- So what’s it like to live in a small town? Students from larger cities and other countries share some of the things they like best.
- One thing that surprises students from large cities is how friendly strangers are. Even if you don’t know the people you pass by on the way to the coffee shop, they’ll smile at you.
- From grocery stores to parks to pizza places to concert venues, Grinnell has some of the same amenities as a larger city, but fewer of them—a few rather than dozens.
- Grinnell’s small size makes connecting with people in town easy and comfortable too—even if you’re not used to smiling at strangers.
Life in Grinnell, Iowa
The time at Grinnell is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I'm both born and raised in Chicago. So just shy of three million is a lot different than just shy of 10,000. In Chicago, there's probably 1000s of grocery stores in Grinnell, we only have like two or three in Chicago on a-- you know, on a Friday night-- there's maybe 30 concerts when there's one in Grinnell. It just sort of put things in perspective where it's like, you still have everything that you need around you-- you just start interacting with it individually a little bit more. Only in a small town will there'll only be four baristas. So they all know your coffee order, you know. And just that level of intimacy and getting to know people right off the bat is what made me really fall in love this place. I think one of my favorite things about the town of Grinnell is the personability of everyone that lives there. There has always been a community feel, whether it was the first time I visited campus, or my past four years here. Having someone look at you and say hi to you, converse with you, is not very common for a lot of people coming from bigger cities. So it's, it's such a nice, and pleasant feeling at my time at Grinnell. It's kind of fun when you sort of-- throughout the semester, get a routine, especially when you're walking through the town, you start to see the same people. And you see, you know, the same people every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and they'll wave to you-- Because you see them so much. Like we just build a connection with them build a relationship. It's really nice to just have that intimacy with such a small community. My can't miss in the town of Grinnell is that whenever there's warmer weather, Grinnell has a farmers market. I absolutely love the farmers market. It reminds me of home. My can't miss for Grinnell is every spring there is an event called Stu fest. And basically, it's like 15 to 20 people in town, they make different stews, and you get to vote on your favorite one, and you donate money, and get like a mug, and you just try all of them. I tell everyone about it, and it's really embarrassing, but I love it. I really like going to Frontier, the restaurant, honestly because it's so cheap. Well, it's pretty cheap and the food is honestly pretty good. And then you get like a pretty decent amount. I like the pancakes like-- I like the pecan pancakes, I think. Yeah. I think my favorite part of the town, everything's amazing. But the Central Park in particular, its newly renovated, beautiful, it has not only kind of a children's Park, but a concert space. There sometimes outside concerts that are there. But it's also the most beautiful place to look at the stars. Something that you can't miss in town is going to hotel Grinnell for the Thanksgiving dinner that they provide for the college students. I remember going my first year with a lot of my friends, we got all dressed up and we got there and the food was absolutely amazing. I had such a good time. I just I think it was like one of my favorite days of the year. It is an amazing experience because you get to meet towns people from all across from Grinnell and you get to have dinner with them during Thanksgiving. And it is a great thing for students who can't go home at that time. The people in the town of Grinnell, make it what it is make it super special. They're really welcoming, inviting college students. I'm really impressed with how the college, and it's students really integrate with the community. I think the small interactions that you really have with the towns people, it changes the way you think about Grinnell. It really changed the way that I thought about the community here. I really felt like I belonged. I felt that I was included within this community. To me Grinnell, Iowa has become home, and that's something that I was really, really surprised by. I was surprised by how much it felt like I was at home and this is where I belong.
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