Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Are College Towns Recession Proof?

I have always thought living in a college town like Athens is kind of like living in a bubble.  Being in the transition phase of college, where you're finally living on your own but can still turn to your parents to support, can feel like a dream.  You have all of the freedom you wanted in high school, but don't technically have the "real" responsibilities of adult life.  In all likelihood, everything you need is within a one mile radius of your apartment.  Life is basically perfect.

Sometimes I wonder if, for these reasons, it seems that college towns are immune to the bigger problems of "real" cities.  I realize that Athens is a real city and definitely has it's share of real problems (see my posts on my Anti-Poverty Campaign).  However, sometimes it's easy to feel like we don't have it as bad as everywhere else.  The unemployment rate is far lower than it is in other cities, generally because the University provides so many jobs to the community.  Unlike some of my friends in the "real world," all of my peers are students, so I'm not constantly hearing about co-workers being laid off.  Students can still turn to mom and dad to fund their expensive meals out and nights drinking downtown.  

Maybe it's this mentality of "living the dream" that will make it that much harder to graduate and leave this all behind.  Only once we start searching for jobs do some of us start to truly realize the gravity of the situation our country is facing.  I guess we all have to grow up some time, but as I said in my last post, for now I'm going to enjoy every minute of living in my little college bubble.  

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