For some reason, I've been consciously separating myself from my hometown. I wear my Exeter t-shirts and my class ring everywhere. I went to the town high school's graduation to cheer for my friends, and I wore my Exeter math club sweatshirt. I'm not really sure why I'm doing that. I guess it's because most of the kids in this town share the same high school experience; they have stories about teachers that everyone understands as soon as they're being told; they have stories that I never would have expected about people I used to know. I have three friends with whom I regularly hang out, but one of them goes to Catholic school out of town, so the other two, who happen to be sisters, are my only source of information about my old classmates, and I usually want to talk to them about their lives, not other people's.
I guess I'm just pointing out that experiences outside of this town had the major part in shaping me. I know downtown Exeter much better than I know downtown Guilford, having spent more time in the former during the past three years than in the latter in the thirteen years preceding that. I have awesome stories about wandering around outside between four and five in the morning on the last day of classes of the year (getting Dunkin' Donuts or being accosted by a strange man in Walgreen's). I had less adult supervision than probably was healthy between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, but now I am not afraid of college because I've already had a similar experience. It isn't my first time away from home, and that's significant. I think it allowed me to get into a good university in the first place.
I definitely don't think I'm better than anyone here. I'm not raising myself above the other kids. I went to my friend's graduation party and I was just another kid. But I was probably the only one who looked only slightly, or not at all familiar. I am different. I'm awkward at parties because I don't want to just talk about my fancy school up in New Hampshire, but I also don't have anything to say about the local high school. I think it'll probably get better at MIT. There, everyone will be from a different place, and we'll all have different stories to tell. And soon, we'll have MIT stories to tell. I'm excited for that.