Benefits of Living in a Small Town Essay

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I am a female, the youngest child of my family with two older siblings, and I have a small extended family. My parents divorced when I was in third grade. Both of my parents received master's degrees in college at Northwestern. I live in the suburban area of a small town as a middle-class citizen. My father and his side of the family are strict Catholics while my mother’s side of the family rarely attends services. My father is also very conservative and voices his opinion regularly while my mother hates to discuss political developments. Since I am with my mother more than my father, I have a closer connection to her, so I am not very religious or political. Neither of my parents or close family members abuse drugs or alcohol. I predict a person that matches this profile would be more likely to attend college, live as a middle-class citizen in a small town in a suburban area, marry after college, and have a smaller family. If the person who matched this profile was female, they would be more like her mother being educated, nonreligious, nonpolitical, and maintaining the absence of alcohol and drug abuse.

Someone exposed to these settings and forces would have a very similar life choice available to them. They would be encouraged to attend college, but it would not be forced upon them. A person with these predictions might not turn out the same because they may be closer to their father, so someone might have to follow the strict catholic religion that their father follows. Also, instead of living in a small town in a suburban environment, a person's path may still be as a middle-class citizen but in a roaring city. It would be more likely for a person to stay as a middle-class citizen because they have lived comfortably with some luxury which most people are content with. Another way that someone would result in a different path could be from the use of drugs or tobacco that could have been influenced by friends instead of family.

In a two-year experiment conducted over a group of 200 tenth-grade students, 191 mothers, and 166 of their close friends, it was found that 43.3% of the 200 students claimed: “‘Cigarettes offered by peers’ was a common reason given by adolescents for their picking up of their first cigarette.” A motivating reason 36% of adolescents started smoking was that they wanted acceptance from friends. The study also resulted that “adolescents who have a smoking peer are four times more likely to smoke than those who do not.” It is not only friends that have an effect on an individual, parents, and family members do too. The study also reported that “[67%] of school-aged children with smoking parents were less likely to consider that smoking is harmful to health, and [30.3%] had more peers who smoked.” Individuals at a young are more easily influenced because they want to be like their older siblings, parents, or even friends. Therefore, encountering drugs or tobacco while at a young age can alter a path for someone and influence them to not follow the typical path created in society.

Youngest children tend to have less stress put on them by society because they do not have younger family members that look up to them as role models. Although, being the youngest child is stressful in the sense of following their older sibling's good role. If their older siblings attend college and receive a degree, and the youngest decides to not go to college, it makes the youngest sibling look poorly. I would predict someone as the youngest child would be more of a follower instead of a leader in times of crisis because they are used to following the rules of family members above them. It would also be probable that more is given to them instead of working hard for what they have. This creates less stress for the youngest child.

Growing up in a broken home, I would predict someone put in the same environment would also result in a split family in the future and would learn to be more independent. They are used to seeing the independency of a single parent and would see that there is no need to rely on another person. They would be used to having some help from older siblings, but when their older siblings leave for college, the youngest child would be exposed to being independent again. I also would predict that they would also have a broken home environment in the future. In today’s society, it is more common for families to become split.

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A person in the same environment of marrying later and having a small extended family would continue to marry later and have a small family of their own. It is more likely to have a small family because a person in this setting is used to having little to no family in their daily life, besides their siblings and parents. It is also more likely that this person would result in a broken family of their own. This is a result of not being exposed to what everyday family life looks like. Because they have not been exposed to it, it results in poor relationships with others. An individual in this environment is likely to not know how to act in contrast to people who have a large family and are used to interacting with more people on a daily basis.

When growing up in a small town, it is more likely to stay in that small town or around it. Changing the environment from a small town to a big city is uncomfortable, therefore it would be more likely for someone to stay in the suburban area they grew up in. A Pew survey that was conducted on 1,500 people around the United States resulted that “most Americans have moved to a new community at least once in their lives, although a notable number — nearly four-in-ten — have never left the place in which they were born.” Most people have stayed close to home because of family ties or other connections. Again, there were also only four-in-ten people that said where they were living now was what they considered home to be. It is also more likely that people in rural or suburban towns stay around where they are. The study also resulted, “In the Midwest, nearly half of the adult residents say they have spent their entire lives in their hometown.” In addition, there are more people who move away from cities than stay in cities. This could be because of receiving an education or lower living expenses. From the data that resulted from this experiment shows why it is more likely for a person to stay in or around the small town they grew up in.

A female that has the same forces taking place on her would stay close to her mother. She would continue her mother’s practices of not being religious, although her father is a strict catholic. Because she spends more time with her mother, who does not force it upon her, the female would likely be nonreligious. She would also follow her mother’s view that politics is not important enough to argue over, but still votes because there is some importance to it. A reason why females tend to be closer to their mothers is that they can tell them almost anything creating a stronger bond between them. Also, daughters tend to be a younger image of their mothers. From this, I would predict that a daughter, given the same forces, would result in a closer image of her mother by following her mother’s beliefs.

Religion is a force that could change the entire course of someone’s path. Patrick Fagan, a former William H.G. Fitzerwald fellow, wrote about how married life and religious practices contributed to preserving society. He found that 81% of people resulted from positive benefits from religious practices and 15% of people had neutral results. That leaves only 4% of people having negative effects from practicing religion. Some of the positive effects include stronger marriage, better mental health, stability, help in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and more. Fagan wrote about marriage, “Churchgoers are more likely to be married, less likely to be divorced or single, and more likely to manifest high levels of satisfaction in marriage. Church attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability and happiness.” He continued to write about how regular practice in strengthening mental health by “help[ing] poor people move out of poverty. Regular church attendance, for example, is particularly instrumental in helping young people to escape the poverty of inner-city life.” From his research, it is evident that practicing religion can help repair people that have a negative force affecting them.

Because both parents went to college and received their master's degrees and both older siblings have attended college, attending college appears mandatory in this setting. Although, the oldest sibling dropped out of college, but he joined the Marines. It was frowned upon by her extended family that he dropped out, but he is successful now in something that he is passionate about instead of wasting money on classes he was failing. My parents care more about me and my siblings are doing something we want to do. I also think they do not care if we attend college, as long as we have a plan, because college is a huge expense. Although, I would predict it is probable for an individual to attend college since the majority of their family has.

In conclusion, an individual with two older siblings will be more likely to have a small family of her own and continue to have an extended family herself. Since both parents received a higher education attending college, they would most likely receive a higher education themselves. Since the individual grew up as a middle-class citizen in a small town, a suburban environment is more likely to stay in that town or another small one close by. Depending on what parent the individual is closer to, the person could be more religious and political like their father, or they could be nonreligious and nonpolitical like their mother. I would also predict they would not abuse drugs, and they would not have an alcohol addiction as no close family members abuse drugs or alcohol. A person that matches this profile is more likely to get married but not stay married because they come from a broken family already. If the person who matched this profile was female, I predict she would be more like her mother; being educated, nonreligious, nonpolitical, and maintaining the absence of alcohol and drugs.  

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Benefits of Living in a Small Town Essay. (2023, October 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
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