I go to college in a village. Legitimately, it’s a village. It is not a town, a city, a suburb, a metropolis, a borough… it is a village. I go to school in the village of Ada, Ohio. We’ve covered this. I know. But really, y’all. I never in a million years would have dreamed that I would drive four hours from home to go to school in a VILLAGE.
I don’t know what it takes to qualify as a village, but my guess is that everything has to close by 9 PM. Now, I love small towns. But this village is something completely different. It is it’s own damn world. A world where apparently the only food you are allowed to consume is Mexican, Chinese or pizza. Or McDonalds or Taco Bell. That is all. And you best believe there is not a Wal-Mart, mall, Target or ANYTHING anywhere around here. But rest assured, darlings, there is a damn good supply of corn.
Now. I’m not sure if y’all note the significance of what I’m telling you. But I’ll put this into perspective. Throughout high school, I was the epitome of teenage angst. I got into more trouble than necessary and I put my parents through Hell. Literally. They didn’t deserve a daughter as horrid and reckless and inconsiderate as I was. But, that’s what they got.
I hated my small town. I would not lay claim to it; I swore I’d get out and never come home. I had plans, and they did not include Greenville, PA. Everyone knew everything — it was like a damn cult. I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing at least ten people I knew. I loathed everything about it.
All through high school, the list of colleges I was planning to apply at included the ranks of Boston University, New York University, Loyola in Chicago, UCLA, Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, et cetera. Notice a trend? They were all in CITIES. Legitimate cities. Not towns or villages, sure as hell not flanked by cornfields and I could easily find a Dunkin Donuts or a Starbucks in the town, not have to drive three hours.
So, how did I end up at Ohio Northern University? Who the hell knows. I literally could not tell you how I heard of it, how it happened, how I decided to apply to one school, and why on Earth it was this one. Or how I decided to apply for pharmacy school. What the hell, Dortin? That’s what I say to myself when I look back at my life.
I mean, I’m not here for pharmacy school anymore, so that makes a bit more sense. And I’m happy, that’s certain. But I still haven’t figured out what brought me to this school. But what’s more is, I wouldn’t trade this little village for the world.
Yes, there’s never anything to do on a Friday night and there are more trailer parks than actual houses. The weather is absurd in the village and the townies are crazy. Yes, I would kill to be able to get a real iced coffee every once in a while. But I have the best group of friends a girl could ever imagine. I’ve got friends who will come pick me up in the morning at the cost of breakfast and a story, or pick me up from night class when its raining. I’ve got a group of guys who would go to bat for me anytime I get myself into some sort of trouble. I do that a lot. And I think that’s what brought me to Ada.
Ada has taught me to appreciate the little things. The friendships, the small town vibe, the ability to wander the streets aimlessly and not fear for my life — too much. Ada made me love my hometown. Ada taught me that I don’t want to live in a city. Life in the Village is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. Frustrating at times and a little imperfect, but I wouldn’t change a thing.