Coming to Love Atlanta…

By: Sam Saxena – 1st Year – Behavioral Sciences & Health Education

Hey there.

Yeah you, can I be honest with you?

Okay, here goes…I was not excited to move to Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I wanted to come to Rollins, but it was in spite of Atlanta, not because of it. Everybody told me how great Atlanta was but I wasn’t feeling it. I was happy where I was and was not looking forward to moving for the fifth time in three years. Plus just thinking about all that traffic? Hard pass.

Moving down here seemed to affirm all of my reservations. I didn’t like it. Of course, on top of this, I was dealing with the pressure of starting grad school, the fear of failure, the thought of rejection: standard millennial things right? I just wanted to go back to Maryland and watch SpongeBob with my little brother. But I couldn’t. To make things worse, the apartment I “moved in” to in August was not ready. It had several major issues and I had to scramble to find another place and move, yet again.

(It gets better I promise.)

Thankfully, I found a beautiful apartment in Sandy Springs, and after my difficult experience, the leasing agent who helped me move bought me some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. I settled in, and started to explore:

I was far too stubborn to realize it then, but every experience I had in and around Atlanta was positive. Plus it’s a haven for a sports fan like me: I got to watch Atlanta’s pride and joy win the MLS Cup, participate in some of the festivities surrounding Super Bowl 53, and attend Emory’s graduate student formal downtown, at the College Football Hall of Fame.

I could go on. I’ve visited some great bars with friends and found some sneaky good restaurants. I’m still on the hunt for the best wings in town, but I’m sure this festival will help. I had a friend fly down to visit me (Atlanta is very affordable to travel to and from) and someone recommended we check out Ponce City Market.

That was the final straw.

Finally, I was ready to admit that yes, Atlanta’s starting to grow on me, and maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t be in such a rush to leave.

Maybe you don’t need any convincing and already love Atlanta – great! I’m hoping this affirms your decision to pursue your MPH at Rollins. But maybe you are like me, moving to Atlanta solely for Rollins, and planning to get out of town right after graduation. Just be careful, the city has a funny way of growing on you. You might end up liking it more than you thought. I know I do.