For a school of 20,000 people, OU feels very much like a small community. Somehow, it seems like pretty much everyone I know knows everyone else I know--not because I met one person and started hanging out with their group, either. My boyfriend's roommate has a class with me, and his friend from high school was my lab partner. I met a guy on my floor who I hung out with a couple of times in high school but hadn't talked to in three or four years. My boyfriend's suitemate ended up being my suitemate's best friend from high school, a high school which only graduated about 30 seniors. Basically, the campus isn't ever scary because of the number of people. I wish Norman had a better location--other than OKC (which doesn't have much), there really isn't a whole lot to do here if you're not a part of Greek life. I think OU's size is just right: you get the benefits of going too a large state school with the feel of a small university. A lot of people from my high school go here, so it's not a big deal when I tell people this is where I go--although to be honest, I made really good grades in high school, and people who knew me were surprised I went here instead of UT or A&M. Last semester, I spent a lot of time in the Union for studying, or in my suitemate's or boyfriend's rooms (we all hang out together), but my roommate moved out this semester, so now everyone hangs out in my room pretty much all the time. If you're looking for a great college town, you won't find it in Norman, in my opinion--but if you stay involved, it's something you won't need. Like any big school, the administration can be difficult and impersonal, but the advisers do their best to be friendly and helpful, even if they don't always have the best information about your major. Everyone's very friendly. I'd say the biggest controversy I've heard of recently is the protest we had yesterday for gender-neutral housing. I missed it because I was on the other side of campus, but I heard a lot of people talking about it--the LGBTQ club, I believe, are trying to get at least a floor of gender-neutral housing for the purpose of homosexual people being allowed to live with a roommate of the opposite sex. While this is a college, a lot of people here are from conservative backgrounds, so it caused a bit of controversy. One thing OU never lacks is school pride: it is by far the favorite school in Oklahoma, so people who live here or grew up in Oklahoma love it and keep coming back. Students love the school and hate Texas (UT, not A&M) and OSU. There really isn't anything unusual about OU that I can think of. My most memorable (not necessarily my favorite) night here so far was when my best friend came to visit and my friends and I took her to a hookah bar about ten minutes north of campus. The proprieter, Mo, made all the girls extremely uncomfortable by sort of hitting on us, and the atmosphere was super sketchy. It wasn't to the point that we were scared or anything like that, it was just awkward, but ended up being a really funny story. We've been back a few times since, but the place is rather pricey, so we don't go often. Most frequent student complaints are about maintenance or Oklahoma infrastructure: the light in my bathroom was pretty much out for most of my first semester, and my suitemates and I had to submit at least four maintenance requests before it finally got fixed. But the maintenance guys are really nice! And what I mean by OU infrastructure is stuff like the drainage system--or, rather, the lack of one. Girls, rainboots are definitely needed here. There are puddles everywhere when it rains.
Upon reflection, one of the best things about OU is that its in an actual "college town". Norman is far enough away from OKC to not feel like its a suburb, or part of one big mass, but close enough that its not inconvenient to drive up there for shopping, or events, or Bricktown (the club district). I think that Norman generates a sense of community, a sense that the town belongs to the students, and its their home. I don't think you get that in a city campus, and that sense gives everyone something in common. And norman does pretty well for itself as a fun place. The bar scene is good (and getting better), and there are good, affordable restaurants for off campus eating. Like a lot of schools it's size, OU has a fairly greek heavy social scene. Since OU went dry a few years ago, that influence has decreased, but it is still there. For students inclined to go the greek route, that's great, but it can be a downside for those who are hesitant to join a house, but who want that same communal experience. That isn't to say it's not there, because it is, and there are plenty of extracurricular activities both on and off campus to join, but you have to look a bit harder for it. School pride is a must. If you don't love OU when you get there, you will get sucked in eventually, or you will likely be kinda outcast. In fact, OU has Camp Crimson, a pre-frosh summer camp with the express purpose of introducing new students to OU traditions and spirit. This is good, this way you don't look like a tool at the first home football game. Also, you get to meet many of the other incoming freshmen and pick out a few attractive girls or guys to flirt with during the year. good times. If i had to list a complaint, i'd actually go with parking. Parking at OU flat out sucks. If you live on campus, or a greek house, you can walk to campus, and that works pretty well. But if you don't live within comfortable walking distance (and many don't, there are a lot of very student friendly apartment complexes around town) you have to drive, and that means dealing with parking. If you want to actually park on campus, you need to spend a lot of money, and frankly, you need to have a lot of luck. A lot of people park at Lloyd Noble Arena and ride a shuttle bus to class, but at peak times, you have to wait in line, and it can take awhile.
I love everything about this school. I had no idea where I wanted to go to college, but one visit to OU changed my mind. I do have to say that the best thing about this school is the quality of education it is possible to receive. It all depends on how much you choose to get out of your classes and schoolwork. When attending Camp Crimson, a guest speaker told us one thing that has stuck with me over the past semester: "You can earn an Ivy League level education at OU if you want to. That much depends on you." One thing I would change is the tobacco policy at our school. I hate walking across campus, enjoying it's beauty, but having to inhale smoke from passers-by. Some think OU is too big, but once you are actually on campus, you realize how perfect everything really is. When I tell people to come to OU, they usually tell me that OU was not their first choice. When I explain how much I have loved this school, they usually change their mind! I spend most of my time in different classes. I rarely stay anywhere for too long. I love the library and the different restaurants around campus. OU is definitely a college town, but that is not all it is. Norman has a fantastic art community and plenty of activities to participate in around town. Last semester, I spent a lot of time off-campus volunteering with the Non-Profit Leadership Student Association, and it was so much fun! There aren't many controversies on campus this year, save for the regents and President Boren striving to enforce a tobacco ban. The school's administration is comprised of some of the nicest and smartest men and women around the country (in my opinion at least). They do all they can to ensure students are happy and receiving the best education imaginable. Is there a lot of school pride? Is that a rhetorical question? School pride is the biggest part of OU! Apart from all the traditions, stories, and tales of ghastly hauntings, OU is just your average top-rated university! One experience I'll always remember is my very first football game. It began with a cheering crowd, a Boomer Sooner chant that shook the ground, a stadium-wide recitation of the Alma Mater, and the loudest cheering I've ever heard. The "One" video played, the starters ran out, and the game began: the most exciting night of my life.
The best thing about OU: My cynical answer would be its National Merit scholarship, which is the ONLY reason why I even bothered to look into this school. But I suppose the more helpful answer would be its size. The student body is fairly large, but the campus manages to stay relatively small. The large student body makes for some more diversity. One thing I'd change: I'd love to up the quality of the academics, and consequently OU's reputation. People here whine constantly about classes that are totally managable. I want to get into a decent med school (aka get the HELL out of Oklahoma), but OU's reputation probably won't be helping me out with that. When I tell people I go to OU, most non-Oklahomans sneer--I won't lie. I am from Texas, where the impression of Oklahomans is one of idiocy and low-class. I get shit from my high school friends all the time. Really, guys, the people here are generally of average intelligence! I spend most of my time on campus...in my classes? In between classes, the numerous benches are good on nice days (aka days AFTER Aug/Sept's brutal heat/humidity). My favorite place to bench it out is the space between the President's building and the library. When I'm feeling particularly bourgeois, I like to waste my money at the Bookmark (basement level) on flavored soy lattes, but I always feel guilty afterwards. Really, the library's a swell place, very collegiate, you feel like you're getting the typical, pleasant university experience. Norman itself can be pretty boring. Unfortunately most of the nightlife caters to the 21+ crowd, including the Deli, which is a pretty neat, small music venue on Campus Corner. Rarely do decent bands come to play for Normanites (and Oklahoma City's little help, either!). I'm a vegan, so most of the restaurants aren't great for me, excluding the Earth, which is a nice little deli place. Parking is HORRIBLE on campus, so I'd recommend taking the bus, riding a bike, or walking to campus after your freshman year. I have an evening parking permit for my night labs, but that's it. Parking usually opens up a bit after 3:30pm.
There is a lot of school pride, though I don't have it. I like the size of OU and the fact that it's a totally walkable campus for the most part. Sometimes our administration is ineffective and too bureaucratic. Nor does it always look out for the best interests of the students. For example, during the ice storm in December, finals were still scheduled even though many people had no electricity or could get to campus. They could make up those finals later, but the decision made everything somewhat hectic. The school size is just right---a tad too large, but not overly large. I think that the English building (Gittinger) needs big time renovation. Norman is a nice college town---a bit small, but not a bad place. I spend most of my time on campus either in Gittinger, in the Union, or on the South Oval. I love the benches in the South Oval. The Union always has a weird smell---I think that should be fixed. People in Louisiana get excited about OU football when I tell them that's where I go---that's why I described that as one of the stereotypes about OU. They always ask me about football, too, but I don't really care about it. OU has some weird things---like that horse with the demon eyes, but it's still great. I'm not sure if there's an experience that I will remember. Stuff with English Club, maybe---boxing books, helping with the bake sale. And during the fall semester of my junior year, I had some great classes. People frequently complain about the weird bike lane/pedestrian division and the quality of the college newspaper.
The University of Oklahoma is one of the top public schools in the nation. It boasts one of the lowest tuition rates in the country, but really gets you on fees. OU's advising staff can either be extremely helpful and knowledgeable or extremely confusing. For what it lacks in advisors, OU makes up with caring and involved professors. These professors will go to the moon and back for any student who shows he cares and is interested in his education. Many former students have their professors to thank for the job they acquired right out of college. Right outside of campus, you will find Norman, a perfect college town. Campus Corner, which holds restaurants, shopping, bars for those who are old enough, and live entertainment, is within walking distance. Norman is just the right size; plenty to do, but not so big as to be overwhelming. Conveniently just thirty minutes south of Oklahoma City, Norman provides the feeling of home in a college town with the attractions of a large city only minutes away. Of course, with any college town comes school pride. However, OU holds a special place in students' hearts, mostly due to Oklahoma football. You have not experienced a football game until you sit in the student section of a home OU football game. Many people, students and alumni alike, take OU football personally. This is the pride they hold in their school. But this pride extends to any and every sport and activity, be it rugby, theater, dance, or art.
The University of Oklahoma provide tremendous resources to ensure the success of its students. The University is a place for students to progress in their academic career but also to learn about themselves and help them shape their future, In my opinion, the diversity present at the University of Oklahoma give students the opportunity to discover many other cultures. Indeed, there are thousands of international students from more than 120 different countries on campus. I am myself an international student from France and am amazed by the possibilities to meet and learn more about different traditions and cultures. Moreover, the Student life on campus is amazingly rich: there are more than 1200 student organizations on campus which allows everyone to find their niche. From sport to art or even Greek life every student at the University can find a group matching his or her interest. The next big topic at OU is football! The Oklahoma Sooners are highly ranked in the College football league and each home games brings a lot of excitement on campus. The atmosphere during those games are always cheerful and very enjoyable for students and the community. I believe that the University of Oklahoma is an excellent school and the faculty is always ready to help students in need to grow.
OU is a very loving school. I have two very different groups of friends there. One is all greek people and the other is from my team. I attend frat parties and just regualr house parties which I think says a lot about OU. It does not matter where you come from or who you are, there is always a place for you here. I transferred to OU from a different school where I just couldn't find myself. Right when I got to OU I felt at home. It is a great college town in the sense that there are clubs in Norman as well as local restaurants and shops AND the best thing is the city is about 30 minutes away so you can go there for special occasions. It is perfect because you have this close OU community but can also go to the city for a weekend. The administration at OU so far has been SO helpful. The advisors helped me so much in my transferring which can be a big mess. Also, the study abroad advisors are extremely helpful and soooo organized. the teachers, of course, are great too. I lucked out with my teachers in the Spring and got some really wonderful ones. This past year (Freshman year) I would say during the day I spent most of my time in class, at the boathouse (crew), in my room or in the study lounge in my hall. On the weekends I was almost always at a frat house or a house party.
OU is a very large campus but it is very doable and after you get your bearings it isn't hard to get around. The campus is set up to be self-contained and if you didn't want to leave campus you wouldn't have too. I was in the family student housing apartments, which were great and I would recommend them to folks with families or graduate students. It is quiet and very friendly. Easy walk to campus and no parking permit is needed. I spent most of my time in my Department because as a graduate student that is the requirement and expectation. My Department has nice funding packages and most grad students get some sort of funding - some get better packages than others. The faculty plays favorites to those who they "deem" as worthy of their time and attention, and there are three or four faculty members I would stay entirely away from because of their attitudes. There are several cases of students leaving the program for another program because of these specific individuals. If you do not cross them or are their favorites, the student is good to go, however, if you happen to not be in the chosen pack of favorites, these faculty will attempt to drive you out of the department on various charges or events.
Pretty campus...Not the greatest parking conditions...Some times hard to get a good space around Dale Hall parking area especially. Over all the administration is good to work with. Occasionally you meet up with incoherent office personnel or an insensitive type. The town is small compared to say living in Big D as I did for many years. There is not a huge amount of entertainment, sorta make your own, but I am an older student so that is a factor most students will not have. I do not live on campus and I hang out with a much older crowd, but do frequent campus clubs and some campus activities (like music events/art exhibits/plays. Most weekends there are a couple free movies. Frat houses and the like are plentiful, if that is a desirable pursuit. The town has "old houses" fixer uppers near campus that can be homey/quaint. Ten miles or less east of the university is lake "Thunder-bird" which in one area has a little snack bar/restaurant with tables overlooking the water nice for a ride out on a cycle or a drive out to watch the sun set. Plenty of people party here like every where else, but the laid back moments are often, if you choose that.