‘Twas the night before …

‘Twas the night before Christmas … oh no, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.


‘Twas the night before finals, when all through the library, not a student was stirring, not even a computer mouse. The books were spread out by the desk with stress, in hopes that the holidays would soon be there.


Though finals may be a stressful time in colleges around the globe, CNU makes sure there is joy to be spread. They emphasize the importance of scholarship, but they always make time to ensure that the students are getting into the holiday spirit.


The students were nestled all snug in their study cubbies

While visions of Netflix danced in their heads

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter


The students sprung from their desks to see what was the matter

Away to the lawn they flew like a flash

Tore away from the book pages and threw on their coats


The moon was shining with the new fallen snow

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a miniature frozen wonderland, with Santa and food


With fireworks, so lively and quick

I knew in a moment I was at the perfect school

And everyone shouted and called out carols


As the night flew by

I knew there were still obstacles to be met

So off to the library or McMurran

Where the building was full of helpful study tools


And then, in a twinkling I heard hot chocolate

And free scantrons being handed out

As I studied and turned around,

Down the hallway I heard laughter and cheers


The support spread throughout the students

And I laughed out of joy, in spite of my stress

I winked and saw that I had peers by my side


And soon I had nothing to dread

For my professors sprang to help, because we’re all a team

And away the stress sailed, like a captain

But everyone heard, as they packed their bags after finals,

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night.

The Ultimate Stress Reliever

I have gotten up before the sun for team lifts and early classes, but this day was different. I fought all my instincts to lay my head back on the pillow and continue sleeping as I struggled out of bed. My hands fumbled with my wetsuit as I took it from its place in the closet and stuffed it into a bag. I tucked my board under my arm and exited my apartment by 5:30 a.m. My friend and his truck were waiting for me outside. I strapped my board down and climbed inside, thankful for the heater. The 45-minute drive to the beach always feels longer at this hour. By the time we reached the oceanfront, soft beams of light had begun to sneak their way across the sky. We pulled in to our usual spot and suited up. The inferno of colors now becoming more and more vivid danced in the reflections on the water. Excited, we rushed down to where land and sea collide. The cold water was startling but soon forgotten as paddling through crashing sets warmed us up. The freezing, penetrating water and wind all become worth tolerating when that one wave begins breaking in the perfect place and time. It is during that exhilarating ride that all worries about school are swallowed up by the ocean.

We arrived back on campus just in time for our 10 o’clock classes. These last few weeks will be tough for sure, but they will be even harder without a stress reliever. Discovering what takes your anxieties away is key in college, and going to school near the coast, I have some great options.







Conquering Finals

Well guys, the time has come. Finals week is upon us. As a junior, I feel a lot less stressed about taking on my finals, but at times it can still be difficult. I am going to share with you some tips I use to help me stay on top and keep me from drowning in this sea of chaos.

Tip #1: Create a Schedule

One of the most important things when it comes to finals, is actually knowing when your finals are! Make sure you know what day and time they are and what classroom you are supposed to meet in.

Tip #2: Prioritize

After this, you can start to make a study schedule. The more detailed this is, the better. Focus on the finals you have first, even if you are more worried about one at the end of the week. Don’t get ahead of yourself, because that can keep you from doing your best.

Tip #3: Study, Study, Study!

Create a place where you won’t have any distractions – like a study room in your dorm, an empty classroom or your common room. Even though the library seems like the ideal place to hunker down and tackle your work, I avoid the library at all costs during big exam periods.

I say this because everyone has the same mindset of locking himself or herself in the library. This means it will be crowded and a lot noisier than you would want to deal with. If you are lucky enough to procure a study room in the library, then go for it – but be mindful of how much work you will be able to get done.

Tip #4: Separate or Group?

I prefer to study alone for exams, but I don’t mind being around other people who are studying for a different test. It’s a good idea to know how you work best, so you aren’t hindering yourself.

Tip #5: Take A Break!

Yes, studying is very important but so is taking a break! Whether it is reading a favorite book, taking a nap or watching your guilty pleasure on TV, it is completely acceptable to let yourself recharge during one of the busiest times of the semester. This is especially important in between exams, too.

Tip #6: Let It Go

No, I am not referring to the hit “Frozen” song, no matter how catchy it is. When I say, “Let it Go,” I am referring to your mindset. Putting forth your best effort is essential to succeeding at anything in life, but getting hung up on every little thing isn’t good. Some pressure is helpful – you may be required to focus more and actually get work done, but too much pressure is not healthy. After you take your exam, don’t worry about what you may or may not have gotten right, but rather be confident in your work and prepare yourself for your next task.

I hope these tips were helpful! Don’t stress too much over exams and have an amazing (and safe) winter break!

Liberal Arts?

I wasn’t exactly sure what I would be getting myself into when I applied to a liberal arts university. Looking at just those words, I pictured myself in a studio, flinging clay on a wheel and “making” some kind of misshapen vase or pot.

Thankfully, that was not the case at CNU.

Simply put, a liberal arts school gives its students an opportunity to explore many areas of concentration before settling down in a particular major. Think of it kind of like an ice cream bar with lots of toppings. Everyone finishes with the same thing (ice cream), but everyone’s finished product is different. I could choose to experiment with a couple history classes, while you could look into a chemistry lab.

Because of CNU’s liberal learning core curriculum , all students have to take courses in literature, composition, economics, mathematics, foreign language, science and American history/government in addition to their major classes. I was disappointed, at first, to have to dive back into Spanish and statistics. Those were high school things, right? Since I wanted to study English here, shouldn’t I only have to take classes about reading and writing in English?

Not quite!

You see, to graduate as a well-rounded, intelligent, disciplined person, it’s EXTREMELY beneficial to know a little bit about everything (not just everything about one thing). Yes, I have learned a lot from my English classes here. But, I’ve also learned much more than I thought I would from random classes in the Communication Department or the American Studies Department.

So, don’t freak out about having to take a course in something that’s not your cup of tea. In the end, you’ll have an informed opinion on it, and you might even discover a new passion!