Holiday Traditions: Mirror Lake Jump

At Ohio State University, I am sure everyone is well aware that we are a very competitive school when it comes to sports.  Whether we’re playing basketball, lacrosse, rowing, tennis, football, you name it, we do not take losing as an answer.  We’re in it to win it.

With that said, we are not the biggest fans of The University of Michigan (sorry to any fans out there!).  If we see a Michigan fan on our campus people immediately walk the other way, or worse, scream something that should not be typed in this blog post!  Not kidding; the hate is bad!  So therefore, every Tuesday night before Thanksgiving break, it is a holiday (and game day) tradition to jump in our man-made lake with the greatest and most famed name in the history of lakes, Mirror Lake.

This tiny lake (which honestly looks more like a pond) sits right outside our 11 story library right along Neil Avenue.  The lake looks so beautiful during the holiday season, but it definitely gets some unfair treatment the Tuesday before break.  30,000 + students come pummeling through the oval (our grassy area on campus) to jump in this lake with temperatures below 20 degrees.  There could be ice covering it, a high risk of hypothermia, or a blizzard, but does that stop the students from running into this lake?  No way!  The purpose of this jump is to 1. Be ecstatic that Thanksgiving break is finally here and 2. To show that we are going to kick The University of Michigan’s butt two days after Thanksgiving.

Last year my roommates and I went out in the 18 degree weather with shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops duck-taped to our feet (so we would not lose them of course), ready to run as fast as we could to the lake, then run as fast as we could back to our apartment before catching hypothermia.

Sounds a little odd you say?  I wish that every person on this earth could experience a night like this because it brings together our campus in a way that is unreal.  Whether celebrating the holiday season, or just purely hoping that Michigan loses, the atmosphere of the Mirror Lake Jump is nothing like you can ever imagine.

~ Melissa M., The Ohio State University, Mirror Lake Jumper


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