When I think of the word college, the next thing that pops into my mind is money.  Tuition, housing, and other basic expenses add up quickly. If an individual struggles financially, they could be compared to a broke college student. It is just how the world envisions college- a money pit. I always knew growing up that college would be a large investment, and probably my most expensive investment in life. Of course earning a higher degree of education is worth every penny, but it is hard to come up with the kind of money one needs to pay for college.

I am an Energy Management major at the University of Oklahoma. This major and the field it leads to perfectly fits my talkative and outgoing personality. The Energy Management Student Association (EMSA) is full of wonderful people I have learned from in many ways. EMSA has also given me more opportunities than I could dream of as a student- one of those opportunities being scholarship interviews. Because of my partition in the program, I was given the opportunity to speak in front of 50+ individuals from the Oil & Gas field that wanted to give away money to deserving students. Luckily, the group saw something in my story- I was awarded several scholarships from different companies. The total was astounding and really helped ease my mind of fiscal responsibilities.

I had no clue what doors would open for me the day I decided to major in Energy Management. It was one of the best decisions I have made to date because of the amazing things the program has helped me accomplish with their support. I am a proud Sooner and a proud EMSA member. These scholarships have helped me a great deal considering I am an out-of-state student and This is just a simple example of ways that the University of Oklahoma can help students to gain the skills and education regardless of their fiscal struggles. There are many scholarships that are offered through specific colleges, degrees and programs whether it is through your local community or through the University.

Peyton Brougher

Class of 2018

Energy Management/ Finance

Houston, TX

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Growing up in the Balkans at the time and place where I did shaped me in a different way that outsiders sometimes struggle to understand. I was always very attached to my family, my friends, my identity and the things that are valued in my culture. In general, I always loved being home and when I took the decision to come to OU, I had was nervous. I knew I was going to struggle being away from home. When I arrived, I had to get used to different types of food, people, culture and most importantly, being far from my family and friends.

At first I thought that everyone would notice my accent and would treat me differently because of it. I struggled with the idea of being called out in class or making mistakes when speaking. I was afraid of having people think that I do not belong here. Even before coming to OU, I decided to live on the international floor in the residence halls my Freshman year and I am glad I did. I was able to meet people from around the world who were on the same boat as I was, and made the transition to getting used to a place like this one a lot easier. Most importantly, I felt welcomed in Norman. The hospitality of people in Oklahoma is far beyond what I could have imagined. People are always willing to offer a warm smile when walking past them on the street. They are there for you if you need help and are always polite. I was also very glad to find out that they were interested in my culture rather than alienating me because of it.

As time passed, the more and more I fell in love with the University. I love OU for all different opportunities that are offered, whether it is different classes, clubs or even go study abroad opportunities.  Additionally, the professors are very helpful and attentive if you are struggling in their class. The concept of professors having office hours is one of the things I appreciate the most about the course culture here. The staff is polite and genuinely wanting to help you be successful.

I could have never imagined to feel at home other than where I grew up, but OU proved me wrong. One of the biggest OU traditions is attending a football game. Everyone is united and focused when watching it, where we all feel like a part of one big Sooner family. This is one the special experiences with a special meaning, and it would be difficult to find it somewhere else. I am thankful for all of the experiences and opportunities I encountered here, so I just want to say thank you to everyone for being part of my life & OU journey.


Magdalena Gea Vidovic

Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina


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Never in a million years would I have thought I was going to be a 5th year Senior. I thought that I was going to be a graduate of the Class of 2015 but boy, was I wrong. Halfway through my Junior year, I took a Supply Chain Management class just for fun and ended up falling in love with the course work. This resulted in adding a double major to my existing Energy Management degree and effectively pushing back my graduation date one more year. I never expected to be a 5th year, but I ended up becoming one anyway.

Well halfway through my 5th year, I can safely say that this has probably been one of the best years of my life. While last year, I had to participate with all my friends who were participating with their “lasts” on campus. I kept in mind that “Hey! I actually have one more of these.” Fast-forward to my 5th year and I get to participate in all the things with that my friends went through last year with some experience under my belt. My “Last First Day of Class”, my “Last First Football game”, everything has been such a surreal experience.

I wanted to make my 5th year the year that I did everything that I wanted to do, but haven’t gotten the chance to do. I became President of an organization, I joined new organizations, made more friends, networked with more faculty and made my experience during this 5th year the best that it could be and its only a quarter of the way through! I also made my 5th year, the year of spontaneity. A few weeks back, my friends and I decided to head down to enemy territory and visit The Austin City Limits Music Festival and I can safely say that was probably the best weekend of my life with some of my closest friends (I cried during Drake). I also just came back from a fun (but slightly depressing) OU/TX weekend and made some more memories as well.

Future Sooner,  if you’re weary about taking that extra Fifth year, do not worry. This point in college, you’ve already made your friend groups, already found your faculty mentors, and you pretty much already get the gist of how campus works. You get to have that “one more chance” in college and believe me, I am taking advantage it right now. OU has been place that I have grown into the man I have become today and getting that one more shot at college is yet another exciting year to grow as an individual. If you have to, take that extra year because “With 5th year, comes wisdom.”


Bunty Patel

Energy Management/Supply Chain

Class of 201(6)

Wilburton, Oklahoma

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Months before you graduate from high school, this less than loved question emerges, “What is your major?”  For me, I felt unqualified to answer this. I had only left the country once and been to about 5 states. How in the world was I supposed to choose my life’s occupation?

Did you know that the average college student changes their major six times. SIX TIMES. That is not an OU average, that is a U.S average and for some incoming college students, that can be scary. For me, I was highly involved with a business marketing organization in high school so naturally I believed that this was going to be my life’s calling. It was familiar, it was comfortable and thus it was for me. Walking into my first business prerequisite course though I realized that maybe what I thought business was was not for me. It took a 27 on an exam (this means I failed the class). This also means that chocolate chip pancakes at Cate Restaurants became my diet to equip freshman Breanna to change her major.

I was crushed.

I felt as if my life’s dreams and plans had been torn a part I had no idea what I would do. What I did believe though was that if I did not enjoy my college classes that I may not enjoy my career. Luckily though, I was introduced to OU’s Major Exploration.

Major Exploration gave me the opportunity to explore what other majors were offered at OU. OU has over 150 degree programs. Coming to college I was aware of approximately five of them. While comforting myself with chocolate chip pancakes, I sat under a tree crying. With every delicious bite of pancakes I answered an question on the Major Exploration survey.  After I finished the survey, I set up an appointment with a Major Exploration Coach. This is when I met Jaime, and Jaime gave me confidence. Jaime walked me through my strengths and weaknesses. She went over my results and showed me what my top ten job compatibilities were.

Now, I do not believe in living your life based off online surveys; unless buzzfeed counts. This survey was able to help me narrow down my interests and ideas for potential majors. Through Major Exploration, I was able to open my eyes to the endless possibilities when it came to other majors and departments. This is how I found Public Relations. PR has developed into everything I wanted out of business marketing including classes that I genuinely enjoyed.

I highly encourage you, if you are a current college student or a prospective one, to go to Major Exploration. EXPLORE your major, EXPLORE your university, EXPLORE the resources that are offered. I encourage you to find something you enjoy because you never know; your major could be here and you just might not know it.

Breanna Bober

Edmond, OK

Public Relations/ Women’s & Gender Studies

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As a black student coming to the University of Oklahoma, finding my place and fitting in was never on my mind. I grew up in a really diverse suburban neighborhood, with friends of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. There was never a question of ethnic diversity where I was. As I entered into my college career at the University of Oklahoma, I started to realize that while there was a presence of various ethnic backgrounds, it was still smaller than what I was used to. It was a bit of a culture shock, and I kind of wondered how I was going to get involved, or where I was going to find my place.

I originally started my journey at OU by trying to get involved with the Black Student Association. I felt like that was going to be my home and safe ground. I started to meet other students of other ethnic identities, who encouraged me to come to other meetings. During my first semester, I ended up applying for Campus Activities Council’s Howdy Week. I applied to be secretary, and I received it. I was slowly starting to realize that ethnic diversity is not directly related to openness. Although this organization was predominantly ran by one race, I realized that that should not stop me from putting myself out there, and trying to find new places for myself. I grew to love Campus Activities Council, which then led me to join some other organizations on campus. I grew the confidence to know that I could join any organization, despite the fact that I might be in a room dominated by one group of people. Because I put myself out there, I’ve now gotten the chance to share different perspectives to different organizations and I’ve gotten to help encourage different students to apply.

No university is perfect; no university has the “right” number of anything. You might be one of the few, but it is what you do and how you do it and what you learn about yourself and community that matters. It is easy to be afraid, and to be hesitant to join a group where you are the only _____, but you have a lot to offer to that group. You have an unheard perspective and voice.

The University of Oklahoma has many opportunities to offer to every student, but if you don’t put yourself out there, then you can never get to them. Be the change.

Kennedie Akinwande

Dallas, TX

Psychology/Human Relations

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Boomer Blog


It was the last night of recruitment and I had been standing outside of Jim Thorpe for hours with one of my PNMs. She was completely torn between two amazing chapters. I could see the stress and confusion in her teary eyes that are usually so bright. Luckily, I was prepared for this. I pulled a quarter out of my fanny pack.

“Alright, have you picked a chapter to be heads?” I asked. She nodded.

“Have you picked a chapter for tails?” She nodded.

“Okay, I’m going to flip the coin on three. One. Two. Three.” I stated.

I launch the coin in the air.

There is no way to describe how bizarre but amazing Recruitment is. There are girls clapping and screaming door songs at you. There are multiple girls that want to talk to you and have genuine conversations with you in a very short period of time. Then you have to continue this routine at every chapter, everyday. Your voice will start to go and your feet will start to ache. And by the end of the week you are expected to know which chapter is the best for you? For some girls, this is the first time they’ve been away from home and had to make major decisions for themselves. It is a very overwhelming experience. As a Rho Gamma, my job description was to mentor the girls going through recruitment for the week. We stayed in the dorms with them and got to build community with them. In the mornings, we gave them their schedules and at night, we had meetings to discuss their day. (There was definitely pizza involved.) We cheered with them when they were happy and held them when they were sad.

During sorority recruitment there are three viewpoints: the Potential New Members (PNMs), the sorority women doing the recruiting, and the Recruitment Guides (Rho Gammas). I have been fortunate enough to see the recruitment process from all three. From the PNM’s viewpoint, everything is new and you feel as if you are the star of the show. You are whisked into the fairytale land of sororities. From the recruiter’s viewpoint, you have the pressure of welcoming someone into your home and hoping that they love it as much as you do. When they say that the girl rushing you is more nervous than you are, they’re right!

For all of those incoming PNMs reading this, there are a couple of things I want you to take away from what I have learned from my Rho Gamma viewpoint:

[if !supportLists]1  [endif]It’s not the end of the world!!!!!

I have seen girls go absolutely bonkers over Recruitment Week. Remember that it is only ONE week of your entire college experience! There are so many other aspects of college that are way more important, like your grades!! Definitely don’t forget about those!!!

[if !supportLists]2  [endif]Do NOT listen to stereotypes

OU is lucky to have 11 absolutely amazing chapters on our campus. Seriously. They all rock. Our campus is diverse and so is each chapter. There is a group for everyone in each house, but it is your job in recruitment to find the chapter where you feel like you belong the most.

[if !supportLists]3  [endif]Trust the system

As crazy as it is, you end up where you are supposed to be. Recruitment week is a roller coaster. Even if recruitment doesn’t go as you expected, give it a couple weeks and get to know the girls in your pledge class and I promise it will all fall into place.

The viewpoint from the Rho Gamma is completely different from the PNMs or the recruiter’s perspective. We are not affiliated with our chapter in any way. We are an unbiased opinion that is essentially there to guide the PNMs through an overwhelming week.

“Don’t pick up the coin! I know which one I want! I know!” I said.

She burst into tears of relief and fell into my arms. I could feel the stress leave her body and the confusion that was once behind her eyes completely leave. Her eyes brightened as all her emotions turned into excitement. She ran into Jim Thorpe to write down her final decision. Of course I knew she had made a decision, but she didn’t realize it until that quarter was in the air. The reason I was chosen to be a Rho Gamma was because some PNM out there was going to need me. Ask any Rho Gamma about her moment, the moment that she knew that she was the only person in the world that could help that PNM. This was my moment. The good ol’ coin trick always works. The Panhellenic system at OU is about community and friendship; it was so special to begin building friendships and sharing a community with incoming freshman. I will cherish the fact that I was not only a mentor for that week of Recruitment, but also for the rest of their college career. I loved watched my girls grow into strong, valued and loved women by their chapters. Whether it’s a flip of a coin or whichever trick you prefer, it’s an experience worth taking a chance for.

Lara Olfers

Advertising / Junior

Flower Mound, TX

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As a freshman, I came to OU not knowing anyone. Going to college was the first time I would be away from my family. To say I was nervous was an understatement. Upon my arrival to the university I was warmly welcomed by a plethora of campus organizations during the first weeks of the college career. The Black Student Association was one of those organizations that greeted me with a warm welcome. At this time I had no idea how much of an impact this organization would have on me.

As my collegiate career began, I found myself drawn to programs and events the Black Student Association put on. I quickly sought the opportunity to get involved and took on a position as the Secretary for the Freshman Action Team, umbrella organization of the BSA. After taking on this position, not only did I find my niche on campus, but I also found a family within the organization.

Now serving as the president of the Black Student Association as a senior, I look back and can confidently say that taking part in the BSA was one of the best decisions I made for my collegiate career. Throughout the years within BSA, I have gained essential leadership skills, soft skills, life long friendships, and larger networking opportunities. On the other end of the spectrum, my involvement with the BSA has allowed me to also give back to the OU community, as well as the community at large. Because of my experience as a first year student and the impact the organization had on shaping my collegiate experience, I make it a point every year to mentor at least four younger students. I have learned simple encounters can change the outcome of one’s entire experience, just as it did mine. When coming to campus, it is importance to put yourself out there. While trying out new clubs and organizations you could eventually find a home for the next four years. That is something you do not want to miss out on!


Naome Kadira

Major: Accounting – Senior 2016

Hometown: Garland, TX

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Sooner Scandals has been a part of OU’s history for 75+ years. Why is it called Scandals? Well, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s worth a Google search if you’re feeling it. Scandals is another way that OU students can showcase their amazing talents through a mini-musical which includes singing and dancing. A great aspect of this event is that it occurs on Mom’s Weekend. What better way to spend Mom’s Weekend than quality time with mom while watching college kids sing and dance their hearts out? If you can answer that question I will personally buy you Starbucks.

Being a part of Scandals is a crazy and chaotic experience, but it’s also very rewarding. I have been a part of the cast for one of the acts in the past, but this year my role is more behind the scenes as I am serving on Sooner Scandals Exec for the 2016 show. Seeing how everything comes together from getting sponsorship (which is what I’m on) to getting the judge panel organized is like seeing how Swiss cheese gets the holes in it. Nobody really thinks about it how it happens, but we really like the end result. Being on exec has already made me appreciate all the hard work and dedication that goes into it all, even though we are only in the early stages.

Mom’s Weekend 2016 is in April and I hope you know what your plans are and I hope they include seeing one of the Sooner Scandals performances! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry at the heartfelt storylines, and you’ll definitely have the songs stuck in your head for at least a week or two. I hope this small glimpse into the world of Sooner Scandals has given you readers a taste of the awestricken wonder that is Scandals, and even better, I hope to see you at the show! Boomer Sooner!

Tyler Block

Human Relations / Senior

Shawnee, OK

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With great power comes great responsibility. These words, immortalized to our generation by Spider-man’s uncle, come alive during the college era of everyone’s life. College is a time of growing up, learning about yourself, and becoming who you were meant to be. College is one of the few times in life where you have nearly unimaginable freedom coupled with heavy amounts of responsibility.

Taking care of what you need taken care of is completely up to you in college. You’ve moved out of your parents’ house and into a residence hall with hundreds of other student that are experiencing nearly the exact same thing you are.  These fellow students, while some may become your best friends, will not help you manage everything that goes on in your life like your mom or dad did in high school. It is your duty to show up to meetings, classes, and get your homework and assignments done.  I learned this lesson the hard way and very quickly.  At the very beginning of my freshman year I had a meeting that I was required to attend for one of my major scholarships I had received. I didn’t show up.  Not only did I not show up, I didn’t even give a reason why I didn’t show up. This put my scholarship in jeopardy and my future at OU on the line.  After multiple apologies and a couple extra meetings, everything turned out okay, but it was still a major fright nonetheless.  Getting organized and being responsible are lessons that I have learned and have truly helped me along the way.

While all of this responsibility may seem rather daunting, it can totally be handled, and totally worth it when it comes to the freedom college students have. 2am trips to Whataburger for the famed Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, midnight movie parties, and spontaneous weekend trips have become staples in my routine in college. There are few things more enjoyable to me than spending time with friends and having fun. These experiences with new students you meet help build bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime.  The freedom that comes with college is undeniably incredible.

College is a time in your life that will be like no other. The students at OU are open, accepting, encouraging, and have become my family. The opportunities at OU are second to none and truly make for an unforgettable time.  Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, live life, and take responsibility for everything that will be asked of you.  Don’t be afraid to grow, for you will love the person you come to be.


Andy Stewart

Letters ’16

Duncan, OK

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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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