Sisterhood

A lot of people are skeptical of sororities – often times believing that they’re just a group of fake girls who take “candid” photos together and stand for empty values.

I could not disagree more with this.

This past weekend I was reminded of just how strong and phenomenal my sisterhood is. It was formal recruitment: a seriously jam-packed three days of sorority-meeting, emotions-running and celebration-happening. Although sororities prep all year for this hectic weekend, one can never truly be ready. Luckily, when tragedy strikes, my sisters and I are there for each other.

Girls might describe sisterhood as being there to cry with your sister after a bad break up, or staying up until three in the morning to study for a big exam, which are two very real life examples. However, this weekend, sisterhood was literally giving the clothes off my back and shoes off my feet to my sisters. Before the start of our sisterhood round of recruitment, one of my sisters came to me in tears. She had just changed into her dress and felt very uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do. I was still in my baggy T-shirt and sweats. Without hesitation, I simply said, “You can wear my dress” (keep in mind I’m 5’11” and she’s somewhere around 5’5″). Although I wasn’t really sure what I was going to wear, it was important to me for my sister to feel comfortable and confident. I found a spare dress just a few minutes before the start of sisterhood rounds (*sigh of relief*).

I felt as if had I dodged a bullet, but tragedy almost struck later in sisterhood rounds. A different sister broke the strap on her shoe and was, in result, without any shoes to wear. She came up to me wondering what to do because you can’t really go barefoot in this setting … but that was exactly what I was about to do. I wasn’t talking to anyone that round so I slipped my shoes off and gave them to her so she was able to talk in the next round.

The trend with these two incidents was that I didn’t even question what I was doing. My sisters had a need; I had a solution. After two years in my sorority I’ve realized that is what sisterhood is. Not goofy pictures or shirts with “SISTERHOOD” printed on it, but being willing to give everything you have to lift up your sisters. I’ve always known my sisterhood was strong, and this weekend reinforced that.

To the outsider, dresses and shoes might not seem like a big deal. But to me, it’s the care and love we have for each other that really defines sisterhood.

My First Founders’ Day

January 15, 1908 — The day Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (AKA) was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first historically black Greek-lettered sorority. I became a member of AKA last spring and have really enjoyed my experiences in Greek life so far. The most exciting day for me, since the day I became a member was my first Founders’ Day. My sisters and I all gathered together at midnight. It was like a national holiday for us. As soon as midnight hit, we sang songs and went straight to social media to post about how excited we were for our Founders’ Day. Although the day was all about AKA, the Christopher Newport community was very supportive in helping us celebrate. We received many tweets and shout-outs on social media from students. During lunch time, we performed a step and chant in the middle of the David Student Union. So many people gathered around and watched and cheered us on. Later that evening, we held a candlelight vigil to recognize and remember our founders. The room was filled with so many people, Greeks and non-Greeks, that some had to stand. My first Founders’ Day was so great and I cannot only thank my sorority for making it that way. AKA is the smallest sorority we have on campus, but the CNU community definitely made sure that we felt extra special that day.

Wait, what?

Statement: “College will go by faster than you think.”

Fact: “College goes by faster than you think.”

In my first class of my last semester of senior year, I sat down and began talking with the people around me. It was a lower level class and I quickly learned that I was surrounded by freshmen and sophomores. One of them turned to me and said, “Wow, this is your last semester? I can’t even imagine that! I’ll be halfway done after this semester and it already seems like it has gone by so fast!”

To tell you the truth I nearly fainted after she said that. I had a flashback to the very day that I finished my sophomore year. I was giddy. Half-way done with college. I was proud of what I had accomplished and so thrilled that I still had two more years left. At the time it seemed like forever and I remember thinking I would cherish every moment of it and it would go by so slowly. I laugh thinking about it now.

I’m finishing up my last first week of classes as an undergrad, and I can’t help but reminisce everywhere I turn about my time here at Christopher Newport. This week I had dinner at Brickhouse with one of my closest friends that I’ve had since freshman year and all we could do as we gobbled up a basket of bacon cheese fries was laugh and talk about the many amazing times we have had. We met at admitted freshman day in 2012, we both went to the same SLAP week and stayed up until 4 a.m. talking one night, we had lived together the summer after our sophomore year, we had gone to numerous campus events together always willing to support the other’s endeavors. It dawned on me at dinner that an era of my life is coming to an end. I wouldn’t be able to just text her and see if she wanted to go to Cookout at 2 a.m.

The cliché that college goes by quickly doesn’t truly hit you until your last semester of college. All of a sudden you realize the habits and routines that you have formed to get through everyday life will no longer be necessary and you will have to go through trial and error to figure them out again. Graduating college is a ceremonious occasion and as excited as I am to be seen as a responsible young adult in the eyes of society, I can’t help but want to be in high school again.

So as I continue to mentally prepare myself that this is my last semester of college I choose to make sure I make the most of it. Anything I have been wanting to try or do I promise myself that I will not leave this campus until I do it! The best advice I can give is to live each day to its best possible potential – because these days won’t last forever!

Winter Necessities

Before you start singing “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman” and enjoying the possibility of snow days that each new spring semester brings, there are a few essentials to stock up on:

  1. A decently warm hat and gloves (or mittens). Trust me, winter is a very un-fun time if your fingers have to be out in the elements for that chilly walk to your 9 a.m. class. Invest in some winter clothing, if you haven’t already, so you can conquer the freezing temperatures!
  2. Hot chocolate and a mug. So, you’re back in your room after a long day packed with classes, meetings and frosty air. Relaxing with some hot chocolate is a sure way to bring your stress level down a little bit – and it warms you up, too! Whether you’re using your microwave in York River West or a real-life kettle on your stove in Wilson, hot chocolate is a welcome addition to any winter routine.
  3. Board games and movies. When the inevitable snow day(s) hit, and you’ve had your fill of snowball fights and snowman attempts, it’s great to have some fun indoor activities lying around. That way, you can invite all your friends back to your room to warm up with a game of Catan or the newest movie in that dystopian teen series you secretly love.

Winter in Newport News can get downright chilly, but if you make the most of it and gather up some of the necessities, it can turn into one of your favorite times at Christopher Newport.

The 3 Things We’ll Try Not To Do This Semester

Every semester we tell ourselves we’re not going to do these things, and yet we always do. Here’s a list of the things that seem to repeat themselves every time we head back to Christopher Newport.

1) We skip class, much more than we intended to.

We start out our year pretty strong. No skipping, getting to class early, doing homework ASAP. We’re all model students those first few weeks. And then one morning, we just don’t feel like getting up, and we skip. Then a few days later we skip our other class because we’re swamped with work. Now we’re at the end of the year, and our grade is not as high as it could’ve been and our understanding of the material needs improvement. Maybe this year we can skip a little less?

2) We don’t go to events on campus as much as we should.

Sometimes homework holds us hostage from socializing. Don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us. Other times though, we don’t want to go to events or concerts purely because we’re lazy. Then the end of the year comes and everyone is talking about all the cool stuff they did and saw (like when Tyler Oakley came to campus, or when the Campus Activity Board hosted Build-A-Buddy), and we sit there and remember all the Netflix you watched instead. Netflix will be there even when we’re legit adults. Campus activities … not so much.

3) We get behind on our assignments.

It’s the first day of class, and our professor told us we have a 10-page paper due in a month. You’ve already shuffled it to the back of your brain, and sure enough you only remember it when the class period before your professor says “All right everyone, that paper I mentioned at the beginning of the year is due on Wednesday.” We proceed to get minimal sleep and maximum caffeine. This year, let’s do our bodies a favor and stay on top of things a little more.

What we will do: make the most of our college experience, which involves a little bit of cramming and all-nighters. We’ll do what we can to have the greatest semester we can, and stay positive while doing it. Being a student isn’t easy, but being a Captain means we’re going to do our best.

5 Things You Think About While Waiting For Your Acceptance Letter

This is the time of year where applications are in, and potential new students just have to sit and wait for their possible acceptance letter to come in the mail. With such a weird lull of time ahead, your mind starts thinking all sorts of crazy things out of anticipation. Here are a few of the thoughts we’ve all had while waiting for our letters.

“Is college really for me?”

Sometimes you start wondering if you have what it takes to go to college. The stories they tell us in high school always made us think college would be so much work. I remember being told when I went to college, I could only choose two of three things to make a priority; sleep, work or partying.

DO NOT believe that. There’s a happy medium between the three that we’ve all found somehow. And yes, college is hard, but as long as you give an honest effort you have professors and tutors who are there to help you as much as you need.

“I’m going to be in debt forever now…”

Well, you will have debt if you don’t have scholarships, but it’s not as astronomical as you think. In fact, sometimes your loans can be forgiven depending on your career track. In Virginia, if you work at an at-risk school after you graduate and get a certain kind of loan, they’ll be forgiven after a few years. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about paying for your loans until six months after you graduate, so you have time to figure things out and have a plan in motion. We’ve all felt the stress of student loans, and there are plenty of ways to deal with it, so don’t worry too much about that now.

“Maybe I should just take a year off … travel or something.”

Stop right now.

Here’s the thing about taking a year off. For some people, it’s a very positive experience that helps them discover who they are and grow as a person. However, if you plan on going to college afterwards, understand that it’s going to be a lot harder if you’ve been off for a year. You’ve been in school since you were four/five, and odds are that you’d get rusty every summer break right? Can you imagine taking a whole YEAR for a break? Students who take a year off typically have a much harder time with the university lifestyle after they’ve fallen out of routine. If your main goal is to travel, seriously consider study abroad. It may be a nice compromise for your wanderlust and educational needs.

“Why is it taking so long?”

Think about how many students apply to college, and think about how many are applying for the same ones as you are. The Office of Admission has to look through each and every application, with all of its pieces and parts, and determine if a student is both eligible and worth being accepted into that university. Talk about pressure.

If anything, be glad it’s taking so long! If not, was it really that competitive to begin with? While I hated waiting for my acceptance letter to come in, it was kind of nice knowing that out of all the other lengthy applications of amazing students all across the country, I was accepted. Plus, this means you get to relax this winter break since your letter probably won’t be coming in until after you’re back at school.

“What if I don’t get accepted anywhere?”

That’s impossible, you’ve already been accepted somewhere.

Even if by some chance of fate you do not get accepted into the colleges you applied to, or if you only applied to your dream school and got rejected, you’ve still got a backup plan. Community colleges always accept new students, and signing up is pretty easy! Not to mention, it’s a cheaper route and can sometimes score you acceptance into that dream school from before. Plus, most students get into at least one school of their choosing, and odds are you’re in that group. Relax. There are plenty of options if you don’t.

I’m sure any college student would tell a high school senior to relax and enjoy this precious time to be teenagers. Senior year is a great year, a fun year, a fulfilling year. That letter will be coming soon, and we all understand how stressful it can be to wait for it, but just hold out a little longer! It’ll be here before you know it.

Work It Out

OK, so you’ve made it through your first (or maybe your seventh) semester at Christopher Newport. What’s up for spring semester besides maybe some snow, more basketball games and brand-new classes? If you’re interested, you can look for a job working right here at CNU!

Need some extra cash? Want to start building a resume? Our university offers us tons of ways to work on campus with opportunities for all kinds of positions. Here’s a quick selection of some of the jobs available:

  1. Tour guide. Do you have a passion for meeting new people, working as a member of a team, and communicating the vision and personality of Christopher Newport to others? This job just might be a great fit for you! Tour guides work with the Office of Admission to showcase campus to prospective students and their families, and you can often spot them walking backwards across the Plaza surrounded by some future Captains.
  2. Einstein’s barista. Are you a quick-thinker with great customer service skills and a willingness to learn the ins and outs of the Einstein’s menu? If so, you should look into applying for a barista job at Einstein’s! You’ll get face time with most of the student body and, sometimes, President Trible (!!!) while you serve up all kinds of drinks and snacks.
  3.  Blogger. That’s the job that produces what you’re reading! Do you enjoy expressing yourself through writing and sharing about your everyday experiences on campus? Then, look out for open blogging positions with the Office of Communications and Public Relations and get your fun writing sample ready!

Interested in swiping cards in the dining halls, sorting mail in the University’s mail room, or helping fellow students with IT issues? There’s a multitude of positions for students to fill! The Center for Career Planning is here to help you land that perfect campus job.