The Southern Bubble

By Chase Chalker

This past summer I became a local. I know, it’s crazy. Every student here wants to leave Statesboro, and I plan on it as soon as my lease is up. For now though, thanks to working at a local bakery and accidentally updating my license to my address here, I fell into this small town’s community and I’m not too upset about it.

Statesboro is small, no one can argue that. The US Census Bureau estimates we had a population of 30,367 in 2014. That number is a little outdated, but things as we all know don’t change often here. It doesn’t help that Georgia Southern had an enrollment of 20,517 in the same year. That means that the student body takes up a whopping two thirds of the population and that’s not counting the large number of Faculty and Staff.

Despite this tidal wave that is Georgia Southern, Statesboro does exist outside of Fair Road, the Plaza and our two Walmarts. Downtown is an area that I’ve grown to love. From Saturday Farmers Markets, to trying the latest brew at Eagle Creek, to fresh pizza on Fridays at Sugar Magnolia, shows at the Averitt or even city council meetings in our town hall. Downtown Statesboro is a fantastic place that’s constantly growing.

Most students are surprised to know we have an awesome airport on the fringes of town, or even multiple fresh seafood and meat markets. Ever taken a right off of Veterans instead of a left for the Walmart? We’ve got a great Goodwill that I spend entirely too much time at and a handful of neat shops and restaurants down that way. There’s even a minor wrestling league that does a cage match in the Ryan’s parking lot once a year. I couldn’t make that up if I tried.

My point is that your four years or so here don’t have to be as grueling as you think. There’s plenty to do and explore in this weird little town. I know there are plenty of students that enjoy this city as much as I do, but for you few that still haven’t gone any farther than South City I really recommend taking a lazy Saturday to do some exploring. Statesboro has plenty to offer during your stay.