As of recently, it is officially fall. Fall just so happens to be my favorite season and my love for it has only grown since attending OU.  There’s nothing better than walking down the South Oval when all the trees start to change colors. But let’s get real here, fall means football and football is a kind of a big deal here.

I remember my first game as a student just perfectly. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a sporting event in my life—and that says a lot because I love sports. I’ve grown up going to games but something about finally being here as a student was just magical. I eagerly awaited the pregame video and once I heard the bells that signified the start of the video lots of screaming and yelling followed. I even had chills. It was that good of a moment.

Those feelings haven’t changed. As a sophomore this year, the anticipation for football season was still there. I still got chills when I watched the pregame video. I proudly held my number one in the air while singing the OU chant with 80,000 other people that makeup one big Sooner family.

Even though football is one of my highlights of fall, there are definitely many other things to make it a memorable season here at OU. Campus Activity Council hosted the first Oklahoma Creativity Festival in September which is a festival to celebrate all kinds of creativity on campus and in the community. The festival includes things like a poetry slam, concerts, an education symposium, and even a campus rave. Then, there’s homecoming which is a really exciting week. The cement of the South Oval transforms into giant chalk murals lined with signs created by organizations on campus. I actually got to be involved with the homecoming parade last year where I was dressed as a banana. Yes, you read that right, I was a banana. It was a very memorable hour and topped my high school experiences of being in homecoming parades.

Basically, I can’t imagine spending my fall anywhere else. Even the little things like getting a pumpkin spice latte in the Union or watching a play in the Reynolds Performing Arts Center makes it a special time.

Dalaney Flies
Midwest City, OK
Interior Design
Class of 2015




I just went to my last advising appointment at the University of Oklahoma. I experienced my last Camp Crimson about 2 months ago. I have been to my last first football game of a season. I had my last first day of school… after 17 years! I am living in a world of “lasts” and it isn’t stopping.

Coming from someone who is graduating on time, in 4 years, I wish I could stay longer. I bet you never picture yourself saying that about school, huh? OU does that to you, though.

At Camp Crimson this past year I was a small group leader for my last time. Sitting in our last session of camp the emcee went on stage, also a senior, and began talking about college life in retrospect. She encouraged the new Sooners by telling them how they have a huge blank white canvas sitting in front of them, waiting for them to paint a picture on it. You have hundreds of paint brushes and colors sitting in front of you also; everything from clubs and organizations to academics to football season to friends you have yet to make. How you use those paint brushes and colors is completely up to you. You can paint WHATEVER picture you want. This college experience is completely up to you, and what are you going to do with it?

Looking back on my college career, the opportunities I have been given, and what I have done with the hundreds of resources at my fingertips, my canvas is almost completely painted. I just have some finishing touches left, like walking across the stage. I can truly say I have fully embraced every opportunity I have been given and I am so thankful I did. My canvas looks amazing.

As she gave this talk, I can reassure you every single senior leader sitting in that room, including her, was crying. We were all wondering how we had done; had we painted the picture we wanted?

While choosing the college you want to attend, hopefully choosing OU, think about what you want to do, what you want your canvas to look like. Then look at OU, look at every paintbrush you are offered, every picture everyone else that attends this University has created, and how not a single person regrets the decisions they have made here. I fully believe you cannot go wrong in choosing to attend this University. I myself was also choosing between OU and 4 other colleges, and never once do I think I made the wrong decision. That was proven true the second I walked on this campus and picked up my first paintbrush.

Will the first colors on your canvas be Crimson and Cream?

Nikki Smith
Bixby, OK
Communication major with a minor Nonprofit Organizations
Class of 2013




I was sitting on a milk crate in a two-bit taqueria when it happened. I felt a pang of emotions surge over me. Profound love, happiness, zeal, worldliness, empathy, friendship, and understanding overcame me in a sudden burst.

I had always heard of the limitless opportunities to become involved at the university. OU Cousins was one of the organizations that highly piqued my interest. I was unsure if I would get a compatible cousin and if the program would be an overall success, but I attended the matching mixer with an optimistic stance. I walked in the doors of Jim Thorpe Multicultural Center and I was transported to the United Nations. All about me different languages were being called out. I hear the sharp trill of the Italian “R,” the guttural yet flowing sound of Arabic, and the amalgam of excited English. My face instantly lit up and I went to introducing myself to as many students as possible. After an hour of chatting with students from all over the world, I had a wide range of possible cousins, but nobody who really clicked with me. Finally, it came time to play some mixer games. The international and American students were separated and given a question. The goal was to answer the question with a partner: international and American. A few rounds went by with the same results. Finally, the last question was asked and I tried my luck with a Mexican student named Jorge Jauregui. We instantly hit it off and within 30 seconds of talking, he asked me to be his cousin. We marched over to the confirmation table and officially became unofficial cousins.

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As it happens with many people, I absolutely fell in love the University of Oklahoma’s campus the second I stepped foot on it. When I went on my campus tour as a prospective student, I couldn’t help but picture myself with a book in front of me studying at all the different study spots my tour guide pointed out. But, now that I am actually a student and a tour guide for the university, I have found some really neat places that prospective students don’t see on their tours of campus. So, here are a few of my favorite study spots that you might not see when touring campus. 

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Leaves are changing colors. Jackets are coming out of closets… The University of Oklahoma is indeed a magical place in the fall.

This fall was a little different for me. In addition to going to class and studying, I was planning an arts festival. Yes, an arts festival. Let me explain: I am a Management major. I have no experience programming an arts festival. I’m not even a good artist. But planning an arts festival is exactly what I found myself doing; I was in charge of planning the inaugural Campus Activities Council’s Oklahoma Creativity Festival.

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As a freshman, the first two months of college are probably the greatest and most overwhelming two months of freshman year. Being at OU is incredible, because it’s almost impossible to be bored, lonely, or hungry. There are so many friendly people to meet. There are over 400 clubs and organizations you can be involved in. There are countless options on where to eat. There are so many places to study (…or take naps). And, there is so much TIME!

In college, you’re on your own schedule.  Great time management is a skill that is essential in life. What you do with your time is completely up to you. In fact, everything you do in college is essentially your decision. You choose who your friends are. You decide on which clubs to join. You settle into your own study habits.

My advice to prospective students is to be fearless. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself! Everybody at OU is very welcoming. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class or get to know your professors. The university’s professors are always more than willing to help their students succeed. Don’t be afraid to join clubs. It’s a great way to meet people and network. And lastly, don’t be afraid to be a leader, even if you’re “just” a freshman. It’s amazing how many leadership opportunities the university has to offer to all of it’s students.

I can honestly say that OU already feels like home to me. I love everything about the university, from its beautiful campus to its crimson and cream pride. I have always been a huge OU fan ever since I was young, but I never fully understood how truly amazing the university was until I was actually a student here. I encourage anyone who is interested in OU to take a campus tour — you’ll soon realize why the University of Oklahoma is such a wonderful place to be.


Tina Nguyen
Mustang, Oklahoma
Class of 2016
Psychology and Communications

Coming to OU, I would like to have known more about all the different involvement organizations on campus and specifically what each one does. Freshman year is the best year to try everything out and get involved in as many things as possible. By participating in many activities, you have a much better opportunity to meet some really great people who share the same interests and beliefs as you. Not to mention it is one of the best ways to get your name out there and make some valuable, lifelong connections! I encourage every freshman to make the most out of your first year here at the University of Oklahoma.

Marissa Dodson
Altus, Oklahoma
Class of 2016
Broadcast Journalism Major

Maybe it’s just because Homecoming was a big deal at my high school, or maybe it’s because it was the first big event I got involved in on campus. Either way, Homecoming is without a doubt what I look forward to every fall semester. Each year Homecoming is put on by the Campus Activities Council (CAC) and events begin early September and last until the middle of October and the whole campus gets to be a part of it. Not only is it a fast way to get involved in clubs and organizations, but it’s also an easy way to show off your creative and artistic side.

Any group, from campus ministries to Greek life to heritage clubs, gets an opportunity to design and construct many different objects to represent their depiction of the overall theme for OU that year. This year the theme is “Let the Games Begin, Sooners Take the Win!” It is video and board game based and students are able to make floats, banners, or boards to be displayed on the South Oval the week of Homecoming; groups even participate in Pep Rally dances! It may seem silly, but the competition is intense. The tension rises the week of homecoming as students make last minute touches to their projects, stay up all night to create the perfect float for the parade, and strive to raise the most money in the Homecoming Hold Up to support the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN).

Yes, not only is it fun and games (literally), but it also impacts the surrounding community as well.  Homecoming Hold Up is the main philanthropic event put on by CAC and organizations do their best to raise as much money as they can to support CMN. During the week there is also a blood drive put on by the Red Cross. Neither of these events gets you more “points” to help your organization get the title of the Homecoming Champion, but they are still the most important and students here always work hard to give back to their community.

Needless to say, Homecoming is an exciting, rivalry filled, fun event in the fall that anyone and everyone can (and should) get involved in. It’s one of the easiest ways to meet new people as a freshman here at OU, and it’s the best way to show off your skills from high school that you thought would be long forgotten.

Happy Homecoming,

Casey Jo Smith
Bixby, OK
Health and Exercise Science/ Pre Physical Therapy
Class of 2015

As I sit in Starbucks drinking my pumpkin spice latte and reading for my Women and Gender studies class, I think about how this is my last fall in Norman. It’s so crazy how fast time flies. Four years ago, I remember eagerly anticipating the homecoming game and parade, walking down the South Oval and admiring the beautiful mum gardens, and breathing in all the fall goodness.

There’s just something so magical about campus in the fall. Football season is in full swing and Sooner spirit can be felt everywhere. All the students have smiles on their faces, even though it’s the middle of midterm season and we are just a little sleep deprived. The weather is pleasantly cool, which is amazing to walk to class in. And with all the rain we have been receiving, I get to rock my stylish rain boots (best investment ever).

As I soak in my last fall on this campus, I think about all of the things that OU has given me that I am so thankful for. I have had the opportunity to receive a wonderful education from some of the top academic programs in the country. I have met so many people that I would have never come into contact with if it weren’t for OU. I have friendships that will last a lifetime although my college experience is about to end. I look back on the freshman Jade that was admiring the mums that only bloom around homecoming for the first time and senior Jade that is studying for one of her last college classes ever and think about how much I have grown.

I guess what I am trying to say with this is enjoy every aspect of OU that you can. Make the most out of every wonderful season you spend here in Norman. So that one day when you are drinking a pumpkin spice latte and reflecting back on your college experience, you can smile and remember the wonders of your first fall at the University of Oklahoma.


Jade Owen
Oklahoma City, OK
Multidisciplinary Studies
Psychology minor
Class of 2013

Hello friends!

I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot believe that it is already October. Seems like yesterday I was walking around campus for my first day of college and now I am in my third semester. Time really does fly in college, which is why I will be giving you guys tips on how to be efficient with your school work while having the most fun you will probably ever have in your life.

Let’s start with something we are probably encountering within the next couple weeks: midterms. We all loathe them and worry about them because we don’t really know what to expect, especially as freshmen. But have no fear…you will make it through. My advice when it comes to any major exam is simple: start studying AT LEAST a week before. This piece of advice seems easy, but I promise you it’s not. I cannot even tell you how many times I would make other plans instead of studying because I thought I could afford to spend my time doing more fun things. When it comes close to test time, I highly encourage putting a timeout on some of your extracurriculars to study. You will be thankful in the long run, because you are here to get a degree, right?

Notice that I said put a timeout on SOME extracurriculars. You have to have fun. There is nothing worse than being stressed out and having no fun. Study for an hour, grab a friend to go get a Sprittle at Classics for a study break. Study and then go take a break and relieve some stress at the Huff. Do not torture yourself and study for 35185 hours straight. 1) That will ruin you in the long run because your brain cannot function that long. 2) Who wants to study that long in one sitting anyway? TAKE BREAKS.

Join a club, make your own club, meet new people, or just do the things you wish you always could. College is the time to branch out. Because what better time to step out of your comfort zone and do something you have only dreamed of than here at the University of Oklahoma?

Boomer Sooner!

Katherine Williams
Decatur, TX
Class of 2015
Human Relations

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