In a mere 26 days, I will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If someone had told me that would happen five years ago, I would’ve laughed in his face. On the day of my graduation from high school, I was enrolled in the Honors Program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma, and the idea of attending ORU had never crossed my mind.
When I finished high school, I had actually never heard of Oral Roberts or his university and the first time I set foot on campus in the summer of 2008, I had only a vague idea of the events that had transpired the year before. For the uninitiated, “the events that had transpired” refers to the ouster of Richard Roberts as president, an event I like to call “the Regime Change.”
Now, four years later, I’ve experienced ORU in all it’s craziness and idiosyncrasy. It is a very self-absorbed yet fun place to be and, despite all the things about it that absolutely drive me insane, I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent here for anything.
Top 10 Things I Won’t Miss About Being an ORU Student
- Hall Meetings – also known as “Ball Beatings,” these archaic holdovers from a time before email, bulletin boards, or the ability of human beings to spread information via word-of-mouth have never made sense to me; consequently, I’ve only grown to loathe them more with time. C’mon, ORU, catch up with the Twenty-first century and just email us the meeting notes. Oh, wait… you do already.
- Dorm Life - it may be fun for a little while, but the combination of living with college-aged males (most of whom are only beginning to transition into human beings) and the associated lunacy takes it’s toll. Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5370 years, but the allure of living in an all-male dormitory has one of about five minutes.
- Church Camp Atomosphere – when I first arrived on campus as a freshman in the fall of 2008, I went through Harbor and I seriously considered getting the hell out of here. At first, it reminded me of a crazy church camp I used to go to as a kid and that feeling has never quite left completely. College Weekends were the worst; I left campus when those things rolled around.
- Honor Code - all things considered, the only really frustrating thing about the Honor Code was the no-alcohol rule. I’ve already got a date set for McNellie’s after commencement when I’ll enjoy a fantastic beer.
- Chapel – I’ve never found the TBN-esque “televangelist TV show” model to be very appealing and I’ve never really felt at home in a Charismatic service. The music has gotten progressively worse and if current trends continue, Chapel worship will eventually dispense with lyrics altogether and people will just stand around and moan for twenty minutes.
- Goose Crap - it’s everywhere. I’d actually be okay with shutting off the eternal flame for a few hours later at night and then using the money saved to pay for regularly hosing down the sidewalks. Or, better yet, we could just kill the blasted things and have some good meat in Saga for a change.
- Stifling Conservatism – being a progressive liberal at ORU is a lonely path to tread, but well worth it. Among the more frustrating things in the world is the way the Evangelical and non-denominational strands of Christianity politicize the faith and maintain a belief that the Bible is some sort of capitalistic treatise. There are more of us here than people realize and hopefully our numbers will only rise with time.
- Stairs and Long-Ass Walks - someone told me once that campus was intentionally designed to encourage walking and climbing. Well, if that is the case, they certainly succeeded. Congratulations! This is the quintessential first world problem, but c’mon! At least the new student center they’re building is 1) close to the dorms and 2) accessible without having to ascend a mountain.
- HPE Classes – the product of a brainstorming session from several decades ago titled How to Most Effectively Waste a Student’s Time and Money. Needless to say, I’m not a fan.
- Devotions at Every Turn – to clarify, I actually appreciate it when professors open class with a brief–emphasis on brief–word of prayer; what I don’t appreciate is when they take the first fifteen to twenty minutes of a fifty-minute class to hold a devotional and a prayer meeting. Class-time is expensive (roughly $60 per meeting for a three-hour class that meets three times a week) and using it to have a Bible study is rude and disrespectful of students’ investments. Okay, I’m off my soap box.
Top 10 Things I Will Miss About Being an ORU Student
1-10. The People – quite honestly, the people are the only reason I’ve stayed at ORU. That includes the friends, professors, advisers, and mentors I’ve come to know over the past four years. Some of them are a little batty, but I wouldn’t trade the relationships I’ve made over the past few years for anything.
There’s one more thing I won’t miss at all, and you can read about it here.