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

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