Fall Break in Columbus

Fall break will be here in less than a week, and we can unwind and relax from the hectic semester this has been so far–it is much needed! While many students are going home for the first time to reconnect with family and friends, some of you might be staying on campus for break. This is a perfect time to explore the amazing city that surrounds us. Whether you are from out-of-state or outside of the U.S., here are some fun things to do during fall break in Columbus.

Explore the city

From the time you first visited Ohio State (or maybe at orientation), you have heard incredible things about the city of Columbus. Get out the campus bubble and dive into the fun activities, amazing restaurants, and sights that are conveniently right down the street from us. With just a short ride on the COTA bus, you can discover some cool parts of Columbus. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll feel even more connected to the city, making Ohio State feel more like home.

As a first-year student, I was pretty intimidated to take a bus downtown, but I can assure you that it is a really simple process and well worth your time. The easiest way for me to explore downtown Columbus and the Short North is to take COTA route #2, which runs up and down High Street–I promise you won’t get lost. A convenient place to hop on the bus is the stop outside of the Ohio Union. All you need is your BuckID and you are on your way! The COTA website includes routes frequently used by Ohio State students.

For the outdoor lover…

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Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Special fall exhibit, “Scary Plants“, where you can explore creepy pumpkin carvings and strange plants like you’ve never seen before!

  • Oct. 5- Nov. 15 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost is only $10 with a student ID.

Goodale Park. A beautiful park located in the Short North district, decorated with fountains, park benches, and paths.

Olentangy Trails. Head outside to take a walk with a friend, a fitness run, or even a bike ride on this 13.75 mile stretch of paved trails.

For the shopaholic…

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Explore the shops of the Short North District: Take the COTA bus #2 right down High Street until you get to the arches that say “Short North”. Here you will find many shops that specialize in clothing, stationery, Columbus gear, antiques, and even chocolate!

For the foodie…

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North Market. A classic favorite! If you love food (who doesn’t?) then you will love North Market. Explore different vendors and flavors from around the world such as Asian, Indian, and Polish cuisine. They also have this awesome vendor where you can get fresh homemade donuts…seriously the best donut I have ever had.

  • Open Sun-Mon, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue-Sat 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Explore their fall Farmer’s market in the parking lot of the venue. Stock up on some fresh vegetables and fruits and you could cook a meal or create a fresh salad in your residence hall kitchen.

One Line Coffee. Are you a coffee fanatic? Cozy up to a cup of your favorite coffee and dessert on a cool fall day, located in the Short North district. Check out their website for more information!

Jeni’s Ice Cream. We all scream for ice cream! Jeni’s ice cream made its founding roots in Columbus, and is now a huge sensation! A quick bus ride down High Street and you can try a delicious treat such as the crowd-favorite, Salty Caramel.

Final thoughts…

Just have fun! The more time you put into getting to know Columbus, the more you will get out of it. If you have further questions or need more suggestions, contact a Peer Leader and we would love to share some of our favorite places. In addition you can check out Experience Columbus for an extensive list of places to go. I hope you have a wonderful fall break–be sure to take the time to refresh in order to finish the second part of the semester strong.

Happy exploring!

Columbus: The place to be in the summer

We are so close to summer I can almost taste the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and hear the crack of a bat at a Columbus Clippers game. Whether you find yourself in Columbus for the summer or just here for the end of the school year, there are countless opportunities to quench your boredom and explore the city. Here are some of my favorites:

The Short North:

For those of you who have not visited the Short North on High Street south of campus, I implore you to pull out your BuckID, hop on a COTA bus, and get on down there. Some of my favorite memories at Ohio State have been on the first Saturday of every month when all the art galleries and stores in the area open up their doors for Gallery Hop.

A store called Flower Child is my personal favorite in the Short North. Often described as an up-scale thrift shop, Flower Child has an outfit for any occasion and it has the best vintage selection around. Paired with a scoop of Columbus’s very own Jeni’s ice cream, your Saturday night just got a whole lot cooler.

Free Concerts:

The best part about staying in Columbus over the summer is the weekly concert on the Columbus Commons, which puts a local band on the big stage. Food trucks, including Mikey’s Late Night Slice, and Jeni’s all show up for the concert each Wednesday from 7-11 p.m. Frisbees, blankets, and a date are encouraged.

There are also free fitness classes offered at the Columbus Commons!

Easton:

Easton is the shopping mall where boredom goes to die. There are stores for every kind of shopper, from Nordstrom to See’s Candy and Jeni’s Ice Cream (it’s everywhere…). There are plenty of restaurants around and a movie theater.

Food:

I love to eat, and Columbus is known as the test market of the United States. If you love food as much of me, you will try Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace downtown and Hot Chicken Takeover in the North Market, which are two of the city’s pride and joys. Or if you are looking for a more upscale restaurant, be sure to check out one of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants.

Zoo:

I have always loved sea turtles, and to get my fill I have always gone to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which was ranked the best zoo in the nation in 2009. Although this will require a car, the zoo is definitely worth the trip. With 10,000 animals all in one place you are sure to see your favorite and discover new animals. Like this one:

The Franklin Park Conservatory is also a great place to get your butterfly fix!

 

From the Blue Jackets to German Village there is always something new in the 614. Don’t like any of my ideas? Find your own hidden gems in the area and let me know what I have to try!

10 Reasons You Should Study Abroad Before You Graduate

Okay, so we all know Ohio State is the best school on Earth. Obvi. We have amazing school spirit, a beautiful campus and a huge, fun, talented student body (maybe I’m a little biased but whateves). Being in such a fantastic place, why in the world would anyone in their right mind want to leave?! Well, I’ll tell you why. TO STUDY ABROAD.  There are so many reasons you should study abroad, but here are ten of them:

1. Experience a place that’s not, well, Ohio  (It’s out there people, I promise.)

There’s a whole big world out there waiting for you, where maybe they eat weird, but delicious things, or have cool sayings that you can use to impress your friends back home. Who knows. Listen…Do you hear it? The world’s calling.

2. Push yourself (I can totally figure out the subway system and how to speak German at the same time. Piece of cake.)

Making your way in a new country can be scary and uncomfortable, but there’s no better feeling than finally figuring out what that phrase everyone has been saying means or getting on the right bus for the first time because you KNOW where it’s going. You’re capable of way more than you think.

3. When else in your life will you have time to do this?!(I mean, why not now?)

College is a time of exploration, experimentation and independence. We are just starting to figure out who we are, who we want to be and how we fit in the world. If there’s ever a time to observe other worldviews, opinions and ways of living, it’s now.

4. Meet new people  (Heck, odds are they probably won’t even be from Ohio.)

Not only can you meet friends from the U.S. who are participating with you, but you can also befriend the locals! How fun! You can literally casually throw into conversation when you get home, “Well, my friend from Paris said…”.

5. See how others view the world  (You mean to tell me football isn’t a way of life here?)

It may surprise you that not everyone in the world wears Uggs or has seen the latest episode of Scandal. But so many different ways of thinking, doing and feeling exist in the world. Go explore; ya never know: maybe you’ll adopt some new habits (meditation? eating beondegi? The possibilities are endless.)

6. Adventure  (Wait…you eat what?!)

Why not let your adventurous spirit run wild for a while? Taste new foods, meet new people, venture outside your comfort zone. See the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall, or the Pyramids. There is no time like the present and at the very least you’ll make some great memories to take home with you.

7. Be Independent  (For real this time, since we all know how you go home solely so your Mom can do your laundry)

No matter where you go, studying abroad will force you to figure things out on your own and be independent.  You might even have to cook your own food, omg.

8. Gain valuable experience  (looks great on a resume!)

Studying abroad will help you gain problem-solving skills, appreciate other cultures and grow in confidence. These are great transferrable skills for any future job, or just to be better at life.

9. Learn about yourself  (Who knew I was capable of  miming what flavor of gelato I wanted to that waiter?)

You probably already have a fairly good idea of what you’re good at, but did you know how good you were at navigating that incredibly confusing city? Or how well you could pick up Spanish in three weeks? You may just surprise yourself.

10. Appreciate what you have (Depending on where you go, you will never again take for granted not having to pay to enter a public restroom.)

Studying abroad in a foreign country, no matter where it is, or the standard of living there, will make you appreciate what you have.  Whether that be your family, friends, hometown, or college campus, you will come home more grateful for the blessings you have.

So basically what I’m trying to say is, GO STUDY ABROAD. Take one semester, or summer away from your normal comfortable routine and explore the world. You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll see, or most importantly, what you’ll learn about yourself along the way.