10 things to be thankful for in Atlanta

November brings with it colder weather and the sinking realization that exam season is closer than you realized, but it’s also a time to appreciate the many things there are to be thankful for in life. In that spirit, I modestly submit a list of ten things Atlantans can be grateful for this holiday season.


  1. The weather – Its unpredictability means that everyone learns how adapt to the unexpected in life, we always have fodder for small talk with strangers, and we get to experiment with exciting layering looks to deal with that 30° temperature swing
  2. The trees – Atlanta, the “City in a Forest,” is much more scenic for all of its Dogwoods, Magnolias, Oaks and Long Leaf Pines.  And we all appreciate the occasional late start to classes when one of our leafy friends collapses across the school entrance drive.
  3. Atlanta traffic – We might complain a lot, and with good reason, but deep down who doesn’t want more time to sing in the car?
  4. “New Hollywood”– Tax breaks for the film industry have attracted movies like The Hunger Games and Anchorman 2 and shows like The Walking Dead to Atlanta, which means that it’s easier than ever to track down (and selfie with) your favorite stars, and all of your friends have a chance to be real-life Hollywood extras!
  5. Hip hop – From OutKast to Killer Mike and B.O.B, Atlanta has been called “hip hop’s center of gravity” for good reason. Even if you’re not into the music, you have something to be thankful for. Without the hip-hop scene, how could we call ourselves ATLiens and describe things as “so fresh and so clean”?
  6. Live music – Beyond hip-hop, Atlanta has live music offerings from Music Midtown to Eddie’s Attic and everything in between – the Tabernacle, Lakewood, and the Buckhead Theater, to name a few. Whatever your taste in music, there’s definitely something here for everyone.
  7. Nature – The Chattahoochee River is beautiful and close enough that there’s no excuse not to visit. If hiking or camping are more your speed, there’s also plenty of that nearby and in northern Georgia.
  8. Atlanta sports teams – For teaching us about the dangers of getting our hopes too high, how not to be sore losers (at least not too sore), and how to always keep cheering—even though one team (I’m looking at you, Braves) is doing its best not to be from Atlanta anymore
  9. Neat neighborhoods – Beyond the ‘bubble’, there’s the West Side, Virginia Highlands, Little Five, Cabbagetown, Sweet Auburn and more, each with its own vibe and attractions.
  10. Hartsfield-Jackson airport – For when we want to visit actual winter, check out seven colleges over a weekend, or just get away for a bit. Whatever your destination, it definitely helps to have the world’s busiest airport in your back yard.