Birthday- The Beatles

On this day, 225 years ago, The University of Georgia was born. So I just wanted to take a minute and pay tribute to the place that gave me the best 4.5 years of my life.

(And no, I still haven’t walked under the Arch yet…. It’s on my to-do list.)

So Happy Birthday UGA! Thanks for the best memories and friends a girl could ask for! It wasn’t always pretty, but we shore did have some good times. Don’t worry. I’ll be back to visit soon.

And in 40 years, when I’m moving my kids into Russell Hall with the same nasty tile and carpet in the halls, I will be thankful that you have educated me, my father, grandparents and great-grandfather. And I have not only been educated inside your buildings. But also in dealing with people and life and growing up. Sort of. (Cliche, but true, I know!)

And since this person (whoever they are), put it more eloquently then I will ever be able to, I leave you with my favorite essay about Athens. Okay, one of. Because Lewis Grizzard wrote some pretty kick-ass ones himself. It’s a little outdated (no more 7:50 classes and who still has a Sega that works?), but the feeling never changes.

I also added some pictures from college. I seriously could have added 700 and not even come close to showing you all of my favorite pictures. These are but a small few. But I love them all…

Get off that couch and experience life in Athens…

Athens is unique. It’s the only place I know where sofas belong in front yards, golf visors are worn at night, Waffle House has a waiting list, class notes can be bought downtown, and… you can get a condom and a coke out of the same machine in your dorm.

UGA is about more than classes, it’s an experience that you’ll treasure your entire life. You know, I’m only beginning my third quarter at UGA and already it feels like home.

What is it about Athens that gets into your blood and intoxicated you with its sweet Southern comfort? Maybe it’s the beauty of North Campus and the way it feels to sit on its grass and halfway study before class. Or it could be that we’re all experiencing our first taste of freedom along with 33,000 other people our age… piling in a jeep with six of your friends and riding around town on a sunny afternoon… catching your favorite local band downtown and knowing one day soon they’ll be famous… hanging out on the porches of Son’s and Steverino’s until sundown on Friday… spending more time trying to figure out the library than you do actually researching… making a futile attempt at catching a bus at the Tate Center at noon on a rainy day… trying at all costs to avoid the dreaded 7:50… occasionally getting the professor that tries to know you instead of just a number… scanning The Red and Black to see who got a DUI, and laughing at the guy who was arrested for singing Dixie in his underwear drunk on a roof… stopping and realizing when you’re out with your best friends that these are the people that will one day be in your wedding.

I never realized the truth about the t-shirt about Athens that says “it’ll get in your blood and stay forever.” Maybe it’s the football games- finding a date, dressing up, trying to stomach a Beam and Coke at 11 am after a Friday night that began at Uptown happy hour, and recognizing that same excitedment in the eyes of the alumni who keep coming back year after year, joining their old friends and reliving thier time here at UGA.

Our time here is short; make the most of it. Don’t spend your spare time playng Sega on a couch. When your kids ask you what you got out of your college career, have a better answer than, “Well, I can play a mean game of electronic PGA Golf.”

Get to know Athens, the people in it, the best restaurants, the great places to go camping, hiking, and laying out. We’re only here four or five years (some people six or seve, if they know how to work their parents). Soon we’ll be making road trips TO Athens instead of from it, joining OUR old college buddies: still dressing up for the games and still scanning the crowd for familiar faces. But you know what, by then we’ll be dressing differently and the familiar faces will be scarce. We’ll look over into that students section and remember when… when it was our time here and how quickly it came and went.

We’ll wonder about all those people we used to know. Where are they now? Are they successful? What about that person I had a crush on, is he married or bald? Yes, we’ll lose touch with most people and names will be forgotten, but you’ll always have your close friends from UGA. You’ll write, talk on the phone, play bridge or poker on Tuesday nights and most of your conversations will begin with these two special words which will have the power to make you laugh or cry or simply smile… REMEMBER WHEN.


2 Comments on “Birthday- The Beatles”

  1. Kristin says:

    I just got a little teary-eyed at work and my boss asked me what was wrong…all I could say what I missed Athens. :( Good post Sloan!

    • sloandefyinggravity says:

      Thanks Mardis. I just really felt the need to pay tribute to something that brought us all together. It’s been too long since we’ve all gotten together. I miss everyone. We all need to plan something soon.

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