Columbus is a large city, almost too large. I had never really thought about it until I looked at the Columbus To Do List. I had gotten so comfortable with the campus that Ohio State seemed to shrink in size.
The list reminded me just how expansive and opportunistic the city really was.
When we were told about the assignment originally, I wondered what list I would choose. I decided that I would simply pick places at random off the various lists that interested me. I did ponder the idea of doing only coffee shops for a bit, but realized my poor heart nor my wallet could handle that amount of caffeine. Anyways, mixing up the lists meant I had six reasons to leave campus rather than five.
Already I have gone out to a place on the list with my friends. During a hot “fall” day, my floor and I went to Graeter’s ice cream to explore off campus.
Getting to the store was an adventure in itself. We missed the first bus to take us there, we were uncertain where to stop, and we found ourselves walking for quite some time. My favorite moment of the trip was when we all passed a little girl’s kool-aid stand. All of us purchased a cup and I stepped aside to talk to the girl’s mother about how to style short hair. I wasn’t sure why she trusted me, I even said I don’t deal with hair. That’s why it’s all cut off.
The setting of Graeter’s itself was bland. A busy street overlooked the small building, and I felt slightly underwhelmed. Walking inside the building, I realized how hot I truly was as the air conditioning blew on my back. Inside was homely, albeit cramped, as we all stood side by side in the line. I was excited for ice cream.
I watched the room quietly and saw a young girl with her grandmother. It made me think of when my grandma took my brothers and me out for ice cream and I could not help but smile. It is the little things that make these experiences great.
When I reached the front of the line, I ordered a chocolate chocolate chip ice cream cone.
Maggie, Brietta and I went outside and sat in the shade of a tree. I absorbed the industrialized landscape and after awhile found myself lost in thought.
I suppose the experience overall was positive, the ice cream was good and my company was better. I certainly would recommend it to my friend’s when they come to visit. However, I am excited over the fact that I have so much exploration to do. That thought alone overshadows the experience of the ice cream shop.
Exploring is what I am most excited about and I am grateful to have the opportunity to call this project “homework.” I hope to find new areas to go to when I am feeling overwhelmed with classwork and with the bustle of campus. If there is one thing I have learned, Ohio State was not made with introverts in mind. I cannot wait to find an area off campus I could call my own and have a few moments to think to myself.
However, I think I am most excited to be touched by the little experiences people share when they are out in public. I am excited to hold the door open and smile to strangers, to have a casual conversation while looking out the window of a coffee shop, or even enjoying the presence of people who also enjoy the beauty of nature.
It is not so much the location I am excited about but rather the experience and I cannot wait to truly get started.