My friends and I have formed out own community. At the very center, there is me, Hannah, Alex, Coleman, and Dustin. Alex, Coleman, Dustin, and me grew up together, I’ve known the three of them since I was 5. Then Hannah joined us around the tie of our senior year of high school. On top of us we have brought many other people in as well. Alex has included his girlfriend Destiny by having her live with them. Their roommate Christian has been added to our community because he moved in with them as well. On top of Christian is his younger brother Jameson, however he got added to the group not through Christian but by being Coleman’s friend first.
Then there’s also Arric, who we’ve all known since grade school, and Summer, his girlfriend, who don’t spend as much time with everyone but are close with Coleman and Alex and therefor are also in our small community. One of my good friends Amy has also been added to our community recently due to the fact that she’s reconnecting with us all from when we were in middle school.
Honestly, if I went back in time to my high school self, maybe around sophomore or junior year, when I felt my loneliest, and told me that I’d have such a large group of people I associate with, I’d think you were crazy. Not that these are my only friends, but they are the ones that feel closest to family to me. I spend most of my time with them and they are who I go to when I need something positive in my life. When I’m with them, even though we’ve all found our ways into the group through various ways and people, I feel like I’m a part of a community.
Word Count: 301
Growing up in a small town you might think that there would be a strong sense of community. No, not for me anyways. Especially in an environment like high school the social system created by a small town makes it more difficult to feel a sense of community than to not. While I may have known more than 75% of my graduating class I had a small group of friends that grew and shrank as high school progressed. The thing is, when everyone knows who everyone is then everyone also knows about you. Things that are true and not are spoken and not forgotten. There’s no chance to move on to new friends or a new beginning because there’s no one else to move on to, or the few that you can will also alienate you because it’s what everyone else is doing.
I guess you get a sense of community when you know most of the people around you AND their parents. However you can know the people around you and not feel welcomed, depleting any sense of community that had been established.
It’s not all bad though, because you may have grown up with the people around you there’s a chance they could be loyal to you through thick and thin. Not always, as I lost my “best-friend” in ninth grade to the black hole of judgement and exclusion based on assumptions and rumors. Then there are the few that you can always count on, and I’m not sure you can call three people a community, but when we get together it creates the illusion of community. I have three friends that I have been consistently close with since kindergarten, I even went to prom with one and had the greatest time. Perhaps it’s because they are guys that it is more difficult to suck them into the evil of the small town gossip mill.
In addition to my three loyal guys I’ve got my best friend who I found among the turmoil of high school. She’s seamlessly fit into my group and made it better to not be the only girl. However we’ve had other people join our group, but they come and go. Although I think we can count on keeping our most recent addition. Us four, now five, stay together and in that sense we’ve created our own community. In the middle of a small town where community seems to be a given, but in reality is actually earned and stolen faster than you can blink, I have found an even smaller better community.
Word count: 430