Though I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, I was super homesick my first semester of college.
I was 17 years old and living in an urban suburb of Chicago 600 miles away from home. Once the initial thrill of being on my own for the first time wore off, I found myself longing for cornfields, friendly faces and the comfortable stability of my hometown, Grand Island, Nebraska.
With a population of more than 50,000 people, Grand Island is not the kind of “one stoplight” small town you see portrayed in movies. But because many families have lived there for generations, it feels like a small town and has many of the same benefits.
Lots of people don’t really know where Nebraska is, and if they’ve been there before, it’s usually because they were driving through on their way to somewhere more exciting. Even today, people still ask me what we did for fun growing up. Weren’t you bored all the time? Did you go cow tipping?
Jokes aside, here are seven things I loved about growing up in a “flyover state," and why I wouldn't trade my hometown for the world.