My town has 6,500 people in it, which is about the same size as your local liberal arts college. The problem with that is that 75% of them are over the age of 40. Small towns suck, that’s why rent out here is 650 for a decent house. Small towns are the worst for people my age: everyone who hasn’t left by now is either super family-oriented, weird as shit and doesn’t leave their house, or people from my high school who still wear their Letterman jackets from 2009 at bars. I’m not any of those people, I don’t like those people.
With nothing to do, and no one to do it with, you start to get a little weird. Case in point: our local police reports. Every week I look forward to getting the local newspaper, just so I can check out what type of stupid bullshit some geriatric thought was unacceptable. For example, last week I saw a report of a suspicious person walking down the street with a backpack. The police responded, and found it was a child walking home from the bus stop after school. This is type of shit that happens when there’s nothing to do, you get bored, and you start snooping on your neighbors because you think they might be havin more fun than you.
Small town America has done as much to contribute to our nation’s drug problem as our drug policies have. When I was a teenager, my friends and I didn’t have a place to hangout and do teenager things, so we’d just drive around until we found somewhere deserted and smoke weed until we thought of something better to do. We usually didn’t. As the years went on, more of my friends started to try new drugs, and when the opioid epidemic hit, small towns like mine were hit especially hard. By sophomore year of high school, people were smoking percocets in the bathrooms during lunch and doing Oxy bumps off of their desks. It’s a lot easier for a kid to get drugs than it is for them to get alcohol, so it’s a lot more common for kids to do drugs in small towns.
Now, if you’re older and married and have your life figured out, I can totally understand why you would move out here; it’s cheap, it’s quiet, it’s pretty, nobody bothers you (for the most part), there’s a lot of open space if you’re into outdoors-y things, and you can begin to build a family there. If you can afford to, live in a medium town, something with more than 10,000 people in it. That way, if you decide to have kids, they have choices and opportunities when they decide to leave the nest and make their own lives.