rem1984 wrote:I'd also love some insight. Specifically: What are the best areas to live in close to North Campus, is it better to rent or buy, and has anyone had success negotiating a bigger scholarship? I'm in with $5k a year, and I would absolutely love to go there, but I'm aiming for less than ~$20k in debt after graduation. Oh, another question; is there a decent legal market in and around Athens? Is it a place a lawyer could stay forever and make decent (as in more than 75k) money? Or will you need to go to Atlanta? GO DAWGS!
Hi! I went to UGA for undergrad, and I LOVE Athens. My advice for living is avoid apartments and shoot for a house North / Northwest / West of campus within 1-2 miles. You do NOT need a car in Athens, so living close enough to North Campus to walk/bike everyday is super worth it. All of my classes were on North Campus and I never lived more than half a mile away from my classes and I NEVER paid more than $400 for rent (and I always had my own bathroom!!).
Some things in particular that are so special about Athens:
-The food is amaaaaaazing and SO cheap! You are hard pressed to find a good meal over $10.
-Music scene is so amazing. Of Montreal, The B52s, R.E.M., Reptar, and SO many other bands/music projects all come from Athens. A lot of the social scene revolves around going to shows to see local bands at all the venues downtown (there are a lot) or some cooler low-key spots like house parties and secret places (the Secret Squirrel is a place and it is a secret).
-Art scene! So many artists come to Athens just to be in the vibrant art scene. Tons of art and its very communal.
-"Townie" culture. People who have stayed in Athens for some years and are not keen on the frat culture are often referred to as "townies." These are basically progressive hippie types who all dress amazingly cool and weird and hang out on the side of town where the frat boys don't go. They are sweet and cool and hang out at places like Go Bar. These are the people to befriend in town.
-You will see your friends everywhere you go! Whether you are walking your dog to the coffee shop, going to brunch, or walking around North Campus, you will start seeing people you know everywhere. It is lovely. You really quickly feel like you have a community and a network, and that is a really nice thing to have.
-Athens is GORGEOUS. I remember walking to class in awe of beauty all throughout the seasons.
Some drawbacks to Athens:
-Frat culture gets very old very fast. A lot of intolerant, privileged boys perpetuating misogyny, trashing the town, and yelling dumb, offensive things out of their dumb amped up trucks at anyone who DOESN'T look like a frat boy. There is a very pervasive rivalry in town between the frat ppl and the non frat ppl. Once you have some maturity, you don't quite appreciate drunk, loud white boys puking on your steps, yelling and knocking over your trash cans.
-Athens is small. Most economic opportunity is in Atlanta, and that goes for law as well as most things people are studying at UGA. At one point, Athens-Clarke County was considered the poorest county in the country.
-Football is fun but it can be really overwhelming. If you're not participating in the festivities, seriously don't even try leaving your house.
-Drinking is ubiquitous. Fun & VERY cheap in Athens, but your alcohol tolerance will go up, you will end up spending more $$ to compensate, get a lil beer belly, and maybe
become an alcoholic? But it is very much a part of the culture.
Ok very long post but I love Athens and really cherished my time living there, so I thought maybe this would be helpful for some people out there. DM me if anyone wants to know more!