From Bulldog to ‘Bulldawg’: Chamblee Alumni at UGA


Photo courtesy of Thanh Nham.

Freshman Thanh Nham poses with a group of friends at a party.

Ellie Furr, Staff writer

This article is part of a series on college life for CCHS alumni. The other stories can be viewed here

Moving on to the next phase of your life after high school can be intimidating, whether you’re entering the workforce, joining the military, taking a gap year, or going to college. Deciding which option to choose can be difficult in itself.

Among Chamblee students, going to college is a very popular path after graduation. While some may choose to travel to a different part of the country for the next four (or more) years of their education, others decide to stay closer to home — at the University of Georgia.

The University of Georgia (UGA) is located about an hour east of Atlanta in Athens, GA. It is a large-sized school with a total of almost 30,000 undergraduate students.

“It is so large, so if you want the big school experience, especially an SEC school experience, that’s definitely here,” said Chamblee grad and current UGA sophomore KT Hoovestol. “But we also have smaller departments that cater to students individually, so it’s honestly easy to get a small school experience as well.”

Academically, many former Chamblee students say that UGA’s scholastic environment is very similar to the high standard found at Chamblee.

“If you put the work in and study well, UGA is not that different from Chamblee,” said UGA freshman Ross Wills. “I think Chamblee was actually a bit harder in some aspects.”

Some UGA students have had a different experience.

“In comparison to Chamblee academic-wise, I would have to say UGA is more challenging in some ways,” said 2018 grad Thanh Nham. “You don’t have as much time as you would in high school to complete the assignments and homework.”

However, Nham says that the workload and difficulty of college is highly contingent on your major and the classes you are taking.

“Some classes can be really easy, while others are not,” said Nham.

Despite a tougher workload for some students, UGA junior Taylor DiFonzo says that UGA and Chamblee both have opportunities for fun.   

“I think both institutions have a healthy balance of work and play,” said DiFonzo.

One such source of fun for UGA students are football games. These games aren’t anything like Chamblee football games — UGA is a top-ranked school in the Southeastern Conference for football and has an extremely talented team. In recent years, the Georgia Bulldogs have won the SEC Championship and appeared in the College Football National Championship.

“My favorite part about UGA is the football games,” said Nham. “The football games at UGA are so intense and fun to watch with a whole community of ‘Dawg’ fans around the campus and the nation.”

The level of excitement among fans is also much higher.

“As far as school spirit is concerned, Chamblee can get pretty hype, but there is honestly nothing like being a Georgia Bulldog,” said DiFonzo.

Students at UGA also take advantage of the happenings of Athens, a true college town.

“I love Athens,” said DiFonzo. “It’s such a creatively charged city with tons of opportunities.”

On campus, there are also plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained. Involvement in clubs is a great way to cater to your passions and meet new people.

“There are hundreds of clubs and organizations for just about anything,” said William Rohrbach, a freshman at UGA.  

These current UGA students, like any college students, have gone through a major transition in their lives. Even though it may be scary, 2017 Chamblee grad Manav Mathews recommends exercising patience.

“Even in October or November, you probably will not feel settled in, and that’s ok,” said Mathews. “Finding a friend group and a sense of belonging can take some time.”

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to go to UGA, take a tour of the campus and visit the city. Don’t be intimidated by the large size, because the experience is what you make of it. College is a time to find your passions, work hard, and have fun.

“You’re not obligated to commit to anything you try; that being said, try as much as you can,” said Hoovestol. “There are so many new opportunities, some of which you might not know appeal to you until you do it.”