The University of Alabama is more than just a football dynasty – it’s our home

A senior reflects on the last four years

In the small town of Tuscaloosa sits a dynasty over all of college football. The University of Alabama and the community surrounding it is one of a kind – plus we have those 16 National Championship in football. Even with that statistic, it’s hard to believe it can get any better.

If you are unfamiliar with the longstanding success and tradition that goes along with Alabama football, then I truly feel sorry you haven’t experienced it. I don’t think words can even come close to describing it. Once you become a part of this culture, you’ll never want to have football any other way.

Although most people associate Alabama with its legendary football coaches, top-recruited players and its 16 national championship titles, there is more to this university that makes this place one of a kind.

The town of Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa has an everlasting presence that’s hard to describe to outsiders. If you end up in downtown Tuscaloosa, you get a sense of the culture this town holds. Places such as the Bama Theater and historic houses are just some examples of the history the town still holds.

There are so many unique places in this town. You could be playing life-size Jenga and sipping on some local beer at Black Warrior, or running the scenic route down by the Riverwalk. This town is growing and while some places that have been here forever will stay, there will always be new places to explore and try.

The people

After the destructive 2011 tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, the people of this town came together like never before. That is just one example of how students and residents are at each other’s sides in times of victory and also in times of need.

Recently there was a GoFundMe page set up by students of UA to help a Lakeside Dining employee pay her rent so she could keep her house. Simple acts of kindness are seen and felt throughout UA and the community. With about 35,000 students enrolled in UA, some days you will never believe there are actually that many people here. You are always bound to run into a familiar face whether you want to or not – there really is no avoiding someone in this town.

A place that will always feel like home

The campus and the town around it may be under construction and changing, but there are pieces of it that will always feel like home once you have left. For many students of the University of Alabama, this has become their home away from home.

With over 50 percent of the student body from places other than Alabama, they have flocked to this Southern school for many different reasons. Whatever the reason may be, once they make their journey here for the next four (or maybe five) years, some will never want to leave this beloved town. Whether it’s bars such as Innisfree or Moes that feel like home, or a specific spot on campus, everyone is capable of finding something or somewhere that feels like home.

Success in athletics besides football

If we put Alabama football’s victories aside – which is hard to do – there are numerous sports that are following in the footsteps of their success. Gymnastics is known to draw huge crowds and some meets will be sold out. They are six-time National Champions and are amazing to watch.

The Alabama Baseball program just received a new $44 million dollar stadium and facility. If I went on to list the accomplishments of each and every team, I would be here for days. Success is seen all around UA and the town of Tuscaloosa couldn’t be more proud to celebrate it.

I want people to come here and experience the same feelings and opportunities I have had through living here for the past four years. I have been to so many college towns, but there is something about this place that separates it from all the rest.

University of Alabama