I’ve heard it said that all small towns are alike. Generally, I disagree. Towns, because they are made up of the people who live in them, are very much like people themselves. Each one has its own personality.
But there is one overwhelming similarity between them all. Every small town is someone’s hometown, (with, of course, the exception of places like vacation or retirement communities.) No matter how boring, how strange, or even how ugly a town is, someone in the world has his roots there. And no matter how quirky, how charming, or even how pretty a town is, there are teenagers complaining about how boring it is.
There have been countless books, movies, and songs about teenagers and young adults who feel trapped or stifled in their small town environment and believe that there are better things waiting. I can understand their feeling this way, as it seems most teenagers in small towns can. Sometimes it’s just easier to blame things like boredom, monotony, or teenage angst on where we live. But if you really stop to think about it for a minute, there are a lot of small towns in this country. Can it really be true that there is nothing to do anywhere except in big cities? The idea seems a little ridiculous.
A friend of mine moved to San Antonio, Texas, last year. Soon after she moved, I asked her how she was enjoying living in the city, and she answered, “There’s a lot more to do here, but because there’s no one to do it with, I’m more bored here than I was in Vegas.”
What makes a town boring is not the size of it — after all, Omaha is much bigger than Santa Fe, and I personally find Santa Fe much more interesting. What makes a town boring is how you choose to spend your time in it. If all you ever do in Las Vegas is sit around complaining about having nothing to do, you’ll probably be pretty bored the entire time you’re here.
We might not live in a town with an excessive amount of activities targeted at teens, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have fun. It simply means that sometimes we have to find ways to entertain ourselves. Read a book. Take a walk. Learn to play guitar and start a band. Go out with friends for ice cream once in a while (I never get tired of that one). These ideas aren’t exactly gold, but you understand what I’m trying to say.
The next time you start feeling bored and feel inclined to blame it on the town, just stop and think:
At the very moment you’re wishing you were somewhere else, another teenager in another town is wishing the same exact thing. My point is, your boredom most likely has nothing to with where you are, and can probably be solved by simply calling up a friend.
Jazzmine Freedom, a Robertson High School senior, is an intern with the Las Vegas Optic.