One gymnastics meet, two softball games, one Art Museum community day, one musical, and one Latin Club formal dance later and I have so much more appreciation for my school.
1. Little kids look up to OU athletes
Somewhere in the crowds of every OU sporting event are young teams of that same sport. They come with their coach and families to be inspired or maybe even meet their idols. At the softball games there were several youth teams wearing their jerseys and holding posters, and after the game, the OU girls always sign the posters for them. At the Men's gymnastics meet that I attended later in the day, there were many young fans in the audience. These fans weren't only boys hoping to someday make it on the OU team. Men's gymnastics draws in young girls as fans as well. The Gymnastics team does a good job of getting their fans hype. They start chants and overperform even the cheerleaders in excitement. Running around giving high-fives to the audience on the front row is an easy thing the athletes do that can make the day of their young fans.
2. The stadium for women's softball is not big enough for its fans
After going to two women's softball games, which were very spread out in time, I realized that their stadium needs help. My friends and I arrived at the games 15-30 minutes early overperform and still we couldn't find seating. There is an assigned seating section for ticket holds and the rest of the fans have to sit on one of three bleachers past the outfield fence. Many people, including young children, had to stand during the whole game. There's no reason why, after 16 Big 12 titles, 12 WCWS appearances, 2017, 2016, 2013 and 2000 national champions, they shouldn't have as big if not bigger stadium than the baseball team. OU should give equal thought and consideration to women's sports when deciding funding.
3. Getting outside of your comfort zone is important
Before attending the Latin Club formal dance on Saturday night, I was nervous and unsure about what to expect. I had never attended Latin Club, but I had seen a flyer for the formal and my friends convinced me to go with them. When we got there, dance instructors were waiting to teach everyone basic moves for the Salsa and Cha-Cha. After practicing a while I felt pretty confident even though my actual execution was a little shaky. Then the instructors told us to get a partner and practice. This was a less than ideal situation because of the fact that I came to the event with only girls. Luckily a group of overperforming and equally as bad dancers found my friend group and we continued dancing and following the instructor. By the end of the night, I realized that I had way more fun than I ever would have if I had stayed in my comfort zone and sat on the sidelines. That experience is now a great memory that my friends and I get to share.