I'm a freshman here at Hendrix, only been here a month, but already I'm full of opinions about the place. In a gist, I love being here. I can't imagine going anyplace different.
The campus is absolutely gorgeous. There are old buildings and new buildings, and they were all designed to look well together. You walk on red brick paths past tasteful beds of colorful flowers. A few years ago they put in a "wild garden" as well, full of what most people call weeds. There is the Pecan Grove and the Pecan Court on campus, both flat spaces covered with pecan shells. Students can study and socialize at both places, but the pecan shells get inside your shoes (especially sandals) and stab you. The only thing I have to complain about, appearance-wise, is the fake rocks. They have fake plastic rocks to cover ugly sprinkler fixtures and they are UGLY. They don't even look realistic.
I live in Couch Hall, the only coed dorm, which is full of hippies and vegetarians. Hendrix has no Greek system; there is an annual Anti-Rush Week to celebrate that fact. But Hendrix doesn't need a Greek system; each dorm (since they're all, except Couch, single-sex) is like its own frat or sorority. Veasey and Martin are party dorms. Martin is the most alcoholic dorm on campus -- I saw a river of beer in the hallway once and I bet it wasn't the first time this happened, either.
The professors and the advisors here are great. Your profs will really go out of their way to help you, if they know you are pulling your weight. I was having trouble with my Latin exams even though I'm reasonably competent in Latin, getting much worse grades than I should have, so my prof tried having me do my exam orally. She did this because she knew I was studying hard and trying my best, and she wanted to give me a break. My advisor is also a professor here, and she's really nice. She schedules sort of chatty "how's it going" appointments with her advisees two or three times a semester, where you can talk not only about how your classes are going and what you want to take, but also stuff like problems with your roommate and at home.
Academics are really challenging here, particularly in foreign languages -- they really hit you over the head in that department. The core requirements are very flexible -- there's a one-course Challenges of the Contemporary World requirement, for instance, that can be filled from any course off a list of fifty from twelve departments! There is, due to the campus's size, a limited number of majors, but if you really really want a major Hendrix doesn't have, you can design one easily enough.
Freshmen have to take Journeys, a sort of get-used-to-a-liberal-arts-curriculum course. It's pretty cool: you study a variety of texts, including the Bible, the Koran, the Analects of Confucius, Origin of Species, etc. Starting this year freshmen must also take Explorations, which everyone hates -- it's a condescending how-to-be-a-good-student course. In addition to having weekly discussion group and reading a bright colorful textbook full of advice such as "do not date your teacher," you must attend a lot of mandatory discussion groups which interfere with studying for your other courses! But all the students hate it so much that hopefully the administration'll chuck it.
The cafeteria is great. It's a huge variety of foods, including vegetarian and kosher varieties, all you can eat, and they don't even care if you steal food. I just wish they served a proper dinner on Saturday nights. They serve deli stuff then and it's not very filling. If you don't like cafeteria, or you get hungry outside mealtimes, there's also the Burrow, a cafe that sells overpriced junk food, that you can patronize in the evening until midnight.
Conway, the town where Hendrix is, really sucks. It's white-trash urban sprawl. Those who have cars go to Little Rock a lot. Those who don't either stay on campus, or make friends with cars. You don't need a car to live on campus (over 80% of Hendrix kids live on campus, by the way) because Wal-Mart and downtown are both within walking distance.
There are plenty of cool campus-sponsored events, including the Murphy Program, which invites great authors to stay here and give lectures, and very good artistic-type school plays, and so on. There's no football team. :-( When all else fails, every Friday and Saturday night, and every night the University of Arkansas beats the University of Texas at football, there's a huge drunken bash over at Martin. There's a lot of pot around here, some shrooms also. So students are all reasonably entertained. Hendrix is a great place for me, but not for everyone. If you don't like liberal arts, you'll hate it, and if you don't like a small school atmosphere (barely more than 1,000 students) you'll hate it. But I would recommend it for those who prefer a small, supportive environment in the South. It's got great academics like I said, but it's not hard to get in due to lack of name recognition (though that is beginning to change). So...apply! I'm glad I did.