12 Things You Know to Be True While Living in Norman, OK

12 Things You Know to Be True while Living in Norman, OK

Berry road is berried in traffic, and Flood avenue is flooded with it


I live in an apartment in Norman. I just renewed my lease to be living here until 2020, and I have lived here since I began college in 2011. I do not consider myself to be a Normanite because I did not attend any day or week or month of high school in this town. However, I think I have found 10 important things that everyone in Norman either knows or should know.

1. OU is a public campus, which makes it a public park.

Not just students and faculty walk around the campus of the University of Oklahoma. People come to campus to walk their dogs, walk their tiny children that like to scream, rollerblade, skateboard, and occasionally hammock in the trees. People treat the OU campus like a public park. It is there as a community building place for everyone.

2. Norman Music Festival is a Cult experience

Nothing compares to the Norman musical Festival that is held every year. Bands come from all over to perform. People acquire the band schedules beforehand and plan exactly which bands they want to hit. I have never been to this festival, but I hear that it is an epic experience. People have been shot, plastered, and lives have changed from the Norman Music Festival. Norman holds a lot of musical talent, and they even have a group that is solely dedicated to performing their own written music.

3. Berry road is getting buried in traffic, and Flood Avenue is flooded with it

Although every town has those backroads that help people avoid traffic stops, Berry road, and Flood avenue usually do not do the trick. University Avenue is even worse. People wait more than 15 minutes to move approximately 300 feet and turn either left or right on Boyd from University Avenue, which is right next to campus. Porter/Classen Boulevard does help with traffic.

4. Tornado alley does not really exist here

Although everyone tells people to heed the Tornado warnings every year, the OU campus basically never suffers from damage. Most of Norman never suffers from damage. You could probably order a pizza and sit inside and not feel/hear a thing from the wind outside during a Tornado warning. People still hide under the ground, anyway.

5. Norman is not big enough for OU Football games

Traffic is stopped for hours in this small town. It is not meant to house the thousands of people that come flooding in for the football game. They get drunk, tail-gate, and yell at me by saying I would look cuter in cowboy boots instead of whatever shoes I am wearing. Okay, only one person did that last one. OU Football is an experience that is meant for die-hard fans of football.

6. Norman is a place of change

From the startling and extremely traumatic experience of the fraternity, SAE, being put on national television for having racist values to a college woman being in trouble for dressing up as Pocahontas when everyone specifically told her not to because it was also wrong, Norman is a place where people who exhibit any racist/unethical values are put on a platform to be reprimanded and used as an example for everyone of how to handle when values of cultural diversity are attacked. Anyone who attempts to cover up racist or unethical values and then exposes them in a public way is immediately put on public display, and mostly for public shame. This is the town where racist and unethical values are called out and shamed.

7. Norman weather is a high-maintenance diva that has us all on a leash

We wake up one day with it raining, and then suddenly the sun is shining and within a few hours the wind speeds up to 25 mph then it all dies down for a peaceful tornado warning and potential hailstorm. We can have all four seasons in one day. There is no wonder why we also house the National Weather Center that is considered as the best in the nation. This is the place where the weather can be studied because we have it all. All we can do is accommodate to the weather and learn to roll with the punches of hail.

8. All the coffee shops are public forums

We only have 2 Starbucks, Stella Nova, Crimson and Whipped Cream, Michelangelos, Gray Owl, and Second Wind. You can meet everyone and anyone at a coffee shop of their choosing because these are the places where people like to socialize or study. People love having networks in Norman, and those networks are strengthened in coffee shops.

9. It's a college town, which makes it competitive

People are more competitive here than they are in other towns because it is a melting pot of different students and intellectuals socializing with one another. There is bound to be competition because some of the best of the best are all living here at the same time. Many conversations may feature people talking about their resumes.

10. You either need friends who drive or your own car

If you don't live within walking distance of either where you study or where you work, you need either a car or people who will drive you. The public transportation is not Top Tier, so the use of Uber, Lyft, or extra friends is vital. However, for those who do live within an acceptable distance, there are electric scooters and bicycles everywhere.

11. Not everyone follows the rules

Most of the community knows each other. Most of the community is comprised of similar families and other relationships that make a strong network within the population of Norman. Therefore, not everyone follows the rules. People disobey parking laws and traffic laws all the time because they know that they can. It's a small enough community for those types of actions to sometimes be swept under the rug unless some people are willing to call it out. Even people representing authority have abused their power because Norman is small enough for it to be easier to not be called out.

12. Campus Corner on weekend nights resembles an ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia

Some assume that ancient Roman culture is dead, but it is alive and thriving on Campus Corner on Thirsty Thursday. More than 3 bars are open, and people migrate from one to another for hours and hours. Some do not remember what they did the night before. Some do.

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The 10 Most Important Things You Need To Know About Relationships

Without communication, there is no relationship; without respect, there is no love; and without trust, there is no reason to continue.

When you see an old couple holding hands or sharing romantic kisses while sitting on a park bench, doesn't that spark warm feelings of love and happiness in your heart? Doesn't it make you think about how they maintained their relationship for so many years when couples you know have trouble making it past six months? And of course, some people are not made for each other and so their relationship just simply doesn't work. But then there are couples who give up the minute an obstacle comes along, which makes you think their relationship wasn't truly important to them in the first place. What everyone has to understand in order to preserve a strong, happy, and prosperous relationship is that love is colorful, and the same kind of love doesn't exist for everyone. Being in a loving relationship that continues to thrive, I'm going to share some of the few things that I believe should exist between two lovers who want to sustain their prosperous relationship.

1. Communication

Communicating with your partner is essential. I'm sure you've heard it before, but communication is key. If something is bothering you or what your partner wants to do isn't what you're interested in, say something! Neither you nor your partner are mind readers, so how are they supposed to know how you feel if you keep your feelings bottled up inside? Not speaking up and communicating your ideas, feelings, desires, and wants is unhealthy because one day you might blow up and say some things you'll either regret or feel sorry for saying. Communicate to find a middle ground in your relationship because it's unfair for one person to constantly accommodate the other. Relationships cannot grow without communication, so don't be afraid to speak your mind and embrace your thoughts.

2. Trust and Honesty

A relationship cannot continue without trust and honesty. By being honest with your partner, they have no reason to doubt you or not trust you. Trust is vital in a strong and successful relationship because you don't want to think twice about what your partner says or does. Almost anything can be acceptable in a relationship as long as you're honest with your partner. Being in a relationship doesn't mean that everything else in your life has to change. You can still see your friends, go out, and be your own person, but be honest with your partner with whatever you do because by hiding something from them, you might be giving them the perfect reason not to trust you.

3. Forgiveness

No relationship is perfect. That's because none of us are perfect. People make mistakes in everyday life in the same way that people make mistakes in relationships. Of course, there are some things that are unforgivable, such as cheating on your partner (at least in my eyes), because it means that your relationship didn't mean much to you anyway. But, most things can be forgiven. Forgiveness is extremely important and necessary in a relationship because we have to accept and be reminded that we aren't perfect. So if I bailed on you because something important came up or you had a bad day at work and said some things to me that should have been directed at someone else out of anger, it's okay. Sometimes all it takes is a simple I'm sorry and I forgive you.

4. Respect and Appreciation

Without respect and appreciation, there is no love. How can you disrespect the one you love and care for? Exactly: it's hard to find an answer. Respect is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Respect your partner by choosing your words carefully, honoring boundaries, being willing to compromise, showing consideration, and protecting your partner. Make sure you're being respected by knowing your worth, acting honorably, setting and upholding boundaries, being a man or woman of your word, and showing respect for yourself. Appreciate your partner for who they are, the things they do for you, the support they give you, and the growth that they contribute in building your own identity.

5. Emotional Support

Real men don't cry is a load of bullshit. I have been blessed to be surrounded by a few strong and courageous men in my life who I've seen shed a tear or cry when losing a loved one or simply out of pure happiness. We all have emotions and though we try to hold them in check, those emotions sometimes boil over. In relationships, it's important to show emotional support for your partner, regardless if they are a man or a woman. So when your partner is going through a tough time or is struggling for whatever the reason might be, stray away from the pathetic Be A Man go-to phrase and be their shoulder to lean on. If your partner knows that you're emotionally there for them, they might have an easier time opening up to you in the future.

6. Humor

Sharing laughs and smiles with the one you love is extremely important. After all, being in a relationship is sharing your life with someone you care for, cherish, and have fun with. Being able to joke around and laugh with one another is extremely healthy for your well-being and the relationship. It's not just about fun and games, but it's also no fun to be so serious and stern about everything. Keep your relationship alive with some humor, adventure, and daily laughs to see the smile of your loved one!

7. The Magic of Small Things

The small things in life are actually not that small. There are times where the smallest deed can make someone the happiest and that's usually because the small things are the most thoughtful ones. Preparing breakfast when your partner is too tired or surprising them with an iced caramel latte on their way home from work can be enough to make their day. The small things really do count and they are remembered more than you might think. There's something magical in knowing that your partner feels appreciated and happy that they have the privilege of calling you mine. And the small things can do just that.

8. Sharing Interests

Having things in common with the one you love and sharing interests with your partner is perfect because neither one of you need to accommodate the other! There will be days where both you and your partner will not want to do the same things and a middle ground will have to be met, but sharing interests makes it easier when looking for fun things to do and finding things to talk about! Having a few similar interests like bike riding or playing football allows you and your partner to have your "thing," the thing that brings you two together. Liking similar things is also a perfect conversation starter, but also talking about your dislikes and things that you don't agree on can spark an intense and even more enticing conversation!

9. Celebrate Achievements

The happiness you feel because of your own achievements should be the same feeling you get when your partner accomplishes something they've been striving for, no matter how little it may be. Whether it be winning the Noble Peace Prize, having a 4.0 GPA, or hitting a new record at the gym, no achievement should go unnoticed. Being proud of your partner's achievements can strengthen your relationship and bring the both of you closer together.

10. Love and Affection

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life. This might strike you at first, but what's the point of being successful, rich, happy or really anything else if you have nobody to share it with? Love is one of life's greatest gifts. It brings people together and allows them to build a life that some can only dream of. But sometimes love is not enough to maintain a prosperous and healthy relationship. That's because relationships aren't easy, people are so different from one another, and relationships take much effort and patience. But in the end, if you don't have love in a relationship, you really don't have anything. Take the time to show your partner some affection, to make alone time a priority. The kisses, hugs, and even sex is something that in the end does make a relationship healthy. But without love, all of that means nothing.

Every relationship struggles, but only strong relationships get through it. Take the time to focus on these ten things that are important in keeping the love alive and feelings between you and your partner strong. And most importantly, remember that no one falls in love by choice; it's by chance, and no one falls out of love by chance--it's by choice.

Cover Image Credit: Marika Cygert

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.


For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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