Kayla Byler / Lantern photographer
I remember seeing it on Facebook. “38 of your friends like ‘Oval Beach.'” Thinking it was just another dumb Facebook craze, I ignored it. But of course, once again, I am shown to be the naive freshman.
On my usual route from class to Thompson Library on Monday, I think I literally walked from Ohio State University to somewhere that couldn’t possibly be a part of Ohio. And yet it was; I walked onto Oval Beach. Everywhere I looked, I saw frisbees flying, dogs running, bikinis, beach chairs, etc. The list goes on. For all the years I’ve lived in Ohio, this was most definitely a first.
As expected, I didn’t make it to Thompson. Instead, I found myself studying (aka people-watching) for about two hours on Oval Beach. During this extremely thought-provoking time, I realized something: This might just be one of Ohio State’s most remarkable traditions to date.
Thus far, I have been a fan of “O-H” “I-O!” and always claimed that it was, by far, the best aspect of Ohio State’s culture. But Oval Beach has proven to be some serious competition.
Although it is nearly impossible to get studying done while on Oval Beach, the experience is worthwhile. You will truly feel as if you have gone on vacation. Not only can you avoid the almost-too-cold breeze from the ocean and wet sand between your toes from Florida, you can enjoy the company of all 5,000 of your closest friends. People-watch, play football, enjoy a smoothie, take a nap – the possibilities are endless. And to know this is all possible in Ohio is remarkable.
For those who have yet to experience basking in the sun at Oval Beach while attempting to study, please do. Ohio doesn’t have as many sunny days as we’d like, so it’s worthwhile to enjoy each one. And to the kid wearing the “Oval Beach Member” shirt on Monday, nice. The shirt, the Facebook page and the tradition are all truly worth supporting.