15 alternatives to the Mirror Lake jump

As you likely know by now, the Mirror Lake jump–a recent tradition that precedes the football game against TTUN–is slated to take place on Tuesday night. While many students may be participating (and will do so responsibly, we hope!), there are likely just as many–or more–of you who have no plans to splash around in dirty water in near-freezing temperatures. For those of you undecided about your Tuesday night plans, here are 15 alternatives to the Mirror Lake jump:

1. Get a head start on the drive home…all of the freeway lanes, none of the traffic.

2. Try out that Short North restaurant you’ve been eyeing since the start of the semester.

3. Create your own Thanksgiving meal using only items from a campus C-Store, a la “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”:

4. Get a bird’s eye view of the jump (and your pick of the best rocking chair) from the 11th floor of Thompson library.

5. Listen to TBDBITL music on repeat…or at least until it starts to annoy your roommate(s).

6. Reread “The Hunger Games” in preparation for the final movie in the franchise…or just see the movie with your DTix discount at Gateway Film Center.

7. Watch the Ohio State Men’s basketball team take on Louisiana Tech on the Big Ten Network (8 p.m.).

8. Practice your response to holiday inquiries from family, questions like: 

What are you hoping to do with a major in [insert your major here]-

9. Try to get your own hashtag trending.

10. Wash your sheets…maybe for the first time all semester?

11. Watch all the Thanksgiving episodes of your favorite TV show(s).

12. Memorize random facts about Ohio State football players to show your true dedication to the game. For example:

Can you imagine how crowded the Jones family dinner table was when Cardale was a kid? I don’t know how he and his five siblings–Matthew, Javon, Devonte, Sheena and Naomi–all fit!

That Perry kid has got some moves…I guess that’s why he was in the top five in long jump at the Ohio high school state track and field championships. His parents, Jim and Georgette, must be so proud!

13. Create a playlist of the American Music Award winners for the drive/flight home (looking at you, 1D).

14. Stuff your face at PizzaPalooza (10 p.m.-midnight, Ohio Union west plaza).

15. Find at least eight of your closest friends to recreate this YouTube vid (admittedly more appropriate before our loss on Saturday):

Happy Beat M!ch!g@n Week, everyone!

Then and Now: Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake is one of Ohio State University’s most iconic landmarks. Many students are familiar with its accompanying wildlife social media sensations including Afro Duck and the crew (will we ever see you all again?), but many are less familiar with Mirror Lake’s over 100-year history.

Let’s take a closer look at the lake’s transformation over the years.

I. Beginnings

Back in 1873, Mirror Lake was not simply, well, Mirror Lake, or at least the way we know it today. A stream called “Neil Run” flowed from the Olentangy River to High Street, emptying into a wetland stretching across what is today the entire South Oval.


II. Narrow escape from death

Eventually, however, the water was diverted into a sewer system and the remaining wetland, once fed by an underground bog system, dried up. The lake was faced with its seemingly inevitable demise.

But do not fear, for the great people of Ohio State stood up and took action against this blasphemy; they demanded that water should once again flow into the area and university officials listened to their pleas.

III. Transformations and additions

Mirror Lake used to have islands that were attainable via bridges. These awesome tree-covered islands would eventually fall victim to a storm that damaged the Columbus area. Although a tragedy, Mirror Lake was reconstructed and the memorial fountain, still seen today, was added as a replacement.


In more recent history, Mirror Lake has also enjoyed some renovations. A brick floor as well as a concrete boundary were added to prevent erosion and infiltration of groundwater. In addition, the water in the lake, which drains into the Olentangy River, is supplied by the city of Columbus’s municipal water supply.

The Browning Amphitheatre also accompanies Mirror Lake, located off its southern bank. Originally the Browning Dramatic Society dedicated the amphitheatre to the performances of Shakespeare’s plays; however, the society later dissolved and the amphitheatre turned into an outdoor study space for students.


Eventually, however, a group called Ohio Staters, Inc. would bring new life to the amphitheatre by renovating it into an outdoor performance center that is today used for concerts, plays, dance shows, and of course, the occasional wedding or two.

IV. Accompanying traditions

Mirror Lake has always hosted student activity. One (no longer active) tradition was a tug-of-war competition over the lake between freshmen and sophomore students. Another (actually active) tradition is when Ohio Staters, Inc. hosts their annual “Light Up the Lake” celebration. During this event the trees surrounding Mirror Lake are decorated with winter lights and students gather to see them alighted. This winter event also features musical performances, speakers and of course, “Carmen, Ohio.”

V. Legendary status today

During its early years, Mirror Lake was close to being paved over and replaced by just another road on Ohio State’s campus but thankfully its historical significance and scenic value make it one of the most revered places on campus and a “must” for your next Instagram picture. Although it has undergone many transformations over the years, Mirror Lake holds a firm place in Ohio State’s history and will without a doubt continue to house traditions and Buckeye memories in the future.