The Princeton Review has named my alma mater Ohio University the top party school in the country. It’s not the first time Ohio U. has made the Princeton Review Top Party School list, and as always I have mixed feelings.
The bad: I dislike seeing my college’s academic reputation sullied by a negative party school image.
The good: I take pride in knowing that my Ohio University Bobcats can still drink the skirt off your average Penn State frat boy.
The bad: I think about how much harder the top party school ranking makes life for old Ohio U’s hardworking educators and administrators.
The good: Your average Tuesday night in Athens, Ohio contains far more good times than the collective college experience of everyone who ever attended, say, Duke.
The bad: There are Ohio University students and alumni applying to graduate schools across the country and this party school ranking will not help them get accepted.
The good: There are University of Texas students who are putting in just as much time at bars and parties who will never receive the national partying accolades being showered upon my fair campus right now.
The bad: There are students who go to OU who think it is a party school and flunk out as freshmen, because you actually have to go to class.
The good: Somewhere, not Athens, Ohio, obviously, a freshman at a small liberal arts college thinks a college party is what happens when nine girls split a box of wine.
The bad: It’s unfair that every time a Bobcat walks into a job interview in the Midwest the first thing he is asked about is our notorious off-campus Halloween party.
The good: It’s also unfair that other schools—Harvard comes to mind—can cost three times as much as Ohio University and are known for little more than churning out awful presidents.
So, like I said, mixed feelings.
As a veteran observer of the party school ranking process, I have noticed that there is a pattern to the release of these lists.
The No. 1 party school ranking is released publicly. Students and alumni circulate it. Then the president of the school shuffles out and says the party ranking “is not indicative of the overall experience” of the university. (What the president is too polite to point out is that unlike the Ohio State football program, Ohio University will never have to forfeit any of its No. 1 party school rankings.) Then everyone forgets about the ranking until next year.
This is welcome news, of course, for the lightweights ranked 2-10 at the University of Georgia, University of Mississippi, University of Iowa, University of California-Santa Barbara, West Virginia University, Pennsylvania State University, Florida State University, University of Florida and University of Texas.