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My Take on TU: Miami Beach Bowl Experience

Senior Haley Anderson traveled to Miami, Fla., to see the Golden Hurricane play in the Miami Beach Bowl on December 19. Here is a recap of her experience.

10 Realizations of a Tulsan Visiting Miami Beach for the 1st Time


1. Year-Round Summer is a thing… and we’re definitely into it.

When we left for the Tulsa airport, it was 3 degrees. When we stepped off the plane in Miami, it was 85 degrees. An 82 degree swing in temperature was a welcome change from the frigid Tulsa cold front. I’m all about snow and cozy winter clothes, but sometimes it can be a downer. Spending every day of the year in sunny summery weather may get old eventually, but at the time it was hard to convince me otherwise.

2) Trains are a great form of transportation.

So I’m a pretty big Harry Potter fan and I’ve always wanted to go on the Hogwarts Express, but I’d never actually been on a train until Miami. I have to say, it’s probably the best form of transportation apart from flying on a broomstick. Some friends and I took a train ride along the Florida coast from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. It was quick, cheap, and a really fun way to travel.

3) Coconut juice is great for aesthetic purposes, not as much for taste.

After we checked into our hotel, our first destination was the beach. We went out in the water to find sea shells and jump through waves, tried to tan and not sunburn, and commemorate the moment with tons of pictures. We bought a few coconuts to really capture the whole beach-vibe, and discovered that coconut juice really isn’t the best. So, it was decided that they would make a great prop for all of our beach pictures.


4) Transportation- it’s real life Fast and Furious. Pedestrians beware.

Miami drivers mean business. When they’re going somewhere, they’re going as quickly as possible. Everything and everyone moves so fast. The cars, people on roller blades, runners, skateboarders, everyone. Needless to say we stood out like a sore thumb of Midwestern tourists trying to navigate our way through the chaos of South Beach.

5) People don’t know that Oklahoma is a State.

A surprising amount of people couldn’t locate Tulsa on a map, and an even more surprising amount of people didn’t know that Oklahoma was a state. Eventually they got it when we explained that it’s “the frying pan state above Texas”, which hurt my Okie heart a little more than I can say. Rest assured they knew exactly where Tulsa, Okla., was after meeting us.


6) Sunglasses are a necessity. So don’t forget them.

I made the rookie mistake of forgetting my sunglasses before leaving Tulsa. So I spent the first afternoon taking squinty-eyed pictures and tanning with a T-Shirt over my face. Fortunately tourist shops are around every corner stocked with sunglasses, and who doesn’t love modeling sunglasses?

7) The city doesn’t sleep, so you probably won’t either.  

Everything in Miami is open much later than in Tulsa, and everyone is out. All the time. All of the restaurants, shops, and streets were bustling with people throughout the entire day and night, on a weekday. There was a ton of excitement and so much energy everywhere we went. When my head finally hit the pillow at the end of the night, I was out cold in under a minute.


8) Baseball stadiums can be converted into football stadiums.

So the bowl game wasn’t actually at a football stadium, it was a baseball field converted into a football field. The Marlins stadium housed the beach bowl, and it was a really beautiful arena. We had a perfect view of the Miami skyline across the field. Also, there was a Marlins sign that had moving dolphins and water spraying out of it to celebrate when each team scored. The excitement never wore off even after we’d scored a million times. #ReignCane

9) TU is the ultimate Beach Bowl Champion, but we already knew that.

Not only did we win the game, we destroyed it. TU swept the floor with Central Michigan, winning 55-10. We also set new records becoming the first team in FBS history to have a 3,000 yard passer, two 1,000 yard receivers, and two 1,000 yard rushers in the same season. #ReignCaneEvenMore


10) The Miami life is a fun getaway, but Tulsa will always be home.

As an underclassman, I always heard stories about the Memphis Bowl game from 2012. Seniors swore up and down that it was the best experience they had as a TU student. We waited and wondered what it would be like to attend our own bowl game and create our own story, and finally 2016 answered our prayers. As a senior, I could not have asked for a better last TU Football game.


So, now we have our own story. That favorite TU memory we’ll tell anyone who will listen. As our story ends, I hope that you’ll pick up where we left off. Join the TU family and hopefully you’ll get the chance to make your own bowl game memories!

What I’ll Miss Most This Summer

IMG_1939Today’s blog is from Brittany James, a senior Mechanical Engineering major from Lee’s Summit,  Mo. 

I booked a plane ticket to fly to Chicago and live there for the next three months. That’s right. Downtown Chicago. Within a one-mile radius of Millennium Park, the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute and Navy Pier. I’m definitely excited, but I’m also sad about the things I’ll be leaving behind here in Tulsa as I head off to my summer internship.

Here are some of the things I’m going to miss most:

  • Five Stars on Five Dollars– Food is delicious. Tulsa food takes it to the next level. There’s a good deal for college students every night of the week. From burgers and fries at McNellies to $3 pizza slices at Andolini’s and my all time favorite $2 puffy tacos at Elote, you’d be hard pressed to say I ever go hungry. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is light, fun and top notch. I will definitely miss the slightly embarrassing feeling of being able to call up one of my favorite restaurants and have them know who it is based on my order.
  • Postcard Status– Before leaving for summer, I walked around campus sighing about how beautiful TU really is. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of finals and I’m just really happy, but I don’t think you can argue that TU is a hidden gem in the middle of the Midwest. The blue and yellow flowers with McFarlin in the background and the sound of graduating seniors ringing the bell in the distance makes me fall in love with it all over again. It makes me feel safe and happy, and there is no doubt that TU is my home away from home.
  • IMG_0611What’s a stranger?- Walking across my beautiful campus is only made better by the fact that I see familiar faces everywhere I go. Whether it’s a good friend, someone I sit next to in class, that one guy who went to the same meeting as me, or the girl I see in the Chick Fil A line at lunch every day, Tulsa students are just flat out friendly. The number one reason I chose to attend TU was I felt like I would fit in well with the student body and find people who had similar goals and values as me. That still rings true and it creates a vibrant community of friendly, kind, driven, intelligent, and fun-loving people. I am thankful to be a part of this family.
  • QuikTrip- The inaugural entrance into TU student life is your first trip to QT- and after that? You’re hooked. I’m going to miss the random trips (whether it’s 2pm or 2am) to get a coke, peanut butter M&M’s and ice cream whenever my heart (or stomach) so desires. It’s the perfect 10-minute study break complete with snacks, a car jam or two, and, most likely, some ridiculous shenanigans.
  • IMG_2959Random Times are the Best Times- My eating schedule isn’t exactly “normal” and my sleep schedule is completely wonky. But I love that some nights I go to bed at 3am, sometimes I have Mexican food at 11:15 at night, and sometimes I wake up at 4am to study. From being an engineering student to a student tutor and a leader on campus, you could say my schedule is a tad hectic. But I appreciate that every day is a new adventure and no day is ever the same.

There are a lot of perks to being a TU student (actually it’s the best job in the world), but the number one, top of the list, all summer long thing that I will miss is my friends. I’m going from living in a house with 26 girls in the middle of good ole Oklahoma to a single apartment in downtown Chicago. You think I’d be psyched. But in reality, I’m going to miss always having a friend to run to Starbucks with, someone who will start a movie at 1am with me, and somebody who is willing to consume more ice cream than our body weight together.

IMG_2899I’m going to miss always having a friend who listens when I’m stressed about school or boys or life (because sometimes it is hard). And most of all, I’m going to miss the people who make me happy when we’re all sitting in a room doing something as boring as homework, having someone to laugh with about all things ridiculous, the game nights and the movie nights, and the people who are just about the best people I know. Sure, I’m going to make lots of new friends this summer and have some amazing experiences, but there’s no doubt I’m sad to be leaving Tulsa and the people that make it great. In fact, I’m already counting down the days I get to see them again.