One of the things most McDaniel students seem to agree on is how much they hate Westminster. I hear it all the time; whether it’s the drunk kids complaining on a Saturday about the lack of good parties or just anyone looking for something fun to do off-campus, students always blame the town for their boredom, and as a Westminster native, I get pretty offended.
Sure, I complain about my hometown sometimes, but it’s like complaining about my mom. It’s okay when I do it, but if anyone else were to diss her, they’d better run for cover.
First of all, I think the main problem is that students look at the town from the wrong angle. They only see it from the top of the Hill, looking down on the locals, or “townies,” as many of you so audaciously call us. Looking past the derelict part of Pennsylvania Avenue, you can really see a whole different kind of town. Westminster isn’t that bad. You just have to venture out and get on the same level as everything else. And no, your walks to the bar on Thursday nights don’t count. Go further into town, and you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than you might know. You just need to actively look rather than just expect fun to come to you. Cut Westminster some slack, guys. It really can be charming if you know where to look.
Did you know that we have two museums here? There’s the Farm Museum which tells you all about the agricultural history of the county and has a lot of cool events and hiking trails. There’s also the Carroll County Historical Society, which is small, but it’s right on Main Street and exhibits the area’s history. They even offer walking tours downtown where you can learn about the architecture of some of Westminster’s oldest buildings.
One of the most popular places to go for some childish fun is Player’s Fun Zone, located on Old Westminster Pike, behind Chipotle (I know you all know where Chipotle is). They have laser tag, arcade games, bumper cars, mini-golf, batting cages and inflatable bounce houses.
Oh and let’s not forget about the home-style food to be had. Some of you probably know about Baugher’s restaurant, but if you haven’t, you need to try it. It’s the cutest little country restaurant with a farmer’s market attached. Baugher’s also has an orchard where you can go pick your own apples. My personal favorite food place in Westminster is Hoffman’s ice cream shop. They make their own ice cream and have so many flavors to choose from. They even created their own special Orioles-themed ice cream. Come on, you have to admit that’s pretty cool.
And Westminster is only getting better. Earlier this month, the Recreation and Parks department planned a big block party to celebrate Westminster’s 250th birthday. Unfortunately, it rained, and they were forced to have it indoors. The event might have been disappointing and disorganized, but the effort is something to admire and it makes me proud that my city cares enough to do things like that. Westminster might not have raves and packed nightclubs like downtown D.C., but this little city is slowly trying to liven itself up.
What I’m trying to say is that you all chose to go to school here in this quaint little city, so you could at least give it a chance. If the only time you leave campus is to go to Down Under, maybe you should try exploring and finding out what else Westminster offers before you complain about it.