Sarah Hopkins, Capital High School
As you get older, you have to start making important decisions in your life. You have to choose what career you want to pursue, where you want to go to college and, after college, where you want to live. For instance, you could live in a big city like New York or Los Angeles or stay in a small town here in West Virginia or another state. Like other things in life, where you live may be all about the money.Living in a small town has a lot of benefits, including cost. It's a lot cheaper than living in a big city. But to save money, you need to spend a little.Living in a small town or out in the country, you'll come across a lot of land. By buying some acres and using them for gardening, farming and raising livestock, you can provide for your family and other people as well. Not only will you be growing your own foods and having meat provided through your livestock, but you can trade your goods with other farmers or sell to grocery shops.If you own a farm, you don't really have any use for a car either because your land is right outside your house. The only time you would need a vehicle is to go into town to sell your crops. You would only need gasoline for that and to use on the farm equipment.
These are some reasons to live in a small town, but they're not the only ones. All the students asked about this topic said they preferred to live in a small town, and they all had different reasons. Valley High School sophomore Johnnie Nuckols would prefer to live in a small town because you know more people around you. "There is too much going on in a big city," she said, adding that she'd like to live somewhere like South Carolina because of its weather and beauty.Clay County High School junior Sarah Adkins agrees with Nuckols about big cities; she says they're crowded and loud. She would rather live in a small town."I like where I live," she said. "I like being to myself and being around people I know."Riverside High School sophomore Kaleigh Miller would choose to live in a small town, though since she hopes for a future in art, she knows that a big city would probably be better for her career. She will more then likely stay in West Virginia because of her family, but she said if she had to move outside of West Virginia, it would be to Texas or somewhere else in the South."I don't think I could leave my family, though," she said.If she lived in a small town, Miller said she would consider something farming. "I was always around animals my whole life," she said.Nuckols, on the other hand, would not. She said, "It's too much hard work. And I'll have school and one day be a nurse and have kids."Living in a city like New York or Los Angeles would also be a lot of work. You have to have some money saved before even going there because they are not cheap, and you're not automatically going to find a job or a place to live when you get there. Yes, big cities have bigger opportunities, but their houses and apartments cost a whole lot more. Apartments there can cost $1,500 to $2,000 a month -- and many don't include utilities.You also have to think of transportation costs, though in a big city, they might be cheaper than in a small town. You could possibly find an apartment near where you work, and in New York, you can take taxis and the subway so that you don't need a car. That means no car payment, car insurance or gasoline costs.Thinking about where to live is an important decision in your life. You want to live somewhere you like, but it's not always about fun. You have to find a place where you believe you can provide for yourself and your family while also being happy and stress-free.