Athens, OH 24 December 2013 – On Saturday, December 21st, 350 Ohio University students boarded buses across the state. We were all gearing up for a trip to Florida to support our Bobcat football team in the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl! Everyone traveling had purchased a ticket for a bus ride down to St. Petersburg, Florida, one night in the Sirata Beach Resort and a ticket to get in the Tropicana Field for the game. I had bought a ticket along with two of my roommates. Out of the 50 students on the bus, they were the only ones I knew. By the time we were headed back home, though, my roommates and I had gained a busload of new friends.
The total travel time including stops took 22 hours from Columbus, so we had plenty of time to hang out and chat with our fellow Bobcats on the bus. The bus ride turned out to be a lot of fun, meeting everyone and finding out how many of us had connections by mutual friends back in Athens. By the time we got to Florida everyone on the bus basically knew each other and were ready for a fun evening in St. Pete. The 110 and the East Carolina band played on the beach, which was awesome to watch, and a block party was set up for both OU and ECU students.
On the 23rd everyone loaded on to the buses again to get to the indoor Tropicana Field for the game. My roommates and I got great seats and prepared ourselves to cheer on the Bobcats! While standing in the bleachers surrounded by yelling students and OU fans, I once again realized how much of a community Ohio University is. Because of our love for this amazing school we all immediately had a commonality and a sense of belonging with each other. Although we ended up losing the game, we had a great time getting to travel and cheer on our awesome Bobcats on the field.