Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a senior at OU? Here are some memories

When I graduated high school, friends and family encouraged me to have the best time at college, and live it up.  They told me college was going to be the best four years of my life.  I think it’s safe to say I had fun.

Coming to college, I honestly couldn’t tell you how scared I actually was.  I had never been away from my family or friends for that long of a period, I didn’t know what to expect.  I didn’t know how long it was going to take to make new friends and get adjusted to life away from Cincinnati, but I knew if I didn’t think about it too hard, I could make new friends pretty easily.  Luckily, I was rooming with a friend from high school and it wasn’t long before I made, arguably, the biggest and best decision in college – joining a fraternity.

Many students adapt to the new environment and figure out what their favorite places on campus are sooner rather than later…especially in Athens!

As my time at Ohio University is running out, it’s hard not to look back at my four years here on campus, and think about all of my friends that I have met.

When I look back at my time here, there are so many different memories, good and bad, that pop into my head.  There are some that make me want to stay in this little town forever, and some that make me glad I’m leaving.  I’m going to remember strolling all the way back down to west green freshman year after a night uptown and grabbing some chicken and waffle, then only eating half of it and waking up to the other half the next morning.  I remember sophomore and junior year living in my fraternity house.  Honestly, there are too many stories to even reminisce on.  But, what I will say is some of the best memories I had were sitting in a friend’s room on a Saturday or Sunday morning trying to figure out what exactly happened the night before.  Senior year was probably the most interesting year I’ve had in college.  For the first two weeks of school I had no interest in being there, I actually wanted to go home a few times.  I don’t know why I was feeling like this, but I was.  Maybe it was because deep down I knew it was my last year, but I don’t know.  But it turned out to be the best year I’ve had on campus, but it comes with a price.

Being a senior, you get asked the same two questions about 10 times per minute.  “So, are you going to miss Athens?” and, “What are your plans after graduation?” Honestly, I can’t answer the first question with a straightforward reply.  In my four years, I haven’t been away from Athens long enough to know whether I’m going to miss it, besides Christmas break and summer. But will I miss hanging out with friends every weekend? Absolutely! What I won’t miss is having the same routine every weekend, going to the same bars every Friday and Saturday night.  To me, it just gets old after a while.  I also won’t miss the politics on campus.  I was never a very political person until this year.  It’s safe to say it brought out the worst in me.  But I think I get more annoyed with the second question.  I’m in a complicated situation right now.  I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do after graduation.  Not only do I not have a job lined up, but I’m not too sure on what I even want to do exactly, but I think I have enough confidence to figure it out before the stress mode kicks in.  It’s a work in progress.  It just gets a little annoying answering the same thing over and over and over.

Obviously I know how I feel about leaving, it’s a whole mixture of different emotions, but I also think it’s interesting to see how other seniors feel, and how they are going to remember OU.

When talking to different seniors, some in Greek life and some not, there were a few different trends that I noticed, most of which I could relate to.  You could notice some of the bars the younger students would go to, as well as those of the older students.  But, along with some of the favorite bars, you also notice some of the places people liked going to as a freshman and how that differed from their senior year.

 

After talking to these seniors, you notice that OU is a special place not only for partying and going to the bars, but also meeting girlfriends and creating lifelong friendships.  It’s these memories that people will cherish forever and take with them after college.

My personal favorite is listening to the different bars people went to as freshman and how they slowly transitioned to the different bars as they got older.  Most of the people I know started off at Red Brick, but quickly transitioned to The Crystal, or “Stal”, which is the popular spot for Greek life.

The Crystal bar via Pinterest

Once you start talking to a current OU student, or even an alum, about where their favorite spots Uptown are/were, you start talking about the amazing dining spots.  There are so many different spots to grab a bite to eat Uptown, sober or not sober.  Let’s just work our way down Court Street.  If you start at the very beginning right next to campus, you can grab some Chipotle on one side of the street or if you’re in a hurry, you can pick up some Wendy’s.  Then work your way down the street a little more and you’ll find Bagel Street Deli and Brenen’s, two more OU gems.  A little further down you’ll run into an OU favorite, Big Mamma’s.  I personally never got hooked, but I think this is where some people’s paychecks went every weekend.

Big Mamma’s Burritos

After you pass Big Mamma’s you’ll run into the heart of Court Street and the other favorite eateries.  You’ll find Wings Over, which for some is quite delicious drunk and sober, which is simply a win for everyone.  Once you turn the corner by The J Bar, which is known to many alumni as “The Junction”, you’ll find my two personal favorites, Souvlaki’s and O’Betty’s.  I was introduced to O’Betty’s my freshman year and immediately fell in love.  Since my freshman year, the only thing I have purchased from there is the cheesy fries.  It’s a mix of fresh, crispy fries with melted cheddar cheese and topped with shredded cheese.  It’s a little pricey but most nights that I get it I’m not too worried about it.

O’Betty’s very cheesy fries via Food Spotting.

Ryan Lysaght, senior studying communication studies, has had a very different and unique college experience than any other student.  As a senior, Lysaght has spent four years in a fraternity, and has been a student football manager for OU.  His freshman year, he pledged into Phi Gamma Delta social fraternity, and then a semester later accepted a job with Ohio University Football.

Ryan Lysaght (pictured with the whiteboard) sits with his fellow managers before a football game.

“One memory that I won’t forget from college is during spring semester of my freshman year, I started working with the football team and the first day I went in for my interview, and they put me to work right away, and now four years later I’m now going to be doing this as a career,” Lysaght said.

Its memories like this that people will be able to remember forever and speak about them when they’re older.  He also said joining the fraternity has given him so many different memories, skills, experiences and other things that he will be able to take with him and utilize after college.

He said some of his favorite experiences would probably be setting up and organizing events through the fraternity.  He described some of those experiences as learning how to fail fast as a group, but learning how to get through the adversity and figure out what went wrong and be able to turn it around and make it successful.

“Dealing with the fraternity, holding events and hosting them, creating them from scratch and learning from those experiences and figuring out how to host a successful one has been some of the best times,” he said.

When he isn’t helping organize different events for the fraternity or running through practice with the football team, he likes to hang out Uptown with friends.

Broney’s Alumni Grill via Another Food Critic

“My favorite place to eat would probably be Broney’s on Tuesday nights for loaded margaritas and quesadillas,” he said, “I’ve gone for the first 13 out of 15 weeks in the semester, and I plan on finishing the semester strong.”

As we’re counting down the days, all of the seniors are now thinking back on all of the memories we have over the last four years.  The countless of hours we have spent studying…and the countless hours we have rewarded ourselves at the bars.  We’re thinking about the all the friendships and relationships we have made that we will take with us after school.  Leaving home to go to college hasn’t been easy by any means, but it definitely has been worth it.  I wouldn’t have traded coming to Ohio University for anything.  It’s all of my friends, professors and memories that make me proud to say OU OH YEAH!

Reviewing the best cheeseburgers on Court Street

Breaks in between classes are usually only good for one thing: eating lunch. But sometimes, the normal fresh fruit or salad gets boring. Sometimes a greasy sandwich with beef and cheese is the best thing to quell your hunger. But where are the best places to get cheeseburgers around Court Street?

FAST FOOD CHAIN

Wendy’s has, by far, the greasiest cheeseburgers. This is especially true if— like me— you enjoy bacon on them.

Hamburger: The “Always fresh, never frozen” patties served at Wendy’s are tender, yet hearty and tasty. Watch out for grease dropping as you take bites, though. A

Cheese: Wendy’s uses pretty basic sliced yellow, processed cheese- nothing too bold or tasty for the international chain. C

Toppings: A Wendy’s cheeseburger comes with all the usual toppings, such as lettuce, tomato and onion. Or you can get one without any toppings. You can even get some OK bacon on your sandwich. B

Buns: Wendy’s doesn’t use sesame seed buns on their cheeseburgers, but theirs are OK for what they are. B

Overall: There is not much wrong with a Wendy’s cheeseburger and there shouldn’t be, considering it’s designed by a billion dollar corporation. But the high quality of the grade-A hamburger meat is not helped by its merely above average supporting cast. It’s still a good sandwich, though. B

SPECIALTY

The Uptown Grille, just a little ways down Union Street, cooks several different sandwiches for customers who are on the go, but its real value lies in its cheeseburgers.

Hamburgers: Uptown Grille’s hamburgers are lean and good. However, they’re on the skinny side so toppings are a must. B

Cheese: The cheddar that Uptown Grille uses complements the saltiness of the burger perfectly and is best when paired with a sauce like A1 or barbecue. A

Toppings: The bacon isn’t lean enough for my taste, but Uptown Grille is willing to put different sauces on your cheeseburger from buffalo sauce to, as previously mentioned, A1. B

Buns: Uptown Grille uses pretty standard rolls for buns, and they are not durable for the amount of grease that comes from the burger. Grease and any additional sauce added to the sandwich saturate its paper wrapping. If you’re eating on the go, make sure you have some napkins because you may have a mess. C

Overall: The ingredients in an Uptown Grille cheeseburger are not all perfect, but the sandwich tastes really good and is ideal for eating between classes. B

SIT-DOWN

Now I would never promote day drinking (never!), especially if you’re underage. If on the off chance you want your cheeseburger at lunch to be served on a plate (but not—I repeat— not with a beer) in a relaxing atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with The Pub.

Hamburger: Tender, thick and juicy, The Pub’s quarter pounder is everything you’d want in a burger. A

Cheese: A simple slice of American melted just right is enough to complement the patty perfectly. A

Toppings: The bacon that The Pub uses is top notch and cooked to perfection and they don’t put an excessive amount of it on the cheeseburgers. In addition to the bacon, there is a variety of other toppings to choose from as well, including blue cheese and onion rings. The Pub can be forgiven for not offering many  sauces. A

Buns: The cheeseburgers at The Pub have standard buns (no sesame seeds), but the quality lies in the fact that they don’t suffer from being wrapped up in paper or used by a chain restaurant. A

Overall: The Pub has the best cheeseburgers in Athens. It’s impossible to think of anything wrong with them. They are by far the most impressive and that’s saying something because there are plenty of good burgers on Court Street. A+

So, follow this guide if you want to indulge in a cheeseburger for lunch or if you don’t want to settle for microwave sliders anymore. Eating a burger at one of the locations uptown will be worth your time and money.