Let’s be honest: trying to hit a dartboard blindfolded seems easier than choosing a college. With analyzing academic programs and seeing if a campus attracts you with the all-around potential college experience, it can be both an overwhelming and tedious process. But, when comparing schools in the rolling hills of southern Ohio, one decision is clear: Ohio University’s Bobcats can take down their rival, the Miami University RedHawks, any day.
1. First impressions are everything
First impressions alone were enough to convince me that I had to accept my OU offer when deciding where to go to college. When I began my search, I visited both schools and from the moment I stepped onto OU’s beautiful brick-laden campus, I felt at home. Everyone was welcoming, smiles were offered to me without having to talk to someone and the students just seemed happy to be there. Now I’m not sure if this was some planned scheme to get us prospective students to fall in love, but either way it worked like a marketing charm. Miami’s campus, while admittedly also gorgeous, still felt stuffy. I remember turning to my mom and telling her there was no way I could possibly go to school there, because if I did I probably wouldn’t be allowed to fart for four years.
2. Miami Red…huh?
Students almost always collect souvenirs featuring their school’s mascot emblazoned on just about everything (walking promotion, much?). So it would be pretty embarrassing to later discover that the animal that inspired your mascot doesn’t even exist. Unfortunately for Miami graduates, they identify themselves as RedHawks, a moniker that not only makes no grammatical sense but also can’t be found in the animal dictionary. Unless someone ambitious with a can of red paint and access to a hawk makes their own, there’s no such thing as a red hawk. Miami RedHawks might as well call themselves the Miami PurpleMonkeys. Thankfully, prospective students can save themselves some embarrassment by coming to Ohio and becoming Bobcats: animals that perfectly balance being terrifying and cute while also actually existing in the world.
3. Touchdown, Ohio!
Everything about an Ohio football game is better than a Miami one. First, there’s the game itself: in the past 10 years, the Bobcats have had seven winning seasons, while the RedHawks had just one (sad face). You can imagine what kind of effect this had on student attendance. In 2014, Ohio had an average of 20,515 people attend each game, while comparably sized Miami averaged a meager 15,906 (even sadder face).
4. The Most Exciting Band in the Land
Then there’s halftime. OU brings the Marching 110, which was recently named the number one college marching band in the country, and many students cite it as their main reason for even attending football games. Miami technically has a marching band, but in the same way that a tomato is technically a fruit: in definition only.
5. Location, location, location
Even the locations of the two schools indicate something about their respective priorities. Guess where OU can be found? That’s right, nestled in Athens, a town that shares its name with an art-loving, knowledge-driven Greek city. Meanwhile, Miami can be found in Oxford, which references a type of button-down shirt. OU students understand that they’re going to class to learn, not to impress someone. While Miami students awaken at the crack of dawn to iron their khakis and choose their most pretentious pair of Sperrys, Bobcats roll out of bed 10 minutes before class and pull on some sweatpants. No one cares how cute you look when taking notes.
I have never met anyone who loves their school more than an Ohio University student. We may have a reputation for being a party school, but OU contains so much more than a raging kegger on the weekend. It’s our hOUme, but almost as importantly, it’s not Miami.