The Pros and Cons of South Campus Living

Gerlach Hall, home of the Fisher graduate programs, is basically as far north as you can get on Ohio State’s campus.  I’m sure you know its located on Lane, which is essentially campus’s northern bound.  A lot of grad students thus decide to live up north, or at the beautiful Fisher Commons.  Some students even live as far north as Clintonville (a mile or two off campus)!

However, there are a few of us crazy enough to live on south campus.  As in one + mile south of Fisher.  Why, you might ask?  What could possibly drive us to live so far away?  Here is a list of the pros and cons of living on south.  And you can trust my advice – I lived there for my undergraduate years, too.

Let’s get the cons over with first…

  • If you want to live on south and stay west of High (which I would recommend…east is where a lot of Greek Life is), the closest you can get is 10th Avenue.  This will require a roughly 0.8 mile walk to Gerlach on a daily basis.  That’s not exactly short, so you’ll need to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to make the trek.
  • You will need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes.  And boots.  The walking shoes will be necessary in Autumn and Spring Quarter, when its nice out.  Often, sandals won’t make the cut.  In the winter, when there’s snow galore, you’ll want a really nice pair of boots to keep your feet warm and dry during your walk.
  • Once you leave for the day, you’re gone.  It often doesn’t make sense to walk to and from your apartment throughout the day, so when you leave for class in the morning, take food/homework/etc to keep you moving all day.  That way, you only have to hike it once.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?  Let’s talk pros!

  • South campus offers some great deals on apartments.  For being on campus, I have a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, a room that’s bigger than my room at home, and my own bathroom (I have three other roommates, so this is awesome)!  Further, I really don’t pay all that much more than a lot of my friends that live north or east of High.
  • South Campus Gateway and the Short North:  I live right down the street from the South Campus Gateway, which is awesome.  A lot of Fisher grad students will end up spending time here and in the Short North, so while getting to class is rough, getting to social activities is a breeze.  The South Campus Gateway is filled with restaurants, bars, and a movie theatre, and the Short North has fantastic restaurants, bars, and a monthly gallery hop.
  • When the weather is nice, the walk is awesome.  It’s really relaxing to start your day off with a relatively long walk, and the walk home can be a great way to reflect on everything you did during the day.  Yeah, you can do this when its raining or snowing, but it’s really great when there’s sun out.
  • Access to the Olentangy Bike Trail and the Jessie Owens South:  This could be true for those who live up north (except the Jessie Owens North), but I personally believe that access is still easier on south.  This makes your goal of getting and staying fit much more of a reality!
  • Grocery stores abound!  If you live up north, you’ll probably have to take a bus to the grocery store.  On south, you can still take a bus to Giant Eagle (on Neil, Fifth, North High, or the Market District in Upper Arlington), but you can visit the new and improved Kroger on 7th and High.

In sum, I love love love living on south campus.  Sure, there are times that I wish I lived up north for the convenience of getting to Fisher.  In the end though, I have really loved living on south and would definitely do it again.  Leave some comments if you have questions about living on south – I’m happy to answer!