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Ouachita Stories


Attending a college that loves you back

A Ouachita senior’s reflections

Abby TurnerMay 06, 2021 - Abby Turner

“Why did you want to go to college at Ouachita? Didn’t you want to get out of your hometown?” I have been asked these questions frequently since I stepped on to campus as a freshman in 2017. To me, not going to Ouachita had never been an option. For as long as I can remember, Ouachita was the next step, and it couldn’t get here soon enough.

I spent most of my high school years dreaming of what my time at Ouachita would look like. Both of my parents graduated from Ouachita, and I loved hearing their favorite stories and memories. As amazing as I dreamed my college years would look like, what Ouachita has given me far exceeds any and all expectations I had.

As a hometown girl, I had grown up near campus. I had been to Tiger Tunes and football games. I was familiar with Ouachita and the campus. I watched older girls in my church and looked up to them as they went to Ouachita and made incredible memories. Finally, I graduated high school, and it was my turn.

When I came to Ouachita, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was a fresh high school graduate who thought she was prepared and ready for independence and responsibility. Sadly, I was wrong. Freshman year challenged me in ways I had never expected it would. I thought I knew what I wanted to study and what kind of career I wanted. I thought I knew a lot of things about my life and how it would turn out.

Thankfully, our Lord works in funny ways, and He humbles us in the process. And, thankfully, I finally landed in the Department of Communications, and I have never looked back. I have had incredible classes and real-world opportunities that I would not be able to receive had I attended another school. I have made lifelong friendships through my major’s classes, and I have easily been able to connect with alumni in the working world when I began to start looking for a job. The community created at this school among current and former students is one of the many things that makes it so special.

I think most college graduates would agree they’ve experienced a significant amount of growth in college. The coolest thing about Ouachita is that they not only cultivate and grow a desire to learn and excel in the classroom; the time spent investing in each student and their spiritual life is just as important here. I have never had a professor that I felt I could not approach, and I’ve had plenty of professors who have been so intentional, kind and have personally prayed for me and my success. That kind of experience is simply unmatched.

I have grown to love Ouachita more than I had ever thought possible … and in these past four years, I have learned that it loves me, too.


Abby TurnerBy Abby Turner, a 2021 communications & media/strategic communications graduate from Arkadelphia, Ark.






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