Growing up in Oklahoma, I often heard about OU. Growing up a musician who preferred math, language, and international studies to alcohol-fueled parties, I disliked everything I heard. "EVERYONE there is Greek. If you're not Greek at OU, you're a nobody." "OU is a joke, all anyone ever does there is party." I think it's understandable that I developed quite the prejudice against the university; however, I was nonetheless incredibly mistaken and misguided. On move-in day, despite spending half the day sick from convincing myself that my world was about to come crashing down around me, I was surprised to meet refreshingly "regular" guys in my hall. We had diverse, interesting majors; we all missed our friends; and none of us were rushing. Throughout the year, as I made more friends, the stereotypes continued to break down. Of course, I certainly met many people in the Greek system and many others who were part of the party culture - often times, these people were one in the same. More often than not, however, we found common ground, and I now have dozens of friends in fraternities and sororities. It is true that a fraction of OU students are Greek, and that some heavily rely upon the party culture. However, I don't believe it is significantly more than any other university, and as it turns out, it is entirely possibly to befriend these people without being influenced to change your own lifestyle.
I'm from Dallas and go to OU, so in high school, OU was pretty much known as the school you go to when you can't get into UT or A&M. So slackers, Oklahoma rednecks, etc. Unfortunately, I've met a lot of people who do fit this stereotype--I was shocked by how many people I met who came here because they didn't get into their first choice state school. But I also found out that over 200 National Merit scholars come here every year because of OU's big National Merit package, and most people who grow up in Oklahoma don't think of going to an out of state school, so Oklahoma's brightest students typically end up here. So if you're looking for a more academic community, I would recommend living on the National Merit floor, which is where I live. There are a lot of people who are typical nerds, but there are also a lot of kids who are totally normal and just need to stay focused in college. The floor is typically really quiet, and everyone (at least 90% of the people on the floor) is really nice.
I think the biggest stereotype about students at OU is that you absolutely have to be Greek in order to be "someone". I can tell you first hand that this is simply untrue! I joined a sorority the beginning of my freshman year, and ended up dropping out because that house just wasn't the best fit for me. I spent the majority of my freshman year not being greek, and I had the time of my life! I made so many outside friends through my hall, other organizations, and classes that I didn't even notice who was greek and who wasn't. To be honest, I did want to join another sorority because I knew thats where my heart was. I ended up rushing again at the beginning of my sophomore year and now I am in the most perfect house with sisters that I love to death! While I won't deny that there are great number of undergrad students join a greek organization, it is definitely not essential if that is something you don't want to do.
The biggest stereotype of our school is the friendliness and all-around hard working attitude of our students. I truly believe this stereotype to be correct. While we do have stereotypes such as jocks, frat kids, stoners, and geeks, the lines are much more blurred than in any other environment. Walking down the South Oval every morning, I smile and greet everyone I pass, and I am not the only one to do so! At the University of Oklahoma, there is an attitude of ambition and diligence that is shared by all. When cheering on our football team, we chant "There is Only One Oklahoma." The coaches expect their players to do their best, as do the professors expect us to do our best. People don't come to college to screw around, they come because they want to be here, and they work hard for it.
At the University of Oklahoma, you will meet students from very different walk of life. The University offers a friendly environment for everyone. Some stereotypes that people may encounter when hearing about the University of Oklahoma may concern Greek life. People often think of fraternities and sororities from a negative aspect. One common reflection is that Greeks party all the time and are not as studious as other students. I am myself a member of the Greek community at OU and used to think that way but those stereotypes are wrong. Fraternities and Sororities give students opportunities to develop their leadership abilities, increase their social interaction skills and help them get involved in the community through services events.
The University of Oklahoma has somewhat of a reputation of being a party school, this reputation applied most strongly to the greek students. While many students are involved in greek activities and students are (sadly) often judged by their peers on which house they belong to, partying is not any more popular at OU outside the greek system as it is anywhere else. Many greek students seem to really enjoy partying; however, there are students in every house that do not subscribe to the typical greek partying lifestyle. While regular, frequent partying and drinking are the norm among some students, they are not the norm for the campus as a whole.
I would say that the stereotype of OU is that it is heavily Greek. While this is true to an extent, there is much more variety at this school than it is given credit for. There is a growing hipster population at OU, and there are also plenty of hippies and exchange students. One thing that all of the students at OU seem to have in common is that they all seem to live and breathe Sooner football (even the hipsters). Almost every student participates in tailgating for every home game throughout the fall, joining the additional 100,000+ Sooner fans who converge on the town.
For the most part, I think OU has a fairly good mix of students. You'll find people from all walks of life on this campus. It is notable that Greek life is pretty big on this campus and is a predominantly Caucasian campus as well. However, what cultural student organizations lack in numbers, they make up for in involvement and vitality. I love the student organizations I'm a part of and there are plenty of opportunities to find a second family here (over 400 student organizations!).
There is no actual stereotype exist at OU. Everybody is pretty nice and easygoing. Sure, there are some frat boys doing some shenanigans among themselves and pretty sorority girls going around having fun. But, most of them are a part of something else and they are nice and interesting people if you get to know them better. Regarding the football fans, I can say that we are all die-hard fans of the Sooner football team.
The common stereotype of students at OU is that every student is heavily involved with the greek community. This includes all the stereotypes of heavy drinking, partying, and avid football watching. To an extent, this is true. OU has a strong greek influence, but by no means is it the only community on campus.