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‘There’s really nothing to do in Oxford:’ There’s a lot more than you think

I’ve heard it a lot since I came to Miami University: “There’s really nothing to do in Oxford.” Is there really not anything to do, or are we just not looking in the right places?

I would argue the latter is true. 

Oxford is a small town. There’s absolutely no argument about that coming from me. I’ve been here during the summer months and the town feels practically vacant.

As a person who has lived in a small town their entire life (my hometown has a population of around 6,000), I feel I should share my hacks and tricks for finding events and places to visit locally.

Before I came to college this fall, I looked at all the events on websites like Enjoy Oxford and Miami Activities and Programming(MAP). Just within the first few weeks of being in Oxford, I was able to watch Shakespeare in the Park, attend the Jennette McCurdy Q&A and go shopping Uptown at the local boutiques.

I didn’t even know about all the residence hall events, like Stanton’s awesome Scary-oke night, or all the campus outreach from clubs like Hillel and the Associated Student Government's Inclusion Forum, but I do now. 

Through these events, I’ve met a large variety of students with different backgrounds, majors and experiences, but I’ve also met a lot of students I can relate to and now call some of my best friends. I’ve even been able to network and meet people with similar career interests who are able to connect me with promising opportunities for internships and job experiences.

It’s safe to say I have had an eventful time ever since I first came here. 

Beyond my own experiences so far, there are also a lot of places I want to check out in the future. 

Uptown there’s a You're Fired Pottery Studio, Future Great Comics and plenty of places for grabbing food. The nightlife Uptown has trivia at places like Top Deck and Church Street Social, Bachelor watch parties and even theme nights. 

Uptown Park also frequently hosts farmer’s markets with fresh food and crafts (every Saturday at 9 a.m.), along with music events.

Near campus, there are plenty of opportunities to explore too. Peffer Park and the Conrad Formal Gardens provide an outdoor setting that students can enjoy with friends. Miami has an art museum on Western Campus, a zoology museum located in Upham Hall, and a geology museum in Shideler Hall — all of which I had no idea existed before I just decided to walk around with my friends for fun, which is a great activity on its own, too.

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One of the most enjoyable things on campus, in my opinion, is the bevy of sporting events. Football, basketball, hockey and soccer, just to name a few — they’re all insanely fun to watch. 

Even if you don’t enjoy the sport itself, being in a crowd of students who are just excited to be there and support other Miamians is an experience in and of itself. 

At my first Miami hockey game, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support in the student section. Even when the game looked bleak, there was always someone starting a chant to get the crowd loud again. 

I never had that much fun at sporting events in high school and I’m really starting to believe that it’s hard to find that level of enthusiasm and pride in any other community.

I’ve come to discover that Oxford and the Miami community are special places in their own right, with opportunities around every corner. We may not have an amusement park (though MAP will bus students to King’s Island for special events) or an indoor mall, but we have a lot of places and people here in Oxford that make it unique and provide something for everyone to enjoy. 

There’s no lack of events or things to do — you just have to explore and enjoy what’s bound to be some of the most memorable years of our lives.