In college towns, students set pace

Many of us students are not from Tallahassee.

We come from from all over the world.

We are from some places that offer numerous things to do on any given day.

Whether you are into chillin’ with friends, hitting up parties or even event-hoppin,’ you can find something to occupy your time.

I’m from Orlando, and although it’s not as big as some cities, it still offers a sense of a metropolitan atmosphere, so the slow Tallahassee life was a bit of surprise to me.

I initially hated Tallahassee so much for its slow pace and “everybody-knows-everybody” atmosphere that I seriously considered transferring to Georgia State University.

No longer could I get gas at 3 a.m. at any gas station, or have pancakes from IHOP.

I had to come to grips that I was in the country.

But then I realized a very interesting and powerful fact that we, the students, are Tallahassee.

Though there were an estimated 158, 500 people living in Tallahassee in 2005, institutions of higher learning seem to contribute to these high numbers.

Colleges and universities such as FAMU, Florida State University, Tallahassee Community College, Keiser University and the Lively Vocational-Technical School are some of the academic institutions located within the Tallahassee area.

I must admit I enjoy the fact that life revolves around students.

There is a big difference when I go back to Orlando.

I barely hear of anything transpiring at the University of Central Florida, or any other schools in the area, and I have lived in Orlando for 10 years.

No matter if it is homecoming week at UCF or some other type of major event going on, there is no mention of this anywhere on my side of Orlando.

Not even on a Friday or Saturday night will you catch a glimpse of the college scene unless you travel to the Eastside, and even then it can feel a little hopeless.

Although Orlando is definitely not centered on its colleges and can expose students to more culture than smaller towns, I can now appreciate the fact that Tallahassee is my temporary place of residency.

I am glad that when it is finals week, everything basically shuts down because people know the students are busy.

I love the fact that whenever there is a big event going on, the whole town is made aware.

Now, I can value this environment.

As the capital of Florida you would think Tallahassee would be one of the “livest” cities in the state, but in a pleasant surprise, the college students regulate the town.

And because of that, Tallahassee does not seem too bad anymore.

Katrelle Simmons is a junior English education student from Orlando. She can be reached at