One of the greatest perks of going to college is showing off your school colors wherever you go. It’s liberating to know you’re in a place that will better you for the future, and you’re not afraid to share that with everyone. The University of Central Oklahoma, located in Edmond, is the third largest university in Oklahoma. What makes UCO students stand out from other schools is how wonderfully engaged they are with the local community. They embrace the “small-town” vibe of solitude that Edmond offers, and tend to mimic that solitude in their daily lives.
As a proud Edmond resident and UCO student, I can vouch for everything incoming freshmen need to know before beginning their first semester. We always see those freshman guide articles for big name schools like OU or Penn State, but where’s UCO’s? That’s exactly what I kept asking myself, so I took matters into my own hands and created a list of twenty signs you go to the University of Central Oklahoma.
1. You always complain about how terrible parking is.
For the longest time, especially during my freshmen year, I continuously complained about the school’s parking situation. UCO’s parking isn’t necessarily bad; there’s just only one huge lot students can park in, and it’s nowhere near the building where classes are. The parking situation doesn’t really bother me that much anymore since I primarily take online courses. I would, however, get really frustrated whenever I would have a real-life class in the Education building and I had to park in the Liberal Arts parking lot. The exercise never hurts though!
2. You get furious when roads are iced over in the winter and classes aren’t canceled.
This is a well-known thought among UCO students. It doesn’t happen every single time, but it happens often enough to the point where students and faculty complain (and don’t even go to school) for their safety. A couple of winters ago, for example, Oklahoma was hit with an ugly snowstorm that iced over the main roads in the dark of the night. People all over my personal Facebook were awake and declaring that school would be canceled the next day, despite UCO not confirming the rumors. Once it hit 7 am, UCO sent a mass text message to students that classes would remain in session that morning. Apparently, the main roads were not that badly iced over, but the entire campus looked like Elsa from the movie Frozen had an awful temper tantrum.
3. The Old North building really creeps you out, especially at night.
The Old North Tower building is one of my favorite works of architecture because of the wonderful history behind it. Built in 1892, Old North is the oldest structure in the state for higher education that was built and established by the Oklahoma Territorial Government and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places of 1971. Currently vacant, the building has spawned intense feelings of horror and discomfort that affects students strolling by it, especially at night. If you have a night class on campus and happen to walk by Old North, you always feel like someone, or something, is watching you from the top of the tower. Almost as if some lonely spirit resides within the walls.
4. Speaking of Old North, you really wish that ‘Ghost of Old North’ rumor was true.
Legend has it that a male student was killed in the late 1990’s after falling through the Tower floor because of the building’s structural issues. His death was kept a secret because the school didn’t want to deal with the media frenzy associated with the death of a student. After the school closed the building to the public in 2001, many students started reporting strange sightings and occurrences from Old North, especially in the Tower. Various witnesses claim to have seen a dark shadow moving through the building in a distorted, grotesque way; one female student who graduated in 2007 even claimed to have seen a young male jump from the top of the tower to the ground, yet she wasn’t able to locate the body. Despite these multiple stories, no evidence ever supported the claims and countless faculty members confirmed that the Ghost of Old North is all a mere hoax. Even though the legend is all smoke and mirrors, it still would have been interesting to have a haunted building on campus.
5. You know that waiting for an advisor can be a headache.
Time is precious to all of us, and waiting to see an advisor can be a pain in the butt. You never know how long a student may have with an advisor, and you may have to wait a good half hour before you get to meet with one. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor online before marching into the offices, that way you can speed up the process.
6. You really want to get a selfie with Buddy Broncho and Don Betz.
Buddy Broncho, the official mascot of UCO, is a bundle of energy who loves to interact with people and take selfies for your Instagram page. Don Betz, UCO’s current President, has been known to give students big hugs and take goofy pictures with them. These two wonderful individuals will definitely highlight your college career because of how interactive they are with others. They truly care about fellow students and faculty members and will go out of their way to put a smile to someone’s face and to let you know that college is not always about studying, homework, and getting things done on a tight time schedule.
7. You’re always shocked by the numbers of international students.
UCO is incredibly well-known for housing a large population of students from all over the world! It still continues to shock you that many international students would be given the wonderful chance to go to any university in the world, and decided to attend a regional college in the middle of Oklahoma. But hey! More beautiful people for us!
8. Broncho Lake geese greet you by hissing at you, staring judgmentally, chasing after you, or ignoring you completely.
I love the geese of Broncho Lake. They remind me of a royal family determined on protecting their flock, making sure the evil humans won’t ever disturb them nor their home. Most of the time, however, those so-called evil humans are simply students minding their own businesses and these geese decide to torment them. How rude.
9. Your definition of hanging out during the school year is studying in the Max Chambers Library.
The library is one of my favorite places in the world. Being surrounded by that surplus of knowledge, imagination, and quiet solitude is a dream. Whenever you’re doing research, the library is your best friend. During the school year, you have so much activity going on, whenever someone asks you to hang out on a weeknight, they would have to come to the library with you so you can get that paper done on time.
10. You have to explain where UCO is to others when you go on spring break out of state.
This sign you go to UCO is a given because of how smack-dab in the middle of the state it is. You are going to get some people out of state who will ask where you go to school at and give you a crazy-eyed look when you tell them UCO. You do, in a way, expect others to know where UCO is, but nine times out of ten they will not. It’s even worse when you tell them you attend the University of Central Oklahoma, and they ask where that is. *moment of silence*
11. Papa Dino’s pizza soothes your soul.
Growing up, my parents would treat my siblings and I to pizza at this cozy Italian restaurant right off of University Drive on campus. I love Papa Dino’s because of how many childhood memories I have there with my family, and how many I have as a college kid today. Papa Dino’s is the best pizza around without breaking your spending budget, and the people who work there are always so sweet. Sweeter than a cinnamon roll topped with hot frosting. The restaurant provides a relaxing atmosphere that allows UCO students to escape schoolwork for an hour or so.
12. You’re used to the subpar Wi-Fi connection.
The amazing human beings in the IT Department have to deal with a lot, and they have improved drastically in regards to the Wi-Fi connection. In the past, the Wi-Fi was incredibly off and on and complicated to do any schoolwork because of it. Today, it’s definitely not as bad as it used to be, but you don’t necessarily mind the fluctuating connection because it’s not as bad as it used to be.
13. Going to Outtakes in the Nigh fixes your fixes.
If you’re rushing to get to class and didn’t have time to stop by the 7-11 on the corner, Outtakes in the Nigh has everything that you need fix your intense cravings. Whether you’re yearning for coffee, cappuccino, Vanilla Coke, sour candy, Cliff Bars, or even a sandwich or Lunchables, you have a cute little convenience shop in the center of the UCO student universe that will get you almost whatever you need.
14. You never know what to do when you see UCO PD outside of campus.
I never know what to do when I see UCO PD outside of campus. I never know if they can technically do anything like give me a ticket when I’m not on campus but near it. It always conflicts me, and I get nervous.
15. You always manage to recognize at least one fellow student on campus because of a class you had together ages ago.
UCO’s student population consists of over 17,000 people, and it grows every new school year. Despite this large number, UCO continues to come across as a university mirroring a small college. Class sizes at the school are generally smaller compared to OU and OSU, so the chances of recognizing at least one former classmate increase drastically.
16. Flat Tire Burgers is the best place to go to for your burger fix.
Flat Tire Burgers aren’t anything like In-N-Out Burgers or Whataburgers, but for broke college students, they are a pleasant alternative. The restaurant itself has an industrial atmosphere and cozy aroma that sings to customers to sit down and have a delicious burger with some fries and a Coke. The restaurant hours are doable and the prices fairly reasonable. If you don’t have time to grab a burger during lunch, there’s a Flat Tire in the food court in the Nigh in case you can’t go off of campus.
17. You study at a cute coffee shop in town.
Here in Edmond, it’s a given to let others know you go to UCO if you study at a cute coffee stop like EVOKE or Aspen Coffee Shop. The free Wi-Fi, the never-ending coffee surplus, and the chill vibe really influences you to accomplish whatever is due for school. While the library is a great resource for studying, you do have to journey many miles just to grab snacks and/or coffee near the entrance on the first floor, especially if you’re on the fourth floor. Studying in a coffee shop is more ideal for you because you’re just in one, confined space where you can keep track of your stuck and not have to travel some odd distance to soothe your tummy cravings.
18. Relaxing in Plunkett Park with good friends, good snacks, and comfy blankets soothes your soul.
Plunkett Park is an adorable miniature park right by the Old North Tower, Music and Art buildings on the UCO campus that is popular among the student body to host fun activities and soothing forms of relaxation. Every spring when the weather is warm, a group of students will get together with tons of snacks and Mexican blankets and just lie in the middle of the park, not having a care in the world.
19. Textbook Brokers is your go-to destination for your school staples and cute UCO apparel.
Rule #1 for UCO students: Never buy your textbooks or school supplies at the UCO bookstore in the Nigh. You know to get what you need either online or at Textbook Brokers. Textbook Brokers sets affordable prices for your books, has every scantron and Blue Book you will ever need for your college career, and always has the most stylish apparel to show off your school colors wherever you go for half the cost at other places.
20. You always take gorgeous Instagram photos of the campus.
No matter what season it is, no matter how scary or beautiful the weather can be, no matter what mood you’re feeling, that aspiring photographer within pushes you to take out that phone of yours and spam your Instagram followers or Facebook friends with the stunning colors of your campus. You know you have an exquisite campus whose beauty defies all odds. That powerful yearning within you urges your beautiful self to take a picture. To save a special memory of your good ol’ college days.
What are some other signs you go to the University of Central Oklahoma? Comment below and share this article with friends!
Featured image sources: expeditionoklahoma.com
Katrina is an aspiring writer and entrepreneur who currently attends the University of Central Oklahoma as an English student minoring in Creative Writing. Apart from writing and working on her freelance business, Katrina is an introvert who enjoys reading, antique and thrift shopping, explore old towns, and spend time with her loved ones. She resides in Edmond with her husband and three cats.