The Unwritten Rules of a Small Town Girl


Written By Shivani Chaudhari – Student Writer

There is an ideal window to fall asleep and I always miss it, once the night seeps past midnight I know I will be awake until 4am with the strangest thoughts. My eyes prevail to stare into the darkness and one part of my brain asks the other, why I am still awake? And this is where the self- loathing kicks in, but how else am I supposed to keep my mind preoccupied, after all, I am a small town girl inherently aware that there is never anything exciting to do.

Also when you tell people you are from a small town, you find yourself blubbering on about where it’s close too because you know they will not have the faintest clue. Or worse, they reply with ‘oh I know where that is, my Nan lives there.’ Growing up you were exposed to a wide range of social groups that were mainly created out of boredom. For example, that group of boys that would consider themselves to be really badass, but would shit their pants if they ever came across a real gang. The main (self-proclaimed) ‘badman’ was about 5ft and had an eyebrow piercing to compensate for his tragic height. He and his troubled following would spend their time placing stones on train tracks and waiting for the trains to flick them off as they drove past. During sixth form and I starting using the trains more frequently, I would always see them every other day.

Either completely baked and throwing rocks at each other, or acting like slightly more noticeable morons under the influence of alcohol whilst guarding their six-packs with their life. If they saw me they would shout the same abuse in order to make me feel like a freak. They would use the same techniques, but I was relieved to see that their insults had now become redundant. And then it always made me question what made me fear these people in the first place, why did I run a mile at the sight of these half-wits? Are all small town girls supposed to be scared and the absolute opposite of audacious, what is the opposite of audacious anyway?

The worst thing about being a small town girl is you are so optimistic about everything, you will wish away your childhood convinced that the sole root to all your problems is this beaten, bruised, and tired small town. Once you get out your life will improve, sooner or later it will become evident that the only escape is taking out a small fortune of 29k in order to go to university. The town is bigger but you quickly realise that everything is still just as degraded, just less racist and better dressed.

Was this a degree that I wanted or just something I needed to get out of a place that showed me no comfort to call home.