Dan Nguyen, 1st year Environmental Epidemiology
So one of the biggest questions everyone asks before coming to Rollins is: will I need a car? This is important because it determines where you’re going to live in proximity to campus, how you’re going to buy groceries and other necessities, and what you’re going to do in your free time! Having moved from Boston where taking the T (Metro/public transportation) was life and having a car was unrealistic, to then hearing about how the MARTA (Atlanta’s Metro) was incomparable and you have to drive everywhere to get from point A to B…well I began stressing about living without my own personal vehicle.
First and foremost, living in Atlanta while going to school at Rollins is PERFECTLY MANAGEABLE without a car! I repeat, despite what other blogs and whisperings you overhear, don’t fear – how else do you think the other 70% (totally guesstimating, but really it’s not that many) of the student body who don’t own a car? Hopefully in reading this guide, you’ll see that you might have 99 problems but a car WON’T be one.
Ugh so where should I live?
Campus Crossings, Harwood, Emory Point, etc.
In looking for a place to stay, it’s quite obvious that living within a mile from school can be ultra convenient. Personally, I chose to live at Campus Crossings for a few reasons.
- Renting is by room, so you’re only responsible for your own rent. Roommate moving out, not your problem! Roommate matching is also available so you can find grad students with compatible studying, partying, sleeping, etc. habits.
- CC comes completely furnished, which was pretty nice. If you only plan on being here for the 2 year program, this allows you to not worry about buying new furniture and having to sell it all after graduation. Bedrooms come with full sized bed, desk, chair, drawers and side table and the living room also has couches and coffee tables.
- CC is only about a mile away from campus. While it is quite hilly around the CDC area, walking takes on average ~22 minutes.
- There is an Emory Cliff (B) shuttle that stops right outside the apartment complex. It pretty much comes every half hour and makes a loop around the campus.
- There is a Kroger grocery store in the plaza right near CC. It’s literally a 5 minute walk which makes it convenient for after class dinner shopping or late night munchies splurging!
While I obviously can’t speak to living in the other apartment complexes that are close to campus, I have friends who live in each and everyone finds what works best for them!
But Dan, how else would I get around?
I won’t try to begin the argument of which ridesharing service is best, but needless to say students here mostly rely on one of the two for going out on the weekends. Drinking and driving is a no-no and we’re in public health so it’s definitely an even bigger no-no. If that’s not your scene, you’ll definitely love the many festivals and public events, as well as eclectic restaurants available in the ATL. It’s great that campus is close to midtown and all the other hip areas (see other blog posts on various Atlanta hotspots) – on average an Uber/Lyft ride out on the town can range from $7-15. Split that among 3 others and you pretty much have a ride for less than $3. A ride to and from the airport is typically ~$24, so leaving or coming back from break is easy peasy! Also if you’ve never used any of these services before, there are always codes for a free first ride usually up to $20 (ask me for my code ;-)).
Emory Cliff Shuttles
As mentioned above, there are free designated shuttle routes that can pretty much link you to other areas of interest or major transport hubs. Check out this website to see a map/schedule of where the shuttles go to:
Emory Weekend Experience Shuttle
A great service provided to students are the experience shuttles which promote a different destination each weekend. Some popular destinations include; Atlantic Station, Stone Mountain, Mall of Georgia, and more. Best part is that these are free! The only catch is that they do run by a specific schedule, so don’t be that guy that forgets to catch the last shuttle and is stranded. Check out the Emory College Council’s Facebook page for published schedules:
While you may hear that MARTA is completely incompetent and unreliable, I think it definitely gets the job done. Yes you may have to wait for the bus and the trains might not always come on time, however economically speaking MARTA is the best option out there. Some of the buses do go through campus, so finding a bus route is not that difficult. While taking the MARTA to/from the airport may triple the amount of time, the cost compared to an Uber/Lyft is definitely much lower ($2.50 versus $24 – you can also combine MARTA/Uber so that you go to a major station like Lindbergh and then take a low cost Uber ride back to campus).
Forget leaving, what can I do HERE?
Quite the hidden gem that I only discovered this semester, Lullwater is Emory’s very own private oasis! Nestled across the street from the Woodruff Library, this park is super beautiful and serene. It’s great for walks with friends or significant others, or just for a private peaceful escape from the bustle and hustle of Atlanta. I definitely recommend checking it out; I think it even competes with Piedmont Park in terms of natural beauty.
Emory Point/Emory Village
Emory Point is right across from the CDC, while Emory Village is at the entrance to Emory College. Both areas tout various eating establishments as well as shops and convenience stores like CVS. During lunch hour you’ll find many students and CDC staff frequenting the restaurants in these two areas. Not to mention walking over for happy hour right after class is always a great idea…
And last but not least if all else fails:
Befriend someone with a car!
In the end, the convenience of not having to rely on a schedule for public transportation or paying out of pocket can surely outweigh the nakedness you may feel without a car. But never fear, I have faith that you’ll make friends during your time at Rollins and that at least one of those friends will have their own car! That opens up the possibility for you guys to go to drive-in movie theater, experience Sonic fast food like a boss and buy all of the bulk items at Costco. Maybe that friend turns out to be more than a friend… then you guys can road trip to the neighboring states for a romantic getaway or go on an airplane watching date at Hartsfield-Jackson! But again, these can be done with an Uber/Lyft. Or on the bus. Pick your fancy.
*Disclaimer: I DID decide to bring my car down from home because it would have just been sitting there – it might seem that my credibility in writing this is shot, but don’t worry everything still holds valid! Maybe I’ll be that friend with a car? Maybe we can then go on that airplane watching date? Just kidding, this isn’t a dating ad. Or is it.*