Traditional UCA students grow up together from freshman babies—curious about the world around them—to passionate, strong, educated young adults conquering UCA’s buildings and halls with their power and wit.
But the non-traditional students enter UCA having to adjust to their new surroundings and circumstances to conquer UCA at their own pace.
Junior transfer student from Ouachita Baptist University, Christopher Bell-Davis, contributes to UCA’s non-traditional student population after transferring about a year ago into UCA as a sophomore.
Bell-Davis is from Little Rock originally but moved to Arkadelphia to attend college before moving to UCA.
“It was culture shock,” Bell-Davis said. “The campus atmospheres were just so different. Ouachita is smaller and we were really big on community there.”
Bell-Davis quickly began to miss the sense of community he felt at Ouachita Baptist with the professors and classmates around him.
“I am naturally an extravert and I make friends easily but it took me a bit longer to make friends here,” Bell-Davis said.
Despite the culture shock, Bell-Davis has still managed to adjust and make himself at home on UCA’s campus.
As Bell-Davis continues his education at UCA he declared a major in journalism with a broadcast emphasis, began attending campus events and making friends.
“I have attended luncheons, social events, sporting events, pageants, seminars and even dinners at President Courtway’s house,” Bell-Davis said.
Developing a love for fashion in middle school, Bell-Davis also considers himself a part of UCA’s fashion population—some of the most fashionable students on campus.
“In middle school, even though we wore uniforms, I started trying to make fashion statements and put things together that, now looking back, looked dumb,” Bell-Davis said.
Now Bell-Davis attends UCA’s fashion shows and keeps up with fashion weeks, while making a few statements of his own through UCA’s halls.
Because of his experience as a non-traditional student at UCA, Bell-Davis also works with the non- traditional student office hoping to improve the office’s reach with his own experiences.
“Students don’t really hear a lot about the office so they don’t really see the help or know it is available,” Bell-Davis said.
In the near future Bell-Davis hopes to assist the office in providing more help and being a better place for non-traditional UCA students.
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 20, 2015 print edition of The Echo.