As you may already know if you follow the weekender, I will be leaving for college quite soon. If you didn’t know that- hi, nice to meet you, I’m leaving for college quite soon. I’ve lived in Columbus for all 18 years of my life, and I fully believe I have made the most of growing up in this wonderful city that I get to call home.
I am super excited to be moving up and out for college as I get to experience and explore the world. But, I’m going to miss Columbus. It’s familiar, it’s awesome, it’s home. I’ve compiled a little list of some of the things I’m going to miss most about this city. For the record- these are in no way in any order because that’s just too hard.
Columbus has an awesome food scene and there are some restaurants and food outings that I’m definitely going to miss. To name a few… Brio on father’s day, Lalibela for family dinner, Condado on my birthday, Late Night Slice with my squad, Tacoreindo for lunch, Bake Me Happy with my little sister, and study days at Staufs. I could name a thousand different places I love to go but these are a few in particular. Oh my gosh, I almost forgot Hot Chicken Takeover- So flippin’ good.
The walkable areas
When your weekends have a tight budget, just going someplace to walk around is a really good use of time. I can’t even count how many times that was my suggestion when someone asked what we should do today and Columbus is full of great places to do that. The Short North, German Village, Easton, Scioto Mile, Jeffrey Mansion, Columbus Commons, and Schiller Park (for the dog watching honestly) were some of our favorites.
The metro parks
We actually have a lot of cool metro parks around here and unfortunately, I didn’t realize that until like last year. The Scioto Audobon Park is definitely one of my favorites. But Blendon Woods, Three Creeks, and Battelle Darby Creek are also really nice. I’ve also taken my sister and her friends to Slate Run a few times and that’s super fun. I remember going to their living historical farm for a field trip in elementary school and it was cool then, and it’s still cool now. Even better? It’s free.
Columbus has a lot of pride in itself. You constantly see people reppin’ their CBus shirts and talking about how great Columbus is. Because it is. I know so many people who love this place just as much as I do and that really makes it an even more homey place to be.
I swear there’s a festival like every other weekend in Central Ohio. I look forward to festivals because you can go with tons of different people, meet new people while you’re there and in most cases, you don’t even have to spend money if you don’t want to. Pride, Comfest, the Renaissance Festival, the Food Truck Festival, Breakaway Music Festival, Columbus Arts Festival, Jazz & Rib Fest, the Greek Festival… and that’s just a few.
This one’s a no-brainer honestly. The Columbus Zoo is epic. I definitely have gained a better appreciated now that I’m older. I really enjoy taking my sister there or my friends. I even brave the cold for the zoo lights, and I hate the cold. Watching it evolve over the years has been pretty cool too. The (relatively) new Africa exhibit is by far one of the coolest things ever.
Showing up to the airport much less than two hours before my flight
This one is kind of petty, but I really appreciate the fact that I don’t have to get to the airport insanely early because CMH just isn’t that big. I know that comes with downsides too but like, wow.
We all like to complain about parking downtown and in the Short North, but honestly, it’s not that terrible. Sure you might have to walk a little but really who cares? Likely you’re out to hang out with people you like anyways so what’s an extra 10 minutes?
The reasonably priced concert venues
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m cheap, but I really love going to concerts. The Basement, Big Room Bar, A&R Music Bar, Newport Hall, and Express Live! all have some very reasonably priced concerts. The best concert I ever went to cost me $16 at the Basement.
The progression of the city
This “small town Ohio” city is really not small anymore and we are constantly evolving. I’ve only been alive for 18 years, and aware of the city for maybe six of them so I don’t even have the most knowledge of this, but from what I’ve seen this city is just going to keep climbing. There’s so much variety in the neighborhoods and areas just keep growing. For instance, I have no doubt that five years from now, the area on South High Street where our new office is, is going to be totally new. I know, I know, we’re walking lines with gentrification, but I believe there’s a future where that balance is possible.
I’ve made connections with so many fabulous people here in Columbus and these people are what makes Columbus my home. I am eternally grateful for every opportunity I have been given. Columbus has so many community groups and organizations that want nothing more than to help you succeed in life. If there’s one piece of advice I could give to young people growing up in Columbus it’s to use your resources. Use what your school has, use what your neighborhood has. Go out, meet new people. Shake their hands and learn their names because you never know what those people can do for you in the future.