For those who don’t know, I live in West Sussex, a county located in the South East of England. Like most counties, West Sussex has its fair share of towns. We have Chichester, Horsham, Crawley *shudders*. Since we’re on the coast as well, we also have coastal towns like Littlehampton and Bognor *shudders again*.
However in between those are a large amount of tiny little villages. I happen to live in one of those. We have got a little bit bigger as the years have gone by, but when I was younger it was one of those kinds of villages where everyone knows everyone and where gossip was rife. Kind of like a replica of Emmerdale down in the south really.
My opinion on living in a village varies from time to time. Some times I love it, sometimes I hate it. At the moment it’s one of the things that’s giving me trouble when it comes to picking a university. Two of them I can live at home while studying if I wanted to, but do I want to? That’s the question that I’m kind of stumped on.
I’m a massive fan of How I Met Your Mother, and whenever Ted Mosby is in a conundrum like this he gets a yellow legal pad out for a game of ‘pros and cons time’. Now I don’t have a yellow legal pad, but I do have this blog, and I thought it would be a great idea to do this for my little situation. By thinking and listing the pros and cons to living in a village, I can see if I think the pros out weight any of the cons. Also, I’m hoping it makes for an interesting, hopefully humorous, if not slightly listy (is that a word?) post.
So, gather round boys and girls, because it’s pros and cons time.
- How quiet it is. Towns can be noisy. Villages also can be sometimes, but not as much. Sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy the lovely peace and quiet that living in a village brings me.
- The closeness of the people that live there. I go to a college in a town and pass strangers all the time, and you do not dare to say hello to them. Cause, you know, that would be weird. It’s rare that I’ll ever bump into someone I know randomly when I’m in town. However, in the village I’m bound to bump into someone I know, because I know almost everyone. Even if we just share a smile, it’s still nice.
- It also means that if a parcel is left with a neighbour because you weren’t in, it isn’t that much of a problem because you know your neighbours. — Unless it’s one you don’t get along with. Then it’s a problem.
- The amount of different country walks you can go on is fabulous. — A walk down the South Downs trail, anyone?
- Adding on from the last point; the vast array of opportunities for great nature shots. Hello Instagram!
- While I consume a lot of Costa whenever I’m at college, I will take my local cafe’s hot chocolate over theirs any day. It’s generally a lot cheaper as well for a generous mug size too!
- There’s also something I just love about spending a winter evening at a country pub that has an open fire.
- There are literally no clothes shops unless they are charity shops. — Don’t get me wrong, charity shops can be great sometimes. There are many a piece that I adore that I managed to snag from a charity shops. But for me, they are hit and miss. And the majority of the time its more a miss than a hit. Sometimes I just need a high street shop to go and wander in and look at clothes I know I’ll love. But alas I’ve got to travel half an hour to the nearest town to do that.
- Similar to the last point, the nearest cinema is half an hour away to the nearest town. Thank God for the 2 for 1 cinema tickets off of Compare The Market, or me and my mum would be finding going to the cinema a lot more costly than it is now. And that would be devastating because, as a filmie, going to the cinema is very important to me.
- Oh even going to the gym requires a 15 minute drive to the nearest one, just fyi.
- Basically the only things you can spend your day doing here is going to a pub, cafe, or shopping at the garden centre or the supermarket. If you don’t want to do any of these things, well, once again its 30 minutes of travelling to be able to do something different.
- The cost of buying/renting a place to live, despite there being nothing around to do, are oddly higher than the towns which, you know, have a lot more to do. — Not entirely applicable to me, as if I stay I’d be living with my mum. But I thought it was a valid point.
- Actually the cost of living around here is just generally a tad higher in most aspects.
- No jobs. Literally none. I know in our current economic climate, its similar pretty much everywhere. But in seriousness, unless you want a job working at Tesco, Sainsburys, or working in care, then you’re out of luck. And even then there is some fierce competition if there is ever a job available, because everyone is applying for the same damn thing, because it’s the only job available at the time.
- Basically, you’ll probably have to get a job outside of the village. Sometimes as much as an hour drive in some cases. Hello travel expenses.
- Same for education. Unless you’re in primary school, you’ve got to travel.
- Trains can be limited. Busses even more so.
- It is so difficult to explain to anyone where you’re from because they didn’t even know your village existed. “Umm it’s close to Brighton.” is my usual go to explanation. If that doesn’t work I go “It’s near London.” Even though I’m over an hour away from it. Sigh.
- Gossip. Just the stupid, petty gossip.
So as you can see, I’ve found a lot more cons than I have pros. But do the pros still outweigh the cons? Honestly, if anything, I’d say they just simply cancel each other out, which means I’m back to square one. Hopefully when I start going to uni interviews next week, that’ll help me decide!
Where does everyone else live? Town or city? Do you love it or hate it? Share your thoughts!