From Metro Atlanta to Rural Statesboro

Reflector Community

by Tandra Smith
Until my senior year, I had no idea what or where Statesboro was. The only S city that I knew of down in south Georgia was Savannah, which I had frequented quite a bit. It actually amuses me that of all the times I’ve travelled down 1-16 towards Savannah, I didn’t know that I would be passing by my new home. But back to my senior year.
I had began my college search early. At the time, I was only considering three schools that had the major I wanted to, well, major in: Georgia State, University of Georgia and the University of West Georgia. My heart was set on the University of Georgia because I had toured the school and fell absolutely in love with the campus. I talked to a few journalism professors and was really beginning to envision myself at that school. I had toured Georgia State and West Georgia, but UGA still had my heart. Until one fateful college visit by Georgia Southern University.
They had the meeting in my high school’s theatre. It was decently packed and I didn’t know what to expect. The recruiter showed a video of the campus and other amenities and I was immediately interested. For the next 45 minutes, I was hooked on his every word, listening to everything he had to offer. When I went home that day, I immediately looked up Georgia Southern and did some research for myself. I was even more pleased. Sure, I didn’t know where Statesboro was, but I was still pleased.
So, it was time for a campus tour, in person. Ever since then, I’ve been in love. The campus was prettier than Georgia’s, the people were friendlier, buildings nicer and I really got that campus feel. This was my new home.
I applied and was accepted! I was ecstatic. I just had one problem though.
What is Statesboro?
I did a Google search and found that that the population was 29,937. Not too bad, until I found out that the population of the university was 20,517. Which meant that whenever there wasn’t school, Statesboro’s actual population was only around 9,400 people. Now, where I come from, my town’s population is only around 6,800. But my town is by other smallish and medium sized towns, not to mention only about 5-10 minutes away from downtown Atlanta. So 6,800 in a metropolitan area is different than 6,800 in a rural area.
In addition, I found out that the closest big cities were Savannah, which was about an hour away, Macon, which was about 2 hours away, and Augusta, which was about an hour and a half away.  Since I was coming to college without a car, I would basically be stuck in Statesboro with no way to even get to towns that had a fraction of what Atlanta had to offer. How would I survive?
Well, currently on my third month of school, I’ve managed to make do. I definitely miss how accessible malls and other restaurants were to me and I miss being close to Atlanta. But I also have to admit that Statesboro has a bit of charm to it that my hometown didn’t. Downtown Statesboro is absolutely adorable with it’s cute little shops and small cafes and restaurants. At any given time, it would take you less than an hour to drive through every inch of Statesboro. And finally, it’s that perfect college town that when game day happens, the whole town is practically in attendance.
Yeah, I miss the Metro, but Statesboro has grown on me too.
About Tandra:
I’m Tandra Smith, a freshman Journalism major from Austell, GA. I enjoy all things reading, writing, and news.