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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“You’re from Nevada?! Wow! So….why’d ya come to OU?”

“Wait, you’ve never been to Braum’s?”

“Wait. Reno? Like, Reno 911?!”

My responses have become automatic, engrained in my brain from hundreds of conversations that have all begun the same way. Automatic, perhaps, but no less true.

“Yeah, I’m from Reno, Nevada. I love the spirit, pride, and community of the university—it’s so unique!”

“No, I’ve never been to Braum’s. Never even heard of it. What should I get?”

“Sorry, Reno is really nothing like Reno 911. We don’t have palm trees. Or cops in short shorts. Usually.”

I applied to fourteen schools before making my decision. Fourteen. That’s a clear death wish, y’all. The University of Oklahoma’s application is the first I started and the last I finished. Because I was not going to Oklahoma. Sure, it had everything I wanted, from the size of the university to the excellent academic reputation and incredible sports programs, but…it’s Oklahoma. I’m from Nevada. Who goes to Oklahoma? No one, that’s who. Except for me, apparently. And Jake Dalton. I think more people know him than they do me, though—being an Olympian has that effect. My friends back home didn’t get it. They pointed to our local university’s spirit, pride, and sense of community—why was I looking for anything else? But it was a feeling I couldn’t explain. A sense of being home, a sense of feeling as if I was in the right place at the right time. I finally just let the football intro video from 2011 do the talking for me.

I pledge allegiance to the Crimson and Cream. If that opening line doesn’t send chills down your spine, nothing will. It’s a promise, a declaration that I will work to fulfill the rest of my life. I will honor this university, and take part in the incredible traditions established over generations of Sooners. I will to be part of a family so much larger than my own, and celebrate my family’s victories and mourn my family’s losses with thousands of others for the rest of my life. I will be that crazy alum, surrounded by friends and family gathered around a television screen, screaming “Boomer Sooner” until I simply can’t gather the strength to give it justice—and even then, I’ll still be hanging out with my right index finger up in the air pointing to victory.

There’s only one. There’s only one university as welcoming and encouraging as this, there’s only one shot at the epitome of a college experience in a lifetime. There’s only one Oklahoma, but thousands of paths that one may take once here. One school, one choice, thousands of opportunities waiting to be seized.

See you next fall.

Kendall Burchard
Reno, Nevada
Class of 2016
Political Science and Psychology

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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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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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Every Spring, over 5,000 students disperse across the Norman-OKC metro to serve our community and make an immediate and widespread difference. This day of community service at OU is called the Big Event, and this year marked the 13th OU Big Event!

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1. Fountain Hopping

  • Although it would be interesting to just visit all of the campus fountains, by fountain hopping, I mean literally hopping INTO the fountain, and several of them! OU has fountains by the dorms, next to the Union, behind the admin building (one was even built especially as a drinking fountain for canine visitors), and even on top of buildings. Everyone should visit each fountain at least once while they’re at OU and learn about what makes each one unique. (Example? My friends and I learned that the Class of ’35 fountain is heated.)

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Some thoughts from a current student about the OU family and tradition

Finding a single yearbook page to represent the tradition of the University of Oklahoma is an intimidating task. Sitting in the floor of the Jacobson Hall Presentation Room, I delved into decades of historic picture after picture of the University, hoping to find something triumphant that stood out as the epitome of tradition. However, what I was intently searching for in a picture, I discovered in the heartfelt words of J.T. Conway, a 1906 student, in the Greeting of the 1905 yearbook which, at the time, was called “The Mistletoe”:  “Its aim is to picture life in the University as it is, to present its past in a general way and, if possible, to suggest what may be expected from it in the future. This modest volume hopes to find a warm spot in the heart of every true lover of the University.”  His hopes became a reality as the pictures and stories of The Mistletoe warmed my heart, making me feel even more connected to this extraordinary University. His hopeful words express a very unique and special tradition of our University – the tradition of family.

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It’s currently 3:33 in the morning and it is so sad that I think it is early. Here lately my life at OU has consisted of late night studying for finals… yes it’s crunch time! I have started to realize that, maybe it’s because I’m in my first semester, but I’m not really sure how to prepare at this point. I’ve been attending my classes, meeting my professors during office hours, and re-reading over my notes. Finals are difficult to describe. I feel prepared, yet I don’t! It’s an exciting feeling knowing the semester is almost over, yet frightening to think that my first college finals are here! I feel that the only thing getting me by at this point is knowing I get to go home in about a week, and start a fresh semester after that! I could not be more excited for next semester. I’ve learned so much this semester, both academically and about myself. This semester has been filled with wonderful things happening around campus… Have you heard about them?!  Read more

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If I’m not in my dorm room, not at a meeting, or not in class, chances are you’ll find me in the student union. Specifically, you’ll find me nestled inside one of the many booths in the Clarke-Anderson Room, better known as the Schooner Room. I come here for study breaks in between classes, for lunch and dinner at the food court nearby, for late night cram sessions, and sometimes just to sit and relax. (Would anyone care to take a wild guess as to where I’m sitting while I write this blog?)

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Hello again, readers! You may have watched the OU/TX game a few weeks ago (55-17, Boomer Sooner!), but there’s definitely a whole lot more that goes on around campus that week.

OU/TX is not just any old game here at OU; it’s a time where thousands of OU fans, whether alums, current and prospective students, faculty, or just avid views, come together to celebrate our school spirit. And it’s not just for people who are huge fans of football! At OU, everyone get rallied full of school spirit during OU/TX week! You’ll hear random people shouting “Boomer!” and always a “Sooner!” in reply. And literally everyone will be talking about who’s going to Dallas that weekend and how much we’re going to beat them by.  It’s a great way to show the essence of school spirit throughout OU.

Even if you don’t get tickets to the game, you should still go down to Dallas! It’s only a three hour drive from Norman and there’s plenty of things to do there. You can even go to the Texas State Fair (which is huge, by the way) the day of the game and see the arena! You can also relax with all the rides and delicious fair food. It’s a great weekend to relax, hang out with friends, and exude school pride!

Boomer Sooner!

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