Court Street is crowded: An alternative guide to weekend nights in Athens

Ohio University is often cast as a party school, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Partying does occur frequently, and relatives love to bring it up as a talking point during breaks, citing either The Princeton Review or, more recent, Playboy ranking.

Drinking, house parties and the bars on campus do seem to be topic of conversation much of the time. Overheard conversations around campus often contain the phrase, “Are you going out tonight?” or recount some sort of vodka-infused exploit from the night before.

But, in spite of popular opinion, not everybody wants to go out tonight — or at least not in the same way.

On any given Saturday night, many college students prefer comfy futons over wooden benches and sticky floors and fresh air over liquor pitchers. Regardless, drinking underage is illegal.

But what’s important is that any of those scenarios emerge from independent decisions that should be made without outside pressures. With all the drinking going on, it’s easy to feel like a square, but that’s only an illusion.

College years aren’t about conforming to peers. They’re about discovering your personal identity and principles, and then finding other people and pursuits with similar ideals. Whether or not those people call the bars home reflects whatever you choose.

Sometimes people at the bars get dragged there by their friends, and sometimes people find themselves stuck in their dorms because there’s nothing to do.

Fortunately, Athens is a place not only diverse in its people, but also in its nightlife.

DIY music shows, basketball at Ping or just hanging out in a friend’s dorm all provide the ingredients for a fulfilling night just as much as going out.

The university recently started “Ohio Late Nights” in the Living Learning Center in the new dorms, which is cool if you like free food and don’t mind RA supervision. And for anyone into theater, OU playwrights put on a show each Friday night called “Midnight Madness,” which you might go to for extra credit some day regardless.

Several places near Athens offer options for small day trips to suit all interests.

These are just a few ways among countless others of being social that don’t require dealing with a bunch of drunk strangers, if that’s not your thing. Whatever you choose to do on a Friday or Saturday night, don’t feel like a square for choosing it.

Bobcats stick together, and we should support each other’s choices, no matter if that means hitting Court Street or grabbing a coffee and seeing a movie.



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