How to have fun when you’re under 21

Curated by Elizabeth Backo and Kate Fickell

Although Ohio University has been dubbed a No. 1 party school, there is still much to do before turning 21. Athens is filled with a variety of music and art groups along with fitness centers and beautiful bikeways. Although fest season and HallOUween may seem like the ultimate party at OU, seeing a movie at the Athena Cinema or attending a football game at Peden stadium can be just as much of a buzz.

Here’s a guide for how to have fun when you’re under 21:

Performing Arts:

1. Instrumental music, located in Memorial Auditorium and the Glidden Hall (which is at the top and bottom of Jeff Hill)

Free music is abundant on campus. The School of Music hosts different events throughout the year including OctubaFest, an event dedicated to tuba playing, and the annual Jazz Festival. In addition, there are several organizations for music majors and non-majors to participate in, including symphonies and orchestras. Events and information can be found on the School of Music’s website

2. Athena, located near The Chop Shop and The Shack on Court Street

The Athena Cinema is placed among the oldest movie theaters in the nation. It has three screens and an art deco-style interior. The theater also offers popcorn and concessions. The films include documentary, independent, classics, foreign and local. Every year, the Athena Cinema hosts multiple events including Ohio University student screenings, environmental panels and the Athens International Film + Video Festival. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with what’s happening.

3.Improv/Comedy, located at Front Room, Donkey Coffee and Baker Theatre

Black Sheep Improv, an improvisational group on campus, takes over Front Room on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and on Thursdays in Baker Theatre at 9 p.m. The Improv troupe spends its time making jokes and trying to get the audience to crack a few smiles. Comedy groups can also be found around campus and uptown, such as the Blue Pencil Comedy stand-up group that frequently performs at Donkey Coffee and Espresso. “I think anyway of making new friends is something I would be interested in haha! I know no one.” Bethel Park High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

4. Art Barn, located down the road behind the Summit Apartments at Coates Run

The Dairy Barn Arts Center promotes artists and provides the community access to fine arts and crafts from outside the region. The program calendar that you can check out here includes international juried exhibitions, festivals, touring exhibits, programs of regional interest, live performances and activities for all ages. They have volunteer work and Kroger community awards.

5. Choirs, performing in Memorial Auditorium on College Green

The Choral Union is a large, mixed chorus of students, faculty and townspeople. The ensemble unites annually with the Ohio University Symphony to perform outstanding major choral works. Click here to check out their page and other singing and instrumental groups. “I hope to find a job and join the choir. I don’t need alcohol or partying to have fun. Yeah, those can be fun to do but also remembering things sober are much better than not remembering.” Harrison Central High School in Cadiz, OH.

Fitness:

1. Bike Path, behind South Green

When the weather is warm and sunny, the bike path located behind South Green is a go-to place for bikers, runners, skaters and walkers. The path is relatively flat with a few twists and turns. Anyone can enjoy a view of the Hocking River or witness the blooming Japanese Cherry Blossoms in the spring. It also can be used to take a trip to Wal-Mart.

2. Ping, behind Clippinger near South Green and the golf course

The Ping Center is 168,000 square feet spanning three floors with a 36 foot, double-sided climbing wall, five basketball/volleyball courts, two multipurpose gymnasiums, a four-lane indoor running track, seven racquetball courts and two fitness areas. Ping Center also provides free weights, aerobics, fitness, combative sports, dance, and meeting rooms. Follow Ping on Twitter to keep up! “I just want to take in as much as possible and find what interests me. I want to get the experience that comes with finally moving out of your parents’ house and be on your own. I love spending time in the gym.” Monroe Central High School in Woodsfield, OH.

3. Sport Fields, multiple locations described below

Peden stadium, located near the Convocation Center, has a seating capacity of 24,000 and hosts Bobcat football. Students attend football games in the fall to cheer on the Bobcats as well as collect free gear and food. The Marching 110 also plays a halftime performance that leaves the audience bouncing with excitement. The Intramural Fields are located between East Green and the Hocking River and offer individual, dual and team sports for men, women and coed teams in a variety of seasonal league and tournament formats. “I’m committed to the women’s soccer team so for fun I plan on hanging out with my future teammates.” Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware, OH.

4. Bird Arena, located near the bottom of Baker Center

Bird Arena is another outlet for people who would rather slide then run. The indoor arena provides a 190-by-85 foot surface for skaters of all ages. Bird Arena has open skate hours which can be found online and might change for the 2016-17 academic year. Skate rental fees are $3.50. Additionally, the arena offers different programs such as synchronized skating, club hockey and even beginner classes that can be taken for academic credit. You can find this icy rink at the bottom of Baker Center.

Media:

1. The Post, room 325 in Baker Center

The Post is one of several media outlets on campus. After more than 100 years of publishing, The Post is becoming a weekly tabloid with a daily digital product. The organization covers a range of topics from blog posts about pet Instagrams to political controversy on campus. The Post has several staffs that work daily to produce its product, which includes culture, sports, news, copy editing, digital, social media, design, multimedia and photography.

2. Backdrop, office located in Baker Center in room 309 or can be contacted here

Backdrop is a magazine on campus that publishes four times throughout the academic year. The magazine focuses on long-form content ranging from the history of fashion at OU to an in depth look into police officers’ K-9 sidekicks. “I also got into OSU but I chose OU over it. I am really looking forward to being involved with certain magazines on campus, especially the one dedicated to music because although I don’t play an instrument, I love all genres of music and talking about them.” Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, OH.

3. The Athens News, located between Red Brick and Cats Eye on Court Street

Known for its in-depth local news reporting, The Athens News features news, entertainment and an advertising section. With Ohio University making up an important segment of the Athens County population, The Athens News newspaper is able to effectively reach both the university and community markets, according to its website. The publication has written about everything from Number Fest to the construction of uptown bars.

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.

6 social media accounts every incoming Bobcat should follow

Starting college can be terrifying (I know it was for me), especially if you don’t know what to expect coming in. I’m a first-generation freshman at Ohio University, so I had absolutely no idea what I was in for when I got to campus. Now that I’m just a few days away from the end of my first year of college, I’d like to share some tips with my future fellow Bobcats as to how to get through your first year of college. I’ve created a list of the major social media users every incoming student should like or follow to help ease the transition and make the most of living in Athens.

  1. OHIObso on Instagram 

The Bobcat Student Orientation Instagram account is a useful tool for freshmen or new students due to the fact that it offers a wide variety of tips about Ohio University’s campus. Be sure to check it out and follow it for ideas about new study spots or just some fun facts about the campus!

2. Jenny Hall-Jones on Twitter

Jenny Hall-Jones, Dean of Students and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, has an active presence on Twitter. She tweets not only about on-campus activities, but also encouraging messages to OU students such as the one above. She also retweets other students fairly often, so be sure to follow her and tweet at her to get a shoutout!

3. University Program Council on Facebook

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 12.37.51 PM

The University Program Council at OU puts on fun and free events for students periodically throughout the year. It brought Metro Station to Baker University Center, allowing students to take a study break at a free concert during the last week of classes. The organization updates its Facebook page more frequently than its Twitter, so be sure to stay updated by liking it on Facebook!

4. Scalia Lab Athens OH on Twitter 

The Scalia Lab right here in Athens keeps OU students up to date on the latest weather, including snow emergencies during the winter months. Living in the midwest, we need to be sure someone is watching out for the next unexpected turn of weather, and the Scalia Lab does just that. It has saved me during quite a few unexpected weather emergencies (including the sudden foot of snow we got one day in January out of absolutely nowhere).

5. Your graduating class on Facebook 

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 2.18.11 PM

Find your class page on Facebook as soon as possible. While there are students who just post in the group to be distracting, annoying or obnoxious, there are a lot of posts that can be helpful. People post about lost IDs, potential new groups and even roommate searches. You just might find your college best friend in the group! Or at least your lost ID.

6. Other incoming students in your program of study on any platform 

The easiest way to do this is to search your program of study on Twitter or Instagram. You could also try to be a go-getter and create a Facebook group, but that may not work unless you know at least a few other people to invite to the group. Following and even messaging some of your future fellow Bobcats is the best way to make sure you’re not coming to campus knowing absolutely no one. If you’re proactive in making friends, the transition from high school and parental dependence to college and independence will be much less scary.

 

There are other social media accounts that could be of use to new students, but these are the lifesavers in my experience. Just keep in mind that college is an incredible time in which people grow and discover who they are. It’s okay to be afraid of this big transition, but it’s also okay to come in excited and ready for the next step in life.