I’ll admit bias right off the bat – our family loves TU! We first came for Junior Visit Day on Spring Break 2013. Tulsa was stop #6 on a college-of-the-day road trip that started in Chicago. The car felt smaller each day, probably because it was filling up with brochures. But despite fatigue and claustrophobia, we were immediately revived by the beauty of the TU campus. Of course, we hadn’t spent endless hours trapped in a car just to see a lovely campus. We arrived knowing little about TU, but our son’s high school counselor had said we might be surprised by what it has to offer. So there we were. And if we were looking for reasons NOT to like TU, we never found them. We were amazed by the strong academics, and also by the many ways in which undergrads can participate and have an impact – opportunities we hadn’t seen on other tours. Continue reading
Yesterday I met a prospective student who was visiting TU’s campus all the way from the island of Antigua and Barbuda. Careisha is in her final year of the IB Diploma Program at the Island Academy International School. She gave a presentation this summer at the International Baccalaureate Americas Annual Regional Conference, where she spoke about her journey from a community riddled with drugs and violence to being recommended to attend the Island Academy through Antigua’s Prime Minister.
Every year, I encounter students who awe and inspire me with their strength and perseverance students who are teenagers but have already been through more struggle and heartbreak in their lives than many of us will ever see. Students who pursue higher education, not because it is the norm or the expectation, but because it is a necessity if they are to break free from the crippling cycles that surround them.
Careisha is one of these students. I’m not going to tell you the details of her story, because it isn’t mine to tell. But I am going to thank her for visiting The University of Tulsa. She brightened up our Thursday afternoon.
Today is Careisha’s 18th birthday. It is also a holiday in Antigua, National Heroes Day. Happy Birthday, Careisha! And Happy National Heroes Day to someone who is on her way to being a hero herself.
What is my # 1 piece of advice for prospective students? I’ve said it before…VISIT CAMPUS!
Get a campus tour from real-life students. Meet with faculty members. Sit in on classes. Have a conversation with your admission counselor. Eat in the cafeteria. Attend a sporting event. Visit for a second time, during a different season or with a different family member. You learn something with each campus visit.
Have you visited all of the colleges you applied to? Use your winter break to plan some trips for the spring semester- whether it’s across the country or only across town. Even if it’s cold outside.