ULM has been a big piece of my life even before I officially became a student there. My grandfather, my godmother, uncles, my mother, and my father were all students/alumni from what was then NLU and, in my sister’s case (Class of 2005), ULM.
I chose my hometown university as my pick for furthering my education for many reasons, but I never thought of the many doors that'd open for me and all the awesome friends and professors I would come to encounter and grow everlasting bonds with.
Here's my list of why I'm absolutely honored to be a student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe...
1. Friends/ ULM Prep
I've met some AWESOME people while at this college. Some I even met my freshman year and have stayed close with them since! One of the first ones I met was a creative, fiery redhead named "Bree" We met during 2013 ULM PREP Orientation and she was my go-to girl for all things adventurous and for the nights I won't forget:
Personal shoutout to "Bar 3." It was the highlight of my weekends for my first 2 years at college. If you never had a chance to frequent Bar 3 back in its hey-day, ask a group of friends; I'm sure at least one person has an entertaining story to share about this legendary bar/nightclub. Also, I've heard rumors of a new club opening soon: be sure to check out Hammer's, coming later this spring. It'll be within a mile of ULM and owned and operated by the owners of Bar 3 and Sixth Street.
Then I met these 5 girls, in this order:
Hilary: College of Republicans Club [Pictured below, 2nd on the top right]: Hilary welcomed me into this club with open arms, and loved my enthusiasm. Her wisdom and wit made freshman year a lot of fun!
Brittany: ULM Secret Admirers page [The bottom left]: Let me explain. Brittany, from what I remember, just used to comment on posts and seemed funny and we had similar personalities so I said to myself, "I wanna be one of her bestest friends and the rest is history."
Brea: Communications class [the bottom right]: I believe we officially became friends when we were in Dr. Kauffman's class. Like Hilary, Brea was very sweet and was always making me laugh. Brea is my idea of the word "popular": she's well-involved on campus, very friendly, a good scholar, and just an all-around fantastic human being.
Emily: Survey of art history 2 [middle]: Technically, I'd known Emily since my first fall semester but we didn't become friends till about the spring of my sophomore year. We were both kinda quiet and shy and just one day, we decided to become besties and here we are like 3 years later; during the spring semester of 2015, we took a ceramics class together and I even coined a hashtag for our friendship": #MugsHugsNuggs
Callie: We met through Emily [top left]: I don't remember exactly the moment Callie and I became friends; I know I just mentioned something to Emily during the summer of 2015 about how I haven't gone out in a while, and she invited me to come with them; Callie and I have similar interests and personalities so we bonded over that.
2. The football games
Whether we win or lose, ULM games are a lot of fun! However, I didn't start regularly going till the Fall of 15' because my cousin had just joined the team that year. I'm now so proud to be a Warhawk now that I am surrounded by countless fans at football games!
3. Changing my major
I love to write, but decided a part of me wished it was doing something with art more, so I took a leap of faith and switched to Art Education as a second semester sophomore and haven't regretted it one bit. I'm in love with my classmates and each of their different personalities; when I became an art major I was accepted into a wild yet supportive family/tribe. During my time as an Art Ed. major I've been able to have my art displayed in the Student Gallery in Walker Hall and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to be involved in class observations. And, of course, I've been able to enjoy the fun-messyness that being involved with art brings. One day, I even had to run across campus to a psychology class basically covered in paint!
4. Art camp/Art trips
Going off of #3, I've had the chance to participate in an Art Camp and travel to Dallas/Forth Worth for bonding and soul-fulfilling museum explorations!
5. The School spirit
My university may be smaller compared to some, but it's unbelievably packed with spirit! If it's not the local businesses that support our local college, it's the inhabitants of ULM themselves! #Talonsout!
6. The Scenery & Campus
Positioned right on the Bayou, ULM has such a gorgeous and peaceful vibe. I look forward to the middle of the spring semester when the weather is just right and I can find a bench near the library and just sit and take in the views in front of me; sometimes I'll even bring lunch or do some drawing or writing while I'm out there.
7. The Odyssey
Words are almost indescribable for my feelings for The Odyssey at ULM. I wrote on/off my freshman year, and then later started a positive/faith-based blog and fell into a hiatus/slump. Then around September of last year, my amazing editor approached me about writing for The Odyssey and it was a prayer answered in ways beyond my wildest dreams. Writing for The Odyssey has given me an outlet and a way to let me speak about things that I'm passionate about as well as help me develop not only my writing skills, but also my social skills. It's even really built up my self esteem!
8. How friendly everyone is
If there's one thing that I noticed instantly about ULM very early on, it's how amicable everyone is. It's rare to go anywhere on campus without being greeted with a smile, or having a door held open for you. If you pass through the Quad (especially in the mornings), it's often that you'll be offered a free donut or look down to see that someone writes words of encouragement on the sidewalk. The students whom are behind such small but kind gestures don't have to do these things but they genuinely want to!
9. The Student to Student @ ULM page
This resource on Facebook has been soooo helpful to me and other students. You can ask about anything from advice on certain classes to general questions about the school and student life-related inquiries. Good job to whoever was behind this!
10. Teachers that will try their best to make the class fun and as interesting as possible
I've had the blessing of having some fantastic yet entertaining classes while at ULM. They make learning feel the complete opposite of a chore and that means a lot to me.
In conclusion, I have really loved being a student at this university and will feel like I'm leaving a piece of me behind next year when I graduate. I encourage and highly recommend incoming freshmen, non-traditonal students, and graduates looking into all this college has to offer to take an in-depth tour. I wear my maroon and gold with pride and am sincerely proud to be a Warhawk.