Small Town Heroes

McKaylei Munden


May 3, 2017

Small Town Heroes

The Stigma 

A Sonic Drive-In, Dairy Queen food chain and a downtown square with boutiques and antique shops are familiar sightings to small town natives.


There are many small towns in the state of Texas and they all seem to carry the same stigma of everyone knows everyone and how high their dirty laundry is stacked. Although there are many disadvantages of living in small town, there are just as many advantages that outweigh those taunting rumors of what small town life is like.



Panoramic view of the Kaufman County downtown square.

Rachel Yancey, a junior at SFA, is from McKinney, Texas, a suburb outside of the Dallas area. McKinney has a population of about 160,000 people with three high school and more than 10 elementary schools.


“It has, pretty much, anything you need very close to you, you never have to go far,” Yancey said.

Going From Big to Small 

The perks of living in a large town is the accessibility of shopping and endless options for dining, but personal connections are lost. Living in a smaller community, such as Nacogdoches, offers a closeness in the community that bigger, suburban towns don’t get to experience.


“Moving to Nacogdoches and living here for the majority of the year for school, has been quite a change,” Yancey said.


After living in the Dallas metroplex her whole life, Yancey reflects on the differences and changes that she had to adapt to while attending the university.


“It’s definitely been interesting going from living in a bigger city and in Dallas to way out in East Texas, in a college town,” Yancey said. “It takes you about five minutes to get anywhere you need to go in Nacogdoches; however, there are not a whole lot of places to actually go to in Nacogdoches.”

Advantages & Disadvantages 

The advantage of getting places quick is a perk of living in a small town; however, there are limited activities. With the limited opportunities for things to do, responsibility is left in the hands of… you.


When you’re a small child, growing up in small town is wonderful. Friday night football games are always on the agenda for the week and church on Sunday is a given.


As you grow older, as in a high school student or a college student coming home for the weekend, it doesn’t seem as fun as it used to be.


“There are benefits of being in a small town, you never have to drive far, even if you go to the opposite side of Nacogdoches, it takes you, maybe, 10 minutes,” Yancey said. “Everyone knows everyone, so everybody will remember you and it’s just very friendly.”


Yancey also explains that living in Nacogdoches is very homie and easy to navigate. Yancey also offers some advice for incoming freshman that will be attending SFA in the fall of 2017.


“The biggest piece of advice that I can give to incoming freshman is to prepare yourself that there is no Target,” Yancey said, laughing.


All joking aside about Lufkin Target, Yancey says that coming to Nacogdoches and coming to SFA has been great for her. She also says that she would not take for granted getting the experience of coming to a small town after living in such a big city for so long.

Wise Advice 

As I am getting ready to graduate from SFA in the spring and incoming freshman are gearing up to attend in the fall, I will leave you with this advice.

  • Don’t let the narrow turning lanes in the middle of North Street scare you, your car will fit.
  • A little secret, Pearl Street runs parallel to North Street. If North Street is to be congested, you have a plan B.
  • Commuters: leave an hour before your class and you may find a parking spot in the garage by Lumberjack Landing.
  • Enjoy your time at SFA and try not to rush the process. Looking for a job and sending out resumes is not as fun and rewarding as “they” say will be.

For incoming students, check out to see what the community offers.

This is McKaylei Munden, reporting for


[email protected]