It’s the week before Spring Break and I can hardly believe how quickly time has flown by this year! It’s both exhilarating and completely nerve-wracking to think that at this time next year, I’ll be a senior on the verge of graduation! Sometimes when the idea of ‘the future’ starts to creep into my mind (like right now when I’m trying to study for the MCAT in May! Eeek!), I like to look back on all the amazing TU experiences I’ve had so far. There are so many people and events that are responsible for these memories; one organization that has contributed a great deal to these memories is Alpha Phi Omega.
Alpha Phi Omega is a co-ed community service fraternity. I joined APO during the first semester of my sophomore year. I first got interested in APO because the primary purpose of the organization is to be of service to the fraternity, campus, community and nation. I have been an avid volunteer for most of my life and was especially involved in high school where I was a part of KEY Club, another organization devoted to community service. I remember trying to find ‘my place’ on campus, just like a lot of other freshmen during my first year. I had ‘tried on’ a plethora of clubs and organizations during my freshman year and remember actually feeling like something was missing because I wasn’t regularly involved in volunteer work; lucky for me, I found APO at the end of my freshman year!
The three cardinal principles of APO are to “be a leader, be a friend, be of service.” Since I have joined APO, I can say that I have been all of these things. We volunteer at organizations within the community such as The Humane Society of Tulsa, the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and GlobalGardens. We also work with True Blue Neighbors- the community service branch of TU; through them we do service at a variety of TU-related venues such as Kendall-WhittierElementary School. I love being part of an organization where everyone loves volunteering just as much as I do; not to mention, we always come away from each service project with more than a few funny stories. It’s also so great to get to learn about all the opportunities for service at TU and all of the amazing community service-oriented organizations within the city of Tulsa. I’ve gotten to meet some pretty awesome people at TU and in the city!
Additionally, we plan a wide range of fellowships to help establish a sense of camaraderie that include such events as laser tag and high tea. APO also offers a variety of opportunities to glean your leadership skills. I am currently the treasurer of APO, so I get to do all of our budgeting and manage our finances in general. Although it might not sound like the most glamorous job, it’s actually a great way to learn about all the behind-the-scenes energy necessary to make the organization tick.
All in all, I’m so glad to be a part of APO; I’ve made a bunch of great friends because of APO (aka Awesome People Organization!) and have gotten to spend a lot of my time in a really worthwhile way. I know there are many amazing things in store next year and I can’t wait to make even more APO memories! Looking back now, I think the best piece of advice I can give to incoming freshmen would be to find something you’re really passionate about, find a group of people who share that passion with you, and then do that thing that you’re passionate about as often as possible!