Kroger is much a part of UGA students' lives and to experience it in Athens is unlike anywhere else. But what is it exactly that drives us to this specific grocer?

From late night ice cream runs to the labyrinth of a parking lot, there are dozens of quirks about Kroger shopping in Athens that every UGA student can relate to. Here I've compiled "10 for 10" of the most prominent.

1. The Parking Games

Finding a spot near the automatic doors is rare, unless you are able to go while everyone else is in class. There's about 36,000 UGA students (not including Athens residents) and they all seem to pick up groceries at the same time you do.

Drivers of this lot have seen epic parking battles, unstoppable cart accumulation, and college tom-foolery that one could not imagine — mere child's play compared to what awaits inside.

2. Haunted by the Mascot

pizza, cake, beer
Samantha Fehd

This "statue" should honestly have a PG-13 rating for its graphic content. This is NOT an accurate representation of the adorable Uga we all know and love, but it is spirited. This beast is massive, towering over weekly specials, as he glares down at those who enter with bulging eyes.

Most likely serving to ward off Tech fans and everything orange, he shows his teeth (which are more like fangs) and grasps random items between his gums. When I first saw him freshman year, it was pineapples, then water bottles, and the other day it was two Georgia flags. It used to make me feel somewhat uncomfortable, but now it keeps me wondering what he will hold next. 

3. Starbucks

ale, pizza, tea, coffee, beer
Samantha Fehd

Once you've made it past the door, you are welcomed with the alluring aroma of espresso. As if college students didn't spend enough time here as it is, they've just recently added a Starbucks inside select Kroger Athens locations. This further proves that there can never be enough coffee on or near campus.

You can sip on a Grande while strolling the aisles, searching for more food and possibly for more coffee. What better way to amp up the experience than with a bit of caffeine? 

4. Splurging on More Spirit Items You Don't Need

cake, gingerbread, beer
Samantha Fehd

While gathering tailgating ingredients and supplies, be sure to stop by the mini section of GARB behind the registers. Right when you think you've spent enough money on groceries, the temptation to buy Georgia lunch boxes and folding chairs hits you at checkout.

Do you really need another G mug? The answer is yes, always.

5. Racking Up Those Points

I saved HOW MUCH??? Thank You Kroger for 90% off Halloween items!! #Kroger #shopping #receipt #instagood_lawrenceburg_indiana #instagood  #enjoyingthesmallthings

MsMimiSmeeks on Flickr

The main reason college students love Kroger is that prices are reasonable for a college budget. You can save even more, though, with points. If you haven't signed up and downloaded the app already, boy are you missing out. The mini keychain scanner almost everyone has is more than a trendy accessory.

Every time you shop, you get fuel points that may help you save up to 10 cents per gallon at participating gas stations. You also gain access to exclusive deals and coupons on items you actually need.

Plus, whenever you scan your Kroger Plus card at the register, you hear, "Welcome, valued customer!" while watching your discounts deduct from your total, which is always nice.

6. Using Bulldog Bucks

If Mom and Dad (or you) put money into your Bulldog Bucks account, you can use that money here. It works for just about anything, even some gift cards (for more food, am I right?). You don't have to worry about maxing out your card or carrying a large purse with you around the store. You just need your student ID and a signature.

7. Late Night Ice Cream Runs

cheese, beer
Samantha Fehd

As mentioned before, late night ice cream runs at Kroger are tradition, maybe even a right of passage, for students. Whether it's because you're up studying for finals or craving a pint after a night DT, you've done it. We've all done it, because the Kroger in Athens is open 24hrs. 

I've seen many fellow guilty peers during runs of my own at 2am, and you better know to act quick before all the popular flavors are gone. When it comes to variety, Kroger provides with everything from Ben & Jerry's to So Delicious Dairy Free to Halo Top.

8. The Self Checkout Line

cake, pizza, beer
Samantha Fehd

Self checkout seems like the safe route because you don't have to awkwardly confront the cashier or wait for someone in front of you with a cartful. But sadly, this logic is not your own. For some reason, the checkout lane takes just as long as the actual grocery shopping, despite a good amount of machines.

This is usually where you being to question your shopping decisions and have to check if you forgot anything.

9. One Stop Shop

Thank you, Kroger, for all of your convenient amenities. Aside from groceries and Frappucinos, it has become the place for bill-paying, money orders, cashing loose change, filling prescriptions, hybrid sushi and Red Box. I literally feel like I live here, but it's nice that I can knock out hours worth of errands in one trip.

10. Cheering for Kroger on the Big Screen

Samantha Fehd

Admiration of this grocer is with us even on game day. In the midst of the hype music and the red poms, you can see the Kroger name flash on Sanford's scoreboard. In the spirit of the game and Athens, you can't help but cheer to yourself quietly (but why not loudly?) for Kroger and all of its splendor.