From as early as I can remember, I lived in a town where everything was right in the palm of my hands. My best friend lived next door and I could walk to anywhere for anything. If I wanted pizza, it was just a mile down the street. My elementary school was right across from me, and my first job was right down the block. Even though my high school consisted of 3000 students, navigating a huge town was easy. But going to school in the deep south of New Jersey made my world flip upside down. Here are 8 struggles that any small-town college student can relate to:
There is no such thing as a college town. I was generally confused when I visited a college that actually offered different restaurants that you could pay with your meal plan, or if you wanted to go shopping it was just across from the dorms. My university, it’s quite distinctive. If I want something other than chained fast food places, I ought to spend my own money and drive ten minutes down the road.
Everyone is always at the food court. I have never seen so many people in one central area until it was time for lunch. Sometimes it can take a half an hour for a sandwich or to just pay for your food. With nothing close by, everyone is forced to eat on campus, all at the same time.
Everything is AT LEAST ten minutes away. Wawa, the best convenience store around, will always be a college kid’s dream… Except that every Wawa I want to eat at is almost ten minutes away in every direction. The nearest mall, Target, Walmart, or any civilization is all miles away. Which also means that gas money is a real struggle.
No one has ever heard of your school. The very famous question that I hear from everyone that I talk to; “Where is that located?” I don’t understand how a school that is twenty minutes away from the city has never been heard from so many people, but oh well.
You resent your lack of cell service (I’m looking at you, AT&T). Mom? Is that you? I haven’t talked to you since August. Having no cell phone service might be the worst part about being in the middle of nowhere. You can’t get in contact with anyone, in the dorms or during lecture. If I need to call you, I have to stand outside.
The party scene is not what you expected. Going to a school in the middle of nowhere means that the very small student body has a very selective amount of houses and Greek life. I think the closest thing to going out is a bar about ten minutes away, or clubbing all the way in the city.
Chinese food or pizza? Don’t worry, I have the numbers memorized from the only two delivery places in the entire neighborhood. I’m pretty sure everyone at my school is a regular customer.
You actually have time to sleep on the weekends. Small schools are often “suitcase schools,” meaning everyone usually goes home every weekend. Why would one stay at school and do nothing when you can do nothing at home with your own shower and bed?
But as rough as it is to find things to do, going to school in the middle of nowhere can be a blessing. Going to school in the pine barrens just means that I can enjoy the nature trails that my school offers or be able to take a day trip down to Ocean City or Philadelphia or Delaware. I may be in the middle of nowhere, but it just means it’s time for new adventures.
Featured Image via Rachel Connell