Beep. Beep. Beep.
You groan as the alarm clock’s incessant shrill interrupts your deep slumber. Your hand gropes its way to the clock, poised to hit the snooze button until your brain begins to function through the foggy sleep. Suddenly, you remember. It’s the best weekend of the year. Not Halloween. Not your birthday. Not even Christmas. It’s Homecoming at Ohio University.
5:00 a.m. still seems like an ungodly hour to be awake on a Saturday, but the prospect of being reunited with alumni friends in just a few minutes uptown makes up for it.
A perk of Homecoming is the casual dress code. No fancy attire is needed during this long weekend of festivity. An OU sweatshirt and jeans are perfectly acceptable to wear to your favorite bar for “Kegs and Eggs,” whether it is the Greek-filled Crystal, the hippie-filled Union or something in between. Somehow, all personality differences are forgotten among students for this weekend celebrating a much-anticipated Bobcat tradition.
For me, the most important part of Kegs and Eggs is obviously the keg aspect – if I were in it for the food I’d be better off at Boyd Dining Hall, which is not saying a whole lot. The scrambled eggs offered by bars closely resemble scrambled plastic, not to say that I don’t appreciate their giving away of free eggs (while overcharging for mimosas, I might add).
With Bloody Marys, mimosas and screwdrivers abound, there’s no denying the merriment in the air. Old friends are reunited after graduation and jobs have put miles between them. Hotshot young professionals show off by buying rounds at the bar for undergrads and anyone else within cheers-ing distance. Pawpurr’s happy hour, “Primetime,” switches from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., and the bar is so crowded that the bartenders soon run out of ice.
Upon hearing my depiction thus far of Homecoming, you may think I am in it just for the booze. Don’t get me wrong – the booze helps. But Homecoming holds such a special place in Bobcats’ hearts because of the camaraderie among alumni, students and faculty alike. Everyone has gathered to toast Ohio University and Athens, Ohio, our collective home away from home.
The sun rises over a not-so-sleepy Athens and celebrators prepare for the annual parade. This year, I will head to West Union Street to watch the parade from the roof of my old apartment. There’s nothing quite like seeing the Marching 110 from a birds-eye view.
After the parade comes real breakfast, maybe just a few more mimosas and a quick nap before the football game, where anyone is lucky to sit in the warm sunlight without feeling his or her eyelids droop.
Alumni frequently – and drunkenly – offer students the same advice: “enjoy it while you can.” They seem to think we don’t know what we have until it’s gone. I beg to differ. All Bobcats know how lucky we are to spend our academic days (and dollars) at Ohio University. And by God, we plan to enjoy those days.