Mirror Lake Jump

By Lucy Infeld on November 7, 2012

Ohio State University has a number of traditions associated with football season, but none so sacred as those during Beat M!ch!g@n week. One of the most beloved and ridiculous traditions falls on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the week of the biggest game of the Buckeye football season: Mirror Lake night.

For individuals who have not had the pleasure of visiting our beautiful campus in Columbus, Mirror Lake is a pond nestled amongst class buildings on the South Oval. It’s a peaceful and beautiful area of campus where students sit during nice weather and that is lit up with lights during the holiday season.

This peace, however, is greatly disrupted for one night every year.

Mirror Lake Jump involves thousands of students, heavily inebriated and scantily clad, jumping into this pond and screaming out their school spirit, or more commonly, “F*** Michigan!”. This jump is a tradition embraced by the students as a way to celebrate the first break of the year, pride in our university, and the complete hatred of that school up North that has been engrained in us since freshman orientation.

The university itself is not as big a fan. Mirror Lake Jump presents a number of health and safety hazards for students, increased only by the large amount of alcohol usually consumed before. Students typically pre-game the jump by going out and drinking with friends until they are drunk enough to not notice that they are jumping into near freezing water in swimsuits (or less) at the end of November.

The main concern of this night is the effects of the cold air combined with soaking wet college students. Some tips to avoid the cold getting the best of you:

  • Have a sober friend (we all have one) hold warm, dry clothes while you jump in; they can still participate in the event, and you won’t freeze to death on the walk home.
  • Drink responsibly. Cheers to the Buckeyes, the scarlet and grey, and Urban Meyer, but stop when you start naming third string players as an excuse to keep drinking. No one will compare your love of football to your BAC, I promise.
  • Eat up beforehand. Eating a lot and staying hydrated (with water) will help your system run more effectively and battle the cold–this will also prevent you from getting so wasted that you don’t remember the experience the next morning.

Mirror Lake Jump is one of the greatest traditions at Ohio State, and it something everyone should do at least once, but that does not mean it can not be done in the right way. So have fun, be safe, and BEAT M!CH!G@N!

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