My freshman year, Homecoming was the first social event I participated in with The Post. Before this, I felt intimidated by the upperclassmen because I didn’t know them – now that I’m the upperclassman, I know that was unwarranted but understandable considering all of the feelings of freshman year.
It’s unfortunate that Homecoming 2020 was just one of the many things that the pandemic took away from us, but we should be happy and thankful that Homecoming 2021 is back full-swing. Homecoming is a transformative weekend for new students.
For me, Homecoming was the first time I truly felt like a bobcat. Knowing that even years after you leave, Athens and Ohio University are still home, is an indescribable feeling. One of the drawing factors that OU often touts for why it’s a good idea to go here is the strong and supportive alumni network that students get to be part of after they graduate. Homecoming makes it clear that this is true. Bobcats look out for bobcats, because this school creates a bond that lasts a lifetime.
As my role at The Post has transitioned from scared first year to confident fourth year, I have truly taken that to heart: bobcats look out for bobcats. I have felt this at The Post, in classes, and simply when I’m out on the town enjoying my weekends. We all look out for one another. All bobcats know, current and alumni, that there really is something special about this town and these bricks; OU is a special place, and it will always hold an incredibly special spot in my heart.
This is my final Homecoming as a student. It’s likely going to be an emotional weekend for me and fellow students who are also experiencing their last student Homecoming, but we do have something to look forward to. I can’t wait to come back and experience this town as an alumna.
It will of course feel different, and each year that I make it back, I will likely notice little changes here and there that have occurred since my time as a student. Changes in businesses on Court Street, renovations to buildings and – years down the line – changes in fashion trends. But I know one thing will always remain: the bricks, the bobcat family and the spirit of Ohio University and Athens.
Mikayla Rochelle is a graduate student studying public administration at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.