For most college seniors, graduation is a bittersweet time, when you’re torn between leaving old friends and the college lifestyle behind and the exciting opportunities that await. Even more so when you’ve spent four (or five, or six…) years in Athens, which is pretty much universally recognized as one of the best college towns in the country.
Flagpole sent interns Martha Michael—who’s graduating Friday, May 5 herself—and Abigail Sherrod to ask a couple dozen graduating seniors what they’ll miss most about Athens. Current students and recent graduates will, of course, recognize themselves in their answers, but older Athenians may be pleased to learn that what young people love about Athens today are the same qualities that drew them here years or even decades ago: the music, the food, the drinks, walkability, vibrant public spaces and, most of all, the sense of community. That’s one reason they call it the Classic City.
Congratulations, graduates. We’d say goodbye, but we know you’ll be back—for the football games, at least. [Blake Aued]
“All of the activities Athens provides for us. I can call up a friend and in an hour be at Creature Comforts, Terrapin or a restaurant that isn’t a chain. Or you can always have a picnic on North Campus. There’s always something to do, somewhere to walk to.”
Baton Rouge, LA
“I’ll miss all of the school pride, but I’ll really miss all the different types of festivals and activities that are always going on around town.”
“My friends and [the Georgia Theatre] rooftop… Oh, and O-bombs!”
Baton Rouge, LA
“I’ll miss being Hairy Dawg.”
Economics and international affairs
Editor’s note: Yes, Jones really was the guy in the suit.
“I’ll miss all of the food, but I’ll also miss all of the random lectures and forums and meetings on all sorts of different topics that I can attend at the last minute to learn about all different kinds of things.”
“Living with all of my friends, and living in a small, walkable city that makes it so easy to go places like Creature Comforts so easily. I’m going to miss running into people I know all the time.”
“It’s so hard. I think what I’ll miss the most is the unlimited time and lack of responsibilities. I’ll miss walking around downtown.”
International affairs and romance languages
“Will definitely miss 40 Watt and Caledonia and Go Bar—there’s so many places. I really haven’t comprehended it yet.”
“Wonderbar and Clocked. I love those places. I’ll miss the drinks and people at Wonderbar and the food at Clocked.”
Early childhood education
“A combination of the university and all of the unique attributes of Athens. It’s really hard to pick just one place, but the 40 Watt and the Georgia Theatre—those are classics. The Founder’s Garden.”
“I’m really going to miss the openness of the community here. Everyone is really friendly and it’s not like that everywhere else. I’m really going to miss Clocked. It’s the best burger I’ve ever had.”
“I’m going to miss The Rook & Pawn. It’s something really unique that I haven’t seen anywhere else.”
“The people I’ve met who are more deserving of my degree than me, like Ms. Trudy and other Snelling workers.”
“My community and my friends. I’m going to miss the library; it’s my favorite place to sit on campus. I’m also going to miss the linguistics lectures and the history lectures in LeConte and Science Cafe.”
History and linguistics
“I’ll probably miss the food the most. I can always go to a different restaurant, and I still feel like I haven’t eaten at all of them yet… The Grit is my favorite… I’ll miss how everything is. You can drive 10 minutes in any direction here and find something to do.”
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