My high school, an alternative school a part of a larger school district, held a maximum of 160 students and had 11 teachers. I knew coming to the University of Oklahoma would be a unique experience, unlike anything else, but never did I foresee the impact and quality of the connections and experiences I am making here.
Dining halls, oh my
Coming from a public high school cafeteria, I didn't have high expectations by any means. After coming here, boy am I surprised. I love Couch Restaurants because they have a little bit of everything. Let's get real, Dunham/Headington Residential Colleges are where it's at. Those dining halls are like a scene out of Harry Potter. The residential colleges themselves are influenced by Yale University, bringing prestige and utmost classiness right here to Norman, OK. Not only do they look outstanding, but the dining experience itself is incredible. As a guy on the heavier side of things, as well as a Taurus, I would consider myself a connoisseur of this delicacy. From wraps to pasta bakes, to stir-fry and burgers, it may sound simple and nothing of great value, but the ingredients and quality in each dish is fine-tuned to perfection. That "freshman fifteen" isn't coming from nowhere.
It’s like a cell, but I’m sentenced to higher education.
Dorm rooms. The cringe if you know the reality, and the awe if you don't. Oh, how tiny they are. I luckily was not one to bring everything from home. I prefer to live a simplistic lifestyle, for the most part. I did have to make MANY trips to Walmart, of course, but I knew what I was getting were things I needed. Here at the University of Oklahoma, the regular freshman dorms are suite-style with a bathroom for every four students. I honestly think it is a nice fit and causes no issues, at least not on my end. Showers can be rough in the mornings, but you eventually get everyone's schedule down. The part I think I dislike the most is the only way I feel neat is if everything is put away. The downside? I can't ever remember where I put my things. The residence halls all-in-all aren't that bad, and my floor has built a good community. My expectation was that it would be cold and quiet throughout the week, and nothing but loud music and people late at night and during the weekends. Now, we all know each other and get along well. Sometimes, we just hang out with our doors open and talk to whoever walks by. That's one thing about this school, the sense of community here is amazing.
Speaking of friends, I want to thank the wonderful people I have met either during the summer, (Start Sooner fam), or since classes starting. I have been immensely changed by the people I have met. I consider myself quite an introvert in most aspects, but college has really brought out my social side. I thought I was going to be the guy who just does his work and exists until someone comes up to him, but that has not been the case by any means. The people here at the University of Oklahoma are unlike any I've met. The kindness that everyone has really warmed my heart.
Classy and sassy
I expected college to be very formal, conventional. I expected to be working all the time or lounging around in preparation for the next study session. I assumed everyone would be walking around like zombies in anticipation for their next class. In reality, I see people on the South Oval every day with a spring in their step talking with friends, enjoying their walks to class. Yes, many have headphones in and walk faster than I thought possible, (myself included), but I can still see the glimpse of joy in their eyes. Never did I think I would spark so many spontaneous conversations with people I was meeting for the first time. I spend so much time with my friends just walking around campus or eating together at Couch Restaurants. (Yes mom, we study a lot too.) I do get my work done, but I get to enjoy the time I have with friends, getting close to the diverse crowd of people that I have known for only two months or less.
I hope no one takes this the wrong way. It's not that I thought this school specifically would be so cold to me and hard to make connections, but university life in general. The sheer amount of people who walk this campus every day easily could have been a fear factor for me, tuning out the opportunities to grow and flourish in this community. This has turned out to be the best possible university for me. I am happy that I am here. I am happy that I am home.