Opinion: Take pride in where you live

The Lantern: The Student Voice of The Ohio State University
By Ryan Connolly
Issue date: 5/13/09
On a recent walk down East Northwood Avenue, I was struck by the lush greenery and beautiful homes that lined the roads. The University District is constantly expanding and it wasn’t long ago that this neighborhood housed middle classed families. Now that it houses students, there’s something decidedly different about it – maybe it’s the beer cans on the overgrown lawns, the chipped paint or the collapsed fences that line some of the yards.

It’s a given that student housing is just a slum where residents drink beer, listen to music and occasionally study, (although it might be easier to do that in the confines of a coffee house or a library), but what if it could be more than that? One thing that is found in abundance on campus, but is often missing off campus, is a sense of community. It can be difficult to build up a sense of neighborliness, especially with the transience of residents and the elevated off-campus crime rate, as noted in Dan McKeever’s article in The Lantern on Monday.

But what if we all made an effort to get to know our neighbors, or to take the same pride in our homes that the families who lived there did just a few decades ago?

Granted, the landlords of the off-campus area don’t really care what the houses look like, how they’re heated or what you do in them. They really are just trying to make a buck. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care; in fact, we should care a lot. The off campus area, whether we like it or not, is our home for 10 to 12 months out of the year, and we really should see it as a duty to take care of it.

If you’re not feeling inspired, take a stroll across The Oval on a sunny day and see how many times you get approached by clubs or organizations that want to get to know you. Or think back to your time in the dorms: Remember those moments of awkwardness and the excitement of meeting new people? By taking some pride in our homes, making it more than a hovel to drink beer in, and saying hello to our neighbors, we can realize the true potential of the neighborhoods we call home and begin to foster a feeling of community that extends east of High.

Something simple like mowing the lawn or keeping a garden, or something social like inviting your neighbor over to watch the game or to have a drink, might make all the difference. Even though you’re moving in a few months, the friends and the memories you make in your home will stay with you.

via Opinion: Take pride in where you live – Opinion.

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