Advice from 1922: Don’t Go to the City

Small-town America was emptying in the 1920s as young people left the countryside for big-city opportunities. The Post editors warned they’d have a better chance for success at home.

Cover by John Falter.

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—“The Siren Voice,” Editorial from the August 12, 1922, issue of The Saturday Evening Post

The impulse of youth to fly cityward is followed too often by disillusionment. Most of those who follow the bright lights will lead only mediocre lives, no happier nor more successful than they’d be in the country. Poorly paid clerical positions await them. A few will reach the top and win the prizes that dazzle the rest. But ability and initiative have their reward in small places more often and more fully, if not to the same spectacular extent.

As a cold business proposition, the small-town goal is more likely to be reached than the dazzling city heights. If the young man must have his fling he will take it. But if he really wants success, let him weigh carefully where it is most likely to be found.

Read the entire article ‘The Siren Voice’ from the August 12, 1922 issue of The Saturday Evening Post

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