Message From a Party School Student

Like most, I was an eager high school student ready to head off to college and “find myself”.  I knew I wanted to study journalism, but I was not particularly passionate about a certain school. During my senior year, I learned about Ohio University’s elite journalism school and became overwhelmed with excitement. However, when sharing my excitement with others I noticed that one thing was on their mind — it is a party school.

As an incoming freshman, it was exciting to know OU was known for its party community. It assured me that I’d be surrounded by people who are welcoming, fun and driven during my fours years of college. But later down the road, I noticed every time OU was mentioned for its parties, my diploma seemed to take a hit.

It was nice to joke about Athens’ party lifestyle in the beginning, but now as a graduating senior, it has become an obstacle. I find myself forced to defend my degree, because where I earned it apparently makes it less valuable. 

It started when an employer discovered I was going to OU and asked if I was a big partier. It continued into professional interviews with people wanting to know if OU is “as crazy as they say it is” before asking anything about me or my skills.

The fact that I attend a nationally ranked journalism school, have had great internships and am a part of many student organizations usually (sometimes unintentionally) ends up on the back burner until I make a little joke about the party school aspect.

Usually, no one pays quite this much money to go to college strictly for the party atmosphere. We all have different aspirations with different experiences, and they should not be sold short. OU has many prestigious programs, a variety of nationally recognized organizations, successful professors who are well known in their chosen profession and many more aspects to be proud of.

Employers do not see how hard we study in order to have one night out or how many extra hours we put in for our extracurriculars. Fellow Bobcats understand, but it is a rare moment that an employer sees Ohio University on a resume and does not initially think “party school”.

Family, friends and employers should see past the party school title because OU is successful in so many ways. Yes, the community is full of lively parties, but as is every college. While we may party better than most schools, it is because Athens is full of talented and driven young professionals who do not like placing second in anything they do. 

ost by Account Associate Anna Gibbs