Aiken is a small town with a population of a little more than 30,000 people. You can see these people most days either driving along Whiskey Rd. excited that they finally got a Krispy Kreme, or driving along Pine Log Rd. since that's the only road that seems to lead out of Aiken.
Living in Aiken, South Carolina, there are definitely ups and downs. Depending on your age, Aiken can either be a decent, quiet town or one of the most boring towns that you'll ever step foot in. Being young in Aiken is definitely interesting.
Here are just some of the struggles you'll face while being young and in Aiken:
1. Everything closes by midnight
Unless you want to go to Waffle House or IHOP every time that you are out past midnight, then Aiken is not the place to be. Everything closes by midnight with the exception of these two restaurants.
2. The biggest competitors are grocery stores
Everyone, instead of taking stands over their favorite football teams, they argue whether or not the grocery store that they shop at is better. Don't get me wrong, there is a large football community in the town, but everything is either Clemson or Gamecocks. No one cares about the NFL until the Superbowl is on.
3. Downtown is the only place with cool shops
Downtown Aiken is the best part of the town. It holds the play house, the best restaurants and the best scenery.
4. You never know when your friends will leave
Because it's inevitable. If it's not you wanting to leave the city, it's a good 45% of your friends that want to get as far away from the town as soon as possible. Not all are successful (like me who has to return for school breaks), but some manage to never return.
5. Gas may be cheap, but you definitely will be using it.
Since everything closes early in Aiken and there isn't a whole lot to do in the first place, you definitely drive a lot. The best places to find things to do aren't exactly nearby either. Depending where you live in Aiken, Augusta can be a 45-minute drive and Columbia is an hour commute.
6. Everyone knows everyone.
The town is so small, either you know someone at the place that you are going to or whoever you are with does. You can't walk into Publix without seeing an old friend or teacher. You can't go to the gym without seeing an old face. You can't go out to eat without being greeted by a friendly face that you recognize. This is good and bad, depending on how much time you have.