A guide to Instagram: Athens edition

Nestled in the foothills of Appalachia, Ohio University and the city that hosts it are a mix of bricks, hills and green spaces you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Athens provides students with a bevy of beautiful photos.

And like most college students, Bobcats love their Instagram feeds. The following is a collection of some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Athens.

Campus Gateway

Just a little excited to be home ?? #athens #bobcats #alumniproblems #ohiouniversity #becauseshebeatme

A photo posted by Alyssa Marie Wilson (@alyssawilson628) on

One of two spots on campus known by some as the campus gates. The other is currently getting a facelift.

Getting there

This spot sits at the northwest corner of College Green. In other words, it’s on the corner of Union St. and Court St.

Tips and Tricks

If there aren’t many people around the gates when you walk by, take advantage of the moment and get your picture — most days at least one campus organization will be handing out flyers here.

Bong Hill


Just hanging OUt ??☀️ #BongHill #OhioU #Athens #Hiking

A photo posted by Calvin Holloway (@calhollow) on

Despite the name, I’ve never walked in on people doing illegal things here. Wear comfortable shoes because it’s going to be quite the walk.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.25.14 PMGetting There

The most physically ambitious spot on this list, a trip to Bong Hill is not for the faint of heart. Enlarge the map to the right to see how to get there on foot. It’ll be about a two-mile trek by foot. The final ascent is a steep couple hundred feet.

Tips and Tricks

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with a car, have that person drive you there. It’ll shorten the journey by a tremendous amount. If you’re going by foot, be careful walking along the side of the road. You’ll be on a state route for a few minutes.

It’s important to note it’s unclear how legal this OU tradition is. The land isn’t clearly marked as private property, but there appears to be a residence somewhat close to the vantage point.

Emeriti Park

The springtime lunch times ???? #OUpics #athensohio #ohiouniversity

A photo posted by Emily (@svveetdisposition) on

You might’ve already seen this park on a visit to OU. It’s a good place to study on a sunny day.

Getting there

The park is situated between Baker University Center, Clippinger Laboratories and the Ping Center.  You can’t miss it.

Tips and Tricks

The pond is pretty in the spring and fall, but walk here in the winter after a light snow. It’s a wonderland.

Bike Path

The bike path on the edge of campus is part of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, a 21-mile bike path that stretches all the way to Nelsonville. Our slice of the path plays host to Sakura blossoms in the spring and a frozen Hocking River in the Winter.

Getting there

The bike path hugs the Hocking River on the outskirts of campus. Popular spots for entering the bike trail are the bridge on Richland Ave., South Green and Union Street. You should be able to get there in five minutes or less from just about anywhere on campus.

Tips and Tricks

The path is a favorite for runners, dog walkers and cyclists. Part of the path is lit by streetlamps, but I wouldn’t advise spending time here after dark. It’s relatively secluded compared to the rest of campus.

College Green

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.59.21 PMThe heart of OU is also the oldest area of the campus. According to OU’s website, Cutler Hall, the building in the middle of the above photo, was built in 1816 and currently houses some administrators, including the president.

Getting there

Most of the photos of College Green are taken from in front of the campus gateway, denoted by the little gray point on the map to the right.

Tips and Tricks

If you work up an appetite taking this picture, there are usually several food trucks stationed along Union St., including the famed Burrito Buggy.

Court Street

Many would call Court Street the true heart of OU. Well over 10 bars call this half-mile stretch home, which only adds to OU’s reputation as a party school. But beyond the bars, Court Street’s bricks are iconic, and many of the buildings have maintained their historic facades.

Getting there

From the top floor of Baker University Center, you can get to Court Street by walking straight out of the doors and down the street between Scripps Hall and the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house.

Tips and Tricks

Employers are increasingly checking out your online identity before hiring you. While Court Street can make for some artful pictures, you might want to hold off on posting that picture of you and your friends having a little too much fun at the bar, even when you’re of age.

The Ridges

#TheRidges #AthensOhio #KeepAthensWeird

A photo posted by Cameron Price (@akidnamedcam) on

Formerly known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, a walk to The Ridges is a Halloween tradition for many OU students. Some of the buildings are now used by the University in various capacities, but they once were home to Billy Milligan — a serial killer who will be portrayed by Leo DiCaprio in an upcoming movie.

Getting there

You can see the ridges from most places on campus, but to walk there you’ll need to cross the bridge near Peden Stadium on Richland Ave. There are sidewalks and crosswalks. Once you cross the roundabout after the bridge, walk up the brick path on your right, and you’re there.

Tips and Tricks

It is possible to go inside the abandoned buildings. Some students do it at night for a cheap thrill — but it might not be so cheap after all, because it’s illegal, and if caught you’ll be paying a hefty fine.

‘Love Your Melon’ hits the ice for a cause

Ice skating requirements: good balance, fresh skates and — for a select group on OU’s campus — hats.

On Thursday, February 5 at 8 p.m., Ohio University’s own “Love Your Melon” crew took to the ice at Bird Arena in hopes of raising awareness of its cause.

The organization, which sells hats and uses some proceeds to help families pay bills associated with childhood cancer, met on the ice to pose for a photo and celebrate cancer awareness on World Cancer Day.

“It’s really nice to bring a little bit of joy into a child’s life,” said Analee Loecy, OU’s Love Your Melon Crew Captain. “I would encourage people to purchase Love Your Melon because you’re spending your money on something you can feel good about and believe in.”

Love Your Melon is a for-profit organization that sells American-made hats. 50 percent of the net proceeds from sales are funneled to the Pinky Swear Foundation, which helps families pay medical bills associated with childhood cancer.

Love Your Melon's philanthropy model has changed over time.
Love Your Melon’s philanthropy model has changed over time.

Loecy added that social media is a “big part” of Love Your Melon’s strategy, as all of its sales are carried out online. Put another way, meetings like this, where the group can create something to drum up interest in Love Your Melon, are essential to its cause.

The organization initially used a model similar to TOMS shoes: for every hat sold, a hat was donated to child diagnosed with cancer. But over time, Love Your Melon’s donations exceeded the number of children who were

A Love Your Melon beanie.
A Love Your Melon beanie.

battling cancer in the U.S., so the group tweaked its model, but retained its philanthropic nature.

Nelsonville woman finds peace in caves


Six Floors Up

My corner in Alden Library.
My corner in Alden Library.
I sometimes watch people smoke in this courtyard during difficult study sessions.
I sometimes watch people smoke in this courtyard during difficult study sessions.

I’m in a predicament.

During my first semester at OU I begrudgingly enrolled in an economics course. It’s something you have to do to graduate with a journalism degree here. But with each passing lecture, I started to like the class more and more. By exam time, I had a crush on supply and demand models.

Then I enrolled in a second course. My relationship with the study of trade-offs became more serious — I began considering going steady with the dismal science. But after our first few dates it became clear that if I wanted our relationship to continue, I would need to learn to love numbers.

Here’s the problem: I’ve never gotten along well with math. Crunching numbers and manipulating equations has always made me feel anxious, stupid and tired. But I decided it was worth it, and so the above scene became mine and the numbers’ regular meeting place.

This desk (pictured) is on the sixth floor of Alden Library, hidden from the commotion of campus. It’s quiet. There is about a foot between the wall and my chair, so I know nothing is going on behind me — I think this appeals to some leftover primal instinct in me. I feel totally at ease.

In this state, I can settle into the slower, more rational way of thinking that allows me to digest unfamiliar concepts (psychologists and economists call this System 2). I can focus, totally and completely, without fear of interruption.

My relationship with economics depends on this corner of Alden Library, six floors up.