Bulldog of Liberty

You probably never thought you’d read that title. I never thought I’d write this article.

But here I am, in a coffee shop in Brooklyn reflecting on my past four years at the University of Georgia and how it facilitated my move to New York City. Believe it or not, my time as a UGA student helped me live in the Big Apple.

Everyone’s in a hurry, both at UGA and in NYC, so I’ll keep the points short:

  • Cramming your body onto a busy Orbit bus is like cramming your body onto a crowded metro train — which will happen to you. You automatically take off your backpack to create space, giving you extra cool points from your fellow passengers.
  • Walking on a street in downtown Athens that smells like vomit, urine and sewage is pretty much what the breeze in NYC smells like. I could definitely stomach it better after strolling through Athens on Friday night.
  • It’s comparably humid in New York City as it is in Georgia. Moving 800 miles north, I thought I could escape the suffocating heat, but it’s nearly as hot in NYC as it is on a cooler summer day in Georgia. It must be being constantly surrounded by sunlit metal and concrete all day.
  • The same feeling of dread you get shopping at the overly priced UGA bookstore is like shopping everywhere in New York. It’s all overpriced, but at least you’ve built tolerance to it by buying books and those stupid clickers.
  • Like UGA, lots of people are tabling for their organization and trying to get your attention in New York. You’re an expert at walking past and avoiding eye contact if you regularly pass by Tate on your way to classes.
  • Random roommates are pretty much the norm if you want to live cheaply here. Although, enjoy the amenities Athens life gives you, like your own private bathroom, rent under $500 and your own car — it’s not the case here.
  • About 30% of the hipster folks you see on the street looks like they could have been in WUOG. Hipsterdom transcends geography.
  • There are so many people to meet, things to do and organizations to join that it’s like being a freshman all over again.

For UGA students planning to move to a big city after graduation, know that there will indeed be a transition. You’re going to have to walk a lot more, take a subway, or Uber to get to where you need to go. You’ll feel like your wallet has a hole in it, and you’ll be leaking money everywhere you go.

The big fish you once were in the small pond of Athens will be dunked into the ocean of New York. But some of the things you learned in Athens will help you stay afloat in the Big Apple.

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