When Asher Roth first uttered the words "man, I love college," I guarantee he wasn't talking about some sketchy party he crashed in the city. Something tells me everything a small college town has to offer inspired him. Beyond the beer and weed he so affectionately mentions, I'm talking the rolling green hills scattered with students on blankets, strumming guitars and singing "Kumbayah." I'm sure he thought more along the lines of campus-wide tailgates, fraternity mansion parties and college town traditions: college career staples you could never find on a city campus.
It's All About the Money, Money, Money
Unless you plan on never leaving your bedroom, you have to think about cost of transportation. You have to get to class somehow, and in a city, you have no choice but to pay for the subway, metro or bus. College towns cater to their youthful population, one which generally doesn't have a lot of spare change. That means unlimited access to a free bus system and other student taxi services, ensuring you'll never arrive anywhere out of breath or change. Beyond that, college campus transportation is significantly easier to navigate. No intimidating maps with a mess of colored lines that look like a bowl of spaghetti to the untrained eye. Instead, just simple apps that do the work for you.
Too Young To Take Over, Too Old To Ignore
There's a reason you hear so many stories about college kids blowing up Easy Mac in the microwave. When you venture off to college at the ripe age of 18, you're totally on your own for the first time. It's scary enough making the transition in a quiet suburban town - but adjusting to city life is a whole different story. At least in a college town, you live among a population sorting out the same daily struggles. In the city, you make up a small part of a huge, already-matured community.
Feed Me Seymour
I don't know about you, but my life revolves around food. I always wonder what my next meal will be, and I know plenty of people who feel the same way. Within city limits, even Chipotle charges extra. A dollar here and there doesn't sound like much, but when you love guacamole as much as I do, it adds up. Your local, quirky little college town always provides the cheap date options; most eateries assure that you never have to pay more than $10 for a meal. What's even better is that you'll grow to love the unique restaurants your college town houses.
Love Thy Neighbor
Speaking of community, there's a far larger one available to students who reside in a college town. College is the prime time to find both yourself and your friends, and living in a college town is the best way to do that. Your roommates will always be close to you in age, leading you to the people who will stick with you for life. Almost everyone in a small suburban town is at the same place in life, making it easy to bond and face it all together. It's only fair to mention that if you can't stand people your own age, a city campus is the place for you because it provides diversity, separating school and living.
We're Not Gonna Pay (Last Year's) Rent
In general, living in a college town is just so much cheaper. Consider the cost of living. No matter which city you choose, an apartment costs an average of $1,000 per month if you're lucky, more if you seek luxury. And no, that doesn't include utilities. In my college town, Gainesville, Florida, we scoff at any rent above $750 per month. Why coop yourself up in a tiny studio apartment with high chance of cockroaches when you could just as easily relax with some Netflix in a noise-free, roach-free zone?
There will never be another time when you get to have this much fun all the time, so why let the elite city vibe ruin that? College towns are paradises crawling with frat boy debauchery and cheap, 18+ bars and clubs. You have plenty of time later in life to sip overpriced cocktails at an exclusive, 21+ hangout, but for now, feel the love of the 25-cent pitchers of beer and throwback music.
Let's Hear it For The Boys of Old Florida
At one of the most recent football games here at the University of Florida, the entire town held strong in the pouring rain, decked out in orange and blue, passionately cheering on their Florida Gators. Where else could you find such spirit? It's not just unique to Florida, but to all small college towns. The tradition of a college town brings the community together to rally behind their team in all kinds of weather. In the city, there's simply no opportunity for tailgating, crazy sporting events and a shared love of old tradition.
Maybe my suburban background is to blame, but I picture every city as Gotham City - crime everywhere. That might not necessarily be true, but either way, college towns seemingly pose way less of a threat mainly because their populations are made up of 18-21 year olds, young children and retired people looking for a good game of golf. If, however, you do run into trouble, a college town sometimes offers some of the most prestigious hospitals in the nation, so you're in good hands.