Oxford, Ohio, a town with a summer population of just over 20,000, sits a long walk away from any sort of urbanity.
Camouflaged on all sides by southwestern Ohio’s foliage, it seems unlikely that the midwestern town would be seen by anyone as a hub of activity, community, or vivacity. But that’s exactly what it is.
That’s because Oxford, Ohio houses one of the nation’s most precious gems. Oxford is an hour drive from the metropolitan areas of Dayton and Cincinnati, and even further, about two hours, from cities like Columbus, Louisville, and Indianapolis, yet each fall, tens of thousands flock to little Oxford, and not the big cities.
The reason? An institution with rich history, unrivaled tradition, and the source of fond memories for so many. The Cradle of Coaches, Harvard of the Midwest, and Mother of Fraternities.
It’s Miami University, and it offers the best college experience on the planet.
Students looking for the best education available should look at Princeton or Harvard, maybe throw the rest of the Ivy’s in there, along with Stanford, MIT, and Johns Hopkins.
If you’re not so much into traditional education and would rather focus on studying the party aspect of college, you might like to apply to party titans like USC, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara, or, of course, the self-proclaimed party capital of the world, Ohio University. But that’s not all college is.
College sports enthusiasts might find their home on either side of the stands at Texas and Oklahoma, Michigan and Ohio State, or Duke and North Carolina. And still yet, there may be those who pick their college based on the history of their four-century-old school, or the view they get when they look out their dorm window. Elon University, Emory University, or the College of William and Mary would fit the mold.
Yes, it’s true, there’s a ton of schools out there with a ton of good things about them. But what if you want it all? Where could you go that offers everything mentioned above? Where can you get the best all-around college experience? The answer is, you guessed it, Miami.
Starting with academics, which, whether you like it or not, is the whole reason college exists in the first place. Yes, that is indeed why it’s called a “school.” According to US News and World Report, Miami ranks as the third best national university in Ohio and 75th overall (31st best public school overall). Miami’s academics do not require the rigorous attention and stress that some of the higher ranked schools do, but it’s definitely not a walk in the park, therefore earning Miami a very respectable spot in the rankings. 75th overall puts Miami in the top 5% out of the nearly 1,800 national universities in consideration. I think it’s safe to say that great teachers make the road to getting a degree a lot less stressful, and Miami ranks third in best undergraduate teaching. Who beat out Miami? Just two schools I’ve never heard of before – Dartmouth and Princeton.
But no one wants to study all the time, and college isn’t just about expanding your brain. You also should expand your social network. So how is social life at Miami? Honestly, pretty incredible. In fact, Miami was ranked number 11 on The Princeton Review’s top party school list. Miami offers a unique blend of social activities, day and night, which means there is something for everyone, and it also means you will never get bored of the same old stuff. Ever. Want to go to a house party? There are hundreds of off-campus student houses (all with a unique, clever name) to socialize at. Tired of house parties? Uptown Oxford has a dozen or so bars, each with their own style, to hop to and from until you pass out (from walking so much because there’s a lot of bars, not from alcohol overconsumption, of course). There’s Brick Street, which is home to the famed “trashcan” drink, and themed nights such as 90's night and country night, oh, and Beat the Clock. Don’t forget Beat the Clock. The Woods (better known as New Bar) offers a place to bump and grind as if you were in high school again, plus a few pool tables if you’re looking for a more relaxed night. There’s CJ’s…Pachinko’s…the list goes on and on.
For the sports fanatics and meatheads among us, Miami doesn’t disappoint. Miami competes in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference, and while basketball and football are still catching up, hockey games are largely important. The Redhawks are a perennial powerhouse on the ice, and the newly built Goggin Ice Arena is a top of the line hockey arena that Wayne Gretzky would be proud of.
More into playing sports than watching? No problem. Miami has so many intramurals... it’s ridiculous. I’m not even going to waste my time naming them all. If you can name it, Miami’s got it. Miami also has a huge rec complex at which you can prepare for the upcoming intramural seasons, complete with an indoor track that wraps around above the many basketball courts, a two-story fitness center, and a rock climbing wall. Miami students are known to make use of the fitness center, ranking number one in both most attractive male students and most attractive female students.
Still not appealing to you? Try visiting Miami. You’ll fall in love with the iconic red brick buildings and vast green quads. You’ll learn about traditions such as “Miami Mergers”, not stepping on the 205-year-old seal, and what the heck “Love and Honor” means. You’ll find out about the many notable alumni, including the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison. Yeah, a President was a Redhawk.
These reasons (among countless others I didn’t mention for the sake of trimming down this already-novel-of-an-article) are what make Miami University the best all around college experience. I understand that everyone is different, and not every college is for every kid. But if you walk away from Miami and don’t love everything about it, then something may be wrong with you. Really, if that’s how you feel, go get checked out.