My name is May Segovia; I am a junior international Business and Marketing major at the University of Oklahoma. I am very excited to let you all know that I will spend next semester studying abroad in Paris! I had the chance to see some of Paris & lots of France this past summer because I spent a month abroad with OU Price College of Business in Vichy, France (my first study abroad experience). I am lucky to have the support of my family and friends, who are excited to vicariously live through my photos as I am abroad. I am specially thankful and lucky to have obtained this opportunity through the OU Study Abroad department. My study abroad advisor has been so patient and has been able to help me through any (visa, housing, scholarship) issue that has occurred.
Studying abroad is one of the best things I have done so far in my college career, and I would encourage everyone to follow along. First of all, let me just say that OU has many study abroad opportunities. Whether through your specific college or through the study abroad department, they will find a perfect fit for you! Here are just a few things why I would encourage you, as a future Sooner, to plan on studying abroad (whether a whole semester or a summer) while at OU:
Study abroad has given me a change to grow in my personal life. I now feel better able to handle situations independently and have learned to not be so reliant on others to help. While abroad, you will be put through many situations you otherwise would not be, the obvious being the language barrier. You have to find creative ways to solve any issue you encounter and every step is a learning experience. After being exposed to a new language, culture, and way of thinking I definitely feel that I have learned not only about myself but also others and am better able to resolve any issues that come up. Overall, I feel more confident in myself and better able to succeed through any problem.
The biggest thing to get used to while abroad is… well EVERYTHING! You are in a new place with new people speaking a new language. It can be a lot for any student, but eventually you adapt and begin to appreciate both your host country and your home country more. This goes hand in hand with personal growth as it allows you to gain a different perspective on life. You will become more aware of international issues, social issues and economic issues that pertain to your host country and/or surrounding countries. Once you adapt to the people and the new culture, you will feel like a global citizen and better understand others.
The best thing about studying abroad is the adventure that comes with it. You truly never know, no matter how much you plan, exactly how everything will turn out. It’s all part of the experience. Travel as much as possible, take as many pictures as you can, and be curious about everything. As a fellow student abroad, I would recommended for you to keep an open mind throughout your time abroad and never say no to the opportunities that present themselves because only then can you truly make the best memories!
It is difficult to write down all the things I learned or the reasons I would recommend everyone to study abroad if they get the chance, mainly because there are so many! It is a life changing experience to have and as a Sooner (future or current). I encourage you to at least look into it and you will see for yourself the many reasons you should study abroad. If that doesn’t convince you then I encourage you to read this article from the Huffington Post on employer’s perspective of study abroad:
International Business and Marketing
OU Class of 2015
As a graduating high school senior, I remember thinking that I wanted to pursue a degree in vocal performance. Having done musical theater, school choir competitions, and honor choirs, I was nearly sure that this talent could only be used if I pursued it academically and professionally.
However, after a serious heart-to-heart with both my vocal coach and my parents, I quickly decided that music wasn’t the profession for me. And yet, I couldn’t help but be heartbroken at the notion that I might not ever sing in a rehearsed group again. A short internet research session, however, quickly revealed that I could, as a non-music major, still take part in the choirs and ensembles alongside the music majors. I learned that a brief audition process is conducted at the beginning of every Fall semester and students are placed in the ensemble that best suits their voice type.
I tried out that Fall and was welcomed into the world of OU Choirs. After opening these doors, I have taken part in many different kinds of ensembles—from performing in the opera chorus, to taking private lessons, to singing alongside the Sooner elite in University Chorale. And the number one lesson I learned by becoming involved in OU Choirs:
Always ask professors about involvement opportunities!!!
You may not think that you are qualified for a certain opportunity because “you’re not a major”, or “there’s no room for you”. But I will tell you, professors and directors of all departments are usually willing to work with eager students that show passion for a particular subject.
So many students think that because they will not be studying their hobbies as a major in college, then they must give up those hobbies in favor of their areas of study. This is just simply NOT TRUE. If your passion is to dance, but you want to be a chemical engineer, take a dance class in between your physics classes. If you love photography, join the photography club and enter your photos in competitions on campus.
As for me? I am a double major in International Area Studies and Letters that wants to go to law school that also sings in OU Choirs. And while I know that I will never sing professionally, I am so grateful that the University of Oklahoma is a place where I can pursue all of my passions.
International Studies & Letters
There is so much that can happen in four years; so much that can change. Four years ago, I was a senior at Dale High School, a 2A public school just off of I-40 East towards Shawnee. We were just wrapping up fall baseball playoffs (we didn’t have a football team) and gearing up for the best season of the year, basketball season.
I absolutely loved high school. I loved knowing everyone I went to school with and their families. I loved the community and the support. I loved that my teachers had a relationship with me outside of the classroom. I didn’t love that my dad’s office was next door to my first hour class so he always knew when I was running late; but, other than that, high school was awesome.
College, on the other hand, terrified me.
The dream was to attend the University of Oklahoma. I had gone to games since I was a little girl and I had been told that if I worked hard in school, I just might be able to earn a scholarship and attend. When the dream started to become a reality around this time four years ago, I couldn’t have been more excited. Or terrified.
I was used to walking by first graders every day in their adjoining building. I babysat for most of my teachers. The principal was my best friend’s dad. I didn’t know anyone that attended OU. I heard horror stories of lecture classes larger than my town. How would I get the help I needed? How would I get involved in campus activities? How would I make friends? Would I make friends? Saying goodbye to everything I had known would, quite possibly, is the hardest thing I had done.
Fast forward four years and you’ll find me sitting at my computer, sipping on my favorite kind of coffee, and writing this blog because last weekend I was crowned the 2013-2014 Homecoming Queen.
I’m not sure how to sum up this experience in words, except to say that my fears of being lost in a big sea of 27,000+ people have been replaced with a deep gratitude, appreciation, and love for the sooner family and this campus.
Over the past four years, OU has become my home. It is a place where I belong, where I have been invested in, and where I have been able to pour out. I have grown as a person, as a student, and as a friend. I could not be more humbled by this incredibly undeserving honor. The number of times I have cried over the past few days is getting a little absurd.
I am overwhelmed with joy at the thought of the support and encouragement I have experienced, not as Homecoming Queen, but simply as a Sooner over the past four years. And now, as a senior at the University of Oklahoma, I can’t imagine anything harder than saying goodbye to this season of life and all of the friends and mentors that define it.
But then I’m reminded by my childhood friend Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Live on University.
Economics, Pre-Law Senior
“I’m seventeen and I’m crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane.” –Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I used to be seventeen and crazy. When I read Bradbury’s famous text my sophomore year of high school, I eagerly anticipated the day when I could call myself “seventeen and crazy,” without much thought as to what seventeen would bring. But with each passing year, I pay more attention to the expectation that accompanies my age. Eighteen meant I was an adult, able to buy spray paint and cigarettes (or not) all on my own. Nineteen made me a “baby” again, and forced me back into the uncomfortable role of a dazed and confused freshman. Now, a week into twenty, I feel as if I am expected to be a real person, to actually know something about the world.
But in actuality, I proudly prove that the struggle is real and live my life as a flipping hot mess.
When I entered high school, I was shocked by the appearance of peach fuzz on the lips of the upperclassmen passing me in the halls, confused by the lanyards casually clutching car keys in their metal clasps. Slowly, I became one of those cool upperclassmen with a car (not with the peach fuzz), and I transformed into one of the kids I had so admired at fourteen.
Now, my friends order drinks from the bar when we go out to dinner, and rarely do Shirley Temples make their way back to our table. Some are engaged. Some kids from back home post pictures of their children on Facebook.
And then there’s me.
Disney movies clutter my shelves, my cure for any bad day. Starburst wrappers have waged a hostile takeover of my desk, threatening to cover my numerous to-do lists and sticky note reminders. Big people stuff? Big people stuff is scary. People around me are making serious life decisions. Since when did I get old enough to make serious life decisions without parental consent?!
I paid taxes for the first time this summer. That was enough of the real world for me.
Gone are the days of being seventeen and crazy. Now, I enter the age of exciting uncertainty and few satisfying answers. The Red Hot Chili Peppers know my life: “The more I see, the less I know, the more I like to let it go. Heyyyyyyyyy oh. Whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa.” The “whoa”s clearly capture my perpetual confusion.
But out of this confusion are eleven lessons that I’ve learned despite the insanity. They cannot be taught. They cannot be found within the confines of a classroom. But here they are, born of nights denying our impending status as “real people.”
1) If you’re sleeping, you’re missing something.
2) School shouldn’t be your only focus. People should. Experiences should. Seek them out.
3) Never pass up a 3 a.m. pizza run.
4) If you are letting a friend make a fool of themselves alone, you are wrong. Get on their level.
5) Freaking out is OK. Letting the freak out define your mood for the rest of the day is not. There is beauty in everything. Freak out, hate your life, scream to the heavens, and then move on.
6) Don’t be “that kid.” Nobody likes “that kid.”
7) Sometimes, stress will force you to talk in some strange accent that resembles no other dialect in the world. Just go with it.
8) It’s ok not to know what you’re doing with your life, or to not know what’s happening at any given time. No one else does either.
9) Don’t underestimate your abilities. You can do great things, and you can do them now. Go for it.
10) Things change. People come in and out of your life, tests come and go, heck, you change, day in, day out. Love what you have while you have it, and learn what you can from the experience.
11) The strangers you first meet will become your friends, mentors, and supporters. Love quickly, love easily, and trust in them fully. There’s no time to wait.
12) Strive to make people smile.
13) Believe that you can, and you will.
There you have it: The nonsensical musings of a 20-something striving for success and struggling along the way.
Struggle well, Sooners, and make that struggle all your own.
Everyone always says your high school years will “fly by”, but no one ever laid it out to me that those years will literally launch themselves up, over your head, around the corner, and through some bushes within a matter of seconds. Towards the middle of April, I had survived the larger part of senior year, and found myself finally relaxing and enjoying my time. One of my close friends who happens to attend the University of Oklahoma informed me of a casual Iron and Wine concert that night that was open to the public if I wanted to come. So of course, I immediately scrambled some things together, ran to my car, and began the journey to Norman.
First of all, this was my first time to actually step foot on campus; I immediately fell in love. Not only did the gorgeous architecture catch my eye, but upon arrival, Iron and Wine had already begun and their phenomenal music encased the area. Upon entering the south oval, I was astounded at the interaction going on between the community as a whole and the university students. There were families with their children sitting, standing, and connecting with the OU students. The sense of harmony was unbelievable. I tried to share a similar experience with a friend of mine who is now a senior in high school from my hometown by inviting her to the Karmin concert Saturday, the 21st of September. After a strenuous amount of dancing, screaming, and jumping up and down, I hope that her vision of the University of Oklahoma turns out to be just as wonderful as my perspective. The concert was the reason I came to OU, but the sense of community made me fall in love. I am so lucky and proud to attend a university that holds such high standards for itself and genuinely wants to help out the public around them.”
This past weekend was one of those weekends students most look forward to. It was Must-Stay Weekend! Must-Stay Weekend is an event organized by UPB, CAC, Summer Session and other organizations to bring young, fresh artists to OU for a free concert! This year they hit the nail on the head again with opening act Bryce Vine and the main attraction, Karmin.
This year, OU Recruitment Services also took part in Must-Stay Weekend by hosting a small group of high school students from the surrounding area. I was able to participate in this and took part in the discussion that preceded the show. The atmosphere was really chill and students got a great look at what it would be like to go to OU. It helped that there was delicious food AND free concert tees included in the deal!
The concert began at eight, and took place on the east side of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Students were crowded around the stage, and some were lounging on the lawns surrounding the area. The atmosphere was happy and lively, and the opener, Bryce Vine, made sure everyone was pumped and ready to have a good time.
Karmin came onstage amidst a roar of support and hit the night off with their single, “Acapella”. Everyone was jumping around and going near deaf from music that could be heard for miles. At one point, Karmin even performed a rap song with a volunteer who totally shocked everyone with his mad skills! For real, that kid knew every word. This year’s concert was a huge success, and everyone that stayed for the weekend was not disappointed. The best thing about Must-Stay Weekend is that it happens once every semester, which includes Summer Session. I can’t wait to see who comes to perform next!
Art History and Psychology Junior
There are many moments in one’s career of being a student at the University of Oklahoma that make the experience memorable. As a student starting my junior year at the best place on earth (perhaps I’m a bit biased), I have encountered many memories that have made my time here more than worthwhile.
One memory in particular happened last football season before the legendary game versus Notre Dame. Any Sooner that you come in contact with will probably tell you that this game was one of the best moments to be a Sooner.
My day started with a 4 a.m. wake up call. I got dressed in my crimson and cream getup and headed to the South Oval before the sun had even come up. The South Oval was littered with people who had camped out the night before for the one and only College Game Day! (People were camping out days in advance to witness the popular football phenomenon, but that wasn’t my style). I ended up being front row for College Game Day and even made it on TV!
The hype and the energy that every student felt standing on the College Game Day set at 6 a.m. was such a chilling experience that not many people get to say they had. (Seriously, who gets to say they witnessed hundreds of college students excited about something at 5 in the morning). This moment that I got to share with my Sooner Family was one that I will never forget. It’s one of those moments that makes being a Sooner truly amazing.
Supply Chain Management with Spanish minor
I grew up in a very small town called Udall, Kansas where I graduated with a class of 26 classmates. 14 of those students I had attended school with since we were in Pre-K. Growing up in a small town means that you know everyone and they know you, which makes for a very close-knit community.
Leaving my tiny town to come to OU was a huge step in my life. Kids from small towns in Kansas (that decide to pursue higher education) either end up at a local community college or one of the big state schools like Kansas, Kansas State or Wichita State. For me not to attend any of these places, and also leave the state was something that did not happen very often in my hometown. Going from a town of 750 people to a university that has over 4000 in one class was one of the scariest decisions I’ve made. That being said, my decision to attend OU has been one of the greatest choices I have made in my life.
Yes, OU is a decently large campus with thousands of students, however it has the small town feel I am used to. OU seeks to make everyone feel like they are a part of a community. There are hundreds of different groups for students to join and lots of activities to make students feel at home. Many of my classes only have 30 other students in them, and that means having a closer relationship with not only my classmates but also with my professors. There are even resources such as Project Threshold that will help you with any problems you may have, whether it is classes, papers, time management and anything else you may need.
If you are from a small town and are worried that if you attend OU you will get lost in the vastness of it all, stop worrying. OU is a community that strives to make sure all of its students feel at home. Everyone here is looking out for you and wants what is best for you. There is only one Oklahoma, but there are thousands of Sooners who are here for you.
Religious Studies, Senior
1. Couch Express- Grilled Cheese
2. The Caf- Hot chocolate cobbler
This beautiful piece of deliciousness is even sweeter than our President David L. Boren! If you are lucky enough to wander into the Caf when the stars correctly align you may be able to taste this Mona Lisa of pastry.
3. Laughing Tomato- Best Date Ever
I’ve gotta be perfectly honest, I’ve never had this before, but the girls in my office are absolutely bananas for it. This pita is packed full of peanut butter, bananas, honey, and dates. Again, I can’t give a first-hand account, but the screaming that was done in it’s name is proof enough it should be tried.
4. Everywhere!- Cookies
As many know, aside from completely burning them, it is hard to do cookies wrong. However, we Sooners enjoy absolutely delicious cookies all over campus! Nearly every store has a wide variety of delicious flavor disks that would make your grandma weep!
5. Crossroads- Strawberry Shakes
It’s 3 in the morning and you have been writing a paper for 4 days straight and you just realized your body is dangerously low on ice cream. What do you do? You head off to Crossroads and suck down one or two delicious strawberry milkshakes!
6. Cate Main – The Breakfast platter
It’s a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some would argue that breakfast ends sometime before noon, but at OU this is not the case. With a meal as delicious as the Cate breakfast platter, it would be perfectly acceptable to have this masterpiece for every meal and at any time of day.
7. The Caf- The only all-you-can- eat Chik-fil-a in the entire world
8. The Caf- Pita chips and humus
This tastes as though Zeus himself crafted these crunchy pieces of Greek gold that you can dip in equally delicious Greek heaven.
9. Xcetera- Wall of Candy
10. The Caf – Cereal Bar
11. Flying Cow – EF 5 Breakfast Burrito
12 eggs, onions, peppers, ham, bacon, sausage, cheese, and 3 flour tortillas… and then more cheese. Finish this beast in an hour and you’ll get a free t-shirt and guaranteed heartburn.
As a child, most of us avoid a bath at all cost. Soap was that annoying thing that got in your eyes and burned. Unless, of course, you used the cool fish-shaped bottle of L’Oreal Kids no tears soap. In college this is not the case.
Something about the combination of soap, suds and music draws every college student in. These three things make up what is called a foam party. What is better than dancing around with 1500 of your friends in soap and bubbles? Nothing. Luckily, OU’s Union Programming Board hosts a foam party every year that is FREE for all students.
But the foam party is so much more than dancing and having a good time. There are practical benefits from attending. You could use the foam party as an excuse not to shower for the next three days because being in soap for 3+ hours is like one long shower you don’t have to pay for. You could use it as your yearly Chaco or Sperry cleaning. I personally love foam party because my Chacos look AND smell brand new when I leave. Rumor has it that foam party has the same effect on Sperry’s. You could use it as a way to clean your clothes. Just rinse them out afterword and you have successfully avoided doing laundry for a while longer.
Those are only a few of the beneficial side effects of attending foam party. Foam party is now at the end of the first week of classes so you can wash away all the stress of the week while dancing your heart out. It lets you get dirty while getting clean. It’s the good, clean fun to have on campus.
Midwest City, OK