Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Athens, OH 24 February 2014 – This past weekend was an opportunity for me to try something new – I went backpacking! Ohio University Outdoor Pursuits is an organization based within the Ping Recreation Center and is best known for operating the climbing wall at the entrance. They also offer many other services such as equipment rental and several trips of varying lengths and difficulty throughout the year. I’ve wanted to give backpacking a try for a while now so a (very reasonably priced) weekend Intro to Winter Backpacking trip sounded like just what I was looking for. Outdoor Pursuits supplied the food and any gear that I didn’t have and we were off to Zaleski State Forest.
The trip was even better than I had hoped. Despite the hike I signed up for, the weather was the surprise beautiful weather that Ohio sometimes decides to tease us with in February. The group had varying levels of experience, and we took the hike at a leisurely pace that gave us all a chance to stretch our legs after being cooped up inside during the last few cold weeks. We hiked out to a campsite and stayed the night there before traveling on to the site where we would camp Saturday night. Saturday afternoon was also probably the best nap of my life. Sunday morning we hiked out and were able to make it back to Athens about half an hour before it began to sleet. Can’t complain about that luck!
Being unplugged from society for a couple of days was a fantastic escape from the fast-paced life of a college student. The seven of us were able to create our own schedule, spend unchecked amounts of time sitting admiring the fantastic views of Southeast Ohio, and swap stories while cooking simple meals around a campfire. It was refreshing to get away before coming back and getting a re-energized start on studying for midterms.
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 17 February 2014 – Winter in Athens is great because there’s still so many ways to get outside and have fun. As long as it’s not too far below freezing there are plenty of things to do to not be cooped up inside. This year I’ve gotten to go sledding, go hiking out on a frozen Dow Lake and make a great snowman! (There have been a lot of good snowmen and forts around town from our snow days this year.)
Sadly there aren’t many ski resorts very close to Athens. Mad River Mountain, about 2 hours away, is a place near Bellefontaine, Ohio which luckily has great deals for college students. Every Friday of the season Mad River has college night where lift tickets and rentals are fairly cheap for anyone with a college ID. I’ve had the chance to go a couple of times this winter which always ends up a fun time. So as everyone prepares for their trips to Panama and Daytona this Spring break, myself and a group of ten other engineers will be heading west for a week of snowboarding and skiing! Instead of adventuring south for a week of lying on the beach in the sun we’ve opted to head to West Virginia to brave the wild mountains at Timberline Resort.
No matter how mild or crazy the winter is, this time of year is still fun in Athens and it’s always easy to get outside and avoid cabin fever.
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Athens, OH 14 February 2014 – I’m going to be honest with you up front. Engineering, no matter what type, consumes a lot of your time and can also be difficult at times. I’ve found it important and beneficial for me to set aside my studies for a couple of hours and participate on intramural volleyball teams. Freshman year, I met a great group of friends and we decided we wanted to play a sport we hadn’t had much exposure to in high school. We’ve played volleyball every semester (sand in the fall, indoor in the spring) and have been teammates ever since we met freshman year.
Not only has it been a great time, but also, it is a couple of hours each week that force me to take my mind off my studies. It was also a great opportunity for me to build life-long friendships. Just something as simple as volleyball once a week allowed my teammates and me to become great friends. I can honestly say that they are some of my best friends that I have met while at Ohio University.
Now that we are all older, the night doesn’t just stop when our game is finished. We have recently started going to Buffalo Wild Wings to get a drink and of course, wings. We find ourselves watching our favorite sports teams as well as talking about the game we just played. Normally, talks are about what we did well and what we didn’t do so well and how we can improve in the next game. Even though we play for the fun of it, we still find ourselves trying to win each and every game. These small moments have accumulated over the years to build great friendships and memories I’ll never forget.
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH 10 December 2013 – The weather in Ohio is always changing. A few weeks ago, right before Thanksgiving, it was snowing so bad people were afraid to drive home, last week it was so warm people were in shorts, and then fast-forward to today and the snow is back. The constant change of the weather is one of my favorite parts of living in Ohio and being at Ohio University.
We have such a wide range of traditions at OU for each type of weather. When it is warm out the students flock to South Beach, which has basketball courts, volleyball courts, and large fields to utilize in whatever way you want from laying in the sun to LARPING. When it is snowing, most people love to take whatever rectangular shaped object they can find to one of our many large hills and go sledding! There is never a dull moment in Athens, there is always something to do, no matter the weather.
My favorite thing to do when it is warm out is to simply walk around and admire how beautiful our campus is. There are so many trees and so much interesting architecture, you always find something new to enjoy. One of my favorite parts of the winter is people watching. Whenever there is snow on the ground the pace at which people walk instantly decreases. I am constantly entertained by the connection you seem to have when strangers, friends, and I are all slipping from class to class together.
Senior, Computer Science
Athens, OH 25 November 2013 – As a student in the Russ College of Engineering, it is important to find a way to blow off some steam and relieve stress. One way to do that is to get involved! Although engineering and technology majors require a lot of time and effort, there is still plenty of time to get involved in non-engineering related organizations on campus. This is great because even though I love computer science, all the work can be stressful if that’s all I’m doing. That’s why I chose to get involved!
One of the groups I am involved with on campus is a student Christian organization called Cru. Through Cru, I help lead a bible study on for guys living on West Green. They also have weekly meetings that are kind of like a church service geared towards college students. I love Cru because it allows me to meet other people who are outside of my major and who share in my faith. Getting involved with organizations like Cru or other non-engineering groups is great for engineering students because it gives us a chance to focus on something other than class.
Another way I relieve stress is by working out. Working out helps me take my mind off of schoolwork. Also, studies show that students who work out tend to do better in class. Lucky for me, Ping Center (the recreation center) is free for all students and comes complete with weight rooms, basketball courts, racquetball courts, an indoor track, cardio machines and even a rock climbing wall!
Sometimes Ping Center even holds triathlons or other organized competitions that students can sign up for. I have yet to participate in one but I hope to compete in a triathlon the next time they have one. If you’re like me and working out is one of the ways you relieve stress, I think you’ll find that OU has a lot to offer people who like to be active.