Yesterday I met a prospective student who was visiting TU’s campus all the way from the island of Antigua and Barbuda. Careisha is in her final year of the IB Diploma Program at the Island Academy International School. She gave a presentation this summer at the International Baccalaureate Americas Annual Regional Conference, where she spoke about her journey from a community riddled with drugs and violence to being recommended to attend the Island Academy through Antigua’s Prime Minister.
Careisha with Earl Johnson, Associate Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services and Dean of Admission
Every year, I encounter students who awe and inspire me with their strength and perseverance students who are teenagers but have already been through more struggle and heartbreak in their lives than many of us will ever see. Students who pursue higher education, not because it is the norm or the expectation, but because it is a necessity if they are to break free from the crippling cycles that surround them.
Careisha is one of these students. I’m not going to tell you the details of her story, because it isn’t mine to tell. But I am going to thank her for visiting The University of Tulsa. She brightened up our Thursday afternoon.
Today is Careisha’s 18th birthday. It is also a holiday in Antigua, National Heroes Day. Happy Birthday, Careisha! And Happy National Heroes Day to someone who is on her way to being a hero herself.
With the ACT this weekend, and the end of the semester fast approaching, I’m sure most of you have been busy studying for tests.
At TU, the whole campus community is trying to be supportive of our students who are currently studying for finals. Different departments and organizations around campus are offering free food, fun study-break activities, or opening their offices to students who need a quiet place to study. I know Dr. Purser in the Chemistry Department arranged for the TU Shuttle to bring students to his house one evening earlier this week to decorate cookies. I’m sure other professors offered similar activities. The Office of Admission did- last night, we hosted a Holiday Party for our University Ambassadors. The UAs came by to eat pizza, decorate cookies, and play a few holiday games.
Notice the open book on the table..it was supposed to be a break from studying!
Matt and Hillary in their holiday gear
Good luck studying! Be sure to take some breaks, and try to get some sleep!
What is my # 1 piece of advice for prospective students? I’ve said it before…VISIT CAMPUS!
Get a campus tour from real-life students. Meet with faculty members. Sit in on classes. Have a conversation with your admission counselor. Eat in the cafeteria. Attend a sporting event. Visit for a second time, during a different season or with a different family member. You learn something with each campus visit.
Have you visited all of the colleges you applied to? Use your winter break to plan some trips for the spring semester- whether it’s across the country or only across town. Even if it’s cold outside.