One of my roommates is from Upper Arlington, and last year I would have said, “Oh, which city is that closest to?,” given that my only way of relating to people last year was asking whether they were closest to Cleveland, Akron, Columbus or Cincinnati. As an out-of-stater I probably couldn’t even point out Akron on a map, but I like to pretend. Upper Arlington is actually about 15 minutes from campus. Having grown up here her entire life, my roommate knows of a lot of off-campus opportunities, either within Columbus or in the small towns around it: Grandview, Dublin, etc.
One of these “opportunities” was the farmers’ market in Clintonville, which we went to almost every Saturday when it was still going on. My parents used to go to a neighboring town’s farmers’ market, but it was something that never interested me at 8 A.M. on a Saturday morning. Go figure.
What I came away with after my first time going was a half eaten box of cherry tomatoes (I couldn’t help myself), a spaghetti squash, and a developing sense of maturity. I’m getting ahead of myself, of course, considering I’m still a sophomore in college that chooses sleep over showering and wouldn’t know the first thing to do with a Spaghetti squash–but it’s the feeling that counts. I felt as though I was helping these local farmers, eating healthier, and finding a way to have fun or be in a group surrounded by people who were adults.
That was a layer of the experience as well. A college campus is this suspended reality where people of other ages don’t exist. There are the professors, but we don’t see them as the same breed. You never realize how tiring it is to be around yourself in various forms everyday, every hour. I say “yourself in various forms” because that’s how I feel sometimes about the college population. No one is all that different because no matter what you all have a Facebook, drink in excess on the weekends, and hate homework.
My bit of advice at the end of this is to go to the farmers’ market. Buy the most bizarre looking produce you can find, and then spend an hour on Pinterest trying to discover how to make it delicious. Then take a picture of the final product and send your parents a picture of it. At least, that’s what I do for fun on Saturdays, and it has worked out for me.
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