Atlanta isn’t the nightlife hotspot you think it is

Atlanta is home to the Western hemisphere’s largest aquarium, the World of Coke, Chick-fil-A’s College Football Hall of Fame and plenty of Waffle House and Subway’s. But what else is there? Well, nothing really, nothing at all.

Atlanta is not the ugly stepsister of cities like New York or Miami, but the unrelated cousin whose mom is merely best friends with yours. Atlantans will try to convince you of Atlanta’s rank among the greatest cities in the U.S. but do not be deceived. Be prepared to be bored out of your mind unless you’re Tyler Perry or Ludacris.

Ranked in the top nine most boring cities in the world, Atlanta is described as a “sprawling metropolis [that] lacks the compact historic charm of many other Southern cities, and you’ll need a car to get to the interesting neighborhoods outside of the unremarkable downtown.” 

Georgia State’s largest campus is situated in said unremarkable downtown, nestled in tight beside the sketchy and mostly boarded up Five Points – not to be confused with the spunky and fun Little Five Points closer to Georgia Tech’s campus. Despite being only a walk away from something as powerful as the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, nothing about downtown Atlanta will take your breath away quite as much as the pervasive unpleasant smell surrounding John Calhoun Park.

Students frequent neighboring Buckhead for bars and late-night drunkenness without fear of stumbling through Atlanta’s crime-infested streets.

“The only thing that moves fast is the cop cars,” freshman Keelin Unger said. 

Even if you are lucky enough to receive an invitation to a bordering city, you have to have a way to get there first. With MARTA being $5 for a round trip, it begins to add up on a student salary. Public transportation is laughable, usually taking you only slightly closer than a ride on Uber.

Most students on campus try to avoid extra expenses by leaving their vehicles at home instead of paying the $400 a semester to park. Staying within downtown is not an option without pockets deep enough to accommodate for it. 

The most exciting thing most students can afford to do is getting high; I can hardly blame them.

“There’s not much to do on a student budget,” Sophie Houneou, a freshman at Georgia State, said. “Like, the city is not pretty enough to just walk around and sightsee, everything is an Uber away, there’s not much culture here — unless you go to museums— [there’s] not even much energy on the streets. Everyone I see is a student, but even that means nothing because everyone is so closed off that it doesn’t even feel like a community.”

Atlanta has a history and culture that plenty of people love and hold dearly, but the city they loved is not the same. People don’t want to talk about what Atlanta is, or what it may be becoming. Natives are quick to throw up arms over the notion that Atlanta is boring but stumble over themselves trying to tell you how to have fun without spending copious amounts of money or getting in a car to leave the city they swear is the best.