9 Things That Make Columbus The Best City To Call Home

9 Things That Make Columbus The Best City To Call Home

Because it's impossible to just pick one.
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Growing up in a little farm community I never imagined myself ever living in a big city. But, when college rolled around I found myself in an apartment right off High Street in the middle of Ohio State territory. While it was an adjustment for sure, I did find things I loved over time. Here are just some of the best parts of Columbus Ohio.

1. The food

From Cazuelas to Condatos, Sicilia's to Late Night Slice and so much more, you can find anything and everything to eat in Columbus. Pizza, pasta, wings, burgers, and food from around the world, we have it all and it's all delicious. Can't decide what you want? Stop in at the North Market, an indoor international style market, there's a little bit of everything, including the holy grail, Jeni's Ice Cream.

2. The coffee

Starbucks, Dunkin and Tim's aren't the only coffee shops around the city. There's lots of local hole in the wall type coffee shops in just about every few blocks. With strong brews and tasty treats, there's a place for everyone.

3. The nightlife and entertainment

After you've finished your coffee and had your dinner, there's always something to do in Columbus. Casual dive bars and upscale clubs can be found in the same neighborhoods. If drinking isn't your thing there's a plethora of movie theatres, arcades, hookah lounges, sports and more. (I mean come on, it's the home of Buckeye football, what's better than that?)

4. The learning and cultural experiences

Home to libraries, museums, galleries and various conventions throughout the year it's easy to expand your knowledge in the heart of Ohio. One of the most popular will always remain to be Cosi, a hands-on learning center catered to children of all ages, but the adults always have just as much fun.

5. The parks and trails

You'd be amazed at the beautiful views you can find inside a big city, but look no further than the stunning parks inside Columbus and they're there. With miles of bike trails and walking paths, it's an easy way to get in some fresh air and exercise.

6. The festivals, conventions, and events

The Arnold, celebrations of cultures, the All American Quarter Horse Congress, endless festivals all centered around food, and my personal favorite, the Ohio FFA Convention. Seriously, how cool is that? You can just about always find some sort of festival or event going on every weekend all over the city.

7. The concerts

The Bluestone, the Newport, Skully's, Shadowbox Live, Double Happiness and the Basement are just some of the popular music venues or bars always hosting live music. That's not even including the sold out shows played at the Schott, the Celeste Center and Maphre Stadium. Not to mention, we host both Rock On The Range AND Buckeye Country Superfest. Best of both worlds right there.

8. The Ohio State Fair

Hailed by many as one of the best state fairs in the entire country, the Ohio State Fair welcomes thousands of guests through its gates each summer. More than just funnel cakes and carnival games, it's home to agricultural showcases and activities aimed to help teach and inform the public. Participating in at least one livestock event or project judging is almost a right of passage for youth from all over the state. It's one thing I love every year.

9. The Buckeye spirit

This city truly bleeds scarlet and gray. Game days are celebrated like holidays and just about everywhere close enough to campus accepts Buck ID's or offers student discounts. It's never hard to find a place playing some sort of Buckeye athletics, though it may be hard to find a seat. OSU apparel is worn year long and you'll always have your O-H met with an I-0. It truly is a beautiful thing.




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Cover Image Credit: Good Free Photos

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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A Gap Year Was Just What I Needed

Taking a year off between high school and college was the best thing I could have done for so many reasons.

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Everyone around me was buzzing with excitement about their acceptances to their dream university and I didn't feel the same. I was accepted to every school I applied to, but none of them felt right. At my high school, if you didn't go to college, you would have been deemed a failure and that is not what I wanted my reputation to be. When the day came, I sat down at a computer to accept my admission to a college. I was in a panic mode, and I knew that's not what I wanted. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and I had no idea if that was where I wanted to be, so I exited the website and came up with a plan.

After graduation, I boarded a flight to Denver, Colorado. I was alone on a plane going 1,000 miles west to a place I've never been. In a short amount of time, I knew I had made the right decision.

I spent eight months in the Rocky Mountains learning how to do the "adult thing." I worked 40+ hours a week in freezing temperatures and a ton of snow, making ten dollars an hour. In a resort town, ten dollars is not a lot of money. I lived on Wonder bread and eggs, I cooked on my hotplate on the top of my mini fridge. I was shown what it's like to work for the things I want, and it taught me to appreciate everything I've always been handed so easily, and that was something I really needed.

Throughout my adventure, I met so many different people in all different stages of life. I think that's the most important aspect of my entire trip. By working and living with people young and old, I learned different skills, living habits, and ways of life which I am forever grateful for. These people had shown me more about life in eight months than I had learned in my entire life, and without this experience, I would have never been introduced to half of the things I was introduced to.

I hiked 14,000-foot mountains, watched the X-Games in Aspen, attended endless concerts, and became a better snowboarder by having the chance to do it every day. Without my friends and taking this leap, I would have been sitting in a classroom wondering what I could have been doing instead. Because of taking time off, I am now back in class, able to focus on my work and doing better than I ever have before.

The most important part of my gap year was finding myself. I proved to myself that I am strong and independent, and I can achieve any goal I set as long as I work hard and have fun along the way. Before I left, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be. Upon my return home, I realized I needed to go to college to receive a higher education to better myself. Having a full-time job and being out in the real world helped me to narrow down what I really want to be and what I want to achieve for myself. I learned how to truly live and that there is no set path I need to take because this is my own life to create.

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