By Esther Fultz
Cedarville University may be located in a small college town in the middle of cornfields, but that doesn’t mean students can’t find fun, interesting places in the area to spend time off campus. Especially during final exams season, going off campus can be a nice break from the stress and responsibilities of schoolwork and provide an ideal environment for relaxing and enjoying time with friends before heading home for the holidays.
Particularly with the holiday season approaching, many of students’ favorite off campus destinations are Christmas themed.
“Everyone recommends Clifton Mill, although I’ve never actually been there yet myself,” said senior IT major Luke Shaffer. “One of my favorite places off campus around this time of the year is Christmas Ranch. There’s a ton of lights and outdoor shopping. My family also likes just driving through neighborhoods and looking at lights, but that’s something you can do anywhere that isn’t really Cedarville-specific.”
Another favorite is coffee shops, particularly in the midst of finals season.
“I don’t really go to Orion or Beans and Cream because I have a car and enjoy driving to different places further from campus,” said Shaffer. “I really like Winans in Springfield, it has pretty good coffee and the atmosphere is really nice. Also, coffee shops are just naturally geared towards making you focus more and work hard.”
Students also enjoy supporting organizations that help others in their communities.
“I like to go on the weekends to One Bistro and Coffee Hub in Xenia, which are right next to each other,” said Avonlea Brown, sophomore journalism major. “One Bistro has really good food and Coffee Hub has really good coffee. One is nonprofit and one is for profit, but they both help people in need and are intentional about serving the Xenia community.”
Some of students’ favorite destinations near Cedarville are shaped by how they grew up and what kinds of activities are available to them back home.
“I grew up in Maine, so a lot of my activities consisted of outdoorsy stuff,” said Brown. “I never really went to the mall with my friends because the malls back home are very empty, but now I have a roommate who really likes to go to the mall in Beavercreek and when I go with her, I get her excitement and energy.”
Regardless of where students choose to go, there is something unique about the off campus environment that may be hard to find on a college campus.
“When I go and spend time either in the town of Cedarville or in Xenia, it’s very nice to be in a community setting rather than a school setting,” said Brown. “As much as I love our Christian college atmosphere, it’s nice to have something different every once in a while. When I go off campus that’s what I’m looking for – something different and not to be reminded about school constantly.”
Photo Credit: Marit Henriksson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons
Esther Fultz is a junior Social Work major and an Off-Campus and On-Campus writer for Cedars. She enjoys writing songs, spending time outdoors, drinking coffee, and hanging out with friends.