New to campus? ORU, pt III

A couple weeks ago I tossed a campus survey out to a handful of you to see what life is like in your neighborhood. My hope was one or two-word answers for an info sheet, but most answers I got were just too good, so I’ll share them here over the next couple weeks as school life rolls in.

Here’s one from Cordelia at Oral Roberts University:

What spiritual activities on-campus are worth my time?

Campus worship is known as being great and normally happens weekly, though it can be a little sporadic. I would definitely say that devos with your wing is another activity that is awesome. I would say that going to the very first devos is definitely a plus because you really get to know your wing better and you get connect with your chaplain right off the bat.

What opportunities are there to serve the community?

You can do the fall and spring outreach projects (one a semester) and a LOT of people come out for them, but I would definitely recommend getting in touch with the community outreach office if you can. Some of the better known ones that you can get working with through the community outreach are with Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers and Sisters, Adopt a Grandparent, and the children’s hospital ministry; some of these are really kind-of long-term, so getting started early on is a plus. There are also lots of opportunities for community service through your department or specific class projects. For example, I know that for pre-med students there are things like Good Samaritan which is a mobile clinic for the disadvantaged that you can get set-up to help with. Also in specific classes – like, I know that the Organic Chemistry classes go and do science demonstrations in the public schools.

What’s the best spot to hang out on the weekend?

Hard to say about the best spot to hang out on the weekends, it varies a bit. If you’re on a socially active wing there are a lot of brother/sister wing events where you just go and do things like catch a dollar movie or go out to dinner. I would say that just doing something with your brother/sister wing wherever is good for hanging out on the weekends. Also, good to go to the first opportunities so that you get to know your brother/sister wing and not asking what their names are half way into the semester.

Where’s the best place to study off-campus? On-campus?

I find studying off campus difficult. Nords is pretty good. I’ve heard that IHOP is ok, and the public libraries aren’t too bad. I’ve had a little bit of luck at Starbucks on Saturday mornings, but I think that’s mainly because of the caffeine.

On campus studying on the other hand… so many good places. If you need a little bit of activity to study, then the alcoves in the dorms are pretty good—it’s harder to fall asleep if you have your entire wing passing by periodically and saying ‘hi’. If you’re a quiet studier, then I would recommend the reference room in the library (the other parts of the library have bad lighting). Also, the department lounges are a great place to study—they normally have couches, tables, and other students who just took that course that you’re currently working on.

Where’s the best cup of coffee?

Best coffee—On campus: Hava Java. Off campus: I’d still have to go with Starbucks, though Nordaggios is pretty good, too, and within walking distance.

Where’s the best place to eat off-campus? On-campus?

Off campus dining… a lot of people like going places like McAlisters and Panera. I also really enjoyed going out to Thai Village which is behind McAlisters.

On campus dining… Believe it or not, I’m going to have to go with Saga. It’s actually gotten pretty good over the past couple of years (though you have to know what to avoid), and their salad bar is always awesome. The deli is not so great unless you order a hot sandwich, but that takes a lot of time. Chick-fil-A… not the healthiest choice or a lot of variety.

What’s a must-see/must-do unique to south Tulsa?

The Oklahoma Aquarium is pretty fun (though expensive), also the ‘Center of the Universe’ is neat to go to with your brother/sister wing (kind-of an outside patio-type bridge area. Sorry, hard to explain).

What’s the best place to buy/sell textbooks?

The best place to buy textbooks is online (e.g.! I don’t know much about selling them back.

What are the best elective classes to take?

I recommend taking a music or art class if a student has extra time and any interest in them; they provide great balance, though they’re a bit time-consuming. I definitely have not regretted taking piano the last two years, even though I’m a biology major. I also enjoyed psychology (a social science elective).

What student organizations are worth my time?

Any of the clubs are great, for example the pre-med club, environmental stewardship club, Spanish Club, or even Model U.N. Also, getting into a leadership position with the school like being a Chaplain or Academic Peer Advisor is something to think about. First year students might want to join “Blueprint” which is the leadership program specifically for first year students, kind-of like a freshmen student council.

What’s the best way to meet new people?

Get connected with your wing and brother/sister wing! They’re people that you’ll be hanging out with and eating with all year. Also clubs and organizations are good for that, as well as just meeting people in your classes—people tend to sit in the same place all semester, so you’ll probably get to know the people that you’re sitting next to on the first day.

What are the must-see sporting events?

Basketball, but soccer is pretty good too. But, if a person is into intramural they’re pretty fun—flag football is the really big one.

What’s the best way to experience sporting events?

For basketball games, go pretty early because you have to sit in the student section and it fills up for the men’s games. If you’re enthusiastic enough to join the Mabee Maniacs, great, but if not, then sit a ways behind them in the student section because they’ll be standing the whole game.

What’s the best way to get tickets?

Sporting events are free for ORU students! Just let them swipe your I.D. card on the way in.

Any other tips/advice for a new student?

Take full advantage of the classes at ORU, the professors are really great and will definitely explain things if you don’t understand something. Office hours are huge for some classes, like in General Chemistry the professors will work through problems with you during office hours if you’re not getting a concept. Also, take advantage of the advisor you get assigned! They’ve got a lot of wisdom and can make sure your courses are on track–make sure you keep in touch with them from the start. Also, have fun with Harbor–the first few orientation days for new students on campus with only the other new students and student leadership; You’ll meet people you’ll be in class with for the next four years.

–Cordelia, Biology major, 2012


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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