BY MITCHELL MCEVER
"It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham." I was greeted with these words as I took my first drive through the city I had committed to adopting as my own for the next four years. It was all quite different at first. There was little traffic and fewer towering skyscrapers than my former home of Atlanta, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. It was much less hectic to get to the heart of the city, of course, but I was curious to learn if Birmingham could really compare to the sights and activities I found in my beloved Atlanta. I quickly found that Birmingham would provide no shortage of adventure and joy.
From the weekend after I moved to Samford, my friends and I set off to explore our new home. We made our way to Regions Field to watch the Birmingham Barons play, and despite my lack of baseball knowledge I completed the seventh inning stretch like a true professional. After the Barons game, we set out to find what else Birmingham had hidden for us to find.
Visiting the pinnacle of frozen desserts in Homewood's Steel City Pops was a major priority. We had heard the tales and seen the signs regaling us with vivid accounts of the flavor and affordability of their popsicles and we were certainly not disappointed. Lying just a few steps from Steel City is Octane Coffee, another venue that we would quickly grow attached to. The environment of Octane is unique in the best of ways. I love going to Octane, but it often keeps me so comfortable that suddenly it's closing time and I am left wondering how I ended up spending the past few hours sitting with my open book and empty coffee cup rather than studying as I intended.
After taking care of our two basic food groups in coffee and popsicles, we set out to explore the nature and hiking hotspots in and around the city. We didn't have to search far, as it only took us a few miles to drive to Oak Mountain in search of its best hiking trails. Noting the hardest available trails, we took great care to avoid them in the hopes that our legs would still be able to carry us to class the next day.
Through our exploration of Birmingham, I found my preconceptions of the city to be startlingly different than the reality. I was told Birmingham would be a boring city, with less fun and more potholes than the city I had come from, but what I found was entirely contrary to what I had been told. What I found was a fascinating city ready to be discovered and embraced.
It can be a difficult transition to a new city and environment at first. There was certainly an adjustment period throughout the first few weeks in a new town, but it was so exciting to have an entirely new place to discover and enjoy with my new Samford family.
More recently, as I've looked around at the city I now live in and the friends I am surrounded with, I truly could not be happier. I have found an actual home away from home and feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to live here and attend Samford.
Birmingham is my exciting and captivating new home, and I'd love for you to join me here.
for more information about Birmingham, visit: www.meetmagiccity.com