Dear soon-to-be freshman,
I am so happy you chose OSU as your home for the next four years. As a senior, I am very jealous that you get to begin your journey just as I am finishing it. If used to its full potential, OSU will change your life in every imaginable way possible. Buckle up because here are some tips I can give you.
The best and worst dorms
Oklahoma State offers communities of people to live with called Living Learning Communities. Basically, there is a building that caters to the interest of any freshman. Living in these buildings allows students to live with the people they will take classes with, which provides an opportunity to strengthen friendships while also having someone who could give you notes for when you sleep in too late. I lived in the Media House, which was in the Villages. Not only did the Villages provide you with your own room, it was also close to the Colvin and on-campus dining options. I made my best friends living in this dorm. As a senior, I still talk to these people daily. It also got me connected with job opportunities and clubs.
The dorm to avoid is Bennett Hall. The building itself is really pretty, and there is a convenience store on site, but it is so far from all your classes, especially as a freshman. A lot of your freshman classes will be far apart and will be even farther from Bennett. It's close to the football stadium, but you won't be thinking about that in January when you have to walk a mile to make it to you 9 A.M. Also the rooms are alarmingly small. If anything, take your chances in the Commons.
Life in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Oh boy, Stillwater. It is a common enough place to feel like your hometown but exotic enough to remember that you are in college. The Stillwater locals are sweet, and I have never had an issue with someone in town. The best place to check out is downtown Stillwater. That is where you will find the soul of the town with a bunch of cute shops and delicious restaurants. The town isn't huge, and I can almost guarantee there will never be a Target in town, no matter how many petitions you sign. Also the Walmart of 6th Street is way better than the Walmart on Main; I'll stand by that until the day I die.
The best places to eat
I bet you were expecting me to say Eskimo Joe's, huh? Wrong. Joe's is great, and I am not opposed to marrying a plate of their cheese fries, but saying that it is the best restaurant in town is so basic. Sure, go get your shirt, but then go someplace different. Every time one of my friends comes to town, I take them to Golden Dragon. If you are looking for Chinese food, this is the place, and they always give you enough for at least two meals, which is good for when you are balling on a budget. Some of my other favorites are Louie's in downtown and Granny's. My friend's rave about Just Wafflin', but their line is out the door on most weekends, so I haven't had the chance to try it.
The best on campus dining option is the Sunday brunch at North Commons dining. You get to use your meal plan, and they give you access to their unlimited breakfast buffet. I can't tell you how many times this brunch saved the lives of my friends and I after having stayed out until 2 in the morning.
The best places to legally drink
The most slept on place in Stillwater is Stonewall. Stonewall is the bar to be if you are looking to hang out with your friends and drink on a Tuesday night. The drinks are dirt cheap; I'm talking a $3 vodka cran, and there is always an open table. The best bar on Thursday nights is College Bar. They have an event called Funk 'n Beers, which is where they bring in a live band and play music all night while you drink $5 pitchers of beer. It is impossible to be in a bad mood at College Bar on a Thursday; the vibes are unmatched.
As for a Saturday night out with your friends, here is my bar lineup to have the best night possible: start at Willies for the ice shots, head to College Bar for the PhD, follow it up at Murphy's for the palm trees and end the night at the Union to dance the night away.
The best events to attend, and the ones you can skip
You definitely need to make it out to Walk Around during Homecoming week. All the Greek houses spend weeks making these elaborate decks that show off school spirit. It really does showcase how Oklahoma State has the best homecoming in America. It will also be the most packed Stillwater will be all year, so eat beforehand. Every single restaurant will be full the entire weekend.
Another great event is the pancakes during finals week. During each finals week, volunteers will give free pancakes in the Union every day, starting at 11 p.m. This became a life saver for me because usually at this point in the semester, I had run out of meal plan, so these pancakes were the only thing keeping me going. Also you and your friends will likely be awake at this time anyway, so it is a nice study break and only like 50 steps away from the library.
During this weekend, you can skip Homecoming and Hoops. It was very underwhelming, and quite honestly, one of the most unmemorable events of Homecoming.
Clothes to bring
Oklahoma experiences all four seasons to their extremes. When you get there in the fall, you will sweat through your shirt on your way to class. In the winter, the air temperature will be 5 degrees and the wind will be 20 mph. You will use your entire wardrobe. By entire wardrobe though, I mean all your t-shirts, Nike shorts, leggings, hoodies and sweatpants you own. If you're normal, you will find that you never wear jeans or dresses to class. To be fair, a lot of Greek life chapters will ask you to dress up for different events but for me, a GDI, I never dressed up - especially freshman year. It Is good to have a couple dresses for an interview that might arise or some jeans you can wear to a party, but don't waste closet space on dress up clothes.
Side note: bring shoes you don't care about. At some point, you will find yourself at a party where you are shoulder-to-shoulder with what seems like the entire freshman class. Your shoes will be ruined.
The "Orange Baggers"
Yes, I know you came to campus, and you toted around that orange bag full of ambition and hope, but now that you're one of us, you will come to laugh at the Orange Baggers. Somehow, they always show up at the worst times, like at the Union right during the lunch rush or at the Colvin when you're trying to get a workout in. You can't be that mad at them, because at one time, we were all one of them, but still, they are so silly.
I know this time for you is crazy and a little sad. You are packing everything up and saying goodbye to the life you once knew, but I promise OSU will provide the life you always wanted. As a senior, I now realize how true the term is that time flies. I would give anything to be on your shoes and have all these experiences over again. I am thankful I get to treasure these memories in my heart. I am forever loyal and true, and from now until the end of time, Go Pokes.
A sentimental senior