Completing A 'Perfect Week' In Oxford, OH: The Trials And Tribulations

Completing A 'Perfect Week' In Oxford, OH: The Trials And Tribulations

Seven nights of going out in a row is a LOT harder than it sounds.

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As a senior, I have created a senior year bucket list with my friends. One of the items on the list was to complete a perfect week. For those of you wondering, a perfect week (in our sense of the word) is when you go out seven consecutive nights. It's simple, right?

Don't worry, I thought so too. I've never been too much of a heavy drinker, but my friends and I felt as if this was a rite of passage for finishing college, so we embarked on this endeavor with three people who were going to do the "perfect week."

Note: We had designated drivers for each night because drinking and driving is incredibly stupid, so don't be stupid and ruin people's lives by driving drunk/buzzed.

Day 1 - January 27th

Day 1, SidebarMaria Hornsby

We started off pretty strong — it was the first day we got back to campus, and it was the beginning of the birthday week for myself and one of my best friends, as well as syllabus week. We started the week by going to Sidebar here in Oxford, had a beer, rang in my friend's 22nd birthday, and then went home and fell swiftly asleep.

Day 2 - January 28th

Day 2, Brick StreetMaria Hornsby

Our last semester of undergrad was underway! My friends had classes while I actually had the day off to work on different things. As that night would be the change between my friend's birthday and my own, this was probably the wildest night that we had. We went to Brick Street, and I rang in my 22nd birthday standing outside of Brick waiting to get in while it was absolutely freezing outside. It wasn't the negative 30s that we would encounter later in the week, but it was still really freaking cold. After drinks, dancing and playing hide-and-go-seek in Brick, we went home (again use a DD or rideshare!!!) and fell asleep.

Day 3 - January 29th

Day 3, MIAMaria Hornsby

If I could mark a beginning to the end, it would take place here. All of us woke up hungover, and it was technically my first day of school. I made it to all my classes and enjoyed them, but I truly was not wanting to keep on going with this whole perfect week thing. The temperatures dropped that night to the negatives, so getting up the courage to leave the house when my own dog didn't even want to go outside to pee was hard. But we made our trek through the snow flurries and negative-degree weather to MIA, where we celebrated "Tini Tuesday" with exactly one yummy martini each before going to Kroger, picking up snacks and ice cream and snuggling in our warm apartments.

Day 4 - January 30th

Day 4, Top DeckMaria Hornsby

Wednesday, or as we called it, "getting over the hump day." We were well rested and classes were canceled that day because it was -30 degrees with windchill. In Ohio, that just meant that we would have to put our hoods up and gloves on. After a slight moment of pause before we initially went outside, we braved the cold and went to Trivia at Top Deck. With a beer to warm us up, we answered trivia questions (remarkably well this time around too) and still got home before midnight.

Day 5 - January 31st

Day 5, O PubNicole Lohmueller

Even with -30-degree windchill, we did not really stutter in our efforts towards a perfect week. But by Day 5, emotions were wearing thin. We were tired, stressed out from school starting again and just cold literally all the time. One of my friends cried out, "Ted Bundy must have become a serial killer because someone made him do a perfect week," at the prospect of going out yet again. We contemplated how we could get in and get out of the bars as quickly as possible with it still being able to count. Excuses were coming out as to why we needed to stop. We searched google to find someone who wrote about their struggles with a perfect week and how they got through it. Wearily, we rose from our warm, snuggly beds and went to O Pub. Honestly, we had a great time there, which made continuing on with the perfect week even better. So if you are looking for inspiration to keep going: do it because it might just be your favorite night of the week. Laughing over drinks, we actually finished Day 5.

Day 6 - February 1st

We had finally made it to Friday. The first week of classes was over, and it was the weekend again. The week at this point seemed impossibly wrong, confusing days with each other because we just needed more sleep. Day 6 came with thoughts of just faking that we went out, or using my boyfriend as an excuse for not finishing the perfect week. It was hard, but we went to Corner Bar, had a beer and went home to have a good night's sleep. It was such a quick night that we even forgot to take a picture, but our credit card statements will show you we went out!

Day 7 - February 2nd

Day 7, SidebarNicole Lohmueller

We made it. The final day of the perfect week. It was so close but so far away. I could see the finish line, but getting out of my house again was not something that I wanted to do. It was cold outside and so warm in my apartment with my pets. Why would I want to leave this?? Finishing with 6/7 would be admirable and would be just fine in my opinion. But my best friend wouldn't let me finish with just six out of the seven days completed. We had to finish, and we had to finish strong.

And that we did. Gathering our whole group of friends, we made our way out to Sidebar and Brick Street to dance like we were freshmen again and have the time of our lives. Ending the night with Bagel & Deli, I felt accomplished and very loved by those around me.

It was trying, and I do have to admit there is a video of me on the verge of tears because it was so freaking cold outside and I did not want to leave the warm apartment, but hopefully, that video won't surface.

All in all, I had an absolute blast. I put myself out of my comfort zone and just had fun, which I had realized I hadn't really let myself do in a while. So cheers to my friends who went out with me that week and thanks for not letting me stay home!

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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The Top 10 Reasons Bama Students Get Hyped For Rounders

College Students confess their WILD and UNEXPECTED reasons for going to Rounders.

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After touring The University of Alabama, I wanted to know what was hype surrounding Rounders Bar on the Strip. To figure out, I conducted student interviews.

Among the 20 students questioned, the following results were the most mentioned reasons for the Rounders "hype."

1. The "Blue Mother-F*****" Drink

Blue Motherfucker

The number one reason students go to rounders was unquestionably for the famous "Blue" Drink offered at the bar. While this drink is served to 21+ students, it is the Caribbean taste that makes the drink so spectacular, including 3 oz Citron vodka, 3 oz Blue Curacao liqueur and 3 oz sweet and sour mix.

2. T-Shirt Tuesday

RoundersUA / Twitter

As seen from the Rounder's Twitter feed, T-Shirt Tuesdays involve discounted drinks and the ability to simply wear a T-shirt and shorts to the bar. Anyone driving down the Strip late on a Tuesday night can see the lines and crowded atmosphere of Rounders, making T-Shirt Tuesdays a Hit!

3. The Boom Boom Room

This video captures it all! From the Electronic Music to Pop Hits, the Boom Boom room is the perfect place to get your rave on. Featuring songs by Illenium to Marshmello, this is the one bar in Tuscaloosa offering a good time to festival-goers.

4. Date Parties

Alpha Gamma Delta Date Party — Winter Wonderland 2019

While Greek life is a large component of campus involvement at The University of Alabama, numerous sororities and fraternities host various events at Rounders. Students especially love the snow effect Rounder's puts on for winter events! If you ever get the option to go to a date party at rounders, don't miss out!

5. The Drink Specials

Bachelor Nights

RoundersUA / Twitter

If these drink specials don't make you want to get over to the Strip, nothing will! Rounders offers tons of drink specials throughout the year, especially on special nights like this past week for the episode of "The Bachelor."

6. The Rooftop Bar

As featured in this tweet by Rounders Bar, the rooftop bar is always bumping and thriving with new music, DJs, and the occasional moshpit! This rooftop is also a great place to grab a beer and watch the sunset or listen to music with friends!

7. VIP Lounge

VIP lounge Rounder's

roundersua / Twitter

If you have ever been to Rounder's you have seen the luxurious VIP lounge area. Featuring bottle service and the perks of being a VIP, many 21st birthdays are celebrated here along with various groups of fraternities. The VIP lounge is a must-do and bucket list item for many UA students.

8. Freshmen Girls

Everyone on campus pretty much knows Rounders is the "freshman" bar, simply because you can get in at 19. With the opportunity for larger crowd, multiple male students responded they love to go "for the freshman girls." While freshman year is wild, crazy and filled with new experiences, it is no wonder freshman flock to Rounders for a good time!

9. Live Music

When entering Rounders, there are three sections to the bar: Live Band Music, The Boom Boom Room, and the Rooftop Bar. The Live Bands that perform offer a different vibe from the rest of the bar, attracting different crowds and people to the first floor. The Live music offered is great for sing-alongs and oldie-but-goodies! You can always find "Sweet Home Alabama" or "Dixieland Delight" playing in this room.

10. Find Love... (or something like that)

Last but not least, the majority of the students interviewed confessed they go to Rounders to get laid. Whether they were a senior or freshman being interviewed, they each said how easy it was to go home with someone if you play your cards right. Unsure if it's the Rounders atmosphere or college kids being college kids, it can be generalized that Rounders is the trending aphrodisiac on the Strip.

While these Top 10 Reasons for going to Rounders Bar in Tuscaloosa prove to be common factors for the bar's success, there are other reasons students go to Rounders, which contributes to the fun and festive college atmosphere. Hopefully, this post makes you want to check out Rounders Bar and the other bars on the Strip while in Tuscaloosa!

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