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A Typically Untypical Day on Campus

IMG_0618Today’s Admission Blog Post comes from Brittany James, a senior Mechanical Engineering major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

People always ask me, “What’s a typical day at TU look like?” And, at least for me, the only thing I can say about typical days is that I don’t have them. Sure, I have things that I do every day, like drink my morning coffee and go to my scheduled classes, but beyond that I throw in random meetings, impromptu trips to the gym and last minute lunch or dinner plans with friends. To illustrate what I mean, here is a snapshot of my September 12, 2016, a typically untypical day in my life.

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This morning I had my first alarm set for 8:30am and a second one set for 9am. I like that first alarm because it lets me know that it’s almost time to wake up but I also get to enjoy the exciting realization that I still have time to sleep. I threw in a few extra snoozes because, well, it’s Monday, and finally forced myself out of bed. In my typical zombie state, I got ready for the day and headed over to the student union. I always purchase a white chocolate frozen mocha with no whip from Einstein’s. This is where the routineness ends and the typical “idk what this day will bring” begins.

I sat down in a booth and jammed to some music while catching up on my emails and to-do list for the different organizations I’m involved in. I had friends filter in and out of the union and join me at my table. Today, Student Association was handing out wristbands with the names of 9/11 victims to honor the sacrifices they made. One of my friends came around and handed me a wristband to wear, which I thought was a pretty legit, yet unexpected, addition to my day.

kzmygklf_v69etqvmi2vyrssky-afc4lg_m_7wlbfsmI then headed over to Keplinger Hall to quickly talk to the freshman Chemical Engineering class about Tau Beta Pi, which is the engineering honor society here on campus. I hopped back to the union afterwards and grabbed Chick-fil-a for lunch. I have a lot of dining dollars, so I try to buy lunch for random people whenever I can. Today, I surprised the professor in front of me with a free sandwich and fries. He said he’d be sure to pass the kind act along in the near future, which I’d never had anyone tell me before. It was pretty cool to see how such a simple act can go such a long way.

After lunch, one of my friends asked me to edit her short story for grammar since Spanish is her first language. I was very surprised to find I was included in the story. By the end, fictional me had been killed off and the real me was cracking up. I suppose it could be said that one typical element of my days is that they are never boring and always full of surprises just like this one.

I headed off to my 2pm class. My favorite professor teaches this class, so even though it’s longer than a normal Monday class, I always enjoy it. After class, I had some free time, so I decided it would be a good idea to start my homework. Sometimes my engineering homework can take one hour and other times EACH problem can take up to an hour. This is another reason why my days are always a surprise. Thankfully, I was able to get my entire assignment for engineering economics finished in this one homework session.

164323679878140378_700x390For dinner, I went to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s “Kappasta.” It’s $5 for all you can eat pasta and the BEST cookies ever. Plus, the money all goes to support their philanthropy. It’s a great break because 1.) the food is delicious;  2.) the money goes to a great cause; and 3.) I get to see a lot of people I don’t interact with on a normal day-to-day basis. After dinner, I prepared for the New Member meetings I run for my sorority. It’s my job to help our newest members get acquainted with our chapter values, history, members and just college life in general. While it is definitely a lot of work, I really enjoy it and always have a lot of fun. I wrapped up the evening going to two meetings and finally talked myself into going to the gym. I thankfully survived my workout, despite my personal doubts, by watching Bones on Netflix. I came back to the house, hung out with my sisters for a while, and wrapped up some loose ends for the day. After all that was finished, I was finally able to crawl back into bed.

One of the great things about attending TU is that every day is refreshingly different. There are different things I do, different people I see, and different surprises that make life special. However, just as I often begin my days in the same way, I also always end them all in the same way. Before I go to bed each night, I record five things about that day that I am thankful for. It really puts the day in perspective for me. Paul Coelho once said, “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal.” While I’m not adventuring through the Amazon on a day-to-day basis, I do like to approach each day as an adventure and value the experiences that come with it.

Fall In Love With Greek Life

IMG_1147Today’s blog is from Brittany James, a junior Mechanical Engineering major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Greek Life is love, encouragement, confidence, silliness, a community, an opportunity, a lifetime of truth and loyalty, and a support system. Greek Life is my life. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, most people from my high school were surprised I not only went through recruitment, but that I stuck with it. And I haven’t just “stuck with it”; I’ve fallen in love with it. Just what is it that makes Greek life so special? What makes me want to put my letters on everything I own and throw what I know in every photo with pride? Why should you give sorority recruitment a shot?

Check out the flow chart for some of the more basic arguments, but if you really want to get to the heart of it, for me it really comes down to three things.

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IMG_0610The first is the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself. My sorority history, ritual, and values transcend both time and distance. Through it, I have had the opportunity to meet sisters from across the United States and prove to myself that my sorority is more than a dot on the map in the middle of Oklahoma. One of my favorite sisters I’ve ever met is a 96-year old woman named Fio. Fio has been a Greek woman for 75 years. She is a major donor to my organization, and she still joins in the dance party when Katy Perry is singing.

Women like Fio remind me that being a Greek woman isn’t about me, myself and I. Instead, it’s about the girl scouts I mentor, the sisters I make smile on a bad day, the people I help in our community, and the national and local leaders that inspire me. I have no doubt that my sorority has given me the confidence, tools, and support needed to be a part of the small acts of change in the world for the better. The grand scale Greek life composes is extraordinary and has the power to do amazing things with such amazing women involved. To be counted among those women is both a blessing and a continuous inspiration.
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And although my little dot does extend beyond Tulsa’s boundaries, my sisters here are my support system, my encouragement base, and my best friends. They encourage me to do the things I never would have imagined myself capable of, and they don’t let me stop there.

From supporting me on our executive council as a freshman to pushing me to be President, they’ve helped me discover a lot about myself and changed the direction I want my life to go. They’ve also completely embraced all of my little quirks and obsessions. They fill my Facebook wall with cute corgi videos, banter about my baseball teams with me, and let me eat all the Mexican food I want.

The only thing they’ve put their foot down on is wearing socks with flip flops, but I suppose I can’t really blame them for that. And while those are the things I’m passionate about, my sisters have different likes and obsessions. There are those who can sing like Adele (I can’t even clap on a beat) and others are vegan (hello, have they heard of ice cream?). And while I don’t have those things in common with them, there’s more to us than our likes and our interests. Instead, it’s our values that unite us and bring us together. Be it as simple as sharing corgi videos or supporting me as President, there’s nothing quite like a sisterhood.
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Lastly, I sincerely believe that my involvement in Greek life makes me a better person everyday. I don’t think it’s changed me; I’m not a different person because of Greek life. But I am a better person because of it. I always said, “Oh no, Greek life isn’t for me.” But that’s what society was telling me, and, like usual, society had no idea what it was talking about. If I didn’t care about academic success, becoming a strong leader, and making friendships based on my values, then yes, Greek life wouldn’t have been for me. But I do care about those things. I care about them a lot, and Greek life helps them become a reality for me.
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I am a lot of things. I’m a girl. I’m an engineer. I’m a daughter, and a sister, and a granddaughter. I’m a community volunteer. I’m a Presidential Scholar. I’m a role model. I’m president of the engineering honor’s society on my campus. I’m a national leadership award recipient. I’m a corgi lover and a baseball fanatic. But above all, I am first and foremost a Greek woman in everything I do. So yes, I love wearing my letters and throwing what I know for artsy Instagram photos. But more than that, I love my sorority for the value it has added to my life. I would encourage anyone to take the chance and give sorority life a shot. Some may decide it really isn’t for them, and that’s completely okay. You will still have the opportunity to meet great girls and make friends through the process. But I would be willing to bet that the majority of people will surprise themselves and fall in love with it- just like I have.

My TU Family

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Today’s Tuesday With Tulsa comes to us from Leonardo Landivar, a sophomore Petroleum Engineering major from Bolivia.

Deciding to come to the University of Tulsa was the best decision I ever made. I would say this University is the right one for me. My high school in Bolivia was very small, so I knew a small university would fit me more perfectly, and that is what TU did. Small classes result in a great learning environment and a great teacher-student relationship. Teachers are always willing to help you if needed, and they will try their best to make you a successful person. Relationships like these are not possible at larger universities because the classes are so big that the teacher won’t even know your name. But that is not the case at TU.

Another factor that I really enjoy about the University of Tulsa is the school spirit felt here on campus. Feeling identified with the University is one of the best feelings one can have. Everybody cares so much for each other that it actually makes you feel like home. There are days when I totally forget I am 5,000 miles away from Bolivia due to the nice environment TU provides for its students.

In addition to this, being part of Greek life really helped me get to know a lot of new people. These guys, that started out as strangers, become your friends and end up becoming your brothers.

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The TU community is so diverse. I recently realized I have friends from all over the world. Luckily, language is not a barrier of communication since we all have English as a common language. This allows us to share different students and ideas about our culture and also understand the way people from different places of the world think.

Coming to The University of Tulsa has been a great opportunity for me. I can’t wait for the next semester to start and to meet new people while learning for our future. I believe The University of Tulsa is providing me with the right tools to be a successful person and to help my community.