Every freshman gets the opportunity to go to an involvement fair, consisting of nearly every organization with those members begging you to come to their table and hear more about what they do. Now, personally, I signed up for probably 50 things, got about 1000 emails, and I went from wanting to get involved to a potential over-commitment problem. While you have all these people reaching out to you, you still have that intimidation factor going on. What if I do something stupid? What if I’m not qualified enough? Coming from a student who wasn’t very involved in high school, I didn’t really know if I would have the appropriate experience to take part in some things. Getting involved on a college campus as a freshman can be one of the most intimidating experiences. You have all these upperclassmen whom all know each other and probably have been apart of different groups for years, and you’re a little freshman who happen to go to this meeting, and you’re nervous.

My first official attempt at getting involved was going to hang out with the women’s rugby team, which was an experience that was unforgettable. Now, when you sign up for different organizations, you don’t really know what to expect, or even if you’re going to be a significant member. I’ll be honest, I was not cut out for that particular organization, but it gave me a boost of confidence, because there I was a freshman who walked from the dorms to the soccer fields by Lloyd Noble (and got lost) and these girls welcomed me in, as if they had known me forever. After the sad realization that rugby was not my thing, I went to a Campus Activities Council Crew meeting with some friends, and let’s just say you feel a lot better when you realize that there are hundreds of freshman that are just as eager and lost as you are. I’m at this huge meeting, learning about CAC and other cool things on campus and I liked it. One could say I started to find my place a little.

One day, while exploring different websites of organizations on campus, I found an application for CAC Howdy Week Vice Chairs. At this point in my early college days I was applying for nearly everything I came across. Yes, I was that kid. I applied for so many things that I forgot that I had applied for that particular position. A few weeks later I received an email from the chair in which he told me that I had gotten the position of Secretary on the Vice Chair staff. As a freshman I was still rather confused as to what I had gotten. I remember going to Vice Chair Development Day for CAC, and finally figuring out what I had been selected to do. After a few weeks, and meeting different people, I started to realize that getting involved wasn’t as scary as I thought it was. Because of that opportunity I was more motivated to sign up for other clubs that interested me and I’ve met a lot of people who I love to be around.

All in all, getting involved is a baby steps kind of process, unless you’re a kid like me, that dives in head first and decide to literally sign up for everything. It takes one brave attempt to fill out that application to gain the confidence needed to let yourself know that you can do it. It doesn’t matter how involved you were in high school, how many people you know, or how outgoing you are; all that matters is that you take that chance, even if you might be the only freshman at that meeting.

Kennedie Akinwande

Psych/Human Relations Sophomore

Dallas, Texas

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I’m not going to lie to you, the week of sorority recruitment is MADNESS! But have no fear; there are ways to come prepared.  I came armed with a purse full of deodorant, lipstick, and my phone to call mom (maybe in between every single house). I walked towards the first house of my recruitment experience and was greeted by a bunch girls singing in my face. Yeah I’m not kidding; nobody warned me about that. I was nervous, sweaty, and honestly a little confused. However, when you get past all of the fluff of recruitment, it really comes down to a lot of conversations with a lot of girls who genuinely want to get to know you.  And although I’m thankful I’ll never have to run “Greek Mile” in wedges again (hopefully). I have to say that PanHellenic recruitment is a memorable week and one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in college. I know a lot of people who let fear or even skepticism keep them from going through recruitment, and to them I say definitely give it a chance. Sure it’s an intimidating process, there’s no denying that, but the outcome is totally worth it all.

During the week of recruitment I made so many friends, and we continued to keep in touch and stay close even though we ended up in different houses! Not to mention all of the friends I’ve made in my current chapter, and the support system I’ve found in my house. As a former high school athlete, I came to college hopeful of finding a group of friends as close, loving, and encouraging as my high school team. It’s really no surprise that that’s exactly what I found in my sorority. In fact, it’s like a much larger even more loving version of any team that I’ve ever been on! There’s nothing quite like a group of people who truly want what is best for you and who will always be cheering for you no matter what. I found being in a sorority especially beneficial in my freshman year. I had so many questions about campus involvement and classes and my chapter was able to not only answer any questions, but also encouraged me to apply for things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. The big/little program is also SUCH a great resource for any freshman in college. My big is a mentor and someone I look up to, but also one of my best friends! Also, since I went to high school in Norman, being in a sorority was such a good way for me to get out of my Norman comfort zone and make friends from all over the state, and nation! Going through PanHellenic recruitment has so much to offer you, and you should definitely consider it… assuming the reader of this blog is of the appropriate gender.

Nicole Antonio

Norman, Oklahoma

Industrial and Systems Engineering: Pre-Med Option

Class of 2016

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One of my most memorable experiences here at OU would have to be the leadership retreat for all fraternity and sorority councils last winter. National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), Panhellenic Association (PAN) and Interfraternity Council (IFC) were all able to have their training at the same time and it was so great because we were able to really get to know each other and learn about other councils and organizations.

The best part was the day that we played U-ZOO with K.P. — better known as Kristen Partridge. It was the first time I’d played that game and the most fun I’ve had learning about my leadership style. It was about 50 students from all of the greek councils in the room with the advisors and we were all given a form to fill out. We had to fill out each row and rate qualities that described us the most and the least. After that we added up the columns to see what number we got and all of the numbers from each column had to equal 100. The column with the highest number was our leadership style. KP picked members from each group to represent the Lion, Porpoise, Koala and Eagle leadership styles. She gave them the task to create an event and plan it from start to finish. While they were outside planning the event she was telling us exactly what each one would do because of their leadership style, due to their characteristics. When I say it was dead on, it was exactly what she stated! It was so hard not to burst out laughing! Most of us did and couldn’t contain ourselves! It was just a lot of fun being able to be in a room of such great leaders with different strengths and that game and that moment is something I will never forget! To this day when it comes to icebreakers I use U-ZOO and it works every time!

Jamaine Turner
Tulsa, OK
May 2013
Human Relations, Minor Women’s & Gender Studies

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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

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September at OU is a beautiful time of the year.  Everyone is all settled into classes and daily routines, the weather is beginning to cool down (no more 100 degree weeks!), and best of all…it’s football time in Oklahoma!  Football Saturdays are very special days in Norman.  Tailgating can begin at 10 a.m., even for evening games.  The floods of fans dressed in crimson and cream begin appearing on Campus Corner once traffic is blocked off from the area.  Students, locals, and out-of-town fans all mingle, chat, and contribute to the many cries of “Boomer Sooner!” around campus.  Once the game begins, you can hear the roar of the crowd from halfway across town.  Oklahoma football brings a further sense of unity to the campus and community, and even if you aren’t a regular attendee to the games or a sports fan at all, the feeling of togetherness is still a great experience.

Even on non-football days, the OU community is very tight-knit.  Despite the large number of students on campus, there is a very strong sense of community.  Students from all disciplines, backgrounds, and extracurricular activities join up and interact together on a daily basis.  Whether you’re eating lunch at the student union, hitting the books in the library, or just walking from class to class, chances are you’ll see somebody you know.  The small-campus feel that you experience while still receiving all of the benefits of a large research university is unbeatable.  OU is a great place to spend your college years and build some of the best connections and friendships of your life, because no matter where we came from, we all have one thing in common: we are all proud to be attending the University of Oklahoma, and even if it’s just for four years, lucky enough to call this beautiful place home.

Good luck with your search, best wishes, and BOOMER SOONER!

Lara McLellan
Clemson, South Carolina
Class of 2014
Environmental Sustainability and German Major

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Chase your dreams; choose Crimson and Cream. Whether you know your life’s calling, or you’re still waiting for that phone call, at the University of Oklahoma opportunity knocks at every door.

Growing up, you and I were told to dream big and reach for the stars. Our parents, teachers, and friends encouraged us to chase our wildest dreams; to go out and find the passion that makes our hearts beat. They told us everyone has something they are called to do, something that they are great at that makes them different, unique, and special. But now as your senior year of high school comes to an end, and those stars you reached for come even closer, I’m sure you’re starting to wonder just what exactly your dreams are and what’s next. You may have an idea of what you want to major in and the kind of job you want after college or you may be like most of my friends and have absolutely no idea as to what type of cereal you want for breakfast tomorrow morning much less what you want to do for the rest of your life – either way, the University of Oklahoma is the place for you.

All the time people here at school or those from back home ask me, “What is the best part of OU?” My entire freshman year my answer would be, “Oh! It has to be how much fun the football games are!” or “It has to be having so much fun meeting so many new people!” or “It’s great to be away from home and able to do my own thing!” However, as true as those things are, as I head into my sophomore year I can sum up the greatest thing about OU in one word, and that is: Opportunity.

The University of Oklahoma has given me the opportunity to gain a world-class education in state-of-the-art facilities. The University of Oklahoma has given me the opportunity to make life long friendships with people from across the country and from around the world. More than anything, the University of Oklahoma has given me the opportunity to go out and make my dreams a reality. I walked onto campus as a freshman wanting to be active in business and politics some day but had no idea how to make that happen or what it even meant. Now today, just a kid from rural Oklahoma, I am an intern for a large corporation in downtown Oklahoma City as well as a part-time intern in a congressional office living and experiencing more than I had ever dreamed of. At the University of Oklahoma, if you can dream it, it can happen. Imagine your opportunities – the possibilities are endless. See you in the fall and best wishes.

Boomer Sooner,

Brent E. Bowles
University of Oklahoma, Class of 2015
Price College of Business
Entrepreneurship and Supply Chain Management

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Seems like we all survived finals even though they seemed like they were going to kill us and with all the stress of finals also came the sadness that freshman year was almost over. Seeing everyone move out of the dorms was such a sad thing to experience. I think we all enjoyed our first year so much and are all sad it’s over. The day before my roommate and I moved out, we were packing up and kept repeating how we couldn’t believe we weren’t going to live in the dorm anymore and how close this year was from ending. We decided to come up with a few things that we either did or wish we did this past Freshman year.. So here they are a few FRESHMAN YEAR MUST DO’s…

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I think a lot of high school students have an idealized version of what college and their college friendships will be like. They will have one group of friends. They and their friends will be very similar to one another. That one group will do everything together. And so on, and so forth…

Here’s the thing. I was like that. I was ready for my one big group. But the thing is, I learned that that’s not necessarily what happens. For some people it does, to a point. But honestly, it’s not even the best option, in my opinion. The best option is making friends wherever you go.

I have friends from my hall freshman year. I have friends I met at Camp Crimson. (By the way, if you’re debating whether or not to go to Camp Crimson, go.) I have friends I met in class (yes, that’s possible). I have friends from work. I have a bunch of friends from a variety of places, and I honestly think I’m a better person for it. Read more

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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend “Leader Summit”- a leadership workshop that is open for all OU students to attend. I didn’t really know what was in store when I first registered for this event, but now I’m glad I did!

Leader Summit is a 7-hour workshop, led by OU’s amazing LEAD Team, that provides leadership training, keynote speakers, and of course, food! I was amazed at how many students actually came to this event on a Saturday morning. Some of the activities at this workshop include: Break-out sessions with speakers, “Habitudes”- talking about different leadership topics, community service project – making place mats for a retired veterans home, and lunch!

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8 Things I Missed About OU Over Winter Break

8. The South Oval

When you come for your tour, the South Oval probably seems like nothing more than a huge space that takes forever to walk across, but in reality it’s the center of activity at OU. This is because, especially as a freshman, all of your courses will most likely be concentrated in this area of campus. Last semester, 3 out of my 4 classes were somewhere on the Oval. Even if you’re not a freshman, the Oval serves as a rendezvous point for every student at OU, no matter what major or year they might be. CAC and other campus organizations advertise their events here, free stuff is often distributed here, and everyone has to pass through at some point. What I’ve missed most is the liveliness of the Oval and how I always see my friends pass by when I’m walking to class. I miss the way people cross Lindsey before the monotone crosswalk voice says, “Walk sign is on” because they’re running late to class. And I miss the free stuff, but I’ll get my fill soon thanks to CAC’s Winter Welcome Week!

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