The Ultimate Guide to the Party Scene at OU


With Ohio University being ranked as the #1 party school by PlayBoy, many people are curious what the party scene is actually like at our school. As someone going into my sophomore year here, I have experienced a good part of Ohio U’s nightlife…definitely not all of it, but I’ve learned a lot. Keep reading for all the basics you need to know about the party scene at OU.

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Move-in weekend is the first weekend you’ll experience.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to do that weekend, like hauling all your stuff up to your room (if you’re in a dorm with no elevator, I feel your pain), saying goodbye to your parents, meeting the people in your dorm, figuring out the living situation with your roommate, and figuring out where everything is if it’s your first year. But after the hugs are given and the boxes are unpacked, the parties start and the celebration of coming back home or starting your experience here at OU begins. There are parties everywhere. Mill street is so packed that you can hardly see the street. In my experience, most of the parties were open so anyone could get in.

Move-in weekend isn’t one of the craziest weekends, but it’s one of the most memorable ones.

The reason why it was so memorable for me was because the people that I went out with that weekend, I went out with on many more weekends. I grew to love a great majority of the people that I hung out with that weekend and they became some of my best friends. There were a lot of firsts, including the first bonding experience for my roommate and me. Move in weekend will always be ranked towards the top of my favorite weekends at OU for those reasons, but there are plenty more to come after that.

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Next up: Homecoming weekend.

It’s a great weekend to show your love for OU, but you have to be smart about it. Pre-gaming and going to the football game is a classic, and it’s pretty easy to get away with. As long as you’re able to act sober while going into the game, you’re good. Homecoming weekend was an interesting weekend for me and I learned a lot…

Some Tips…

1. Don’t walk around with over ten people because you won’t get in anywhere.

2. Drinking at The Ridges is never a good idea.

3. When you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and know it’s a good time to leave.

4. If you’re honest and respectful to the cops, you’ll probably be okay.

Cops are EVERYWHERE on homecoming weekend. Stay away from bars if you’re underage, and please don’t use your fakes.

The next big weekend after Homecoming is Halloween.

People come out of state for this.

It’s a big deal for not only the students at OU, but for the whole Athens community. You might see some crazy costumes but you’ll see even crazier people. Make sure to have a group to stick with because in some places you’ll lose cell phone reception. I didn’t have a problem with that, but it’s always better to be safe. And when navigating through Court Street, hang on to your friends – literally.

When it starts getting colder, the parties die down and the bars amp up.

No one wants to walk around Mill when its 20 degrees. Smiling Skull is a wonderful place, don’t let it intimidate you. Skull is practically my second home after last year and I made a lot of great memories there. It’s a biker bar down Union Street past USD and it’s home to many Athens locals. Karaoke Wednesdays are a MUST. The freshmen bars tend to be Skull and Redbrick. Most bars do card, especially after all the raids last year, so investing in a fake is wise. Also, please tip your bar tenders. You won’t make any friends if you don’t. The Pub is another great one on Court Street. The bar tenders are all super cool and it’s just a fun environment. But those are just some of my favorites, and everyone has their own.

After Spring Break, the beloved ‘Fest Season’ begins.

Fest season is when every weekend, a designated street has parties at pretty much every house. The idea is that it’s warm so it’s time to celebrate by drinking as much as humanly possible in one day, but the Midwest weather doesn’t always agree. Last year during high fest, I was wearing a hoodie and jeans. On Fest weekends, day drinking is a staple. You wake up, have some mimosas or screwdrivers, and then go from there. The next day, you fill your stomach and then start over. Food and hydration are important, I can’t stress that enough. Make sure you’re planning time to eat at some point during the day.

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Tips for Fest Season…

  • Don’t go out in the street with an open cup.
  • Don’t pet the horses during Halloween without asking.
  • Don’t pee anywhere that’s not a toilet. Don’t talk back to cops.
  • If you’re walking around with a cup, keep it upside down.
  • NEVER give a cop your fake as a form of ID.
  • The Shack on Court Street is a wonderful place. The guys in there are super cool and you should tip them.
  • Respect Athens. This is your home for four years so clean up after yourself. Don’t put your cup down and then come back to it and drink it.
  • Be a good addition to the Bobcat family; take care of each other. If you see someone that needs help then help them. If someone is showing the signs of alcohol poisoning, call 911 or take them to the hospital. You won’t get in trouble but you may save your friend’s life.

Ohio U’s party scene is one like no other.

As long as you’re smart about things, you won’t get into any trouble. And if you do, there’s always that lawyer we pay $5 for that can help you out. The party scene at OU will give you many stories to tell when you leave here and even more friends.

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Any questions about Ohio U’s party scene? Have other tips? Comment below and share this article with friends!
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Featured image sources: dispatch.com
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