To all the 2017 (and subsequent classes) freshman girls at Ouachita, this is for you.
“Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life” as my dad told me when we finally got settled in. He told me that right after I took that picture on my bed below. I was about to embark on a whole new adventure filled with wonderful new experiences, friends, and opportunities. Freshman year may seem pretty intimidating, but I’m here to offer you a couple tips that might save you a little hassle in the long run. I had an incredible year at Ouachita my freshman year and I really really hope you feel the same way by this time next year. Hope to see you girls on campus real soon!
Surviving Francis Crawford
First of all, don’t freak out when you get there. It most certainly will look like a prison cell. I had a minor panic attack when I first got there. Once you get all your stuff in there and get settled in, it will feel much better I promise. It will take a few days to get adjusted but after some time and a few memories, it will start to feel like home. CUSTOMIZE CUSTOMIZE CUSTOMIZE!! Add pictures, stuffed animals, wall decals… the more personal, the more it will become a home away from home!
- fill out your roommate form and make whatever payments necessary EARLY. The faster you do that, the higher you will be on the list for a better room. The 1st floor of Francie is completely renovated with wood floors and granite countertops but I’m not so sure about the 2nd and 3rd floors. I think they are fixing the floors but not the bathrooms etc. Also, there is no elevator in Francie so it makes a world of a difference on move in/out to be on the 1st floor.
- Communication is SUPER important! Once you get the email telling you who your roommate is and what room you are in, save the contact information! Make sure you get an early start on getting to know your roommate as well as her vision for yall’s room. Me and my roomie lived 5 hours apart and so our first time meeting each other was when we were struggling to put our room together (as seen above haha) if yall are on the same page, it makes for a lot less conflict.
- Bed, Bath & Beyond has forms that are customized to each college. They even have one for Ouachita. It wasn’t on the stand, but you can have them print it out for you. I’m not entirely sure if everything on there was 100% accurate, but it acted as a good checklist for what to buy.
- don’t be surprised if your Brita Filter doesn’t fit under the faucet to fill it up. You have to put it in the shower to filter your water which is pretty annoying.
- Definitely utilize multi plugs for the wall outlets. There are only about 3 outlets in the whole room so being able to charge multiple devices on one is very helpful.
- make sure you have pajama pants. With the a/c in Francie, sometimes I feel like I’m in Antarctica.
- you really don’t need as many decorative pillows and blankets as you think. They will just end up as a mess on the floor. Just get enough to be cute and show off your personality.
- and another things, you really don’t need as many white boards as you think. I honestly barely wrote stuff down on them, just make sure you have a good planner.
- don’t bother buying lofts from previous freshman. Ouachita is requiring you to buy lofts from them next year for liability reasons.
- Don’t bother buying those “bed essentials” bed risers from Walmart, target, etc. they DO NOT fit the bases of the beds. The Ouachita bed posts are too wide.
- I would recommend purchasing a large rug or carpet. The floors get really dusty and cold sometimes and its nice to have something warm and fuzzy to walk on. It also makes it nicer for when friends come over because it won’t be so uncomfortable to lay down on the floor. There is a place in Arkadelphia that offers huge discounts on carpets for OBU and Henderson students.
- Get blackout curtains or a really good sleep mask. There are blinds on the windows, but the sunlight will definitely wake you up early on the weekends.
- Francie runs on a old a/c system which means there is ONLY cold or heat at one point in time. Buy a fan for the room (you won’t need it until the 2nd semester) Once winter hits, Francie ONLY has heat and it can get pretty toasty if you leave the heat on. You’ll want a fan to cool things off sometimes.
- You can’t use the tide pods in the washers, only liquid detergents. They won’t let you use those scented beads either.
- There are no shelves in the shower so make sure you get some kind of shelving unit or something that hangs from the shower head.
- there is one towel rod on each side of the toilet. I would recommend getting some extra hooks to stick onto the door.
- Don’t rely on command strips. They did not stick to the walls very well AT ALL. We used 3m tape which worked much better. It’s usually hard to hang anything when you first move in because humidity from the open doors makes the walls “sweat.” I would recommend waiting a couple days after move in to hang heavier decorations.
- Ouachita’s Housing Office number is 870-245-5220. They can usually answer specific questions about the dorm.
- The room is 12′ x 17′ and contains one window 66″ x 50″. Although I will add that the dimensions for the room are a little misleading. The closets are on the same wall as the bathroom door but they go deeper into the wall compared to the rest of the room. The measurements reflect the whole room as being as deep as the closets. We found that out when we got there because our carpet was larger than it was supposed to be.
- The closets already include rods, but you can get an extendable rod from Bed, Bath, & Beyond if you wanted to hang a curtain.
- I would recommend purchasing one of those closet rods that hang in your car. I kept all my nicer clothes hanging rather than putting them in bins. That way I could just hang them straight up when I got there rather than putting them all back on hangers.
- I put most of my things in containers of some sort from the container store. It’s easiest if you plan to put things in your dorm just as they come out of the car. You don’t want a lot of loose things.
- Microwave, fridge, & TV!!!!! (would recommend a ROKU because it automatically comes with Netflix and Hulu) plus wireless headphones were super helpful for us! I was able to watch TV when my roommate needed to study.
- get some sort of stand that sits over your toilet. It makes a world of a difference to have a place for extra toilet paper, etc.
- and speaking of toilet paper, don’t go buy a ton right before you get there. It might be nice to have a couple rolls on hand, but the Francie staff does provide you with some every single week.
- make sure you get some sort of cleaning supplies with bleach in it.They are pretty picky on room checks.
- Unless they are changing it, the 1st floor computer desks (as seen in my first pictures), don’t have any drawers like the other floors. They do have a shelf underneath though to put containers, etc.
- Francie floods when it rains really hard so have a raincoat/ umbrella and some chacos that are on call for those rainy days.
- you really don’t need a bike. Everything is within a 5 minute walking distance (I literally left my dorm at 8:55 for my 9 am class) and it will take just as long to unlock and lock your bike on the rack.
- Go to sporting events or other activities! Get out of your comfort zone! I decided to go to a football game on a whim with some girls I barely knew and they became my best friends!
- Every Halloween, the freshman boys in Flippen-Perrin host a haunted house. It’s actually not cheasy at all and I would recommend going. I had a blast.
- If you have T-Mobile, you are in for a load of trouble. switch services ASAP. I didn’t have service for a whole week when I got there until my mom switched me to AT&T and send me a new sim card.
- Buy an eno! (or make a new friend who has one.) There are huge trees and eno pods everywhere on campus and DeGray Lake. It’s nice to chillax when you have free time and its a nice getaway if you want to have a bible study, etc.
- When you get there DO NOT fall victim to a spending spree in the student center. Yes, $450 is a whole lot for dr jacks, chickfila, and sandellas, but it goes by fast. Budget wisely or you will have to eat in the caf everyday for the last few weeks of the semester. But if it comes to finals week and you are out of money, there will always be a loyal friend with leftover money that is willing to spot you. (make sure you have a few of those friends on speed dial)
- Unfortunately (because of volleyball) I can’t give you any tips for rush week since I wasn’t allowed to my freshman year. Of course, there are plenty of other girls you could talk to. I might be going through it with y’all next year 😉
- make sure you look nice for your ID picture because you get that for the next 4 years… it doesn’t change.
- don’t forget to call your mom and dad every once in a while. I know you are used to seeing them on a daily basis, but now you actually have to plan out time to call them. They miss you a lot.
- Chicken & rice at El P & also snowcones at Caddo Snow…its SUPER delicious
- go to WOW! (Welcome to Ouachita’s World) It’s a fun way to get to know your new classmates. You’ll be put into a family group with a few other peers, enjoy dinners, inflatables, and outdoor activities.
I will probably be updating this as I go along and think of other things but I wish you girls the best of luck!! Feel free to message me/ comment if you have any other things you are curious about. See you girls on the flip side!