Chloe – Hughes (Part 5)

Hughes Residential College LogoAs I have said in other posts, Hughes Residential College has definitely made a difference in my freshman year here at UCA. If you are a student who feels prepared for college or a student who is timid about the whole thing, the staff of the residential colleges will do their best to help you.

Students come together to help each other because we are all in the same boat. We are all trying to balance a new lifestyle that we are unaccustomed to and learn how to manage time and different activities. Throughout this entire year, I have made new friends who have supported me through everything I have done this year. I wouldn’t change a thing about the path my freshman year has started me on.

Freshman year is meant to be a year where you find who you are, discover people who have the same interests as you, and enjoy being who you are in this moment. There will be moments when all you want to do is go home. These moments happen to everyone. Always remember that you are never alone.

The residential colleges are resources available to help you. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night. There will be someone who is willing to help you weather the downs and celebrate the ups with you. This is what college is about; being a part of something bigger than yourself and discovering what you live for.

At Hughes, we focus on leadership and community service projects. Trust me, there is never a dull moment in the Hughes lobby. We are just now beginning to establish the Hughes Leadership Institute and each advocate was required this semester to plan a service project and put it into action. During all of these programs and service projects, there are many opportunities to make friendships and become part of the Conway community.

If I had never had the opportunity to be in a Residential College I would not be as successful as I have become today. The staff and other students definitely made me feel as though I belonged here. Hughes Residential College has put my education front and center. I have been taught that I can do anything and I whole-heartedly believe that I can.

We can do anything with the help of people who want to see us succeed. Hughes Residential College has done just that for me. They will continue to do so for other students to come. Hughes is home!!! Come to UCA and you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Go Bears!!

Michael – Hughes (Part 5)

Michael 1

It’s the Res. College Life for ME!

Hey guys, this is my last post!  So in this post I want to sum up what living in Residential Colleges has done for me here at UCA.  From the picture above you can see that it made way for a lot of friends. From day one I was able to find people with similar interests as me. These people weren’t just my suite mates or roommate, but these people were from all over the building at first.

By the end of the year I was bouncing all over campus going to see different friends, there was not a residence hall that I had not visited by the end of the year. For most freshmen they are lucky to visit one or two residence halls other than their own. For me one of the most important of establishing myself at UCA was being involved from the very start.

Michael 3For me, I walked into UCA with a music scholarship that I had auditioned for earlier in the spring. One of the requirements for this scholarship was being a member of the BMB (Bears Marching Band), there I pretty much made 200ish instant friends. We all suffered through the heat, the long hours of rehearsal, and waited for the much desired water break.

Though I was involved in band, band did not stop me from trying to get involved even more. I would apply and almost receive a spot in UCA’s IDEAL program, which feeds into SGA positions and other leadership positions throughout UCA. From there I would also get my feet wet with what was going on in TSD (The Short Denney). I would go on the field trip to Memphis and that is what hooked me on becoming a Mentor (mentors are called Advocates now) the following year.


My sophomore year would roll around very fast; August crept up faster than it had ever before. The next thing I knew I was juggling mentor training and marching rehearsals. This would be an interesting year though. I would realize that the tight knit family group that I had formed the year before had moved to Bearidon, while I was still in TSD and one of my other friends would take up an internship.

Michael 2

Here is my friend Chandler (the one that I’m holding) and my friend Corey in the background. My friend Chandler is actually doing this blog too.  We missed our friend so we went and visited her. This year would be different for me though. I would be on the planning side of the Memphis trip this year while also taking one of the most challenging class loads that I have taken to date. Fortunately I had people to lean on when I needed them. Whether it was fellow mentors for help on my homework or friends to distress I had the people that I needed to help me out.




Michael 4This picture is from one of our spring activities, pie your RA and RC. Pictured are Daniel and me putting a pie in my RA Logan’s face. It was fun activities like this that kept the semester moving along.

For me to say residential college life helped me make it through the first two years would be an understatement.

I was in an environment that gave me the confidence that I could succeed, whether it was the friends and connections that I made, the encouraging faculty, or the building staff; there is just something about living in a residential college that is like no other.

I now work for Housing and Living/Learning Communities here at UCA as a Learning Assistant. In this position I work along side with about nine other LAs, we are scattered through out different residential colleges and residence halls.



When we get together we can discuss what is going on in each others building and for me it kept coming back to, the res colleges had better more involved communities than the other residence halls. There is something about living together and having classes together that allows for greater relationships to develop. Some of those relationships will develop traditions too. A tradition that I just followed through with this spring was getting my butt sketched. We have Spring Fling every year at UCA, one of the attractions is Butt Sketches.  This is the butt sketch from my sophomore year, but I have one from my freshman, sophomore and junior year. Each year I have had a different group of my friends, but we all commit to getting someone there to do it.


Michael 5


The one last thing I want to say is a little bit of advice. First of all WRITE THE ESSAY TO GET INTO A RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE. Next get up and go to class, school is no longer free, you are paying for it (if you aren’t someone is).


Michael 6Make sure to always prioritize your studies, if there is a party, get your work done then go! Start saving now, because there will be “necessary” IHOP runs (pictured are my friends Heather and Corey and me taking the picture of course. This was one of our many IHOP runs). Always remember to try your hardest, but have fun along the way. College literally is the best time of your life. It is a time to grow, change, mature, get it together and prove yourself. It is a time of self-reflection and self-dependence. Some of you will leave mom and dad hours away, states away or even continents away, don’t forget to call them they will miss you and you will eventually miss them too. Do not ever be afraid to get involved in a campus ministry! There are several here and they cover wide ranges of believers so don’t be afraid to look for one that fits you.


So, guys this is it! I have had a great time talking to all of my awesome readers. I hope that I get to see you here at UCA this fall or maybe next spring.


Peace Out MP is OUT!

Michael – Hughes (Part 4)

Hey guys and gals!  So if you are unaware of what’s going on here in college land. It the week before finals!!! Whoo!! Right??
It’s not Whoo, it’s all gloom and doom. Its all final projects, papers, and tests and I haven’t really even procrastinated on anything.
Meanwhile in high school land….in a far off place…. “Are we done yet? Can it just be summer already?  30 more days of school right?” Yeah we have all been there before.
High school is fun till the end starts dragging and then it’s all down hill the month of May. Well, the good news here at college is that you really don’t even go to school the month of May. For us this year it is finals week and graduation the first week of May and then we are OUT OF HERE!!! The question that may be come to your mind though, how do we survive if we do this two times a year?
Well you have asked a good question, we survive with our friends that we make. I know your like, “friends, what are those?” Right? Well these are the strange assortment of people you meet and start hanging out with at the beginning of the year. They either creep by your room and look in and start talking to you or they stalk you and show up places at your text or call.
These people start to grow on you and before you know most all of your free time is spent with them, these are what we call your “friends.”
Here at UCA we makes this process easy. We stick you in an area that is about half the size of a small theme park and we set you loose. We expect you to find food, we show where your shelter is and your classes maybe ( we will really show you where everything is, but this is fun writing ya know!).
Definitely not a Dismal Ordinary Room of Mine

Definitely not a Dismal Ordinary Room of Mine

More importantly this whole shelter thing. As an incoming freshman you live in a residence hall ( not a dorm, dorm= Dismal Ordinary Room of Mine) some of this residence halls are also home to residential colleges. For instance I live in Hughes Hall home of Hughes Residential College, Hughes Residential College theme is leadership; Short and Denney is home to the STARS Residential college where they are “living the Arts.” All in all there are there are five residential colleges EPIC Residential College  (Entrepreneurship, Public Scholarship, Innovation and Community Engagement) Bear Hall fourth floor, Hughes Residential College (Leadership) Hughes Hall, STARS Residential College (Living the Arts) Short and Denney, EDGE Residential College (liberal arts, global education and civic engagement) State Hall, and STEM Residential College (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Arkansas Hall. Each of these halls you can apply with an essay mentioned on that residential colleges page.

Okay so your shelter. Your shelter is your home, home is where the heart is, heart is family, family means Ohana, and Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind. SO yeah your friend group becomes your family. They are there for you when you are crying, dying, stressing, not sleeping, studying, succeeding and much more. The friends that I have made from the places that I lived are the people that I am going to keep in touch for the rest of my life. I had heard when I was getting ready to go to college, college is where you will find your best man or maid of honor, your best friends for life or maybe even your wife or husband.Micheal 4
You can have a social life in college- breathe, relax and proceed. I have successfully kept a social life, practiced and kept up with my homework. I have always had time to go and do, as long as I planned and prioritized.
Keep checking back!!
Michael 3

Chloe – Hughes (Part 4)

Connecting With Others

Hughes Residential College LogoOne of the main purposes for the residential colleges on campus is to allow students to form connection with not only other students but with faculty as well. Every week there are programs that are put on in the residential college classrooms and lobbies that are opportunities to meet new people and form new friendships.

I met some of my very best friends during an event called the Hughes Family Reunion. This event allows students who lived in Hughes in earlier years to come to Hughes Hall and talk with the new students who have just started their journey in Hughes.

It is important to attend programs and events that happen within the residential colleges. You are able to meet new people and learn new things about college and form connections with people who can help you with anything from personal problems to academic issues. Plus the activities are adventurous and you are always guaranteed a laugh or two. Everyone in the residential college is either new to college or have been through some college and have the skills to get you through the rough patch that beginning college can be.

Transitioning is hard, but it is possible to form friendships with those who will help your transition and allow you to succeed where you feel as though you might fail. Students in residential colleges have classes together in the dorms and within the other buildings on campus. It is required that you take a few classes within your residential college so you are exposed to people that live within your hall and to form study groups. This allows for students to have help and a support group when weathering the storm that freshman year can be. Everyone in the residential college is here to help.

So come on down and get ready to have some fun and meet new friends. You belong at UCA and in a Residential College.

Michael – Hughes (Part 3)

Members of the Bear Marching Band (or BMB in campus-speak)

Members of the Bear Marching Band (or BMB in campus-speak)

Hey Guys! What is striped and feared at the same time? The stripes…a.k.a. the football field at Estes stadium. We’ve got to get you up to speed before you get here and make yourself at home here at UCA. Fun facts about the STRIPES real fast; we have the largest mascot on a field, we have the only alternating color field, and it the only field that represents both school colors. So we do I bring this up? Well one, its really cool to march on.

Yes if you haven’t got that figured out I’m also in the Bears Marching Band. We march pre-game, halftime and fifth quarter every home game rain or shine. So the real reason I bring up the field your wondering? It’s because it is different.
Different here like almost everything else in life, it is not a bad thing. Being different is what makes life interesting. These differences are what create diversity in our lives.
Since I have been here at UCA I have never had to look far to find something different from where I grew up. Yes I grew up in the middle of no where, granted my graduating class was 200ish; but the first school that I went to I would have graduated in a class of 20ish. Needless to say different didn’t come up and bite you on the butt that often there and still not to much more at my Alma Mater.
Hughes life

Hughes life

So when I got to UCA I had a fun time at first getting to know the campus and exploring, getting  my room all set up, and other things. What I really started to notice was that I wasn’t always hearing english all the time when I was walking around campus.

What I found out was that UCA host students from all around the world. I have met and made friends from China, South America (various places), Italy, Various countries from Africa and even Bulgaria (for all you Harry Potter friends). Diversity is something that UCA is not short on. Whether it is created by people from all over the US or the world, or even guest speakers and artist. I have grown so much because of this experience and have gained a great amount of appreciation for other cultures by hanging out and making friends with the exchange students.
Diversity is not just present in the obvious either. At UCA I have been exposed to many different schools of thought through the general education requirements that we have. These classes have challenged me to think in new ways and even have challenged my moral values.
College in general is supposed to be about broadening yourself, while here at UCA you have the opportunity to do that any where you walk on this campus. Whether it is meeting with a group of new friends in your lobby, a new roommate/suite mates, faculty and even in the subject matter of your classes. Every where you look there is something different, something changing and being pushed forward.
Being different is a good thing whether the majority wants you to fit their mold or not. Be different! It is far better to live and die being an individual, than it is to live life as a copy. Be an AVID individual here at UCA.
Stay plugged in for my next post.

Chloe – Hughes (Part 3)

Hughes Residential College LogoThe residential colleges at the University of Central Arkansas are known for the range of diversity of its students. For new student’s, coming to college is a new experience because of a new range of people that they are going to be exposed to.

I loved being in a new environment with so many people from different backgrounds. I learn things from my fellow residents that I would have not learned from a teacher in a classroom. We all have different backgrounds and stories that show how we have become who we are and make us all understand that the only way to go from here is up.

The residential colleges are particularly for entering freshman whether they are international students or nontraditional students that may be in the armed forces, the residential colleges are definitely a melting pot for differing cultures and ideas.

One of my favorite things to do at Hughes is to listen and have conversations with those who are from differing backgrounds from me. The residential master here has a “coffee Shoppe” every other Sunday and it has been a great way to meet new people and have conversations that you can walk away from with new friendships that will last a life time.

College is definitely about opening up to new people and new experiences. All you have to do to learn something new is go downstairs and spend some time in the lobby with your fellow residents. Learning does not just take place in a classroom at UCA. It happens all the time by meeting new people and sharing stories. I have learned much this year including the importance of branching out of myself and challenging my beliefs.

Residential Colleges are truly the place to be and to learn.

Chloe – Hughes (Part 2)

Hughes Residential College LogoLiving/learning communities set students apart from other students on campus. We live within a community of people that we have classes together and that we see on a day-to-day basis.

As students within the living learning community, it is our duty to do our best to succeed and to help our students transition from high school life to college life. The Hughes Residential College’s theme, if you will, is “Leadership”.

We focus on many different aspects of what it means to be a leader and what you have to do to become one. Within Hughes we have a new program that is specifically for those who are interested in becoming leaders. It is dutifully named “Hughes Leadership Institute” and we have speakers from on campus and off come and explain different aspects of leadership.

We also take part in a ropes course as one major part of the program. The course and strengths quest is designed to challenge your ability and capacity to be a leader and everyone who went this last semester was better able to handle leadership positions when the course was over.

Hughes is also beginning to become a major part of the community by doing several service projects through Hughes Leadership Institute and The Advocate program. This year we were involved with the Boys and Girls club and we spent an afternoon watching the Bears and Sugar Bears play basketball. It was a great time and to see how happy it made the kids made everything that much better.

We hold ourselves in a high position as members of a living-learning community that strives for success. We simply ask that you try and if you do, you will fit right in with any of the residential colleges that UCA has to offer.

Michael – Hughes (Part 2)


Me teaching clarinet at Clinton’s Beginning Band Day

Hey guys, its me MP again! So the skinny on what it means to be in college and what you should walk out of college on your resume.

College= Education + Social Life + Lack of Sleep +Food of Some Sort + Dash of Stress

So each of these components have a lasting effect on your integrity. This word works in two ways here, your quality as a student and person in the concepts of honesty and morals and being whole and undivided, in reference to your health.

When I left home for college I got the usual 7-8 hours a night and dinner was a meal I never wanted to miss. Three years later, I do good to get 4-6 hours depending on the project due the next day. As far as dinner goes I go to see my friends first and then for the food.  Your probably like….. “this what every college person says, all nighters, bad food and the internet goes down at the worst possible time”….. we all say that because its TRUE. More importantly I mention food and sleep first because they are the most important thing you will worry about in college. A lot of students are very flexible their freshman year and “elastic” at least for the first semester. Your “structural integrity” (your body’s integrity) is tested in the fall and recovered over the month of vacation “christmas break.” Then you only get one real break in the spring! People do not get sick because we live in such close proximity (okay they do but not thats not the point here). Students get sick because they are worn down because they are not eating right or sleeping enough!

Okay enough on the health rant. So your moral compass and how people are going to see you when you get out of college. How are you going to build your character, humble yourself, build leadership skills, and work on your moral integrity???? Well it all depends on what you want to get involved in here at the good ole UC of A. (Cue Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast (don’t judge you will fall back in love with Disney in college)).

“Ladies and Gents, its with our deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you to UCA. And now we invite you to have fun, let us pull up a Bear as the S. O. S. presents your future. Be our students! Be our Students!  Put our campus to the test Put your Bear Card ‘round your key, chain And we’ll provide the rest. Soup or more Hot hors d’oeuvres Why, we only live to serve Try the gray turf It’s stupendous. Don’t believe me? Ask the Coaches! They can yell, they dance After all, Folks, this is school. And the purple here is never second best Go on, unpack your bags Take a stroll and then you’ll….. Be our Students“ (Remember I’m a band person not a choir person, I write the music not the lyrics).

Me during a summer as an RA for Upward Bound

Me during a summer as an RA for Upward Bound

So being a student here at UCA means a lot of hard things other than classes, for example: Registered Student Organizations (RSO’s), Greek Life, Residential Colleges, athletic events, intramural sports, Resident Hall Association (RHA), SGA and SAB events (Student Government Association and Student Activities Board), Concerts, and Performances; “this is short folks.” With all of these organizations they get involved with community and  volunteer and hold fundraisers for different charities and foundations. The important part of life here at UCA is to have fun, but make it rewarding.


Stay plugged in for my next post.


Michael – Hughes

Hey guys, whats up?  My name is Michael Parrish and I am a Jr. Instrumental Music Education major here at the University of Central Arkansas.

I have called two places here on campus my home, Short/Denney STARS Residential College and Hughes Leadership Residential College. Back in my day S/D was not STARS, but it was just what we call TSD “The Short Denney.” Since I moved over to the merry ole land of Hughes it has been adopted by the college of Fine Arts and Communication. Now I am a Learning Assistant in Hughes Hall and an avid member of HLI “Hughes Leadership Institute.” Hughes Residential College is the res. college that builds leaders.

For me residential colleges have played a very important role in my life here at UCA.

Though I have not really had the traditional route through the res. college life. I walked into UCA with 23 hours, which meant I did not have many classes to take in the res. college that I lived in. For me I got to adventure out into the big world faster than my friends. We did not realize this at the time, but it was a very big advantage for myself and my friends. Because I knew where everything was on campus now, including what areas of study were in what building (this was really helpful when everyone started switching from pre-med to other majors).

While I did not have a lot of my classes in Short/Denney I did get the same experience as everyone else. I was able to reach out and get help from “mentors” at the time. Now these students are called Advocates. For me I was around one the mentors a lot because he was in my friend group that I made. We all lucked out that we had him, because we did not wonder around like the lost little freshmen that we were.

When came to classes there is a lot of help available. Unfortunately being the hot shot that I was I did not use it, I said “I don’t need help, I never had to study in high school, I’ll be able to study for this test the night before,” and the ever popular “I’ll do better on the next test.” I would make my first C and have to drop a class my first semester of college.

This was the eye opener of my life.

As it got later in the fall semester the more I started to use the resources that were offered by my professors and the place that I lived. I would some how pull the almost F that I had in Sociology up to a C for semester, because I started going to my professor’s office before the test and review where I had went wrong on the last test. I sought out the mistakes that I had made on previous testes and corrected them for future test. I would ask my professor advice on how to study the material and he gave me advice on how to keep which theorist straight with what theory.

From here I was not in a writing class, but when I had to write papers my grammar sucked, so it was bringing my grades down. So I started asking mentors to read over my papers and I even adventured over to the Writing Center to have my papers looked over as well.

Once I started to use the resources that were given to me, for free I might add, I started to succeed. I enjoyed college and I wanted to stay here so I pulled up my pants and settled in for the long hall. I set the firm belief in my head that I was here for an education and then a social life, I would realize later that you have to have an equal amount or you do not actually get what you come to college for. If you are not developing ties with people there is nothing tiring you to UCA. While if you put all of your ties into your studies, all work and no play made jack a dull boy.

Finally all this to say, 1. you need to study, 2. make friends(they will help in ways you can’t even imagine right now), and 3. always accept help no matter what shape or form.

For now I want to leave you with. The friends that you make in college will be your friends for life, your “biffil’ (best friend for life) will probably be your maid of honor or your best man. The first major you first pick probably will change, but some people like myself stick it out, you will realize that yes, you have to study more than you did in high school. This studying may not happen in you 1000 or 2000 level classes but it will for your 3000 and 4000 level classes. Learn to talk to your professors like you did in high school teachers, don’t let them intimidate you, they want to see you succeed just as much and everyone else. Most importantly don’t drink your college years away, but also have some fun on the way.

Stay plugged in for my next post.


Chloe – Hughes

Hughes Residential College LogoMy name is Chloe. I am a current student at UCA and will soon finish my freshman year. I look forward to what my future has in store for me. The sky is the limit.

Being involved in the Hughes Residential College program has definitely made transitioning from high school to college much easier for me. I was doubtful of my ability to succeed without the help my family being close and without going to the same school as my twin sister.

Thankfully, there are advocates and learning assistants within the residential colleges that are there to help you be your best and get the best grade that you can in all of your classes.

It is thanks to the Advocates and the Learning Assistants that I am about to end my freshman year with a GPA of a 4.0. I could never have done it without them and I am thankful for them everyday.

The tutoring available through the residential college system is in place to allow students to access resources to help them grow and transition within college. If you ever encounter something that you don’t know how to handle or don’t understand the advocates and Learning Assistants can find the answers and provide the help that you need.

You cannot fail with so many people willing to help; all you have to do is put in the effort and things will fall into place. Residential colleges are all about student success on a personal level.