I’ve attended the University of Oklahoma for three years now.  It isn’t too far from home, OKC, so I thought it would be a simple transition. I was right, mostly. There is still a lot of wind, an insane focus on college football and a small-town kind of feeling. When I came here I wasn’t expecting my mentality or interests to change much. However, I’ve found that I have become interested in a very broad subject since my first day here: culture.

Since coming here, I have met and learned about so many different kinds of cultures and people. I find myself wanting to learn a new language every few days. I’ve considered Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Icelandic (I think a total of three OU students have ever learned that here) but In college you are busy, so really I just try to immerse myself as much as I can. I’ve joined IAC (international advisory committee) in hopes of meeting new cultures, as I also work with the OU College of International Studies with the same goal.

I never imagined there could be so many different kinds of people who would come to an Oklahoma college but meeting them has really made an impact in my life. A few of my best conversations in college have occurred with a Hindi coworker, a visiting girl from Uganda, a friend I met from Berlin, and even a student from Puglia, Italy that let me practice my Italian on her. There are so many different cultures here at this University that we have the privilege of learning from and I think that only about half of us make that effort.

Anytime we get the chance, we should be asking someone about their history. We have so much to learn from other people’s opinions, cultures and beliefs. Whether it’s through taking a class or simply conversing with everyone you meet, we should all try to get to know a little bit about each other! Knowing and getting to know the other cultures here has definitely shaped the person I am today. I love to converse, but now I’ve also learned to listen. Listening is sometimes the best part. The best part of this University, for me, is how I’ve seen so much diversity. This is something that I think could benefit Oklahoma extremely!

Emily Dittelmier

Class of 2015 Council

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