Dear Ox Studies

Dear Ox Studies,

              I owe you an apology. I only took you to boost my GPA, and I joke about how simple it is to do well and to pass. Most of the time, I only show up to events because one of your Critique Deadlines is looming. For a year I have periodically overlooked you, ridiculed you, complained about you, and took every speaker and every film for granted. I never realized how important it is to experience the opportunities you provide for the Oxford College community until your most recent event. My experience at this Ox Studies event was surreal. It was an opportunity that I had only dreamed of, and it came true by pure random luck.

Throughout my mother’s life, she’s been known to rock out to some of the greats like Metallica, The Cranberries, The Indigo Girls, Stevie Nicks, Nirvana, and Queen. She even got whiplash from bopping her head at a concert once! My mother’s love of all things rock‘n’roll bled its way into my childhood, a thrilling music-filled adventure comprised of car karaoke and air guitar duets. It’s no wonder that I grew to love the same artists, songs, and lyrics as her and it has been something that we’ve always shared.

It can be hard to be away from my family in the first few weeks, and with all the chaos of the fledgling days of school, I wasn’t aware that one of my lifelong musical icons was coming to campus for an Ox Studies event! I remember sitting in my room studying one afternoon when my friend Madeline texted me asking if I wanted to go to the event that night for an attendance credit. I was reluctant to go at first until she told me who was coming to speak – one of the Indigo Girls! I was speechless, breathless, and totally lost all motivation to study. I was going to hear one of my favorite artists – a lifelong dream coming true by sheer chance!

That night, I sat impatiently as I waited for the legend herself to climb the stairs to the stage in the Chapel. Armed with a guitar, a microphone, and a friendly smile, one of my childhood icons and her father, stood several feet in front of me. I sat mesmerized as Emily Saliers and her father shared their views on what it means to live and the power of music to bring us together as a global community as well as the power of music to heal and to empower us. I danced along to some of my favorite hits, and to new ones yet to be released. I sang back each hymn, and to the horror of my friends, I belted out every word of the lyrics to “Closer to Fine” at the very end of the night.(

It was a humbling experience in many ways. It is so easy to forget the amazing opportunities we have in our lives as students here at Oxford. We grow so used to having Ox Studies events that we shuffle in at the last minute to fulfill an attendance credit. So many of us students have grown desensitized to the unbelievable chances we have to learn from people we would never ordinarily meet or have the opportunity to discuss the deeper things in life with. So, thank you Ox Studies for creating possibilities in our lives that so many people can only dream of. Thank you for adding so much value to my life even when I rarely realize how I truly grow, learn, and change from each event. Thank you for each experience and sorry (again) for not appreciating you enough in the past.



                                                                                      An Underappreciative Ox Studies Student