Many people from Arkansas will tell you it’s better to graduate from a small town high school than in a huge class from one of the bigger city districts. They’re right, in some ways. Not to take away from Arkansans who graduated from city schools–you’ve earned your bragging rights too, of course–but small town high schools just have an energy that’s on a different wavelength than what you’ll find in schools with larger populations.
11. School clubs actually mean something.
School clubs in big towns get their name in the paper more. Arkansas small town school clubs earn their awards, too, and sometimes without the big-town accolade. That doesn't stop small town students, though--their collective heart does big things for little locations.
10. If you wanted to catch up on everything, you went to football games.
It didn't take long to keep up with the latest teenage news if you went to a small town school in Arkansas. Did you miss the gossip at lunchtime? Catch up at the game! Football games were social gatherings as much as they were a support system for the school's team.
9. Homecoming is an art form.
Homecoming is the chance for artists to show off their creativity with floats and for the young ladies of the court to select lovely gowns to represent their memorable walk on the football field. Small town Arkansas schools take Homecoming seriously, and they should--because it's one of the rare chances of the year for everyone to show off their talent, from artisans to football players.
8. The field trips were much more fun.
The great thing about field trips when you attend a small town school is that you don't have to drive long distances from the city to get to the cool places. The beauty of the natural state is just a short and scenic ride away from your school.
7. You went to prom in your gym or cafeteria.
City students may rent out nice locations for their prom, and that's good for them. Small town Arkansas towns--especially back in the day--would deck out the high school gym or cafeteria in finery and hold the festivities right there on campus. It was alright, too. None of the magic was lost, and great memories were still made!
6. Deer season meant empty desks.
The youth in this picture may be a few years away from high school, but you can bet he's out there with guys of all ages; fathers, brothers and uncles. Deer season is a family thing in Arkansas, and small town schools around the state are pretty used to attendance being slightly lower during this popular hunting season.
5. You'd rather catch a ride than take the bus.
Once you have a high school friend with a car, you're usually ready to say 'bye bye' to the school bus. The bus ride can be a long one if you're from a really small Arkansas town and have to be bused to the nearest district.
4. You always got out of school even for the most minimal of inclement weather.
Living in a small town, especially out where buses ran to a variety of locations, was beneficial to Arkansas high schoolers when it snowed. Even if the roads iced slightly by the morning and all the major school districts were still attending, the buses wouldn't risk going through tricky areas in smaller towns. This was always good news when growing up outside Hensley and attending school in Sheridan--because those buses weren't running if there was snow on the ground.
3. You always had classes with your friends.
School is awesome when it's not a class full of 28 bored kids. When you went to a small town school in the Natural State, the class sizes were smaller (and still are). The chances of you being happy to see your schedule were higher, too--because you'd always have one, two, or all of your classes with your friends!
2. Everybody knew where you lived.
By the time you got to high school when you grew up in a small town, everybody knew the route. Usually you'd been taking the same bus route for years. As a result, you got to know not only where your neighbors lived but where everyone else's bus stop was, too. That made it handy when you wanted to go visit on weekends--because you knew exactly where to ride your bike.
1. Everybody does their best to keep in touch.
Years can pass by after graduation, and if you have the capability to keep up with classmates , you will! Once you've graduated from a small town, you'll usually remember a name if not a familiar face from your school days.
There really are benefits to attending and graduating from a small town Arkansas school. In addition to keeping in contact with your classmates and attending reunions, you have the treat of explaining what’s so cool about your alma mater. Most people are aware of the culture of big city schools in Arkansas, but you get to share your perspective of coming of age in a lesser-known place.