There is a time of year that makes college students feel excited, reminiscent, sad or a mix of all three emotions: graduation.
Carly Robinson, an online journalism senior, is included in this group since she will be graduating from the University of Oklahoma in the spring. Even though it will be a big change, it is nothing new for the Tulsa native since she had a similar experience while transitioning from high school to college.
During her final year, Robinson looked back on the moments that have shaped her, including art, switching majors and being an only child, and discussed what is to come.
Katelyn Howard: What brought you to the University of Oklahoma?
Carly Robinson: So I have family in Norman, and that was a big reason why I picked OU. I toured Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas. When I came to the tour, the campus was super pretty. Then also the fact that I had close relatives – like an aunt and uncle and a bunch of cousins – that live here. That kind of helped make my decision so there would be a little piece of home with me even though I was going what seemed to be so far away, but it is only two hours from Tulsa.
KH: What was your life like in Tulsa?
CR: I went to a private Christian high school so there were only about 90 kids in my graduating class. It was really, really small. So honestly, going anywhere else was going to be an enormous lifestyle change. I also am an only child so I’m so used to having my parents’ attention on me all the time and that kind of thing.
So it was definitely a huge adjustment coming to college from Tulsa, but I played volleyball in high school and I was super involved in everything I did. I was in advanced placement art. That was a big part of my life. It took up so much time, probably way more than it should have. I was at Metro Christian Academy. That was my high school from sixth grade to twelfth grade.
KH: What was it like being so involved in sports and art since those are typically opposites of each other in high school?
CR: In my small high school, it was pretty normal for everyone to be involved in everything. It was just easy to be because…everyone made the team. Everyone could be involved in anything that they wanted to be. It wasn’t really like that strange, but I can see how at a public high school that might be kind of hard because it’s more competitive. I think my high school was more inclusive so it wasn’t very strange.
KH: Why did you decide to pursue journalism?
CR: I came in undecided. I had no idea and then my advisor was like, “You need to start making some decisions and taking some more specialized courses.” And my dad was a business major, and I was like, “You turned out pretty good, maybe I’ll try that.” (laughs) And so of course, I hated it. It was terrible. I am a very artistic person, so that was just not my jam at all.
And so I went back to undecided for a while. Then my cousin actually was a broadcast journalism major here, and I really liked writing. I also enjoyed graphic design and so I thought maybe journalism is a way for me to kind of incorporate both of those things into a career. It’s worked out pretty well so far.
KH: Are you ready for graduation?
CR: Nope. (laughs) It’s kind of that season where friends and family are starting to ask, “What are do you doing after graduation? I’m like, “I don’t know. [Robinson shrugs her shoulders] You have any ideas? Throw my way.” I’m really not sure yet. It’s definitely overwhelming to think that I’m going to have to move and decide what to do in the in next phase.
KH: Could you see yourself coming back to Norman or staying in Norman or do you want to leave Oklahoma?
CR: I think if I stay – if I were to be in Oklahoma – I would be in Oklahoma City or Tulsa just because I’m from Tulsa and my family is. I’m not super eager to get out. I know a lot of people are like, “I have to be in Dallas or Los Angles” or wherever it is, but I really love Oklahoma so I could definitely see myself staying here.
KH: What are you going to miss most about OU?
CR: (sighs) This is such a generic answer, but all the friends that I’ve made. I live in a house with nine girls right now, and we’re all going to go our separate ways. They’re all from Texas and wanting to go all over the place, so it’ll be sad to separate from everybody.