Four years later, four years smarter?

So because I’ve written for this amazing publication for four years, being a news editor for a year and managing for this past year, I get to write a goodbye letter that about five people, and hopefully not my parents, will read. And instead of being sappy and getting sad, I’m gonna talk about the school in general.

Location: Let’s go with this. I fucking love Tulsa. I have repeatedly defended it when talking to people from elsewhere, who consider Oklahoma a flyover state — I talk about how great the food is here, the amount and quality of museums, its performing arts, its cost. But let’s also be real. Oklahoma is a nightmare, a burning trash heap with some gold in the middle. As of writing this, a two week teacher walkout just ended without accomplishing serious reforms. This is not the best state, qualitatively. And it’s not in the best location, either. Call me biased, but there’s an astounding lack of natural wonders in this state. The prairies and the forests are great, but I really love me some mountains (Turkey Mountain is a hill people, c’mon). It lacks the picturesque that really makes it vacation-worthy. Plus, you have the rampant and very obvious class divide here that is just depressing.

Faculty/Education Quality: Well, now’s the time to be polite. I’m going to a really great graduate school, and obviously TU had some help with that. But also. I’ve been jealous at every single visit because other students have such cool classes and such cool technology. The communication between departments could be a bit improved; I didn’t know we had bioinformatics classes until end of my sophomore year (which yes, is partially my fault). And, like, I get budgeting is hard, but can we avoid being so broke we can’t hire new teachers? Like, the bio department is hiring two new teachers. For next year. Which is great, but, like I wanted more classes.

Social Life: Fine? Live your life, be friendly, because you’ll be amazed. Soon you’ll be a senior and you’ll meet all these cool people and you’ll be super angry that you didn’t know them earlier because you can’t be friends for very long and is it raining in here oh no wait that’s just me, crying. I’m fine. Anyway, friends are great, and college friends are great because they’ve seen you grow from a smol, garbage fire freshman to a toxic nuclear waste senior and still love you anyway. Go to International Night. The food’s amazing and I will take all of those recipes thank you very much.

Extracurriculars: Conspiracy theory but at least half the clubs here are just ways for friends to get together and get free food, because I never hear about half of them but they still exist somehow? I’ll never forgive the school for not letting me start a taekwondo club because there’s literally nowhere on campus to practice, but I’m doing Brazilian jiu jitsu now, so it’s fine. “The Collegian” is an amazing organization, and even better, it freaking pays. Imagine. Getting paid and it looks on college apps and you get really good at talking and writing and you’ll never realize, especially as a STEM major, how much that matters. STEM majors, please come to meetings. They’re Mondays at 5 p.m. In Oliphant. I assume intramurals are fine, but when I tried, there wasn’t enough people in tennis to do it, so that sucked.

University Resources: If you could make me a little less paranoid and not make my classes in a building with asbestos, I’d be happier. While I’m sure it won’t cause death, it’s never reassuring to go to class and see that sign. The ease of going abroad was A+. Please travel if you can, but it’s expensive and doesn’t always fit into schedules and can screw up getting a summer job, so don’t let anyone feel bad if you can’t. I’m sure career services is fine, but I’ve only used them to print off my resume, like, once? The library is too easy to get lost in, but I really wish we could have covers on our books, so I don’t have to google every title to learn about it when I’m just looking for a fun book. Decent movie selection, but I’ve got no freaking clue how or why it’s organized the way it is.

Housing: Fisher South is a great place as a smol freshman; I can’t imagine Lottie Jane freshman year. The couches were kinda gross when I was there, and it’s really problematic how it’s not really handicap accessible, but the campus, overall, has some issues with this. Hardesty was way too nice, and honestly super unnecessary (can we talk about how empty every housing unit is on campus, like, that can’t be good for the budget). Now, Norman is quiet except for the screaming children near my place, but there’s free food every Tuesday and honestly what else do you need. Campus housing is really expensive, though, but shout-out to the amazing maintenance team for always being there for me? Like, they are responsive and great A+ 100/10. Whatever’s happening with desk assistants is the Worst, especially with how late it was announced, and I know my roommate would be broke AF if they’d done it before she graduates. So yeah, please fix this next year, upper housing. Think of all the broke students.

Food: Um, the caf is fine? It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been there. The workers there were always great to me, and that matters a lot. And I really only eat at Tossed in ACAC, and they’re amazing, so sure, I’ll say it’s good. And don’t get me started on Tulsa food; I love Tulsa food. So many, but try the Ethiopian place in town, one of the two Peruvians, El Rio Verde if you want cheap but decent and close Mexican, Pancho Anaya for the best, cheapest bakery, but you’ll have no idea what you’re buying.

Financial Aid: Thanks for that handy dandy aid, TU. Really the majority of the reason I came here, although the visit did sell me a bit. But if you could make sure everyone else gets the same aid, so they don’t have to work 20+ hours every week, I’d be hella pleased. Like, I am so stressed out for my friends with either a bunch of debt, a bunch of hours to work, or both. I can’t and don’t want to imagine how they feel.

TL;DR: Tulsa is a fine school, and I’ve gotten to enjoy four great years and one summer here. I’d definitely change some things about the school and my experience, but hindsight is perfect. Working at “The Collegian” has been a blast, and I’ve met some of my great friends because of this organization. It’s easy to show up and get paid to write something for us, and you should; never know who’ll you’ll meet. Thank you to the great “Collegian” staff who’ve been fun and crazy throughout the years. I’ve had the great privilege of writing stories I thought had a real impact on campus, about the education department, about graduation rates, about how the university should be more open. I’ve been able to talk to some cool people and eat great food and attend a few amazing events. Working here really opened my eyes to the university and made me more curious and open, and being at TU did the same. Thank you to my great professors and mentors and all the random students I’ve liked, loved and disliked along the way. This time came to a close way too quickly, but to those I really loved, I’ll stay in touch. Peace out and much love.

Post Author: Michaela Flonard