Greenwood, South Carolina…a place of gangs and rednecks, doctors and businessmen, two high schools, one university, and as many restaurants as you will ever need in 16.3 square miles of land. Greenwood was all I knew growing up. It was my birthplace, the place I met my best friends that I still keep in touch with today, the place that holds almost every memory from my childhood. However, upon arriving to Clemson for college, I realized that the city that had been everything for me was only a word most people vaguely remembered from learning the counties of South Carolina in high school geography class. Nonetheless, this place holds a special place in my heart.
A movie theatre, bowling, putt-putt golf, and high school football games are about the only options for fun on a Friday night in Greenwood. I consider this lack of options a blessing because it opened the door for driveway basketball, video games, and other things not appropriate mentioning with my high school friend group. I have observed many of my college friends distancing themselves from high school friends upon arriving to Clemson, and I think this is a benefit to some extent. However, remaining grounded with my high school friends has allowed me to remember where I came from and remain focused on where I want to go.
Describing Greenwood without mentioning my family is similar to liking the Red Sox without hating the Yankees. It seemed like every school night was booked with my brother’s baseball games or sister’s basketball games. As if that wasn’t fun enough, a trip to the Dixie, Greenwood’s claim-to-fame burger joint, was always the move after these events. After all, are you truly from Greenwood if you’ve never been to the Dixie? I think not.
After leaving Greenwood and seeing a little more of the world throughout my college experience, I realize that I would rather settle someplace else upon graduation. However, Greenwood is always a place I will know as “home.”