As school begins, classes start picking up: homework becomes more challenging and the first round of tests has begun. However, not all classes have the same kind of homework or the same quality of paper tests– in fact, in some classes, the test aren’t even on paper! My favorite- and most exciting- class this semester is……. ballroom dancing! Yep, you heard me: a whole class dedicated to learning how to dance with a partner at a ball, or other occasion. Our first form of dance to learn was Argentine Tango. Below, you can view a clip of me in the dance class.
Okay, fine, I look nothing like that. But it’s been a ton of fun for someone who has never taken any form of dance before to get to learn in such a relaxed environment with a phenomenal teacher. As we continue the semester, we’re planning to learn to Salsa, do the Charleston, Swing Dance and lots more! What a fun class to take completely outside of my major!
At TU there are, well, pretty close to a million different volunteering opportunities. So, whether you are inspired by helping out with little kids through Big Brother Big Sister, caring for animals during TU Service Day, or building a house for someone in need through Habitat for Humanity, there is something (or somethings!) for everyone. Last weekend, I decided to go help out with Habitat for Humanity and actually got to build a roof on a house! That someone’s actually going to live under! It was awesome! The people in charge were great about teaching us how to use the equipment, not just doing everything for us. That said, I carried a tool belt and used a nail gun, sawed a board, measured beams, and nailed plywood. I was hot, I was sweaty, and I had the time of my life getting to build a house with friends from TU.
Some students helping out with Habitat for Humanity
One cool feature of TU is its location: Oklahoma! While OK is by far not the largest or most populated state, it does have a lot of great qualities. One that we as students really enjoy is the weather! This week is has got up the 85 degrees! So, what can one do in such a warm environment? I’m glad you asked! Posted below is a photo and one of my friends and me playing in one of the fountains on campus. Juvenile? I think not! Fun?? I THINK SO!
Every spring, the Student Association (SA) puts on an event called service day. Students sign up to be a part of a group with any organization they are involved in, such as a sorority or fraternity, a campus ministry, or an academic club. (I signed up with Society of Women Engineers.) All the groups are divided up and put on buses to different organizations around town. I had friends who went to food banks or animal shelters. I got to go to a church and help with things there. A bunch of us girls were set to organize and clean out a storage room. Being awesome and strong, we carried like six TV’s, a couch, different cabinetry, and lots of sound equipment. While this may not sound like the most enjoyable way in the world to spend a Saturday, it is actually a ton of fun! A lot of the campus is involved in the different service projects and we all have a blast together. Plus we get fed breakfast and lunch and get a free hoodie and t-shirt! Sick!
There are a million things different about living in compared to living at home. Obviously, your parents are not in your dorm room and you have a roommate. Also, it is a lot closer quarters with the students around you. You really begin to feel like family! However, one thing you do NOT have to miss while living in the dorms (at least at TU!) is the availibility of a kitchen. Although you do not have your own personal kitchen, there is a full sized kitchen down in the basement that is availilble for the students to use. Cooking supplies can be checked out from the front desk for free. All you have to do is buy things to cook! Oh, and invite all the friends over to share.
This weekend, I decided I wanted to make baked potatoes. However, after going to the store, buying a bag of NINETEEN potatoes, and realizing that there is no way I could eat NINETEEN potatoes, I decided to make a dinner party out of it. So me and a friend invited lots of friends over and had quite the feast, finishing up with a wonderful chocolate pie creation and a game of dominos (also availible for free check out at the front desk). Unfortunately, I did not remember to snap a photo of our event. But we had a ton of fun!
At TU, there are about a bazillion (or so it seems) clubs that one can be involved with on campus. But there are also a lot of off campus volunteer opportunities. One that I am involved with is Big Brother, Big Sister. This is an organization geared toward mentoring and helping out young students. TU partners with an elementary school about two blocks from campus called Kendall-Whittier. (Fun fact, it is actually the largest elementary school in Oklahoma! Way cool!) Each Big Brother or Sister is assigned a Little Brother or Sister and gets to meet with them for an hour a week and just spend time with them. My Little Sister and I have done things from reading books together to, well, painting pictures of the cat in the hat! The time commitment is small, the elementary school is easily within walking distance, and the program is definitely worth it!
As a few of you have probably learned, TU has a decent-sized and passable engineering college…. Okay, so TU is pretty well known for its intense and competitive College of Engineering and Natural Sciences! And as a student studying in this discipline, I get to see all the in’s and out’s of the classes, professors and buildings. If you visit TU (especially if you are wanting to do anything that is remotely close to engineering), you will probably be shown the two newest additions to the campus: Stephenson Hall and Rayzor Hall. Let me give you some information on both.
First is my home: Stephenson Hall! Alright, so maybe it’s not my home yet. But it will be starting the fall semester. The building is actually scheduled to be open this summer. So just in time for any of you high school seniors! This building will be the home of Mechanical and Petroleum Engineering.
Stephenson Hall: Under Construction!
Next is the beautiful Rayzor Hall. This building opened toward the end of last semester, meaning that I am a part of the first group of students to have classes there. Rayzor is now home to the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. It’s so fancy!
The Newly Opened Rayzor Hall
This next photo is to show you a more inside view of Rayzor. Look how much people love studying here!
Studying for Computer Science
So as you can see, TU loves to give its students the best of the best when it comes to resources to succeed.
Alright, first semester down. I’ve heard people say that the first semester is the hardest. And then I’ve heard others say that it just keeps getting harder as you go. So! My opinion so far? I love college!
Wrap up of last semester: I really enjoyed my first semester at TU. One thing that I think helped me enjoy it so much and really feel like Tulsa is home was my involvement in different activities. Whether academic, social, or community-oriented, there are tons of things to get involved in, whatever your interests and major.
Plan for semester two: Well, seeing as I had very few regrets in semester one, my plan is to do about the same things that I did last semester: study lots, invest in the community, try new things, and HAVE FUN!
With a successful first semester behind me and an equally promising second semester in front, I would like to leave you with a very cliche saying: Time flies when you’re having fun. Although I’ve been at TU for a whole semester, I still feel like I just got here. I can’t believe that I’ve completed my entire first semester! So, whether you’re in high school or anywhere else, enjoy where you are. College will come soon enough, graduation, job, life. Live where you are, enjoy everything you can.
Ahh, being off of school: no more homework, no more tests, no more Tulsa. As a reminder, I am from a little town in Southeastern Oklahoma about three hours away form Tulsa called Durant. I’ve always wondered how different it would be to go home from college. I have been fairly involved in clubs and things at TU and as a result did not go home much this semester. Christmas break is my first time to be home in a while and definitely the first time to be home for so long (we get a whole month off of school!). Obviously going home is completely different for different people with different families, but let me share some of the differences that I have experienced from this going back to my family.
First, and possibly the most obvious, is the presence of rules. However, my parents and I get along pretty well and we had a talk about curfew and other such rules before it became a problem. So while I did still have a curfew and got to run all the errands EVER, these were not really a problem for me. But for sure different from college!
Another thing that is pleasantly different is the FOOD! While the food at college isn’t the worst ever…. =/ it will never compare to the delicious food cooked by your own mom.
Lastly is just getting to be around your family. I’ve missed them a lot and it has been great to spend time with them over this break. However, I do miss my campus and friends at TU! But the break’ll be over soon and return to the world of college we will.
Here we are, slogging through our last finals. Spending long nights and days pouring over book after book, problem after problem, review after review, never sleeping, never resting. The life of college finals.
Okay, so maybe that’s true for SOME college students (though I haven’t met many!), but somehow I got very lucky! This first semester, I only had one final and it was last week! So, although I did study a significant amount for that final, my exam schedule was not bad at all. And for most students, even the older ones, it wasn’t too bad. While each student is enrolled in five or so classes, many of the classes don’t even have finals or have an optional final, something you take if your grade is on the borderline.
So, while I’m sure that finals get harder as you go, I’m pleased to say that I’ve survived this semester with little sleep, a fair amount of homework, and a TON of great memories.