Not Just Another First Day

LaurenToday’s blog post comes to us from Lauren S., a 2015 TU graduate with degrees in Speech Pathology and Psychology. Lauren recently started her first year of law school at Harvard.

I’m sitting in a circular lecture hall surrounded by other new students who are all nervously opening their textbooks and reviewing their notes. I’ve certainly had a lot of first days of school (this is number eighteen to be exact), but this one is different. It’s a first day that I’ve been working toward my whole life and one that will shape my future career: this week I started at Harvard Law School.

It seems like yesterday that I was starting as a biochemistry major at The University of Tulsa. Part of the reason I chose TU was because of the excellent pre-med advising and research opportunities (spoiler alert: I didn’t graduate with a biochemistry major). It didn’t take long for me to realize that medicine wasn’t my best fit. Thus began a circuitous route through majors and classes, concentrations and advisors, culminating in liberal arts degrees. In hindsight, I wouldn’t trade my indecisiveness for anything; by allowing me to explore my options, TU gave me the opportunity to find what I’m truly passionate about – advocacy law.

Freshman year I accompanied my orientation group to the Student Association Activities Fair. One of the best ways to succeed in college is to get involved- and get involved early! TU has a student group for anything and everything you can imagine. Over my four years, I studied abroad in Italy, taught a second grader how to read, advocated for student health, mentored high school students, and played intramural flag football. And although my flag football career is over, the opportunities and interactions that I experienced at TU are what led me to law school.

So as you are beginning your journey to TU, I urge you to start with an open mind. In college, your ideas will be challenged and your interests expanded. Go out of your comfort zone and explore something new. Who knows, you just might find your future.

Real Friends Go The Extra Mile…Or 30!

Caleb-Lareau-for-web-300x199Today’s post comes to us from Caleb Lareau, a 2015 TU graduate with degrees in biochemistry and mathematics. Caleb will be attending Harvard University to pursue a doctorate in biostatistics.

After graduating from The University of Tulsa in May of 2015, I couldn’t help but tear up a bit. The places, the memories, the fun… My four years of college was truly unforgettable. But what was engrained in my mind the most were the relationships with some of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met.

Before coming to TU, I had no drive or ambition to compete in athletic contests. However, after spending time with some friends, a group of us decided to try our hand in a variety of distance races—marathons, triathlons, and the like. What’s amazing about the Tulsa student body is the collection of awesome individuals who find ways to push you to become a better you. My friends pushing me to become an endurance athlete opened my mind to a new “me.” So when I set out to try the hardest race of my life this past June—a 100-mile ultramarathon—I had to blame my friends for my “crazy” decision.


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Set Your Goals, Don’t Set Your Journey

NATALIE 4Natalie Sullivan is a 2011 TU graduate with a degree in Musical Theatre. She calls Omaha, Neb., home, but currently resides in New York City and performs regularly at various Off-Broadway/Comedy venues. Her most recent shows include: The Hungry Hungry Games: An Unauthorized Musical Parody (Katniss), Law and Disorder: Suggestion Victims Unit (improv), and Primal Scream (musical improv house team at the Queens Secret Improv Club).

During my senior year of college, I had a grand idea of what my life would be like once I graduated. I was going to take my B.A. in Musical Theatre and immediately move to New York City to pursue a life on the stage. However, reality soon crept in, and I realized I would have to put this plan on hold in order to save up for my big move. I ultimately decided to accept a job offer from a touring children’s theatre that had seen me at a conference a few months prior to graduation. It definitely was not Broadway, but it was a job in theatre, so I took it. Little did I know that this job would change my life and ultimately my outlook on a career in the entertainment industry.

???????????????????????????????Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT, Inc.), based out of Missoula, Mont., is the world’s largest touring children’s theatre. They send out approximately 50 teams of two actors equipped with a script, set, costumes, etc… to cast up to 60 children in original musicals all over the country. These shows are auditioned for, rehearsed, and performed all in one week; then it’s on to the next town. During my year on tour, I performed with, directed, and taught approximately 5,000 children with residencies spanning from Kentucky to Washington state. Because I was constantly on the move, my life outside of my job was really dependent on the people I met each week. Some of my recreational activities on tour included going on a cattle drive with Mormon ranchers, taking a ferry to the San Juan islands to go whale watching, rock climbing in Arizona, mountain climbing in Montana, and the list goes on and on.


At the Supreme Headquarters for Allied Powers in Europe.

In the fall of 2012, just over a year after graduating, I finally made the move to NYC. That following spring, I got an unexpected call from MCT, Inc. They asked me if I would be willing to take a few weeks off from my life in New York to tour a show on military installations in various European countries. Without any hesitation, I said yes and just a month later I was working on foreign soil in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, and Belgium. If you had asked me my at any point during my college career where I would be two years after graduation, I would never have guessed in my wildest dreams that my answer would be performing at SHAPE (The Supreme Headquarters for Allied Powers in Europe aka NATO) just outside of Brussels.

The experiences that I had on both my domestic and international tours were irreplaceable. No, teaching and performing with children wasn’t initially my dream job, but it became a dream job once I opened up my mind up to it and tore down the walls of expectation. I was given the opportunity to instill a love of arts in many children whose arts programs were being cut. I traveled to places I might have otherwise never been and met hundreds of people whom I am still in contact with to this day. I guess the point that I am trying to make in this blog post is that New York (or your equivalent) will always be there, so don’t limit yourself. You are a constantly evolving individual. Embrace it, and don’t be afraid to explore different paths. Set your goals, don’t set your journey.