice I need to learn to take. Anyone who can pass judgement through the grapevine is no friend of mine, and I don't want to be around people like that. If these people had half a clue, they would know to make there own determination, they wouldn't trust hearsay, so that fact alone tells me enough. As the smart ones are the ones on here trying to understand why this is and solve it. That is because we care too, and we care in general. The loose cannons run the show in the small town unfortunately..........because the followers rule by numbers, not by intelligence or character.

PS also from UPSTATE NY,

I live in a small Upstate NY "city." Insular, cliqueish, backwards, etc. Moved here from a large Western metro. Adjustment has been non-existent. Planning, trying to move, but it's been difficult and frustrating to say the least. And, I'm not 20 something. How many more new start-ups can I go through? I guess for me it's the frustration at my self for moving here. You make a bad decision and have to pay for it in more ways than one.