Dust Yourself Off

Whenever I’ve got a big assignment to do or something school-y to study, I’ll run through my usual list of things to procrastinate with – grabbing a snack, watching one more episode on Netflix or chatting with one of my suitemates. However, on special occasions, I’ll lapse into the ultimate procrastination technique (often without even realizing it!).


My bedroom, my bathroom, our common room and even our kitchen isn’t safe from my scrubbing tendencies. Today, I caught myself standing in my tub with my sleeves rolled up, a bottle of bleach cleaner in one hand and a sponge in the other. I briefly thought about some of the online journals I needed to write up, and then went right back to wiping my bathroom down. I also washed all the sheets on my bed, organized the clutter in my room and went through the semi-expired food in our fridge.

Sometimes, you need a mental break from the stress of the semester, and sometimes that break comes in the form of dusting and vacuuming.

If you need me, I’ll be Clorox-ing our kitchen counter and bobbing my head to Justin Bieber’s new album (and writing those online journals, too).

Honor Code

Christopher Newport University has one very unique component to its community. Many schools have an honor code, but we uphold ours like no other.

Just about every day, I leave at least one of my belongings somewhere around campus, whether it’s my phone or my backpack, and every time I come back it is untouched and exactly where I left it. When I go into Regatta’s or Commons for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I normally always place my backpack and my phone down at the table where I am sitting then leave to go grab food. When I go to the library, I place my books and laptop out on the table where I plan to get my work done. If I leave to go to Einstein’s Cafe, and come back, my things are unbothered.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that outside of Christopher Newport, the world does not operate the same. I cannot just go into a restaurant and leave my belongings around and be 100 percent confident they won’t get taken.

The trust that we all share with each other on this campus is something that I think gets overlooked very often. I am grateful for CNU and the honor code because it shows me that society isn’t all bad.

Don’t Forget to Breathe

So, for the past week every time I take a study break and hit up ye olde social media, I see a lot of amusing posts from my fellow struggling comrades that read something along the lines of, “To Do Tonight: 1. Cry, 2. Only Cry Once.” What a valiant goal! Because it’s true.

There are several times throughout the semester that the whole aura of the campus changes. All of a sudden you see more students in sweats with messy hair and slightly bloodshot eyes. When asked how they’re doing the common reply is, “Oh, you know!” included with a sad, slightly crazed smile. College has its ups and downs and when the realization hits that we only have two weeks of classes left before finals, the campus becomes somewhat of a survival show. The one thing people will not be able to prepare you for in college is stress.

Yes, you can read articles and books and have your own self-care regiment that worked for you in high school. But, nothing prepares you for this. All I can promise you is that you are going to figure it out. As a senior, I found it incredibly hilarious to see the freshmen begin to freak out about finals a few days ago. Then, remembering back to what my first set of finals was like as a freshman, my smile drops and I just want to pick them all up and give them a hug and tell them that eventually, it’s all going to be OK. Because it does get better. The stress will never fully go away, but through trial and error you will figure out how you best handle it. For example, as a senior, if I am given an assignment of a five-page paper, I know approximately how long it will take me in hours, how I need to research, and how I need to outline it to write fluidly and efficiently. It may have taken me six semesters to figure out, but I finally did.

You got this. There might be tears, there might be coffee, there might be late night pizza, and there might be naps in the library, but in the end you are going to make it home for the holidays in one piece! Among the numerous online articles about things you can do to manage your stress as a college student here is my advice: S.T.O.P.

S – Stop

T – Take 3 deep breaths

O – Observe/Plan

P – Proceed

So, my fellow and future Captains, don’t forget to breathe! May the odds be ever in your favor. The sun will come out tomorrow and all that jazz. We got this! Finals ain’t got nothing on us!

Panhellenic Preview 2015


A few weeks ago, Christopher Newport’s Panhellenic sororities hosted their second annual Panhellenic preview: an open house/trial run to formal recruitment in the spring.

I attended preview with a very skeptical mind, and preconceived ideas about Greek life in general that were very stereotypical. However, the idea of being in a sorority was intriguing enough that I thought I’d go to preview just to see if they could change my mind. They did.

Greeks and non-Greeks will both tell you that CNU sorority life is much different from other schools. You won’t find many stereotypical sorority girls here, which is what I discovered at preview.

At the event, we were put into groups of about 20 potential new members, and went to different rooms around the David Student Union and the Freeman Center for 20 minutes at a time. At first, we were all pretty intimidated by the chanting (you just had to be there) that was coming from the other side of the door where the sorority sisters were. When we were led into each room, the girls would grab us by the arm and lead us somewhere to talk. Being able to mingle with the girls, and really getting to know more about sorority life and sisterhood was eye-opening. The sisters of CNU’s Greek life are very committed to their philanthropies and the bonds they’ve fostered with their sisters. They’re also very honest, and sort of adorkable (adorable + dorky). It was definitely not what I thought Greeks would be like. I imaged Barbie dolls in Lily Pulitzer patterns talking about shopping and gossip, not down-to-earth girls in jeans and letters telling me about their passions and dreams.

Of course, there were a few girls who fit the sorority stereotype more than others, but seeing that mixed in with so many different backgrounds and interests was very encouraging.

The sisters did an amazing job of being personable, truthful, and all-around sweet women who left a great impression on me. If you’re contemplating joining a sorority, you should seriously consider going to Panhellenic preview next year. It’ll change your mind on a lot of things involving Greek life and give you a much better idea of what recruitment and sororities at Christopher Newport are really like.


White Christmas

One of the (many) amazing benefits of being a student at Christopher Newport is the unlimited access to the Ferguson Center for the Arts. This venue hosts dozens of performances each year, ranging from concerts by Harry Connick Jr. and Celtic Woman, to Chinese acrobats and Broadway shows. The variety is fantastic, and students even get discounted tickets! Each time I attend a show, several people come up to me and comment on how lucky I am to go to a school with such a beautiful facility, and, every time, I realize again how right they are.

This past weekend, the Ferg presented Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” Now, let me give you some context on my relationship with “White Christmas”. I saw the musical live for the first time at a dinner theater with some friends when I was 11. Since then, “White Christmas” has been my all-time favorite Christmas movie. Every Christmas Eve I make my whole family sit down to watch it together, and we sing every song at the top of our lungs. My sister and I are totally convinced that we ARE the main characters, and their “Sisters” song totally defines our relationship. Needless to say … I was pretty excited when I found out it was going to be performed here.

I decided to surprise my whole family with tickets, and their reaction was exactly what I had been hoping for. My parents, sister and grandmother all packed into my mom’s mini van, and they came road-tripping down to CNU for the show. Once we arrived in the Ferguson lobby, it was so fun to see the excitement in the eyes of the families waiting for the show to start. Christmas music was playing, everyone was wearing red, and the holiday spirit seemed to be settling in on CNU. The show itself was incredible! My family and I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The songs were amazing, the dance numbers blew me away, and the audience was fully engaged through the entire performance. It was absolutely worth taking a night off from essay writing and homework to see a great show and fall into the Christmasy spirit. And, in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. I did sing all of the songs with my sister!

Although the final showing of “White Christmas” was on Sunday night, I would highly encourage everyone to pick up tickets for upcoming shows. Check out the schedule online! There are so many awesome events coming up. Take someone on a date! Go for a fun night with your roommates! Do what I did, and bring your family down! We are so lucky to have such fantastic performances right on campus. Don’t miss out on the chance to take advantage of them!

4 Ideas for Those Sick of Being Sick

When the CNU plague hits and you find yourself infected with the sniffles, coughs and more, try these tips to get your body back to 100 percent:

  1. Come to class prepared. Whether you have to bring your own box of tissues or a backpack full of cough drops, don’t leave the essentials behind. Trust me, I’ve been that girl in class who sneezes and has to excuse herself with both hands covering her nose – it’s not pretty. If you’re sicker than just the average cold, let your professor know! They’ll usually excuse your absence and work with you to get caught up on assignments.
  2. Stay hydrated and sleep more. Bring a water bottle to campus and aim to finish it (maybe even twice!) and schedule your nights so you’re in bed earlier than usual. Resting really does help your body heal; plus, being sick gives you an excuse to nap more! At least that’s how I justify it.
  3. Grab your favorite soup from Panera. Living in the CNU Village apartments means the bread-y restaurant is right downstairs, but it’s not a long walk from main campus, either. Treat yourself to some broccoli cheddar soup!
  4. Let your friends know how you’re doing and how they can help. Seriously, you have roommates and hallmates for a reason – it’s OK to lean on them once in a while. Sophomore year, I drove my roommate to the hospital and waited with her when she came down with a case of pinkeye. After her diagnosis, we picked up her prescription from a Walgreen’s a little after 1 a.m. and spent the car ride back to campus cracking jokes and laughing about what life hands you. If you’re really not doing well, let someone know. Though it may sound cheesy, Captains support each other!

If you pass me on campus and catch me mid-sneeze, be sure to send a thumbs-up or smile my way (from a safe, germ-free distance, of course). We’ll get through this sick season eventually, and until we do, may the NyQuil ever be in your favor.

5 Perks of a Small Campus

To me, one of the best features of Christopher Newport is its size.

  1. You do not have to walk a thousand miles to get around the campus. I live in Warwick River Hall, a residence hall for second-year students, and the longest I have to walk to get across campus is exactly seven minutes.
  2. The campus is big enough to see different people every day (if you wanted to). If I do not go out of my way to hang out with friends from my Tuesday and Thursday classes, I usually will not see them around campus.
  3. The small campus allows for everyone to basically know (or know of) each other. CNU is one big family.
  4. With a small campus comes small classes. These small classes allow for a more intimate setting where students and teachers get to know each other, and students can get personalized help if necessary. Four out of the five classes that I am taking this semester have 25 or fewer students.
  5. Last but not least, something that I find extremely interesting is that Christopher Newport offers special topic courses. The topics for each of the special topic courses vary based on the special interests and needs of the students and the expertise of the faculty for that subject. I have not taken one of the special topic courses yet, but I plan on taking one next year!

Cool Minors You May Not Have Heard Of

Deciding your major isn’t always an easy task. With so many options available at Christopher Newport, how do you cram in all the things you want to learn while still graduating on time? Perhaps a minor is the best thing for you – but do you know what minors are available to you?

CNU happens to offer some pretty interesting minors, and here are a few you may not know a lot about:

Digital Humanities

Directors: Dr. Trevor Hoag & Dr. Anton Siochi

Credits: 18

Interested in a mix of digital art, writing and media? You’ve found the perfect minor. Digital humanities teaches students all they need to know of a career involving the digital world (which is almost every job nowadays). You get a taste of lots of different, yet similar fields all in one minor! This minor especially can be appealing for English majors who will be concentrating on writing digitally, communication majors or majors in the arts who would like to learn more about working digitally.  Click here for more info…

International Business & Culture

Director: Dr. Jana Adamitis

Credits: 18

For business majors who would like to learn more about taking their skills abroad (or working with other countries), this is the minor for you. This field explores how business works across cultures, enriching students with the ability to work with a broad array of clients and companies for their future endeavors. For people interested in a career that involves global communication, you should definitely check this minor out. Click here for more info…

Civil Engagement & Social Entrepreneurship

Directors: Dr. Roberta Rosenberg & Dr. Stephanie Bardwell

Credits: 18

Want to learn how to solve problems, and be a more active citizen? Looks like you’ve come to the right minor. This minor focuses on broadening yourself to a more global perspective, and teaches both awareness and good communication skills in how to better get involved and make a difference in society. Some focuses in this minor are environmental conservation, equal access to education and social/political justice. This minor includes classes in economics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, social work, and more! Click here for more info…

Film Studies

Director: Dr. John Nichols

Credits: 15

For the movie buffs out there, get excited for this awesome minor! Film studies explores how, when and why films are created and distributed in society. As a minor you’ll explore the work put into writing films, what genres are involved in the study and the impact that movies have had on our society. This course is heavy on English and history classes, so if those interest you then you should also think about taking up this minor. Not to mention, the credit requirements are smaller than other minors. This means that if you’ve been looking for a minor but weren’t sure if you could fit it into your schedule, you may want to consider this one. Click here for more info…

Human Rights & Conflict Resolution

Director: Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter

Credits: 18

Students with a particular fondness for social work and government may want to read about this interesting minor. Human rights and conflict resolution focuses on international and local justice, and how to achieve it through positive conflict solving skills. The minor allows students to discuss and explore the nature of violence, basic human rights worldwide and the differences in policies nations may possess. Click here for more info…

Seeing CNU Through Fresh Eyes

I tend to involve myself in a LOT here at Christopher Newport. Every day I’m volunteering at something or attending something else, and I never really have a day off. Sometimes it feels like I don’t have time to breathe before I’m running off to the next event, but this is just a testimony to how much I love CNU. I’m overly involved on campus because I want to be involved. I see it as my way of giving back to a campus that has given me a home.

That being said, one of my favorite positions at this school is being a recruiter for the President’s Leadership Program (PLP). This sounds like a pretty fancy title, but it basically means that twice a semester, I host one or two students overnight in my residence hall and show them a little bit of what college is like. I take them to on-campus activities and sports events, eat with them in the dining halls, introduce them to other students and faculty members, and answer their many, many questions about CNU and college life in general.

What’s awesome about this position is that it allows me to see Christopher Newport through fresh eyes again. I get to experience, multiple times a year, the excitement that a high school senior feels when they arrive at my campus for the first or second time. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and it consistently reminds me why I chose CNU. I watch their awe as they look at the buildings or their elation when President Trible stops to say hello to them in the Plaza. Sometimes, as a student, I become numb to these things. I am running around so much that days go by where I feel like I’m going through the motions, and I forget to look around and realize how incredible it is that I’m lucky enough to go to a school like Christopher Newport.

Watching the high schoolers’ reactions wakes me up. It causes me to pay a little bit more attention to the things I might have forgotten about or begun to overlook. It makes me appreciate the small things again, like the names on the bricks around the plaza and the always-friendly dining staff. In short, it makes me fall in love with CNU again, and that’s something I want to continue doing all the way through graduation. I never want to fully lose the wide-eyed wonder that I had when I visited Christopher Newport for the first time, and I’m so grateful to have a position like a PLP recruiter that allows me to experience that sensation over and over again with potential new students.