Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP)

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Meet Lauren Ross, OCSP’s Road to College Blogger

Nov 05, 2018

Daughter and Beneficiary of OCSP account owner Diana Beasley, Lauren was selected to describe her Road to College experience through a series of 10 web and video blogs during her senior year in high school.

Lauren currently attends Edmond North High School in Edmond, Oklahoma and she plans to attend college next fall, with help from the OCSP account her mother established for her several years ago.

Read Lauren’s blog submissions below.

Making a list and checking it twice

Lauren RossIt feels like we just went back to school but the holidays will soon be here. Like Santa, I’m making a list and checking it twice, but I’m trying to find out which colleges are naughty or nice.

Choosing what colleges you want to apply to can be a monstrous task, one that all seniors are all too familiar with. Figuring out where you want to spend the next four years of your life can feel like a daunting mountain that no reasonable teenager would ever want to climb. Alas, we must. Year after year, answer after answer is compiled on the web on how to find the perfect college. If you search “how to choose a college” on Google you get billions of results in under a second. This is my contribution to those results from a bona fide senior who has spent the past few months figuring out where she wants to go.

No college applications are fun but before you even get to the “joys” of supplemental essays you have to figure out where you want to go first – and lists are always a great place to start.

The best advice I could possibly give you is to make a list. It doesn’t matter if it is detailed or not – random or not – feels super important or not. What do YOU want out of those next four years? One of my number one priorities was a solid study abroad program regardless of where I decided to go. Just from that knowledge alone there are hundreds of articles detailing the top ten study abroad programs, the best colleges to study abroad, and how to find a good program to travel overseas. From that one item I found out so much about schools that helped me narrow my list down from 18 or so prospective schools to the few I am applying to now. Even if you are unsure of a major or even where you want to be in the country – make a list of what *is* important to you now.

Just like Santa makes a list of the good and bad kids, you need to make a list of what you expect out of college so you don’t end up with a proverbial coal in your stocking once you arrive and find out it wasn’t what you wanted.


Oct. 3, 2018

First Lasts

Everyone’s senior year of high school is filled with many “lasts” – the last homecoming celebration, the last debate tournament, the last lunch hour with high school friends. It’s a bitter-sweet time, but I’m committed to experiencing as much of it as possible.

When you see rally towels swinging around in the air, you know it is officially “Edlam” season. While most are very well aware of Bedlam—the annual Oklahoma State against University of Oklahoma Football game – it takes another form in high school as Edlam. It’s when the Edmond high schools of Memorial, Santa Fe, and Edmond North battle it out on the football field.

Our schools have spirit weeks to get ready and, as a member of my school’s student council, I help plan them. The first of these weeks was called “THUD” or “The Huskies Utterly Dominate.” Throughout the week our student body dressed up as memes, surfers, grill masters or soccer moms, in 90s fashion and in as much Edmond North Spirit as they could muster. 

This led up to the first assembly of the year, which was MTV-themed. It also marked our first game in our new stadium. Our principal came into the assembly on the push-up board and opened the assembly with a roaring start. Videos of our new stadium with “Welcome to our Crib” (a take on the MTV show Cribs) were shown and we taught them one of the band’s hype up dances. 

Our assembly was a huge success. Our student section was so overflowing we didn’t even have enough room for everyone. The seniors lined up to run the field with the team and I felt a rush of adrenaline.

Even though we lost the game, our student section remained strong throughout. As we chanted together “it’s great to be an Edmond North Husky” and as I participated in one of many “first lasts” I was reminded of how unique our Edlam rivalry is and how much I am looking forward to the rest of our football games throughout the rest of the year. 


Sept. 14, 2018

So where do you want to go to college?

If I had a dollar for every time I had been asked that question this summer, I would have enough money to start paying for the colleges I am applying to. As senior year has swept upon me, an unexpected hurricane of emotions, ideas, plans or lack thereof has overrun my life. Sometimes it feels like I am going upstream without a paddle, while a downpour of expectations rains upon me from peers, parents and people in general.

I spent the last few days of my summer before senior year doing something that I absolutely never do unless I am stressed: clean. When I say “clean” I mean “Extreme Makeover Home Edition-level” clean. It was a multi-day process that required more time than I imagined. My parents called my room the war zone and stayed far away. I’m happy to announce that my room looks much more livable and a whole lot less like some contraption exploded sending everything everywhere. In a way, preparing for my senior year by cleaning up, tidying loose ends and feeling able to start fresh is a beautiful parallel to my own senior year.

I gave a monstrous number of bags to goodwill this year. Out with the old and in with the new. Or, more accurately, take a long hard look at what you have and where you want to go. Applying for college is one of the many parts of my senior year that forces me to take a look in the mirror at who I am and consider who I want to be. There is no time like the present to start fresh.

That’s exactly what I did before this school year started. I cleaned my room. I also cleaned up my phone, deleting apps I was using too much, clearing up storage and all-around attempting to start fresh for my final year in high school. Maybe going on an all-out disaster-level cleanup effort in my room is not what many would choose to do in their final days of freedom before their senior year, but it gave me peace of mind and an opportunity to reflect on why I kept my graded papers from fourth grade. Turns out you won’t really need them someday.

Cleaning my room made me question a lot of choices I had made in my life, especially fashion ones. More importantly, I wondered why I hadn’t taken as many pictures as I wanted or gone to as many football games as I would have liked. Anyone in debate can understand that Friday nights are usually taken up by tournaments, but I had no excuse to only attend two games last year when I could have easily attended more. I was never immersed in the “high school experience.” I rejected it before I even gave it a chance as a freshman. My mom called it my “alternative” stage, but I think it was the false ideals I picked up from Highschool Musical that turned me off of the reality of the four years that I was about to endure. Cleaning up and cleaning out gave me a chance to reflect on what I wanted to do differently this last year.

I might have prepared for my road to college by attacking my house with Clorox and a duster, but you can prepare for your road to college in whatever way that makes you feel prepared. It might mean getting new school supplies or in my case it means finding old letters you wrote to Hannah Montana but never sent. To each their own.


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