My time at Ouachita has been eye-opening and inspiring. I came into Arkadelphia with big eyes and a few too many things in the three cars that made up my freshman dorm room. From the beginning, Ouachita has been a place that allows me to fully live out my life – whether that was filling my cars to live in “my cube” for a school year or allowing myself to pour out my heart into different activities and organizations I have been involved in.
Freshman year was the year of firsts: First time to be away from home, first time to Waffle House, first all-nighter (my last one, too; sorry for falling asleep in class the next day, Dr. Henley), first time to guard the tiger with my fellow freshman class members – I was definitely the girl who was asleep in the tent with the space heater at 3 a.m. – and first time I realized Ouachita was my place to call home for the next four years.
Sophomore year, the excitement of newness was still in my body, but I also realized that I was not the youngest person at Ouachita! Sophomore year I really allowed myself to plug in to so many different organizations: my social club, women’s discipleship, Ouachita Student Foundation, I was a WOW and Freshman Family Group mom, added a new minor and somehow passed all of my classes amid all of the busyness. The Lord pushed me in so many ways, but always provided the right people exactly when times were hard. My favorite memories of sophomore year have to be from going to cheer on the Tigers in El Dorado at the Murphy Classic football game. It was an eye-opening experience, mainly because even though we were away from Arkadelphia, so many current, former and prospective Ouachitonians were together as one family for one reason– to support our school and our team. It was an amazing example of being a “Tiger 4 Life.”
Junior year was a hard year academically; I was officially a double major, involved in so many great campus organizations and even had some leadership positions in a few of them. Even though I was busy and taking on new responsibilities, I thought tutoring with Peake Partnership through the Elrod Center for Family and Community would help me engage in the community that has given so much to us college kids. Through tutoring I learned the value of service. Ouachita has taught me that service – even a small act of service – is valuable and blesses someone when you least expect it. You never know, when you look back you will probably even realize how you, yourself, are blessed by it too!
Finally, here I am … a senior. Graduating in December with two majors, a full resume, memories and knowledge that will last me a lifetime. Although all of these things are great, the one thing that I will miss about Ouachita is the community. You hear it so often, but it truly is what this campus embodies: A community of believers willing and able to push you further in your relationship with Christ. A community of Arkadelphia who will lift your spirits when you walk into church or the local school by sharing a smile even during a tough time. A community of people who, although they were complete strangers at one point, are now your lifelong friends. Even though I am sad to move on, I know that being a #Tiger4Life is forever.
By Maddie Brodell, a senior mass communications and graphic design double major from Little Rock, Ark.
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