Gearing Up for Finals

As our last week of classes is coming to an end, Finals are quickly approaching. But have no fear! I’ve got a few quick tips to help make your finals week a little more manageable.

  1. Make a To-Do List
    • I know I work so much better when I can check things off. Writing out a to-do list ensures a way to stay on track and not forget anything. I’d suggest going back through your syllabi to make sure you have all set due dates, and it doesn’t hurt to check and double-check when your finals are.
  2. Stay Hydrated
    • Keep a water bottle handy. While you might want to throw back energy drinks and coffee, water helps to keep your body going without crashing.
  3. SLEEP!
    • This is really important. I have friends who think they can tackle finals week by pulling all-nighters but this is not a highly suggested route. Plan out your study time but make sure to carve at least five to six hours of sleep if you can.
  4. Take Breaks
    • Be sure to take some time for yourself, go get food with friends, take a half-hour Netflix break. It’s important to maximize study time but it’s also good to take a few minutes to let your brain rest from all your studying.
  5. Ask Professors Questions Now
    • Don’t wait until the night of to email your professors frantic questions, chances are they will be sleeping and by the time they reply the next day you’ll be sitting in your exam. Take time to look over things this week and ask your questions before finals week starts.
  6. Avoid the Reading Day Eve Parties
    • As tempting as it might be to have one last get together before we all head home for the holidays, stick to the library. You won’t regret the extra hours when you ace your exam but you will regret going out over studying when you tank your on the cusp exam and miss dean’s list by .01.
  7. Get Blue Books and Scantrons Now
    • After you read this walk over to the Captain’s Locker and get your exam needs now, you don’t want to forget the day of and have to scramble to find a friend who has one.

Best of luck, Captains and happy exam week!

Thanksgiving Break: Then and Now

As I senior I’ve felt very sentimental this semester. Last “First Day of School,” last football games, the last time I’ll walk to McMurran in the changing fall leaves. It’s been a very emotional year so far and it’s not even the end of the semester yet! Adding to my lists of lasts is my final Thanksgiving break home.

As I drove from Christopher Newport to Northern Virginia I thought back over my years. My first Thanksgiving taking the train from Newport News to Union Station in Washington, D.C., to making friends and carpooling home with them, to now driving back home on my own senior year.

It’s always a tough transition coming home your freshman year, you still have to follow the parent’s rules, but want to go out and see your friends, come and go as you please. Now as a senior I’m much more inclined to snuggle up on the couch and binge watch TV with my family than run around town. The biggest difference I noticed in myself from my freshman year to my senior year when coming home for Thanksgiving is my want to be with family. As we get older it’s really easy to simply want to go out and explore and get away from the nest, but after a summer interning in New York and a fall break cheering on the Tar Heels in a hurricane I found myself just wanting family time.

I drove back home mid morning and made it back  before my family had returned from work and school, warmly greeted by my yellow lab Abby. My freshman year I would have just flopped on the couch to watch TV until they all got home, but I found myself cleaning up the kitchen, putting away the dishes, and cleaning up the living room, in addition to taking my bags to my room and staring laundry (all successfully on my own might I add). Freshman year I would’ve whined to my mom about how hard it is to do laundry on my own in the residence halls and begging her to just do my laundry for me, but I found myself cleaning up trying to make it easier for my mom when she got home from work. And that’s the difference I think. As an adult you shift from the mentality of what can they for me?, to asking what can I do for others?

This Thanksgiving, be kind, a take an extra minute out of your day to do something for someone you care about. A little kindness goes a long way, and as you get older family becomes much more valuable. So while your great-aunt Mary might be pinching your cheeks at the dinner table or your grandfather brings up opposing politics, spread the love and thanks and don’t forget about the little things.

Honors and PLP – Can You Do Them Both?

Two of the great opportunities Christopher Newport University offers are the Honors and President’s Leadership Programs. To put the great dispute to rest once and for all as to whether or not one can be a part of both at the same time, I’d like to present you with the answer: Yes, you can.

When I was applying to CNU, I applied for both programs. In that exciting and nerve-wracking moment, I didn’t wonder if it were possible to take part in both. However, when I received not only my acceptance letter to the University but also both programs, I worried that I might be in too deep before I’d even begun! Both had a list of commitments somewhat intimidating, and combined – well, I didn’t even want to think about that.

Here’s the good news: Now that my first semester is coming to a close, I can officially tell you that it is so very possible to do both at the same time! In fact, if you’re in the President’s Leadership Program and you have a very vigorous academic schedule such as myself (double-majoring along with minoring in leadership because of PLP) it is easier to be involved in Honors.

The President’s Leadership Program involves earning credits towards the minor, 100 hours of community service (split between all four years, which is incredibly easy to knock out considering I’ve finished over 30 hours this first semester alone), involvement in an on-campus organization, and attending a variety of leadership events. This can seem quite overwhelming, especially as someone experiencing everything college has to offer all at once. The good news is, it’s actually not all that difficult.

Thankfully, the Honors program frees up your schedule drastically by waiving approximately two-thirds of the Liberal Learning Curriculum! This allows you to not only begin working toward your major right away, but also to allow you a more relaxed schedule, which in turn frees up time for the other obligations both programs require such as events or community service.

I think it’s incredibly important for everyone to know this information, that way they don’t feel overwhelmed or forced to choose one or the other. If you have further questions, check out one of Christopher Newport University’s Honors and President’s Leadership Program visit days!

The Buildings of CNU: The Trible Library

The Trible Library is a building that matches the grandeur of all the new buildings around it. Situated directly across from the David Student Union, the Trible Library is also directly in the center of campus. If you’re a student of Christopher Newport University, you will grow incredibly fond of this building over your time here.

I’ll start, as usual, on the first floor. The moment you walk through any one of the many pairs of doors at the front of the library, you’ll be overwhelmed with two smells – paper and coffee. If you’re anything like me, those are the two best smells in the world. From left to right, you have four important areas: the 24-hour room, the front desk, the computer area and Einstein’s.

The 24-hour room is a complete blessing. It is exactly what is sounds like: open 24 hours. This room is perfect for pulling all-nighters and getting a huge amount of work done. When I know I need to get a good 4+ hours of work in and it is past 8 p.m., I head straight here so I don’t bother my roommate while she tries to sleep. Another great aspect of this room is that it is home to the amazing IT team who will fix literally anything your computer is going through, well almost anything. My only word of warning for this room is that it is very easy to settle down in this room thinking you’ll only be there a couple of hours and then suddenly realize it is 3:52 a.m. and you have an 8 a.m. class.

The front desk/circulation desk is where you will pick up any books you reserve on the online library. The staff is incredibly kind and will even assist you with finding books or learning how to work their system!

The computer area holds dozens of computers – almost like a computer lab, but more personal and comfortable – as well as study tables and a printer. It’s a great place to go if you need to print something out or don’t have your personal computer with you!

Finally, Einstein’s is the cafe that serves some of the best drinks around! They’re sell Starbucks products (so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own campus to get your favorite latte!) along with their own personal drinks. They also sell sandwiches along with a variety of other food items. The lines get super long in the morning, but it is well worth the wait! Plus, there are study rooms connected to it, making it the perfect reward for your group study session!

The second floor of the Trible Library is slightly less exciting, but it does have some very important rooms.The first feature of the second floor that is so very convenient is that is has a ton of study space. There are two major study rooms, and then a third study area with computers much like the first floor. One of the two study rooms is great for group studying, and has long tables and allows talking. The other study room is perfect if you need to study by yourself without getting distracted, because it is a noise-free room! Only study here if you’re committed to being as silent as physically possible.

The other most important area of the second floor is the Honors suite! If you are an Honors student, you will become very familiar with these rooms. If you have any questions about the Honors Program this is the perfect place to have them answered! Honors students turn in their activity reports here, and it’s home to the head of the program himself, Jay Paul! If you ever have any questions, I would suggest stopping by. He is always willing to help people out, and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met.

Additionally, the second floor of the Trible Library is home to the Media Center. Cameras, laptops, DVDs, the Media Center has it all for you to rent for free. You can use one of the desktop Macs or rend out an editing suite if you’re working on digital projects for class. If you find yourself with some free time after studying the Media Center has a wide collection of DVDs for your viewing pleasure.

Make sure, on your next visit, that you don’t pass up my favorite place on campus: The Trible Library!

Tips for any Political Climate

As a political enthusiast, the past few months leading up to the presidential nomination have been entrancing to say the least. I have remarked every so often that I am most passionate about Americans’ individual right to vote. Being in college during such a historic election, especially at Christopher Newport University, I have only been encouraged to partake in this political process. While our nation as a whole is divided on this new presidency, here are some tips I found that help bring hope and humanity back to friends, colleagues and peers.

  • VOTE. Become a registered voter either in Newport News, or your home town via absentee. Christopher Newport encourages its students to lead lives of great community involvement, one way in doing so is to vote in presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral elections. The voice of one community is best heard when individuals come together in unity for change.
  • Discuss/Ask Questions. Whether this be to your best friend, roommates, professor or teammate, there is value in discussing opposing views. In my philosophy and communication class this semester we have highlighted the idea of engaging in another person’s views so that we may have a better overall understanding. Because politics can be a tense subject, asking questions of clarifications can be a way to better understand the political process and to become a better informed citizen.
  • Friends First. LISTEN. This seems all to obvious to say, but all the more important, we must maintain an engaging attitude toward friends, loved ones, peers and professors. I have been able to treasure the intellectual perspectives of my peers and professors as a result of wanting to be better informed. It is also important to note that at the beginning of every semester at Christopher Newport, my professors have made it clear that if someone disagrees with what is being said we will all be respectful in response. If the respect in a classroom is compromised my professors, especially in the Communication Department, have made it clear that type of behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Have a Viewing Party. If the expectation of mutual respect is implemented prior to the results, this can be an educational experience as well as a laid back, fun environment for all. My roommates and I hosted a small viewing party with (our idea of) fancy cheese as well as cherry and blueberry pie to help settle qualms and just enjoy the company of friends on a Tuesday night.

Using Your Weekend Wisely

The other day I was thinking about how much I disliked Sunday nights when I was younger. This meant that I would spend almost the entirety of my time dreading going to school the next day. Now, it’s a little different. Sundays in college are great; It is almost universally used as a day to be productive and get ahead.

Gym Time: Going to the gym on the weekends is always really nice. There’s virtually no rush like there is during the weekday, and there are not as many people there, which means no waiting for a machine or rack!
Laundry & Linens: Working out every day really fills up the laundry basket fast. I go through clothes like crazy, and sweating in my clothes means that I (usually) cannot get more than one use out of a shirt. With that being said, doing laundry on the weekends is probably the most convenient and on the plus side, you won’t have to worry about putting your clothes in the washer and leaving for class while they are still in there.
Stock Up: Shampoo, snacks, paper towels, whatever it may be. You will run out of supplies one way or another. With countless of nearby retailers nearby it is so easy to run over there and stock up on your necessities.
Clear the Clutter: If your counter looks anything like mine, that means there is virtually no counter. There is nothing worse than in the middle of the week looking for something you lost in a pile of mess. A clean room is a stress-free room.
Unwind: Relax and maybe plan out some of your major activities for the week so you can tackle Monday with a fresh face and positive attitude. Make some tea, coffee, or any beverage of your choice, run a bath and wind down

The Buildings of CNU: David Student Union

Christopher Newport University is home to many gorgeous buildings known for their elaborate architecture and abundance of enormous white columns. All of our buildings are exceedingly new and offer a variety of services. One building near the heart of campus is the David Student Union.

The David Student Union – although you’ll never hear students call it anything but the DSU – sits across from the Trible Library, separated only by a small plaza. It is a huge, three-story building that holds the life of campus within its four walls. Let’s start on the first floor.

The first floor of the DSU is home to the breezeway. This is a wide, lengthy walkway with double doors on either side straight through the center of the building. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., it is full of countless organizations tabling for events, charities and their clubs. On one side of the breezeway is the main entrance, and by this entrance is the Center for Community Engagement and best of all, the Captains Locker. Inside a variety of items are sold, from apparel to scantrons to candy to books. On the opposite side of the breezeway is one of the best things on campus – the food. One of our two dining halls, Regattas, is located here along with a Chik-fil-a, a pizza place, a bistro and grille. You can use your dining dollars at all of these locations, which makes it a very convenient place to stop by on your way to class.

The second floor of the DSU is something of an events floor. Our ballroom is located at the top of the staircase, and this is where large celebration events such as our recent Fear 2 Freedom care-package event are held. Our Captain’s Ball is also held here in February. To the sides of the ballroom are smaller rooms with chairs and screens/projectors. These rooms are often used for smaller events such as our town hall meetings and Honors events. On the opposite side of the second floor is the mailroom, along with the mailboxes. Next to the mail room is a really nice study space called the Crow’s Nest. This is a great resource if you need somewhere quiet to study or chill, and often the students that commute will lounge here during classes.

Finally, the third floor of the DSU holds a lot of very important resources. The half by the stairs is home to many small rooms that the clubs call home. Leaders of clubs hold their office hours/visiting hours here, and are able to reached by phone in these offices throughout the day. There is also a resource room with paper, paint, glue, scissors and any other sort of arts-and-crafts material you could ever imagine. This is open to clubs to make posters or anything else that may benefit their club. On the opposite side of the stairs is the Office of Student Affairs. I actually work here as a front desk assistant, and if you’re a part of the President’s Leadership Program you’ll get to know it very well. The dean of students works from here, along with the organizations CHECS. The fellows, recent CNU alumni spending a year working for the university, have their offices here as well, and they hold success meetings for the President’s Leadership Program kids. They help keep everyone on track, and make sure the transition from high school to college is happening as smoothly as possible.

The David Student Union is most definitely one of the most lively buildings on campus. If you’re ever in doubt as to where something is, chances are it’s in the DSU. Make sure to stop by when you visit Christopher Newport University!

504 All-Americans!

This past Saturday I spent my evening admiring all who have helped execute a tremendous milestone in Christopher Newport’s track and field program. 504 student-athletes have gotten the chance to receive the honor of being an All-American athlete. As a result of this monumental experience, the team, coaches, alumni and our president, Paul Trible came to the Ferguson Center for the Arts for a ceremony honoring them.

P Tribz
We started off the ceremony with our president making great remarks saying: “When I came to CNU 21 years ago, I quickly realized there was a rich athletic tradition, headed by the powerful track and field program.” I thought that was pretty cool hearing him say all this about us. It was super cool being recognized for what we have accomplished throughout these years!

P Tribz

Afterward, we had a combination of chicken, beef and some vegetarian options accompanied with a salad, and a tasty dessert to top it all off. The whole experience was so put together and so inspirational. It was so cool seeing some of the track and field alumni come back to celebrate as well! Experiences like this are something I’ll always have fun talking about!