The decision to relocate to a new community or town is often a complex one, influenced by various factors such as job opportunities, quality of life, and personal preferences. However, an intriguing phenomenon emerges when it comes to the psychology of settling down: the last person to move into a community tends to have idea they should be to the final addition to the neighborhood or town. :
This ” Last One In Syndrome” refers to the feeling that the most recent resident in a community should, in an ideal world, be the last person to join that particular place. This sentiment can be traced back to a desire for stability I suppose. Many times you will hear people say ” we moved here to get away from this or that”, but the truth is, those are the people who brought the growth with them. This is not meant to be a negative comment either, it just is what it is.
I was born and raised in Newnan. I am a Newnanite as they say. As a teenager, my friend group complained incessantly about how we had nothing to do here. It was a rather boring small town. At one point we had an ice skating rink and a roller skating rink, however that didn’t last too long. Our source of entertainment was driving around in circles up and down Bullsboro Drive or hoping somebody’s parents were out of town so we could have a party. When I moved my husband here in the early 1990’s his co-workers at Southern Company jokingly game him a cinder block to put under his “hick town” house. It was funny, but it also spoke to the idea that Newnan was this little town with nothing more than farmers and a corner store. We all know how quickly it changed, and I think it had been for the better. Many of my childhood friends now complain about too much growth… as they sit in one of our thriving restaurants, or in traffic on the way to Target. Isn’t it ironic. Don’t you think?
I suppose people yearn for a utopian community where everyone knows each other, where social bonds are strong, and where change is slow and deliberate. However, for most towns if you are not “growing” then you are “dying”. We talk often on the podcast about how to balance the growth and keep that sense of a small town, but there are several case studies of towns whose population ages out. When that happens school population shrinks and stores close and jobs move due to the lack of work force.
This county is a living breathing entity and we have to feed and and take care of it. In a conversation with Candance Boothby, the President and CEO of our Chamber of Commerce, the idea of intentionality was discussed. Its a concept of how land and property owners can work with intention to help our community grow the right way. of course it’s more complicated than just saying – “oh, I will just wait until I find the right fit for my property” but it’s the idea of working together for the greater good. (Tune in and listen to the episode – 99 Problems)
This Last One In Syndrome sheds light on the complex interplay between wanting it all and the desire for an idealized community. While the pressure to not let anyone else in the door may sound appealing, in 20 years the question would be, why can’t we get anyone to work? Where is my Trader Joes? So as you are sitting at the next redlight complaining about traffic- make note of where you going and then ask yourself – Should I stay or is it time to go?
In Case you didn’t know:
NIMBY + Not in my back yard…