Youth: Small-town living isn’t so bad after all

Youth: Small-town living isn't so bad after all by Erin Oliver Youth may not consider small-town living so bad after all, according to a survey conducted by the Community and Family Enterprises program at the University of South Dakota (U. CAF�).

Entitled "Youth Perceptions of Change," the report included the thoughts of over 600 teenagers from seven South Dakota communities.

According to a Sept. 2 press release, the goal of they survey was to find out what young people thought about life in a small town and whether the living conditions were changing for the better or worse.

Students were asked about jobs, community, retail shopping, cultural opportunities, the attitude of youth toward their community and the attitude of the community toward change and growth, said Dr. Tosterud of U. CAF� in the press release.

"The results of the survey reveal that over 600 high school youth from various South Dakota communities feel that conditions such as overall community physical appearance and cultural opportunities in small town America are stable or getting better," said the press release.

Dacia Dick, a USD sophomore from Philip, partially agrees with the conclusions of the study.

While Dick feels that growing up in a small-town atmosphere taught her to assume the best of people, she feels her education wasn't equal with that of her peers from larger cities.

Chris Reid, a USD sophomore from Hills, MN, said that the small size of his town negatively affected the opportunities available at his school.

"My high school weight room had one bench, one squat rack and the highest dumbbell was 35 pounds," Reid said. "The weight room was like a square in the corner of the gym. I was at an overall disadvantage, as far as education goes."

Travis Stevens, a junior from Big Piney, WY, said that though he grew up in a small town, his education was not affected negatively.

"In my school I had the same access to technology," Stevens said.

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