My freshman year of college at Ohio University, I lived in Washington Hall. As summer begins, the hall will be closed for renovations and is set to re-open fall semester 2019. The hall was opened in the fall of 1955 and named in honor of the United States of America's first president, George Washington.
I wanted to be able to take pictures and post them to preserve the pre-renovated dorm since it will never look the same. These photos are from my corner room, 224.
These are from the building itself. Halls, lobby and bathroom. While not the best, this is where memories with new friends were made. Playing games in the lobby late at night, conversations in passing in the halls and the dreaded community showers.
Lastly, these are the writings from the inside of the closets and drawers. While these closets will be removed and thrown away, my roommate and I added our names to the growing list. I hope that future students start a list of names in their closets too.
It was important to me to post these pictures because it shows the history and changes in the building. The names in our closet show when the room was a boys vs. girls room or when it was a double vs. triple sized room. While the future students living in Washington Hall will have new things and new memories in the building, I would not change any of my memories, new friends or ghost experiences. Now if only these walls could talk.
(All photos are mine)
Goodnight freshman year
Goodnight College Green
Goodnight Morton and Jeff hill
And goodnight Scripps
Goodnight friends and goodnight roommate
And goodnight bricks
Goodnight Shively, Boyd and Nelson
Goodnight East Green
And goodnight to the squirrels on every Green
Goodnight Emeriti Park
Goodnight Ohio University
Good morning year 2!
Had an absolutely crazy first year of college at Ohio University, but I am so happy for the experiences, friends and memories I have made. Until fall 💚
(Inspired by the children's book "Goodnight Moon")
(All photos original unless stated)
While eating dinner on a casual Friday night, I received a text message from Ohio University notifying students that classes for Monday were cancelled, "in anticipation of severe weather and potential flooding." Emails from housing soon came in telling students to expect power and water outages and to try and go home if possible. Within moments, in classic Ohio University fashion, Flood Fest was created.
While the weather was poor for most of the weekend, Sunday and Monday turned out to be beautiful, sunny days that were perfect to spend time outside working on homework, hangout with friends and the option to go to a "fest" party was available.
After getting food Sunday afternoon, my friends and I decided to take a walk to see the Hocking River. This was the supposed culprit of potential flooding. The river runs along a bike path (Hockhocking Adena Bikeway) that follows the outer edge of campus. After seeing the height and speed of the river, we started walking on the path. Before we knew it, we were practically on the other side of campus where you are able to see the Ridges (former Athens Lunatic Asylum) in the distance and I noted how I had never been there. My one friend said how cool it was and that she would take me so we decided to make an impromptu climb up and explore the property.
The Ridges is currently owned and used by Ohio University for some classes, offices and storage. The main building is currently the home to the Kennedy Museum of Art. But most importantly, the Ridges is known for the hauntings that happen to go on due to its history as a lunatic asylum (stories can be found with an easy Google search).
I am not going to lie when I say the Ridges are spooky. The black crows, often a symbol of bad luck and death, circling above along with vultures sitting atop buildings gave a very unsettling vibe. The architecture of the buildings gave a "horror movie opening scene" image in my head, and the open windows that should not be open in buildings that are closed off to the public just did not feel right.
We further investigated the property, finding one of the multiple cemeteries with most graves just marked with a patient's number. It was heartbreaking knowing the mistreatment that went on within the walls of the asylum, and the lost souls of those who did not belong in a place like that at all such as veterans suffering PTSD, teens who were considered rebellious and the elderly when family could no longer take care of them. It was an important lesson in how far as a society we have come with mental illness, but is a reminder that there is still plenty of work to be done to improve mental health treatment.
*Disclaimer* We were not trespassing, the Ridges and the surrounding land are open to the public
Police Magnum OC-17 Pepper Spray in a pink carrying case with a matching pink cat self defense keychain were gifted to me in my Easter basket the spring before my first fall semester at Ohio University. When arriving at school, I had both keychains attached to my lanyard.
Let me set the scene:
It is opening weekend and I had just moved in on Friday. The university plans multiple events for students to meet each other and bond with their roommates. These activities include a comedy show at the Convocation Center, Party at Ping (food, animals, photo booth, caricatures, etc.), academic college welcomes and the president's convocation amongst other activities.
I was going to go to the comedy show with my roommate at the time and planned to head back to the dorm after. She decided to go to a news viewing and was nervous about walking home alone, so I let her borrow my pepper spray and gave it to her before the comedy show.
Before we were let in, security checked our bags and found the pepper spray, saying it could not be taken into the Convocation Center. I took one for the team and took my pepper spray and did not go to the show.
Every since this "event", I left my pepper spray on my desk. I figured that I rarely walked alone when it was dark out and I still had my other defense keychain. I felt safe.
Second semester starts and I feel confident in my classes, dorm situation and overall wellbeing. This all changed when I was getting out of the shower and heard a guy in the bathroom (he was not someone who lived in my dorm and apparently did not understand that it was a women's bathroom). Of course when he heard me he left, but it brought that fear that is always in the back of your mind right into the open. All I would have to defend myself was a plastic defense keychain and frankly I do not think I would have been very successful in defending myself in that situation.
I do not want to become a statistic. I now carry my pepper spray everywhere I go.
It truly is a sad society in which we live in where I need to carry self defense keychains in order to be safe. I noticed when complimenting a girl who had a decorative glitter can of pepper spray that girls should not have to be taught to carry pepper spray in order to protect themselves. Instead, society should be teaching others to not attack each other.
After my first semester at Ohio University, I am able to look back to see the memories and success that came with it. Going to college is not only an important time of education and a road to a career, but it is a time to learn about yourself and who you really are as a person.
Making the transition from high school to college was hard but ultimately beneficial. I know things now that I would have never learned without furthering my education at OU. Here are 6 things that I discovered about myself:
1. I can live alone
After a week of classes, my roommate decided to move out due to differing viewpoints that had been assumed to be different before picking each other to room. While I have a new, awesome roommate who moved in the weekend before Thanksgiving, this left me living alone in a double sized dorm for multiple weeks. I learned that I can live completely alone. Yes, everyone is technically living alone and away from their parents when they go to school, but it is different being alone in a room when you had imagined to be living with someone for almost 6 months prior. I didn't have a roommate to depend on if I was locked out or for cleaning the room.
2. I can do my own laundry (barely)
The first time doing laundry completely alone was at OU. While I survived, I try to avoid the situation as much as possible. I went almost all semester without ruining clothes until finals week hit. The university gave everyone 4 free loads of laundry for the week so I decided to do my laundry before coming home for break and wash my blankets. While in the dryer a blanket melted leaving a purple plastic material and many of my clothes.
3. I don't eat as much as I thought
I am on a meal plan that gives 14 meals a week (2 meals a day). I originally thought that this would be just enough when in reality there has been weeks where I have 5-8 meals left over to use in the market because I didn't get a meal in the dining hall.
4. I live in the same couple of outfits
While I brought multiple cute outfit options to school, I find myself gravitating towards the same couple shirts and sweatshirts (a lot of OU apparel). I realized that I live in a clothing cycle and will rotate my clothes and where a lot of the same stuff. Let's be honest, why would I ever think I would wear a sundress running to class? Wearing comfortable clothes is much more manageable and can often double as pajamas if it is a late night.
5. I'm a bed creature
I not only sleep in my bed, I eat, study, watch Netflix, talk to friends, talk on the phone, etc. I personally do not like to study or do homework at a desk. I do my best work while sitting in my bed. I even have a comfy butterfly chair that I rarely sit in. Mostly my friends sit in it while I sit in bed. I just love being in my bed no matter the occasion.
6. I'm a late night shower-er
While living at home, I showered early so that laundry could be done, and so that I could go to bed early or that's what my mom thinks (sorry mom). This first semester, I learned that I love taking a shower late at night. The fact that nobody else rarely showered at that time was also a bonus. Showering marked the end to my evening. I had finished homework and studying for the evening and it was time to get ready for bed.
I hope that everyone has a successful second semester and that even more things are discovered about our own selves.
Check out my 2017 slideshow where my first semester is showcased!
2017 was personally a year of many endings with even better beginnings. With constant change, I experienced my last first *insert any high school experience* leading to graduation. It never dawned on me how quickly I would soon be moving to college and finishing my first semester (on the Dean's List!).
I want to thank everyone, old and new, who helped make my 2017 amazing. Thank you for the support, friendship and love needed to have an amazing end of my high school career and an even better start to my college career.
2018 holds even more success and change that I cannot wait to experience. While it might be a new year, I am going to continue being my same, awesome self.
Happy New Year
Hugs and Kisses,
This is a collection of photos and videos that represent the amazing times and people that were with me throughout the very start to the last minutes of 2017:
After completing my first semester at Ohio University, I reflected on my dorm as I packed it up for the month long break. Before moving in, I had found every dorm hack and "necessary item" list online. Within five months, I have realized what "hacks" have been helpful and what have never really worked like it should have. Here's my list of what worked, what didn't and what I have mixed feelings on.
My favorite hacks
1. Clip on everything
Clip on fans and lamps to put on the bed or desk are a life saver. When my roommate is sleeping, it is so nice to be able to turn my clip on lamp on to work on homework. It is extremely helpful to have on when turning the main light off before bed so I can find my way and avoid stubbing my toes. The fan is nice for when it is too hot and there is little control of the temperature within the dorm.
2. Crate as a shelf
Knowing my desk would have no shelf, I bought a wooden crate from my local craft store for around $10. While it could be embellished or painted, I left mine natural. Within the crate, I have books and games and used the top as a shelf to place my mugs and instant coffee.
3. Comfy chairs
If the room allows for it, having a comfortable chair such as a bean bag or butterfly chair makes a huge difference. It's a nice place to sit and relax, do homework or somewhere for friends to sit.
4. Homemade mac-n-cheese
While easy-macs make mac-n-cheese in the dorms easy, they get old after a while. Through our market at OU, I purchased cheese sticks, milk and macaroni with extra meal swipes. Simply add water and macaroni to a mug and cook in the microwave for 4-6 minutes, stirring regularly making sure to not let the water boil over. Once cooked, add about a tablespoon of milk and 1-2 cheese sticks depending on the amount of macaroni or personal taste. Let the hot macaroni do the work and melt the cheese. Finally give a good mix and you have homemade mac-n-cheese in the dorm.
1. Brita filter
While having clean water within the room is helpful, having to constantly refill the Brita took too much time and frankly I am far too lazy to do it. While this may work for some, I find that I'm not a true fan.
Having comfortable and decorative pillows are a must. However, having too many pillows creates an issue because there is not a spot for them when it is time to go to bed or space to sit on the bed once it is made. Having a couple pillows is fine, but make sure to not go overboard like me.
3. Travel mugs
In my mind, I saw myself making coffee in the dorm, putting it in a travel mug and going to class. I haven't done this once all semester. At OU, you can have flex points which can be used in the cafes on campus. If I wanted coffee, I used my flex points. Having a travel mug is handy, but I personally find them to just be taking up space on my desk.
1. Bedside caddy
The bed side caddy was the most seen thing I personally saw when looking up dorm hacks before moving in. I don't use it. It is not strong enough to hold things like my laptop, which is what I am on most nights before bed, and it muffled the sound of my alarm on my phone in the morning. I will not be using this again in the future.
2. Car air freshener on air conditioner
To get a fresh scent in the room, simply clip a car air freshener to the air conditioner or vents. While I did this, and the room did smell good, it lasted for only a maximum of one week before there was no more liquid left in the clip and no scent came out at all. Using a spray air freshener is just as effective.
When I thought about college while in high school, I always imagined myself making huge amounts of microwave popcorn and that it was just the natural thing to do. This entire semester I have made maybe two bags of popcorn. If you don't eat tons of popcorn at home, you do not need to bring tons of microwave popcorn to school because chances are, it won't be eaten.
It has been one hell of a first semester. I have learned a lot about myself and hope that my thoughts on dorm living can help someone else in the future when planning their dorm room.
All gifs courtesy of Giphy
On December 8, 2017, Garfunkel, my hermit crab passed away. Simon, his hermit crab brother, and I will miss him dearly. Thank you for providing me with so much happiness during my first semester of college. Here is a video I made to honor him:
With Thanksgiving break quickly approaching, I took a step back and thought about what I have been thankful for. A lot has happened this year with many lasts and even more firsts. While I am always thankful for the little things such as when there is chicken nuggets once a week in the dining hall or a goodnight text from a friend, here are the 4 things I am truly thankful for this year:
I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving spent with the family and friends they love. I am ending this blog differently than most by offering the question, what are you thankful for?
I have always been one to enjoy a fall adventure with friends. Around 45 minutes from the Ohio University campus, and down a long, winding and rather hilly road, sits Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills State Park. As a spur of the moment trip (planned at 3 a.m. that morning) on a chilly 40° day during our long weekend, my friend Gwyn and I made the pilgrimage to what is considered the "mecca" for nature enthusiasts.
Having never been before, Gwyn was my tour guide. I was absolutely blown away by the amazing nature. While having the ability to use my words when it comes to all things journalism, I simply cannot find the words to describe what I saw. I still cannot fathom the incredible, natural world that surrounds us. Instead, here are the pictures that I took throughout our day together.
I would 10/10 recommend a trip to visit this picturesque spot to simply explore, have a photo shoot or get off of campus for a few hours.
*All photos are original. Only editing/altering is through cropping of photo