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Eleven things that will shape your ULM experience

Published November 15, 2016 

We enroll in college, attend classes, study, and several years later, come out with a diploma, ready to experience “the real world.”  

But what about the stories we take with us – our college experience?

This article tries to determine the most important elements that shape our ULM experiences. In other words, what makes those experiences strong and memorable, worth retelling.

Research shows that it isn’t necessarily what happens in the classroom that shapes our college experiences, but rather other factors such as residential halls, friends and extracurricular involvement.

To help improve your college experience at ULM, we created a list of 11 things you should consider doing before you graduate.

1. Live in a residential hall

At least as a freshman, live in one of those old-fashioned residential halls every campus has. You won’t have much privacy. But that’s OK, that’s not your priority. Your priority is new friends.

Long hallways, small rooms usually shared with multiple roommates, communal bathrooms and small lobbies – you can’t avoid bumping into different people on a daily basis, and that’s how you make friends

2. Watch the ski team perform

Everyone knows it – ULM is the school that houses the nation’s best waterski team, comprised of some of the world’s best water-skiers. 

The team has won 27 out of 38 National Championships. Being able to see them perform is nothing less than a privilege, so make sure you do that at the annual Bayou Classic or at one of the waterski shows organized each semester.

You can still catch them this semester at the waterski show that will be held on December 3 on Bayou DeSiard as an overture to the football game against ULL.

3. Take a look from the library terrace

Located on the seventh floor of the ULM library, the library terrace provides a great view of the campus, but the city as well.   

Try to locate your favorite building on or around the campus, see how far the forests spread, track the flow of the bayou, or observe the students while they walk around campus. You won’t believe how far you can see from up there, so take a deep breath and enjoy the view.

4. Play Oozeball

Sometimes, you have to add a dose of craziness to really and truly have a fun and memorable experience. And in case you wonder how big a dose of craziness you need to play Oozeball, that depends on how you look at playing volleyball in a knee-deep mud. Yes, that’s what Oozeball is.

The Oozeball tournament is organized during the ULM’s Spring Fever week, and, believe it or not, this tournament is one of the student favorites, as it always gathers a large number of students participating in this extremely fun and unique activity.

5. Tailgate in the Grove

You have not truly experienced a ULM football game unless you have tailgated in the Grove. 

The Grove unites students, faculty and staff, as well as the community who all come with the same goal – to have fun and support their favorite team.   

Have a drink, taste some awesome food and engage in conversations or fun activities with amazing people.

6. Canoe ride in Bayou

There is not a better way to explore the campus and its surrounding beauty than by water. 

The Wesley Foundation, located on campus by Strauss Hall, offers free kayaks and pedal boards for students to engage in fun and exciting adventures on beautiful Bayou DeSiard.

7. Run the University Mile

The University Mile is held annually on campus during homecoming week.

A mile-long race through campus always gathers a large number of students and community members who always look forward to this fun activity.

8. Visit the Natural History Museum on campus

The museum promotes and advances an understanding and appreciation of all aspects of natural history.

It features the second largest herbarium in the southeastern region of the U.S., a large collection of Native American artifacts, a collection of rocks, minerals, gems, skull casts, and more.

With over 6 million fish housed in 100,000 jars, the museum features the third largest university-based collection of fish in the world.

9. Go to the CAB midnight breakfast during finals

Finals week can be stressful. But keep in mind that, once it’s over, you’ll finally be able to put those classes behind you and be done with the semester.

Midnight breakfast is another stress reliever for students entering finals week. Take a break from studying and stressing about the finals. Relax for a moment and re-charge yourself by grabbing breakfast at Schulze Cafeteria.

10. Visit Special Collections and Archives

Located on the fifth floor of the ULM library, the Special Collections and Archives office offers a wide range of exhibits including unique collection of various books, collection of student-run newspapers, ULM yearbooks, information on the founding families of Ouachita parish, and more.

11. Feed the turtles

Our Bayou is full of turtles. They been swimming among us for generations. Feeding them is the newest tradition on our campus.

Every prospective student who tours the ULM campus gets a chance to interact with our cutest residents. Those who missed this opportunity can still do it every day around our beautiful campus. The turtles were given a nod when several turtle structures were erected in Bayou Park in the summer of 2016.