Tucked in the rolling hills of the Appalachia, Ohio University is one of the crown jewels of Athens. Students from far and wide call this hidden gem their hOUme, and they’re proud to call themselves Bobcats. But what exactly makes Ohio University the greatest school on earth? Let me tell you.
1. I mean, have you seen our campus?
Brick streets. White columns. Winding paths. Autumn leaves and blooming flowers. Towering buildings and clear skies. Ohio University’s campus can just take your breath away.
2. Coffee shops on every corner.
Caffeine addicts rejoice! Coffee enthusiasts can find their fix just a short walk from campus: Donkey Coffee, Fluff, Brennan’s, Court Street… the options seem endless.
3. Get your nerd on with all the history.
Ohio University has been around since 1804; that’s plenty of time to build its own legends and myths. For instance, Athens in itself is actually considered one of the most haunted cities in Ohio. Insane asylums, suicide, witchcraft, ghosts: exciting, am I right?
4. We go to football games to watch the marching band.
I don’t know about all this talk about the “Best Damn Band in the Land.” OU’s band, the Marching 110, has been named the best college band for years. Your social status sky rockets if you buddy up with someone in the 110. No joke.
5. Foodies find sanctuary.
Court Street and Union Street are lined with food options. And not just your basic fast food options (although we do have a Wendy’s, Jimmy Johns, and Chipotle… just saying). Athens has a ton of unique, local eateries: Casa Nueva, for example, is an organic, locavore favorite packed with Mexican-inspired meals.
6. Um… the bars?
We weren’t voted the number one part school by Playboy for our good taste in clothing and dazzling personalities. Margarita Monday, Tequila Tuesday, Wine Wednesday (or Whiskey, depending on your taste), Thirsty Thursday… yeah.
7. We know how to have a good time.
Not just from the night life, either (although, we do throw the best Halloween block party around). The weekends of OU students are filled with exploring, going to musicals or concerts, attending festivals, or going out with your solid group of friends. We’re not boring in the slightest.
8. Bobcats have a voice.
Whether it’s our news outlets or our activist organizations, we let people know how we feel and why we feel it. You’re encouraged to speak your mind at Ohio University (a caveat: sometimes people aren’t mature or accepting enough to understand opinions that oppose theirs).
9. We want change in the world.
The Black Lives Matter movement is spreading through campus, and other organizations, such as F*ck Rape Culture, are working to eliminate sexual violence, as well as clear misconceptions that seem to be so prevalent on college campuses. Our LGBT center, which is the only one in Southeast Ohio, helps young adults to connect with like-minded people and seek resources denied to them at home.
10. Ohio University sends people to lands far away.
Study abroad is an amazing opportunity, and OU’s Office of Global Opportunities helps students to go the distance and find themselves immersed in a culture across the world. Europe, South America, Africa, Asia… the world is our oyster.
11. Best. 4th meal. Ever.
Big Mamma’s burritos are the drunken delicacy or late night study snack of many college students here at OU. Others prefer a nice sit down place like Union Street Diner, which is open all day, every day and serves the best omelet you’ll eat in your life.
12. Even the library is a happy place.
Some college students dread sitting in the library; many OU students love to hide away in the Stacks or take a seat toward the large windows on the 4th floor of Alden library. The 2nd floor, which is open all day during the week, even has a café for sleepy students to grab a cup of coffee as they finish papers or projects.
13. The courses kick ass.
Professors have high expectations for their students, and many classes are intellectually challenging, as well as mentally stimulating. Our Department of Classics and World Religion includes classes that help students to practice their critical thinking skills in real world terms, engaging students in conversations about religion, evil, morality, and the divine. Our medical programs are top notch, our journalism school is nationally recognized, and our school of music is one of the best in the country. The Honors Tutorial College also offers students one-on-one time with professionals who lead in their given fields, as well as a chance to network with each other and form their own tight-knit community.
14. Spring time is the resurrection of hammocks and slack lines.
OU students have a tendency to just want to be outside. When it’s sunny and warm, Bobcats come out to play…with slack lines and hoola hoops and Frisbees. The trees are usually packed with hammocks, too. It’s pretty awesome.
15. You’ll see something new each day.
Whether it’s a guy dressed up as Ana shouting at everyone to help him find Elsa, or a long boarder dressed up as a flying squirrel, you’ll see the bizarre, regardless of the time of day.
16. Ohio University students can get away without getting away.
If you’re willing to take a 30 to 45 minute trek away from campus, you’ll likely stumble upon The Ridges (what used to be the infamous insane asylum). Although many of the original buildings still stand (they’re boarded up and locked, don’t freak out), The Ridges has become more popular for its gorgeous hiking trails, which allow those exploring it to overlook Athens. It’s a perfect escape from the monotony of tests and class and meetings and deadlines.
17. We dedicate entire weekends to music and merriment.
As winter begins to melt away, fest season emerges. Concerts and parties take place on the weekends toward the end of spring semester. People flood into Athens to be a part of it all. And yes…police seem to pay a little more attention than normal.
18. OU is a microcosm.
When I’m on campus, I feel as if I’m in a world separate yet united with the rest. Which makes sense: arguably, we’re in the middle of nowhere. But what’s interesting about Bobcats is we tend to form our own bonds, our own concerns, our own priorities, our own struggles. The world around us goes on, yet we continue to focus on what’s going on right in front of us. It’s our escape.
19. Graduates can’t wait to come back.
Alumni pour into Athens every chance they can. Couples who meet at OU come back to shoot their wedding photos on College Green; others flock to Court Street during Halloween or football games against our rival, Miami University. Something about Athens just keeps people coming back. Time after time.
20. Athens townies are the best.
Within my first few weeks on campus, I had a townie serenade me with a Spanish love song while picking at his violin. A couple comes to stand on a corner on Friday nights to twirl around and perform for students. Other townies stick around the Ohio University campus to chat with students about politics, philosophy, religion, and life. They’re very welcoming to us college students, even though many of us will be in Athens only four years.
Have any other reasons why Ohio University is the greatest school on earth? Share with a friend, or comment below!
Featured image source: marching110.com
Sydney Dawes is an Ohio University student studying journalism. Her passions include writing, social media, Netflix, Pokemon, the color yellow, and betta fish. After earning her degree, Sydney plans on becoming a foreign correspondent for Middle Eastern affairs. Or going to law school. She really doesn’t know. Twitter: @sydneydawes_95, Instagram: @syd_the_kid1995