The goals we set at the beginning of the Sooner Discovery program related a lot to the students’ academic success with concurrent enrollment. But we also wanted to set social goals, worrying that our students were going to be cooped in their rooms studying every second of the day. Of course they studied, but we were excited to see that they also searched themselves for social opportunities as well. I think if you were to talk to any of the students, the relationships they were able to form here is what kept them around and excited about new situations.
At our final reflection period, even the quietest student said one of her favorite parts of the program was knowing that when she came to OU next year she would already have 26 friends. At the moment I kind of looked around at the other guides thinking, “we did it!” I wanted these students to experience the same type of friendships I have been lucky enough to find at OU. The people I have found at OU have made my experience what it is. I think students were able to find relationships, and I am thankful that I was able to help facilitate some of it, along with 13 other amazing guides.
One of my favorite parts about being a guide was watching the friendships form over the weeks. I think it was the second week of the program where I noticed the dynamic of the group change. People had found their friend groups, but they were also gelling really well all together. Although academic success was our first priority, forming friendships was a close second. After a month long program, hearing the students say they didn’t want to leave only assured me of how these friendships impacted them. When they arrive at the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2016, they will know how to make friends, and they will want to do just that. There is so much more to OU and Sooner Discovery beyond the books. These new friendships are only the beginning!
Early Childhood Education, 2017