Every year, freshmen at Oklahoma Christian University are welcomed to campus by upperclassmen, through a week of ice-breaking activities and various seminars, as well as placed into “hubs” as a way to get to know one another. This student-led event, Earn Your Wings, is an event-packed time for freshmen the week before classes begin.
This year, the directors, junior Rachel Parrett and senior Ezra Emerson said they are hoping to create the best Earn Your Wings to date.
“I want to give every incoming student equal opportunities to really connect on campus and make them feel comfortable here,” Emerson said. “When I was a freshman, I didn’t know anyone coming to this campus and Earn Your Wings was really a platform that helped get me to the place that I’m at now as a senior. Ever since my Earn Your Wings, I’ve never even thought about going to another university, and I wanted to make sure everyone has the same experience as me.”
Both Emerson and Parrett said they want to cultivate an atmosphere catering to both introverts and extroverts.
“Some goals I have are for people who aren’t exactly extroverts to feel included and giving introverts outlets throughout the week, because everyone is crazy and outgoing all week long, and that can be draining to them,” Parrett said.
Each year, 100 upperclassmen come to campus a week early to help with Earn Your Wings and make it one of the most fun and memorable experiences for the incoming freshman class.
“We are super excited to have Rachel and Ezra as our Earn You Wings directors,” Director of Freshman Experience Kirby Killen said. “They have hearts of gold and have shown to be leaders from the start of their freshman year, so we were really excited when they applied.”
According to Parrett, Earn Your Wings is the perfect opportunity for incoming freshman to get to know, not only other freshmen but also the upperclassmen. Getting to know the upperclassman can be a great way for the freshmen to understand what Oklahoma Christian is all about, Parrett said.
“Just watching previous years’ directors and just past people involved in Earn Your Wings and seeing them really pour everything they have into the freshmen just really gave me the desire to be a director,” Parrett said. “Being a hub leader for the past two years and interacting with the freshmen, I have seen a lot of different needs that need to be met. As a director, I really want to implement those things.”
According to Killen, freshmen should make the most of the week by going to all the events they can so they will have a great first freshman experience.
“It’s one week, and if you can push yourself to go to one more event, that’s more people that you get to meet and more relationships that you get to build, and you get to meet a ton of different people from all over the world,” Killen said.
The directors said they are still in the early stages of creating an overall theme for Earn Your Wings this year and will announce it at their earliest convenience.