Student Life: Small-town claustrophobia

There is a certain type of small-town claustrophobia. I’m sure everyone has felt it.

It’s that itch that takes years to scratch, that burning feeling in the pit of your stomach that simply makes you feel trapped and held down.

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In a town like ours, we joke that the only thing teens can do for entertainment is drive around, and if you don’t have your licence, well, it’s up to google search to find some rainy day activities. Although that might sound ungrateful considering we live in a beautiful, vibrant and artistic town, we cannot deny that being born and raised in a place where it takes 20 minutes maximum to get anywhere, we’re going to feel quite restless.

For those of us reaching our last year of high school, the desire to explore is especially strong. Sometimes it may manifest as a scholarship or a moving van to the farthest place possible.

We feel it when we walk the streets, when we go to the store, even at the dinner table. For some, it can cloud our minds, eating us up, making us agitated and resentful toward our longtime home.

But is it bad to want more? Of course not, if we never left we’d never learn. There’s only so much grade school can teach us, but after that, it’s all up to us and our real-world experiences to develop our character and opinions.

Although we’d like to think we’re maturing into adulthood and have a good grasp on how life works, we’ll never know more than our surroundings. It’s crucial that as young people with malleable minds, we strive to push our boundaries and broaden our horizons.

To be perfectly honest, we’ll never really see the true beauty in the place we grew up in until we leave it. We might not believe it now, but we’ll always have some sort of gravitational pull back to our hometown.

Perhaps we may come back to raise our kids here, or maybe we’ll merely visit for the sake of nostalgia. Nonetheless, it’s worth it to travel or move to someplace else and just experience things that are foreign to us.

As daunting as it may seem, it will make a world of a difference to see different cultures, customs and day-to-day life in other places than our hometown.

Macy How is a grade 12 student at Brooks Secondary School in Powell River.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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