The Mirror Lake jump is upon us, so you might as well jump, jump on it, jump! jump! jump! and whatever other ’80s or ’90s dance anthem you want to use.
Here are some people you will see at the … err … university tradition that became sanctioned but is denied as being sanctioned but acknowledged as sanctioned through imposed rules? Or, you know, the Mirror Lake jump.
Person angry about the wristbands
He was mad last year, and he’s sure as hell still mad this year. These two years of being forced to wear a wristband are the worst of this person’s life.
This person feels he is the victim of the “establishment,” and the wristbands are the handcuffs of corporate America trying to bring down a group of 22-year-old frat bros going to school in the Midwest (perhaps the most persecuted sector in the U.S. demographic). Just look at his shoulders — scratched and splintered from the heavy cross he has to carry (and the oversized inner tube he brought to float in the lake).
He’ll get a wristband, sure, but that won’t stop him and his friends from yelling loudly at everyone they pass. After all, this isn’t about hating Michigan anymore — this is about hating Ohio State for being a bunch of “conformists” and “poseurs” (yeah, we don’t know what that means either).
This person sees himself as an activist and will begin a “demonstration” by ferociously ripping off the wristband and throwing it into the lake. He will get two of his friends to do it with him.
That’ll show them.
The resident adviser
The RA has been counting down the days until Mirror Lake on his daily inspirational calendar, and his excitement for the day exceeds that giddy feeling he gets when he initiates uncomfortable icebreakers and asks the sex questions on the roommate agreement.
He’s not jumping because the university has put him in a position of authority that evening, and he is responsible for the well-being of his residents and anyone he sees not taping their shoes to their feet (aka his contract forbids him from jumping). He also happens to be allergic to fun.
He’s grabbing his citation paper, sharpening his No. 2 pencil and practicing his least impressed face, all in the interest of fulfilling his non-existent but self-imposed quota of write-ups for the semester.
But still, there is a void in the shape of joy, camaraderie and f—ing Michigan in this person’s heart that could be perfectly filled with two Natty Lights, body paint and borderline hypothermia.
Err … not that he really considers jumping into the lake fun, come to think of it. He has way more fun trying to figure out if that smell is marijuana or a rotting skunk.
The freshman first heard of the Mirror Lake jump when she was a senior in high school from a friend of a friend of friend, so she’s pretty much an expert.
She knows you’re supposed to put duct tape all over your shoes, so she bought that OSU patterned tape to really drive the point home. She’s also heard that it’s cool to yell “f— Michigan,” and she doesn’t normally swear, but it totally seems worth it tonight.
She’s getting a rush from all the risky things she’s about to be doing, and — who knows — maybe she’ll even be able to talk her friend’s brother’s roommate into buying her some Mike’s Hard for the occasion.
She’s going to jump with all 40 people who live on her floor because they’re all her best friends. Surely, they won’t get separated on the way there, and surely, they won’t be scared to jump in the lake. She’s planning on staying in for a really long time because it looks so cool.
In reality, she’ll probably hold hands with her three new friends, shriek the moment she gets in the lake and run the entire way back to her dorm. She will also lose her phone, and if not, crack the screen.
The sixth-year senior has been jumping since before it was cool. The first time he jumped, Jim Tressel was still the coach and he’s tried to relive that glory ever since. He also jumped after Osama bin Laden’s death, the time he actually passed a class, the time he didn’t get carded for beer when he was 20 and the first time he got laid.
He’s decided to go early for what could very likely be his last hoorah in the pond. He’s bringing a small inflatable boat with him and six flags to wave around, and he’s only wearing a Speedo that’s decorated with a few Buckeye nuts.
He’s been skipping work since last Tuesday, staking out his perfect spot in the lake and preparing himself for the weather. He was last seen softly muttering to himself that “The cold never bothered me anyway,” and chugging his fifth Four Loko of the day. He’s also irritated that nobody else seems to have their priorities straight and is as prepared for the jump as he is.
Also, he actually graduated in 2011. He just can’t shake all the #mems.
Person who doesn’t even go here
Usually someone from the University of Cincinnati or Ohio University, this person despises the institution of Ohio State 364 days and 16 hours a year.
But when it comes to slightly-illegal lake-swimming — hallelujah, they find Jesus in the form of OSU.
So this person drives the two-odd hour drive to campus, meets up with their OSU friend(s) and either buys a wristband for $50 off a scalper (and the smartest person ever) or does some serious arts-and-crafting to make his own.
Come jump time and much alcohol later, his cognitive dissonance of simultaneously hating OSU and actually being at OSU to participate in a university tradition begins to exacerbate. You will then hear various outbursts of sophisticated prose from Person Who Doesn’t Even Go Here, usually along the lines of “Go UC!” “Go Bear/Bobcats!” “Go OU!” “Go Michigan!” “Beat Ohio State!” and “Crush the Ohio State ‘F—eyes’!”
He believes that the hatred his school feels for OSU is experienced vice-versa, so he’s likely fantasizing of a situation where one of his contrary, anti-OSU chants in a crowd of OSU students will start a brawl. He will win, of course, and prove, once and for all, that UC is the best school in the entire state.
Little does he know, OSU just hates Michigan.
No one gives less of a s— than the fences.
Last year, they were all starry-eyed — fresh out of fencing school, ready to hit the ground running and anxious to fulfill their purpose of blocking things from other things. So you can only imagine their excitement when they landed the biggest gig in all of central Ohio — preventing rambunctious, drunk college students from jumping in a cesspool in under 40 degree weather before the university-sanctioned time of the event.
They come to work early — erecting themselves well before the big day.
“Students aren’t going to jump early,” school officials said.
“They won’t knock you down,” school officials said.
“Students don’t have the means of communicating with each other to initiate an unofficial jump the night before the official jump,” school officials said.
“Psh — naw man. You good,” school officials said.
Despite a raging case of post traumatic stress disorder from last year’s fiasco, the fences reluctantly agreed to be of service this year. However, they appear more exasperated, rusty with a 5 o’clock shadow and drooping links. They aren’t really sure when they are going to show up to start the gig, but when they do, they’ll down five cups of black coffee sprinkled with cynicism and a general sense that the world is out to get them.
“Do whatever you want,” the fences say. “The f— I care.”