One of our community's Creators, Allyson, recently wrote an article that compiled 25 questions provided by herself and a few members of Oklahoma State University's incoming freshmen, the Class of 2024.
Because we are moving into our final year at Oklahoma State, and are co-reps for our beloved Oklahoma State Odyssey community, and President and Vice President of our corresponding student organization, we felt that it was our obligation to shed some light on their compelling questions. Most questions, however, did stem some follow-up questions that are still very relevant, and we tried our very best to answer them all.
Here's our input!
Where is your go-to spot for studying, and why?
This question stemmed into another one: "How long did it take you to find this place?"
Jordyn- My favorite spot is, hands down, the 3rd floor of Edmon Low in front of the round windows. The third floor is one of the quiet floors so you can focus pretty well but if you manage to score a spot in front of the windows, you overlook Library Lawn. It's so pretty at sunset but my favorite time of year, specifically, is around Dead and Finals Week when all the Christmas decorations are up and you can see all the orange lights. If that doesn't work out, my backup is Cafe' Libro, the little coffee shop inside the library.
Maddie- My favorite spot is the basement of Edmon Low. I love studying in quiet places so the basement is perfect. There's rarely a lot of people down there so I can always find a little area to have all to myself. I found this place through an early morning exploration during my freshman year. I would definitely recommend it!
Where is your go-to spot for on or off campus food?
Smaller questions/requests followed, and to quote: "I want to know it all, your favorite late-night snack places, favorite coffee shops, favorite sit down place, and your favorite place to grab a quick bite in between classes."
Jordyn- I'll break this down between on and off-campus stuff because I like to keep my options open, and so should you! I'm a sucker for Baja in the Student Union because their queso is amazing and in my opinion, goes great on basically anything that they sell. No matter what you order, you won't be hungry afterward. For late-night snacks, I'd say Cafe' Libro. For coffee shops, I bounce back and forth between Cafe' Libro and Caribou, but Caribou's stuff tastes better (and they have cheesecake). For a sit-down place, I'd definitely say Rancher's Club but usually, everyone goes there at the end of the semester to burn the rest of their meal plan so the money isn't wasted. For grab-and-go stuff, it honestly depends on where my class is from my current location, whether it be Express at the Union, Cafe Libro, or 20 Something at the Kerr-Drummond Mezzanine. For off-campus stuff (aside from coffee), Raising Cane's for all of the above.
Maddie- My go-to on-campus spot would be Caribou due to my coffee addiction. Since I live off-campus, I find it really easy to swing by the Student Union and pick up a coffee from there in the morning - it's good to plan ahead for a line though! My favorite off-campus place would be Thai Cafe. They serve some of the best Thai food in Stillwater and have one of the most relaxing atmospheres.
Do you really make the friends of a lifetime, or is it something people just say?
Jordyn- In my experience, this is one of those cliche' things that people say that end up being 100% true. Granted, college is just like high school in regards to making friends out of convenience just because you have classes together. However, you'll make those two or three friends that'll stick with you through it all and you'll end up making 4am Whataburger runs together just because you're bored and can't sleep. You'll study together, eventually go bar-hopping on the Strip together, have movie nights, take each other home to surprise your parents, or whatever, and it'll be great!
Maddie- Coming into college I thought this was just phrase people say to make college seem "more fun", but as Jordyn said above, you really do make your best friends here. Throughout my time at OkState, I've made such a tight-knit group of friends that I know will be with me for a lifetime.
How do you get involved in things?
More questions followed, such as: "Is it truly that easy? How many clubs are you in and did it take a long time to find the ones that were for you?"
Jordyn- Thankfully, a lot of clubs/organizations have a solid social media presence and they post about their events pretty often. Aside from that, Lights on Stillwater is an event that happens before the fall semester begins and is the prime time to see a lot of groups and businesses in action. It's great exposure for them and you, so definitely put yourself out there and ask some questions! Personally, I'm in two organizations: the Paddle People and Oklahoma State Odyssey, both of which I've been a part of since 2018. I started attending OSU in 2016 so it took me quite a bit to find places at the university to call home, and I wish I could've been involved in them sooner. Don't be like me and wait. Take that leap and put yourself out there as soon as you move in - maybe even before that.
Maddie- As Jordyn said above, many organizations have social media for you to look at. Also, many clubs will hand out flyers outside the Student Union and write down club information on the sidewalks all over campus. I'm involved in Oklahoma State Odyssey, Greek Life, and Friends of the Forums, and a few other organizations. I'm involved in a diverse range of clubs and definitely wouldn't have made the memories and friends that I have now without them.
If all else fails, go to CampusLink and scroll through all the organizations that OSU has, find some that you're interested in, and contact them!
Is it really "America's Greatest Homecoming"?
Additional questions were: "Is it one of the greatest experiences ever? Do you look forward to it every year? Tell me all of your favorites about "America's Greatest Homecoming."
Jordyn- As a student, it's hard to not be biased about our Homecoming but considering everything that goes into putting it together, the events that get you hyped, and the football game, it's pretty awesome. The Sea of Orange parade is fun (but super early), WalkAround is awesome because Greek Row can finally showcase all their hard work after many tedious nights of pomping, Hoco and Hoops gets you super hyped for basketball season (and is honestly my second favorite event), and the game (my favorite) comes the following day. I'll tell you what, as a Paddle Person, my shoulders and arms are more sore after Homecoming than any other game because we go all out - not to mention, I've lost my voice every single year. Overall, it's all pretty hype and fun!
Maddie- Since I'm involved in Greek Life, Homecoming is something I personally love. We work for weeks on making decks that stand in front of our houses and while it can be tiresome and a little stressful, it really does pay off in the end. Seeing the deck finished and then getting to walk around and see everyone else's is one of the best feelings. We also participate in other events such as the sign competition that goes on Library Lawn. All of these events help hype up the game and make the entire week such a blast!
How often do you really see Pistol Pete and Pete's Pet Posse?
The golden question that followed: "Which dog is your favorite?"
Jordyn- I mostly see Pistol Pete at sporting events - football games in particular because those are the events I attend the most. In regards to Pete's Pet Posse, I see them all the time! Though, because each dog's parent works at the university, you can only see them during 9-5 business hours. But as far as favorite doggos, I love big and medium sized dogs, while I'm indifferent toward small dogs. However, the little dog that has my heart more than the others is Otis, hands down.
Maddie- I see Pistol Pete mainly during sporting events like Jordyn said. For Pete's Pet Posse, most of the time I see them in the Student Union. I never really search for them or know their schedule, but somehow I always find them! My favorite dog by far is Chico. Seriously, go love on him.
Pete's Pet Posse does release a weekly schedule on their Instagram so you know the date, location, and time that you can find them. Follow their page and keep an eye out once the semester starts!
What does the term "Cowboy Family" mean to you, and how has it impacted your college experience?
Jordyn- In my opinion, family's got your back, 100% of the time. Sometimes they might disagree with your opinions and your actions but at the end of the day, you still have each other's backs when the going gets tough. In regards to college, we're all here to improve ourselves and gather the tools necessary to achieve our goals and live a successful life. We all go through the same thing, have rough patches, fall behind in classes, and inevitably hit our varying rock bottoms. Thankfully, because the vast majority of us are good at recognizing this, we can pick each other up whether it be physically or mentally. That kindness alone spreads the hope and inspiration that we all need. We're there for each other when it gets tough. I've gone through various rough patches in seemingly every semester and there's always been someone that had faith in me when I didn't have faith in myself; that could give that corny motivational speech that I needed to hear in order to snap out of it and get back in the fight.
Maddie- I think Jordyn summed it up really well, the Cowboy Family is just that: your family. They're there for you no matter who you are and what you're going through. Since she summed it up really well, one of my favorite moments with the Cowboy Family happened to me when I was hiking a volcano in Costa Rica in the summer of my sophomore year. I was going up the volcano wearing a raincoat that had my sorority letters and "OSU" written on the front pretty largely. I decided to hike with a random group of people since the family members I was with were sick. Mid-climb, a lady started talking to me and it turned out she went to OSU and was involved in a different Greek chapter. It was so random but it was really nice to hear "Go Pokes" thousands of feet in the air.
What is your favorite OSU tradition?
Jordyn- The traditions I love the most aren't really a university-wide thing. In the Paddle People, we have quite a few traditions but the one that's predominantly known across campus (and is my personal favorite) is camp-out at Boone Pickens Stadium the night before a home game! We camp before every single one and there's always food, games, and whatever else the leadership team can come up with. Another is paddle-making before the season starts! We meet at someone's house, a church, or any other location that's willing to host us, and we cut and sand our paddles before sending them off to be painted. And yes, we do this every year!
Maddie- My favorite OSU tradition is dyeing the fountain outside the Library orange during Homecoming. This is one of the coolest things I think we have at OSU. I love walking past the fountain on Homecoming week to see the water orange - it just fills me with so much pride!
What is your favorite thing you've experienced at OSU?
Jordyn- I can't pick, so I'll list my top three. 1- My first game as a member of the Paddle People. It was unreal to be part of a group that gets the crowd hyped. 2- Every Halloween, SUAB hosts a Rocky Horror Picture Show viewing, people dress up, sing along, and we even dance to the Time Warp together. 3- Shortly after Avengers: Infinity War was released and we came back to campus, SUAB hosted an outdoor movie event on Library Lawn. And yes, we cried together and hugged each other even though the majority of us were strangers.
Maddie- I would say my favorite moments at OSU would be Greek Life philanthropies, such as Spring Sing and Freshman Follies! Greek shows are always so entertaining to watch and have showcased some of the funniest, and most talented, people I've ever seen!
Are game days as amazing as they seem?
The questions that stem from this one are: "Are they really amazing? Is the atmosphere unforgettable? What is your favorite part of gameday? I want to know it all."
Jordyn- Speaking as someone that always gets a front row seat on the wall, courtesy of the Paddle People, yes. Speaking as someone that was in the marching band during her freshman year, stood behind the field goal, and performed on the field, yes. Speaking as someone that experienced one football season in the student section and wasn't in a spirit group during her sophomore year, yes. Pregame gets you hyped (my favorite part), seeing Bullet (our horse) run on the field after a touchdown, the entire stadium singing 'Friends In Low Places', and singing the alma mater with the football team, cheer, and pom after a win (and singing it without them after a loss) is such a rush. And if the opportunity to rush the field presents itself, DO IT!
Maddie- I'm not a major sports fan like Jordyn, but I still love gameday. While I don't always make it to every game, I still find myself always watching it on TV at Eskimo Joe's or a tailgate! The gameday spirit really isn't just found at the stadium, but all over Stillwater which really makes these days so special, I think. And if you're really girly like me, dressing up is always a major plus!
Why did you choose OSU?
And the golden extended question: "If given the choice to choose again, would you still choose it?"
Jordyn- I've known since I was a little kid. My family was divided between OSU and OU and oddly enough, it was the women vs. the men, which was fun. When I watched my first game though, I saw everyone's hands waving, the crowd going crazy, and more people wearing orange than I could count. Are you ready for the cliche' part? I was sold when I saw the orange paddles on TV. No other school had a group like that and I knew I wanted to be part of it someday, and here I am fulfilling my childhood dream. Granted, I chose it based on sports and a group of people I thought were the coolest rather than the academic standpoint, but if I had the choice to choose OSU again, I'd say yes with no hesitation. I wouldn't have had the experiences or met the people that I have if it wasn't for this school. It's home.
Maddie- I chose OSU due to a teacher I had in high school. He was my favorite teacher and wore an OSU polo every Friday to celebrate Orange Fridays. I told him I didn't know where I wanted to go to school, and he suggested OSU. I wanted to go into editing and he suggested I look into the English department. Upon touring I fell in love with Morrill, where the English department is located, and instantly decided that I wanted to study here.
Are sororities and fraternities worth the money?
Jordyn- I can't speak for this because Greek Life was never really my scene, but I will say this: the way that sororities and fraternities are portrayed in such a negative light in the movies is beyond inaccurate. While I don't know what happens in the houses, I do know that my perception of Greek sisters and brothers has changed. Beforehand, I was so close-minded about people in Greek Life but after meeting and getting to know some of them, they're the coolest and most laid back people (minus a few bad apples that do fit the movie stereotypes). If you're kind of like I was, try to be more open-minded and give them a chance. At the end of the day, they're in college for the same reason you are - to be higher educated and have more opportunities in life. However, if you want to rush, Maddie would be able to provide more insight than I ever could.
Maddie- Greek Life gets a really bad reputation due to movies, and as seen by Jordyn's post, many people will believe those stereotypes and rumors. I'm a member of the Greek community, and before joining I also was really afraid that those rumors would be true and I'd just wasted a bunch of money to "buy friends". Now, I'm a senior and I think it's worth it entirely. Just like anything else, Greek Life will give you what you put into it. If you get involved in Homecoming, shows, philanthropies, leadership, etc. Greek Life is 100% worth it. It provides you with so many opportunities to grow as a person and really pushes you into becoming your best self. My sisters have become my best friends and I honestly don't know where I'd be without them. Greek Life itself has pushed me into being more confident in myself, while preparing me for my future. While I'm not saying Greek Life is perfect, that's not it at all. At the end of the day, however, Greek Life helped provide me with a home away from home that I know I'll have forever.
Do you think college is worth the money?
Jordyn- In my opinion, the money you spend on gen-eds (prerequisite classes) is a waste. The only time the money spent seems even remotely worthwhile is when you start taking major-related classes. Don't get me wrong, the first couple years (when you're taking prerequisites) are huge in regards to finding yourself in college, getting a handle on things, and making memories. Still, in terms of the financial side of things, let's just say I should've enrolled in community college first - or at least enrolled in OSU-OKC so I could've stayed closer to home and avoided the cost of housing. Overall, yes, college is worth the money. How you spend that money and choose to tackle college, however, is the key.
Maddie- As Jordyn said, I think gen-eds are a major waste of time and money. All of my major and minor classes, however, have been extremely worth it. A major thing to remember is that you're paying for every class, so actually go to them and learn even if it seems useless.
How does OSU deal with racism on its campuses?
This one, given current events, is definitely justified and came with a solid follow-up question: "How will the Stillwater campus police going to make people of color feel safe?"
Jordyn- Based on what I can recall, racism is not taken lightly. Most incidents that I'm aware of ended in expulsion or faced some type of probation on campus. My experiences on campus are obviously different than that of my classmates that are POC, but anytime there was ever a glimmer of racism whether it be in the classroom, library, or student union, someone (or multiple someones) always steps up. We're supposed to be a family - a "Cowboy Family", right? In my opinion, sticking up for one another and calling people out on their stupid prejudices is an underlying expectation, as it should be. In regards to campus police ensuring the safety of POC, I haven't heard of any problems that have arose between campus police and that of POC. Overall, I feel that our campus police do the best they can (on top of being really cool guys) and Oklahoma State's campus is a safe environment for everyone, no matter their ethnicity or nationality.
Maddie- We've listed below some resources for dealing with racism on OSU campuses. Take action and call out racism whenever, and wherever, you see it - no matter who it is.
Here are some resources for student safety and diversity: Reslife/Student Affairs: Social Justice & Inclusion, OSU Police & University Prevention Efforts (for crime and protection), OSU-OKC Diversity Event Calendar (Fall 2020)
How often do you go home?
Jordyn- I live relatively close (about an hour and a half), so anytime there's not a home football game, I don't have a massive pile of homework, and don't have to work, I go home - mostly to catch up on sleep.
Maddie- I'm from out of state, and I have a job, so I only go home for winter and summer breaks.
Were you automatic friends with your roommate(s)?
Some follow-up questions were: "When you found your roommate(s), was it like the friend you never had in high school or like your twin? Or, was it a crazy experience you tell everyone about when they pick their rooms?"
Jordyn- Far from it. The majority of my roommates were disrespectful, sucked at personal hygiene, liked invading personal space despite me speaking up countless times, and liked to invite their friends/boyfriends over without a courtesy warning (which was agreed upon). However, I had one roommate that was amazing just this past year - shout out to you, Julie! She was chill, respectful, quiet, and either she'd let me know when her boyfriend was coming or he'd tell me so he could surprise her, which I was definitely on-board for. She was the best roommate anyone could ask for.
One piece of advice: contact your roommate before moving in, maybe a month before at the very least. Get to know each other, figure out some roommate details, and decide who will bring what if y'all plan to share stuff (like a fridge, microwave, mirror, TV, whatever).
Maddie- My freshman year roommate and I met on a Facebook group and never met officially until we moved in. On move-in day we were, strangely enough, wearing the same outfit and ended up being really similar. Not all roommates are like this, and many of my friends have had horrible experiences, but luckily, we ended up being a perfect match for each other - I'm truly so thankful I met her! One thing that I think helped us live together was just being understanding of each other's personal space and feelings. Talking is so important!
Do you still live on campus?
More questions stemming from the original were: "Did you enjoy the dorms so much that you stayed? Or did you move into your own place as soon as you could?"
Jordyn- I do, just because it's more convenient for me. Thankfully, my parents pay for my on-campus housing. It's always been hard for me to find a job willing to work with my pre-existing schedules that also pays enough to cover rent, utilities, and food costs. Plus, I don't have to commute or walk an obscene distance to get to campus. If I could afford to move off campus and not have to stress about whether or not I can make ends meet constantly, I definitely would without hesitation. Unfortunately, it hasn't been in the cards for me yet but here's hoping that'll change soon!
Maddie- While I enjoyed my dorm, I'm involved in Greek Life which grants me the opportunity to live in a sorority house. After my freshman year, I moved into the house and loved that experience. It was a lot different than the dorm, but both brought me some of the most fun experiences of my life. I went from having one roommate freshman year to having four roommates. After living in the house and in a dorm, I was ready to move into my own apartment and see how I liked living on my own. Strangely, I love it too! I'm really lucky to say every living situation I've had has been really positive. Right now, I'd say I love living in my own apartment the most since I've never had my own space before.
What are your dorm room essentials?
For incoming freshmen, this is a good question and they had some more: "What did you have in your dorm freshman year that you couldn't have lived without? Why? Is there anything you didn't bring that you wish you would have?"
Jordyn- A dry-erase calendar, my own fridge and microwave, my cacti/succulents (up-and-coming plant mom over here), a Bluetooth speaker, Command strips (buy all that you can), and a wax burner (your space has to smell good, y'all). I've accumulated everything over the years and each year has been a little better than the last.
Maddie- Everything Jordyn listed are definitely things you should consider packing. Another thing that helped me was a full-length mirror to hang on my door that my roommate and I could share! Another life-saver for me was our Keurig. While it was nice to have coffee before class, even just using it for hot water to make Ramen really helped us out when we'd be up late studying in our dorm after everything closed.
For our procrastinators that have absolutely nothing, or very little for your dorm room, here is the University's official packing list.
What are your go-to clothes for class?
Jordyn- Leggings and a t-shirt, 100%. When it's cold, leggings and a hoodie! ..and yes, everyone dresses like this, or at least very similar. The guys, though, have their own version with shorts, and sweats/joggers when it's cold.
Maddie- Athletic shorts and a big t-shirt. When it's cold, leggings or sweats and a hoodie. I also wear some form of tennis shoes too due to walking everywhere. Just dress however makes you comfortable. A lot of people don't wear makeup to class either, but if it makes you more comfortable then do it!
How common is it to change your major?
Some follow-up questions were: "Have you changed yours? Do you know many people that have changed their major multiple times?"
Jordyn- I feel like it's common for most people to change their major at least once or twice. A couple of my friends, however, have changed their major three or four times - one friend even changed it six times and he's still unsure. If you're unsure about what you want to do, trying to figure it out while you're taking your prerequisites is what usually happens and can be helpful. Personally, I never changed my major because I've known what I wanted to do practically my entire life: teach. The only thing I've been unsure about is the level in which I want to teach and the subject.
Maddie- I've never changed my major, but I have some friends that have changed multiple times. They found that talking to their advisors really helped them figure out what they wanted to do or what they should try out. A lot of them were scared to change at first, but honestly, it's only been helpful for them and was really worth it.
If you still live on campus, do you cook?
Jordyn- I don't. I have the pots, pans, and utensils to cook and every residential building on campus has a little kitchen area but because most days are fast paced for me, I don't really have time to cook. I'd love to though because I'm losing my touch..
Maddie- I live off-campus so I cook all the time. While I lived on campus I never cooked but just used my meal plan.
Do you recommend having a bike or scooter for traveling around campus?
This is a good question, which came with a follow-up: "Do people drive around a lot in vehicles to get to class or do they walk more?"
Jordyn- Personally, I've never found a need for having either. If there came a time where I needed one, there are scooters all over campus, granted, but I just like walking around campus. If I'm running late or feeling lazy one day, I just take the campus bus.
Maddie- I'm incredibly clumsy when riding bikes and scooters, so I walk everywhere. While this can be annoying on some days, just remember it's healthy and good for you. But if it's raining or I'm running late from oversleeping, I'm really lucky to have super sweet friends that will drop me off!
What are some things that you brought to college that you wish you didn't and vice versa?
More questions followed: "What were some things you brought thinking you would use all the time, or didn't bring because you didn't think you would use at all that you wish you would have brought?"
Jordyn- I have the attitude that "it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it". That being said, I bring my winter coat with me every year thinking "Oklahoma weather is always unpredictable, so maybe I'll actually need it this year", and it ends up being a waste of space. Just wear layers and call it good, y'all. Aside from that, I didn't have a dry erase calendar for my room until junior year and honestly, I should've gotten it way sooner. Also, BUY A PRINTER. I've gone this entire time without one of my own and there are times when that fact is really inconvenient.
Maddie- I thought I would wear a lot more variety of clothes than I actually do. Coming into college, I brought so many cute outfits to wear to class that never left my closet. While you do want to have nice clothes, all you'll wear to class is the most comfortable thing. And be prepared to get a lot of t-shirts. Somehow you'll collect free t-shirts at a rapid pace your freshman year!
What part of college were you most nervous about?
Jordyn- I think the only thing I was worried about back when I was a freshman was being able to find my classes. And God forbid if they were back-to-back, the buildings were on opposite sides of campus, and I had very limited time. My advice: take a day before classes start (over the weekend so it's fresh in your mind) and locate the buildings and classrooms that you'll be spending the semester in. It'll save you a lot of stress in the moment and you won't look like a lost little puppy nearly as much. Do this with your roommate too - it's provides an opportunity for bonding!
Maddie- I was honestly really afraid I wouldn't make friends. I can be really shy and since I didn't know anyone coming into college, that made me really anxious. Going through sorority recruitment helped me, however, and now I feel a lot more comfortable talking to strangers! It really pushed me into getting comfortable with being uncomfortable in social situations. I felt more comfortable talking to my classmates since older girls in recruitment explained that everyone is just as nervous as I was.
How common is it, really, to just throw up a "Go Pokes"?
Inquiries were made with this one based off of word of mouth: "I have heard that the easiest way to make friends on campus is just by throwing up a "Go Pokes" while walking around. Is this true? Is "Go Pokes" something you say every day?"
Jordyn- Basically any time there's a photo-op, you'll instinctively put your pistol(s) up. Though I've never heard of someone making friends just because they say or throw up a "Go Pokes". If anything, I'd think it's like a polite in-passing type of thing, sort of like smiling at a stranger when you're passing them in the store or on a sidewalk. I'll admit though, in certain situations, I live by "when in doubt, Pokes it out".
Maddie- I won't even lie, I throw up "Go Pokes" just as much as a peace sign. It's second nature to just do it now. Like Jordyn said, "when in doubt, Pokes it out".
We hope that this helped you in some way, and that you enter your freshman year more excited than maybe you already were. If you're feeling nervous, don't worry! That's a feeling we all had at one point or another and you're definitely not alone. Everything will eventually settle and when the time comes, here's hoping that you'll share your insight with the next incoming class, and the next, and the next.
Welcome home Cowboys and girls, and as always, Go Pokes!
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