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What It Means To Be A Buckeye.

By Erin O'Brien
April 19, 2012


I am a Buckeye at The Ohio State University. You may be wondering, “What exactly is a Buckeye?” So here’s what it is: Buckeye- a hard shelled seed containing tannic acids; name originates for the resemblance of the eye of a male buck.

So, there you have it. My mascot is a poisonous nut named after a feeble antlered herbivore.  Sure, we aren’t your typical untamed, muscular beast like most college mascots. However, it’s quite evident that people worldwide have chosen not to be a lion, or a tiger, and to avoid the pun, a bearcat, but rather a Buckeye over everything else.  Whatever your personal opinion may be, one thing is true; there must be a reason why so many people are so proud to say they’re a Buckeye.
First off, it doesn’t matter whether you are a student, professor, or visitor. Upon setting foot within the precincts of Ohio State, it’s impossible to deny the irrefutable charisma which seems to be wedged between every cobblestone brick, and rooted as deeply as every red maple tree on campus. For being such a colossal university, it appears as if every square inch is overflowing with this unmistakable character.
Just like hearing a musical tune, this fervor echoes throughout campus as powerfully as the marching band executes “Hang on Sloopy”, and eventually becomes absorbed by the people. Whether you’re a young freshman with only one semester accomplished, or if you’re an alum with a diploma that has become dusty and faded over the decades, one thing is certain. There’s a mutual connection shared with one another, and it seems that this can only truly be understood once you have become a Buckeye. 
How this mysterious and somewhat magical essence started, I have no idea. As only a sophomore, I’m still gladly adapting to this persistent, upbeat energy. I’ve also luckily arrived just in time to witness great athletic teams. Just within the last year, we made a trip to Florida for the Gator Bowl, and New Orleans for the final four in basketball. 
One unique characteristic that I can conclude about OSU is that you either hate us or love us. People consider us obnoxious, arrogant and obsessive when it comes to our sports. However, I’m sure of is this-facing our championship team is one thing. Add a sold out 100,000 seat stadium filled with a body painted, screaming student section, as well as alum season ticket holders who faithfully haven’t missed a single game in years. You’ll begin to understand why people fear the phrase “You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.”
That being said, supporting OSU’s athletic teams is different than most, as it means a whole lot more than sitting at home watching a game. There are unique and undying traditions to experience, which once encountered, you will undoubtedly never forget. While OSU’s pre-game tailgating has always been a national standout in “must do’s”, there is absolutely nothing comparable to partaking in the bone chilling event of the legendary Mirror Lake Jump. Held as a pregame ritual before facing our century long rivals of Michigan, this has become a cherished custom which has been ranked first in the nation for years as “Craziest college traditions”, which seems to be becoming a tradition in itself.
So, wear your scarlet and grey, come experience a game in person- see and feel exactly what I’m talking about. Ohio State is something I love being a part of- literally millions of people would agree with me. You can call us obsessive, crazy or insane if you want. As we are all certainly Buckeyes for life, it’s safe to say that, yes, it’s true, we’re all completely nuts.