Hi! My name is Nick Aguilera.  I’m a freshmen at OU who’s currently planning on double majoring in Spanish and International and Area Studies, although I’m not completely sure those are exactly the majors that are right for me.  I was born in Las Cruces, NM, but moved to Oklahoma in the seventh grade and have lived here since.  The University of Oklahoma was not really on my radar as far as college choices go until around the middle of first semester senior year.  I was pretty sure that I wanted to attend college out of state, but I learned of the scholarship that the University offers to National Merit Scholars, came to tour, and have loved it since! The opportunities present at this school are unbelievable and since starting school here I’ve come to realize that even more!

The first official college event I attended was Camp Crimson and should you decide to come to OU I highly recommend it! It is a weekend that really teaches you about the spirit and community of OU.  It is also a great opportunity to meet current student leaders and other incoming freshmen so that there are more familiar faces on campus once you arrive.

Another great pre-college camp I attended was the Honors College First Year Backpacking Trip in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico.  With a group of 40 other students (20 incoming freshmen and 20 guides), I spent a week traversing some exciting terrain and summiting several mountain peaks along the way. We all got to know each other very well. In fact, I’ve spent almost all of the free time I’ve had during my first two weeks of college hanging out with a friend or two I made on this trip. You also develop a special bond with people when you’re all forced to forego showering for a week =p. Upperclassmen at OU can train to be guides for this trip during second semester and I plan to!

After backpacking, I had about two weeks until college began and they flew by! A “college pile” gradually engulfed my room, full of dorm necessities such as a desk lamp, printer, textbooks, clothes, an alarm clock, and more.  My mom seemed to come home from the store every day to add to it. I waited until the day before move-in day to truly pack everything (which I would not recommend due to unnecessary stress caused to you and your family).  That night we packed the car and early the next morning woke up to drive to Norman.

I was expecting move-in day to be chaotic and stressful and emotionally taxing on my parents, but it went extremely smoothly! University clubs and organizations had assembled teams to help you carry your stuff up the stairs and elevators to your dorm room and thanks to them my family and I had everything up to my room in no time at all.  Saying goodbye wasn’t that hard either!  Granted, I do only live 45 minutes away from OU, but I was expecting at least a tear or two shed from my mom.
There was SO much that OU had for freshmen to do during the first weekend of college and throughout the first week of school.  From informational fairs to scavenger hunts to residential floor meetings and free t-shirts and  free food (!), I was never at a loss for things to do. I am very pleased with how friendly every single person I have met at OU has been.  There are students from all over the country on my floor who I’ve been happy to meet and talk to.  I’ve also come to appreciate the diversity of this campus! The third day I was here in Norman I went to the Huff (common name for the Houston Huffman Fitness Center here on campus), where I played badminton with my roommate and two people from China! They were complete strangers and spoke very little English, but this event provided one of the most memorable and fun times I’ve had on campus so far. On top of that cultural exchange, I’ve met people from Saudi Arabia, Angola, Zimbabwe, France, Mexico, and I might be forgetting more! This has made me excited to join a program on campus called OU Cousins, which is a program that pairs you with an international student to learn more about their culture, to teach them about American culture, and to attend various events typically celebrating American holidays throughout the year such as pumpkin carving or going to see Christmas lights!

OU Cousins isn’t the only thing I plan to get involved in on campus though! There is an organization on campus called CAC (Campus Activities Council), which programs numerous campus events and interests me because its duties and activities resemble what I’ve helped with as a member of my high school’s student council (only on a much larger and more exciting scale!). I also went through rush and pledged Pi Kappa Phi, a fraternity that is just beginning on campus.

Sorry I’m writing a book of a post, but if you’ve read this far keep reading just a little bit longer! I haven’t even discussed class and college work!  I’m taking 15 hours of class this semester.  It seems most freshmen take between 12 and 18 hours.  The first week of class I was thoroughly intimidated by my teachers and the syllabi that they handed out.  I haven’t taken a Spanish class since junior year of high school but placed into SPAN 2223 (a second semester sophomore year Spanish class).  My professor walked into the room on the first day of class speaking nothing but the fastest Spanish I’ve ever heard in my life (I might be being a little dramatic). He handed us a syllabus (also entirely in Spanish), and proceeded to tell us that we had a quiz the second day of class testing our level of comprehension and speaking ability to determine if we were truly fit for this level of a class! Needless to say that stressed me out. It turned out that maybe one out of twenty students ended up dropping the class, but it still provided for a memorable first week of class.  My other classes also seemed like they would require a lot of work out of me… and they have.  I feel like I’ve had more homework and required reading the first two weeks of college than I’d had during two months of high school (regardless of how many AP or honors classes I was enrolled in back then), but I’m beginning to settle into a comfortable routine.  The most difficult thing in college is time management and I’ve had to learn how to say no to video games with the suite mates or spending time on Facebook in order to find time for more important things like studying or laundry (which really isn’t quite as bad to do all on your own as I might have thought before leaving home).

Keep reading my posts throughout the year and comment with questions or thoughts! I’m planning on updating this blog about college and life at least twice a month and am excited to see how things continue to go! Boomer Sooner!

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2 Responses to “And So It Begins!”

  1. Hannah on September 27th, 2010 8:30 pm

    I am a senior in a Texas high school and I just sent my application to OU. Reading this most made me even more excited about the idea of attending OU next fall!

  2. NickA on September 29th, 2010 11:25 pm

    Thanks for that, Hannah! I love it here and hope that no matter which school you choose you love it there too (although hopefully that can be OU =))! Good luck making your decision! Comment on any of my posts if you ever have any questions!

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