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Life Lessons from Melissa: College luxuries should not be taken for granted

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.”

This quote from Tom Petty could have been created about Ohio University, being the No. 1 party school in the United States according to The Princeton Review. For many reasons, this is not the most coveted award in academia — and many have tried to contest the ranking.  

However, no one can deny the fact that a late-night walk down Court Street will provide you with an obstacle course of Bobcats lined up outside The Crystal, and a clear view of those waiting in line for their impending hangovers and 2 a.m. Big Mamma’s burritos.

Although this love for partying is not necessarily something to be proud of, under the initial unflattering surface, there is something to appreciate about it.

This indelible social atmosphere we have created is our ode to a love for freedom that vibrates through every Athens block in this city.

We all leave with an undying and steadfast allegiance to this university. For some, their alma mater is their pride and joy because of the prestigious reputation it carries, for the exceptional job it presented them with or the success-laden path it led them down. For OU students, we can take away all these things from our time here, plus a few things more valuable.

Taking that walk down Court Street provides us with more than just hilarity; a giddy, refreshing, swell of elation overcomes your stresses, even just for those few moments.

Whether it be the indescribable sight of the abundance of changing leaves in the fall, the visible passion emitted by soliciting campus groups year round or even the satisfying sounds of keys typing and pages turning as we constantly search for higher knowledge, these most obscure wonders are the most incredible around.

Tom Petty got it right. This is the only time in our lives that we will be provided with so much freedom. Freedom to party, to laugh, to be in debt, to be conservative, to be liberal, to be offensive, to be leaders, to be scared, to make mistakes; all of these things are necessary to embrace because, at this moment, we are only responsible for ourselves.

Sadly, this is not the real world. One day we will have families, real jobs and mortgages expecting us to feed them either with food, ideas, or every cent we don’t have. We won’t have time to stay all night in Alden Library reading about Puritanical ideals or plant biology.

So while these luxuries (what we’ve deemed as our responsibilities) weigh on us, remember to enjoy them. The experience of gaining our well-rounded education is just as invaluable as the experiences we have on late-night Athenian ventures.

At this school, the partying is prevalent and undeniably characteristic. We cannot entirely erase this reputation, nor should we.

So this weekend, hang with the dedicated alumni and take a queue from them; I guarantee they will tell you to enjoy that useless art class as much as that embarrassing karaoke session at Red Brick.

Melissa Knueven is a junior studying communications and a columnist for The Post. Cherish the moment with her at

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