Students Make Trek to Rocky Mount for Bowling Night

The Panther Nation fills the seats and partakes in the friendly competition at the Rocky Mount Bowling Center.
The Panther Nation fills the seats and partakes in the friendly competition at the Rocky Mount Bowling Center.
Grace Weaver

Members of the  Panther Nation spent the afternoon at Rocky Mount Bowling Center Jan. 26. The activity was offered by the Office of Student Engagement.

The local facility was filled with the cheer and chatter of students, the sounds of large, colorful bowling balls crashing into carefully placed white pins, and the smell of the classic fried bowling alley food wafting the air throughout the night.

Such a scene is a once-a-month phenomenon, as the Office of Student Engagement sponsors the off-campus activity, granting Panther students an evening of competition, an opportunity for engagement, and a Friday evening in the county seat of Rocky Mount.

Gage Shelton, junior, enjoyed the event and said he never declines the chance to spend time with his fellow classmates and friends.

“I genuinely enjoy bowling,” Shelton said. “And it’s always a fun excuse to hang out and get off campus each month.”

Shelton is just one of the many students who feel this way. The Panther nation filled almost half of the alley’s capacity, as friend groups and no-longer strangers created a festive vibe.

Jalen Buie, senior, spoke fondly of the ambiance that night.

“It’s all good vibes, such good vibes. There are so many familiar faces, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my last semester here,” Buie noted.

For many Panthers, bowling night is not a recent discovery. In the case of TJ Baker, senior, the event contributes many memories toward the time as a student here.

In fact, Baker is a student originating from Australia and compares the excitement and familiarity of  bowling night with that of the years back home.

The friendly competition can also be intense, and Baker’s group of friends is no exception.

“We actually have a spreadsheet of each bowling game we have played. It is such fun competition for our friend group, and I can’t wait to tally the final results over the years,” Baker said.

The event not only provides home-town entertainment, but it is a bit of an economic boost as well.

Elvis Wright, owner of the Rocky Mount Bowling Center, expressed both appreciation and a sense of welcomeness toward the students.

“We appreciate them coming out,” Wright declared. “It’s good for them to get off of campus, and I’m honored to provide a good time.”

The Rocky Mount Bowling Center is located at 1555 North Main Street in Rocky Mount and is open every afternoon from Tuesday through Friday.

The Office of Student Life and Engagement also sponsors an abundance of additional activities and opportunities. The team’s Instagram page is often updated with information about upcoming events for all to enjoy.

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