If you’re like me, the idea of living in a building with lots of tiny rooms that are full of random young women (we’re not girls anymore) who’ve just been released into adulthood isn’t very appealing. Yet, here I am, a junior, thinking back to all the fond memories I made living in Frances Crawford West my freshman year at Ouachita.
One of the perks about living in an all-freshman dorm: there are people to help you move-in on your first day! This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me—it is. Have you tried carrying a mini fridge up three flights of stairs? Or all those clothes everyone told you not to bring, but you know you just can’t live without? Move-in day freshman year was full of lots of tears but, thankfully, none of those tears came from the physical pain of moving.
Another perk: you are surrounded by fellow students who, like you, are trying to figure out this “adulting” thing. Maybe you never had to do laundry growing up (aren’t you lucky). Perhaps you don’t know how to get stains out of your favorite pair of jeans (PSA: use dish soap. Who would’ve known?). Maybe you locked your keys in your car for the 12th time, and you really don’t want to tell your parents. You will have numerous random questions: Is off-brand cold medicine just as good? Should we un-bunk our beds?
I was surrounded by freshman asking these questions, and sometimes I was the one asking them. It was comforting to know that I could knock on the door of another freshman on my hall and ask them something without them thinking I was crazy. Also, I loved getting to help people by answering their questions. You gain some great friends this way!
Last, but certainly not least: Resident Assistants (RAs) and the Resident Director (RD) of Ouachita’s freshman dorms are the best. In an all-freshman dorm, the RAs and RDs are trained and live there specifically to help and encourage freshman, and RDs are especially well-versed in dealing with homesickness and roommate troubles.
My RA freshman year was the best (shout-out to Rachel Dawson!). She was constantly praying for us, dropping by to visit and leaving us encouraging notes. I knew her door was always open. You may even become backpacking buds with an RA (love you Hannah Hart!). My RD freshman year is a legend on campus because she has had such a huge impact on the women of Frances Crawford. She’s done everything from hosting movie nights to listening to my problems as I cry at, like, midnight (Hannah Pilcher, you’re such a blessing!).
I definitely would not shy away from living in an all-freshman dorm. It makes the transition to college life so much better. Even if the building itself isn’t your first choice, the people you meet and the memories you make will be well worth your time there.
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