Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Big City vs Small Town

So lately I have been having this debate, mostly in my head, about which is better: big city or small town? This has mostly stemmed from my frustrations of city life lately. I know that each place has it's own pros and cons and that is what I've been trying to weigh. I will for sure be in my place for another year, but after that we will be moving and I'm trying to decide where. I love Omaha and will stay in the area, but am unsure if I want to continue to live in the city. I realize Omaha isn't New York City or LA by any means, but when you come from a town that has a stop light festival to celebrate what was up until recently the only stoplight, it's a pretty big city. So in an effort to help put things in perspective, this is what I have come up with so far.

Pros to living in a big city:
1. Everything is so close! I have 3 Walmarts all within a 5 mile radius of me. I have about 10 different options of grocery stores I can choose from. Any other kind of business you need, it is most likely not too far away.
2. Job opportunity. Regardless if I live in a smaller town or not, I will most likely still be working in Omaha because there is so much more opportunity here for employment.
3. Education. Thinking ahead to putting kids in school, I think Omaha schools would have better educational opportunities than what I had in a small town. More college prep classes, resources, things like that.
4. Not everyone knows your business! I can go into a store and not know a single person in there. No one is in my business, starting rumors, or really even cares that I exist when I am out in public. Coming from a small town, I appreciate this.

Cons to living in a big city:
1. Traffic! I HATE traffic. If I continue to work in the city, I'll still have to deal with it some, but not quite as much.
2. There are so many people. Don't even try to go to the grocery store at 5:00 on a week day. You can forget Walmart on a Saturday. I really don't like to be in crowds of chaos and stupid people standing in my way.
3. Expensive. I think this is obvious.
4. I listed education as a pro above, but I'm also listing it as a con. I can't imagine sending a child to school in a class of 500 or more people. That is just nuts to me. Plus you change elementary schools, middle schools, and there are hundreds of high schools. How do you choose? Public or private? I have NO idea on this one.

Pros to living in a small town:
1. As much as I hated how everyone was in my business growing up, it was kind of nice to know pretty much everyone. If I was ever in trouble anywhere, someone would always be there to help. Sometimes it's nice to walk into a restaraunt and see a familiar face. Maybe I feel like this is a pro moreso because I am currently in the city. I don't know.
2. The people I went to school with, I literally grew up with. We all went to preschool together and some of us day care before that. My friends in high school weren't just high school friends, they literally grew up with me. Our parents even went to school together and friends' parents were like my second and third sets of parents.
3. Freedoms. Especially living in a farming community you could go out to a field or pasture, light up a bonfire, crank up the radio and do whatever you want. (Ok that sounds cliche, but true!) You can't do that in your back yard here!
4. Definitely cheaper. Kind of like above, this is obvious.

Cons to living in a small town:
1. Farther away from everything, mostly the things the city has to offer. Back home we didn't even have a grocery store that was open on Sundays.
2. As much as I loved growing up with my town, I hated everyone in my business, but now as an adult, maybe it wasn't so bad. The jury is still out on this one.
3. The lack of opportunity that I already mentioned above naturally falls into this as well. This goes for both jobs and schools.
4. To continue working in Omaha, I'll have a longer commute everyday, however it won't quite be as bad as rush hour traffic trying to get from one side of town to the other. But definitely more gas.

It's easy to list pros and cons, but harder to weigh them. At this point, I'm not sure what I value more. I have a year to decide what to do but it will probably take me that long to make a decision and then change my mind 5 more times. =) I think as of now, I'm leaning toward smaller town, but I'm not 100% sure what my reasons are for that, just what I'm feeling at the moment. Time will tell and decisions will be made.....eventually! I can't wait to find out what I decide!