Finding the Path Forward: ORU Senior Tyler Barrett’s Journey
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Area of Study: Marketing
The process of growth in one’s faith is a journey, and it doesn’t happen the same for everyone. On the way, some people stay the course while others depart. For ORU senior Tyler Barrett, his path came with a few detours.
As a pastor’s kid, Tyler was raised in a Christian home. He was very involved in many of the church’s activities, but deep down, he found himself struggling to fill a void. Trying to fill it, Tyler got involved in a lifestyle he describes as “going off into the deep end.” He was living the party life and doing whatever he thought would make him feel whole. Through many ignored convictions and failed attempts to find self-fulfillment, Tyler realized he needed something more.
Letting Go of the Past
During Covid, after many ups and downs in his relationship with God, Tyler decided ORU was his school of choice. Though he was still trying to learn how to be consistent in his faith, he knew ORU was where he needed to grow and change. At the beginning of his college journey, he struggled to find balance. Stuck between “trying to be perfect” and wanting to have an authentic relationship with God, Tyler had an encounter.
"I want to show people that having a relationship with God is something that's tangible and realistic. Build habits that last, and be honest with who you are and how you approach your faith… do these things, and you’ll become the leader you're supposed to be.”
“I was praying during Chapel,” said Tyler, “and I told God that I had taken advantage of Him. Soon after, my Chaplain came up to me and said, ‘God's proud of you. Whatever you're stressed about, don't worry.’ That was a moment of release where I realized that, yes, I took advantage of God, but now I'm here, and I won't be able to grow if I don't let go of my past.”
In coming to ORU, Tyler not only found a place to grow in his relationship with God, but he found something that was unique and fitting about ORU, its diversity. Recognized by Niche as one of the most diverse colleges in America, ORU had the community Tyler wanted to be a part of.
“I saw the diversity when I came to ORU, which is what I wanted,” said Tyler. “Growing up, my friend group was a different culture than my family’s upbringing, and I wanted this diversity in the school I chose. At ORU, it’s like a big melting pot of culture. I feel like I’m the minority, which is why I love it. It has helped my communication, and I’ve started to pick up on different social cues and become more sensitive to people.”
Finding More at ORU
As a student, Tyler has grown and used his experiences to relate to those who feel far away from God. In learning to be authentic in his relationship with God, Tyler has used his past experiences to lift others.
“Once I stopped trying so hard to be a ‘perfect Christian’ and started being authentic with myself and God, I was able to help others,” said Tyler. I want to show people that having a relationship with God is something that's tangible and realistic. Build habits that last, and be honest with who you are and how you approach your faith… do these things, and you’ll become the leader you're supposed to be.”
ABOUT ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY
ORU is a Christian, Spirit-empowered, interdenominational university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with over a decade of consecutive enrollment growth. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, ORU offers over 150 majors, minors, concentrations, and pre-professional programs at the bachelor’s level, ranging from business and engineering to nursing, ministry, and more. Under the leadership of President Dr. William Wilson, ORU is preparing students from all 50 states and 145 nations (from 2019 to 2023) to be whole leaders for the whole world.
The Wall Street Journal ranked ORU as the #4 university in the nation for student engagement. This ranking is based upon faculty interactions, collaborative learning, critical thinking, real-world applications of student learning, the extent to which classes challenge students, and whether students would recommend a university to others. Niche recognizes ORU as one of the most diverse colleges in America.
ORU has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as:
- #1 in Undergraduate Teaching
- #2 in Most International Students
- #3 in Best Value
- #6 in Best College for Veterans
- #7 in Best Regional Colleges in the West
For more information, visit www.oru.edu.