Small towns create an environment where everyone knows everyone which is why you have to be careful who you tell things to when living is such a low populated area.
Photo Credit: Bserat Ghebremicael

Living the first 15 years of my life in the small town of Waynesville, North Carolina, was one, very interesting chapter of my life. Small town life is a whole world in its own. The people, the food, the way of life is different from anything I will ever experience for the rest of my life. Southern hospitality does exist, but with a few minor changes in detail. What really put life into perspective was when I moved to Las Vegas. Being able to compare my hometown to one of the most visited cities in the world changed my entire perspective on how much more the world offers than the tiny town of Waynesville.

I grew up with the same few friends from preschool, through elementary, through middle school, until the day I left that joke of a high school. I have always loved my friends, and still do to this very day. Although, after 11 years of all of us dressing the same, acting the same, having the same “crushes,” it ended up being far too redundant for my taste. Las Vegas was full of new styles, new people, new attitudes. I started my life completely over when I moved here.

Las Vegas is extremely diverse, which was unlike anything I had ever experienced. After realizing that I had been stuck in a mold my entire life, I learned how to be myself. I could be whoever I wanted in Las Vegas, dress however I wanted, or even talk the way I wanted. On the other hand, no one would dare wear anything “out-of-the-ordinary” while walking through the halls of  Tuscola High School.

Everyone in Waynesville knew one another. People were completely labeled by their last name. “Oh, that’s one of them Sutton’s. Did ye’ hear what she did the other day?” or “That Swift family has a brand new car. Can ye’ believe it?” Complete and utter nonsense was the typical conversation floating through the mountains of Haywood County. Knowing people by their last names wasn’t always a bad thing. Many last names triggered the “wealth status” of their family, which is pathetic in my eyes. If you have money in Waynesville, you are, basically, a super star in the community.

Not everyone is a ‘redneck’ as I just made it out to be. My hometown is full of your typical Southern Belles. There should be a Housewives of Waynesville. Now, that would be interesting. Gossip is the best attraction in town. Go to a local salon and you’ll hear all the latest stories. The adults were just as bad as the teenagers when it came to keeping their mouths shut. Here in Vegas, you actually go the salon to get your hair done. It’s one in a million that you run into your next door neighbor.

Those who live in a small town have one mentality. They only care about themselves and who they can talk about next. Las Vegas is an entire new world. People are who they want to be and don’t care what others think. Living in Waynesville gave me confidence issues. I was always wondering who was thinking what or who was saying that. But since I’ve settled here in Las Vegas, I really found who I wanted to become not another self-centered, small town snob