Welcome Back!

Thanksgiving break was over too soon, right? That’s how we all feel. Although, thankfully we all have an awesome campus to welcome us home. With that in mind, here’s a few things that you should definitely consider doing now that you’re back:

  • Tidy up It’s so easy to let your room’s mess get out of hand. Luckily, it’s never too late to turn it around. Take some time out of your day and clean up! With a more tidy space, it’ll (hopefully) be much more easy to concentrate on work and relax in your dorm.
  • Go to a movie. Even though it’s exciting to be back on campus, there’s still quite a lot to do outside of campus. Head into town and explore Newport News! I suggest seeing a movie, but you can also grab a bite to eat or get some shopping done!
  • Talk to your professors. A lot of us left early to get back home on time for break. Unfortunately, this means we also had to miss some class time. It’s important to catch up on any work you may have missed, and be sure to have work done that’s going to be due soon.
  • Put yourself out thereWith only three weeks left in the semester, make the most of the time that’s left. Don’t leave anything unsaid or undone!

Changing a Major

Let’s take it back to freshman year. I came in knowing I wanted to be a communication major. I was so sure of myself and even ignored the statistics about how many college students change their major. “That is never going to be me,” I would say.

Fast forward to sophomore year Signing Day. I walked confidently to the communication booth and wrote my name with my new fancy pen. It was very anti-climactic for me because I felt declared when I entered college.

Now, here I am, a junior in college and I have just changed my major. Somewhere along the way I felt like I was missing something. I became a communication major because I appreciated the versatility of the field. I knew it could take me where I needed to go, but I grew to realize about myself that it wasn’t what I wanted to be learning. I was so upset with myself for thinking this way, like it was a failure that I am changing my mind. I struggled for a few days on whether it would be worth it to leave a department where I love the professors and classmates to start completely over. I ran 1,000 degree evaluations to see what my schedule would look like for my last few semesters. I came to realize I would have to take two summer classes to graduate on time.

I had many conversations with different people such as friends who are English majors, my career counselor in the Center for Career Planning and my adviser. The number one thing I learned from each conversation is that my heart was telling me where I wanted to be and I had a wave of support behind me from the faculty, staff and friends. So I did it, I turned in the paperwork to the registrar and I changed my major. Now, I will be joining Burke and Tolkien in the English Department as a second semester junior and I could not be more excited to see what CNU has in store for me next.

Choosing a Major

Being a liberal arts college, we get to try our hands at many different classes and subjects. Particularly, CNU’s liberal learning core and areas of interest allow students to experiment and try new things. They have the opportunity to delve into the field of their choice, but also learn outside of their comfort zone.

The great thing about CNU is that the university caters to its students’ needs. The university understands freshmen often do not have everything figured out when they arrive in August. In fact, even some sophomores do not have everything figured out when they arrive in August. This is why we don’t have to declare a major until sophomore year. This gives us plenty of time to consider our choices. This is incredibly helpful. As students experiment with different sorts of classes and curriculums they are exposed to a whole host of disciplines. Many of which may peak the student’s interest more than the student has previously expected.

CNU understands how important finding a great major is. College is expensive, and the university wants it to be worth every penny. And so, CNU wants all of its students to love their majors. This is why the university pays special attention to ensuring every student knows exactly what they’re signing up for, and that they’ll have a great time doing it.

5 Ways to Finish Strong This Semester

With only a month or so left in the semester, it’s important to continue successful study habits! Here are a few tips to finish strong this semester.

  1. Form study groups! It’s important to be held accountable. Studying with a group of academically focused friends can greatly improve your chances of success. All of you can work together to ensure each person is studying efficiently and effectively.
  2. Put together a schedule. A smart schedule can save you a lot of stress and headache. Carefully allot time for each activity, including studying. If you follow your schedule strictly, you’ll have no problem getting everything you need to finish completed.
  3. Talk to your professor. Your professor is a resource, be sure to use him or her. Go to their office hours and talk about areas you are struggling in. In addition, they can also help you prep for the exam and lead you into the right direction of what to be prepared for.
  4. Review old homework. Old homework is a great place to find out what type of questions may be asked on your exam. Plus, it’s highly likely most, if not all, of the material on your old homework will be on the exam!
  5. Keep on doing what you’re doing! You’ve made it this far, keep pushing for just a little longer!

Build A Buddy

This is the year! I am going to build a buddy. Each year our Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosts an event called Build a Buddy. The past two years I have missed the opportunity to go for different reasons such as scheduling conflicts, etc. But this is it. I am going to do it this year!

CAB hosts many amazing events on campus and the best part is they are absolutely free. On the weekends we have free movies, every fall we have fall fest and every spring we have spring fest. With a couple traditional events and frequent speakers CAB gives the community things to look forward to. For me, I have been looking forward to making my own stuffed animal for two years. This may sound trivial, or unimportant, but it has become a staple on campus and it is exciting as a member of the community to engage in those highlight moments of the semester.

My friends and I talk about build a buddy the minute it is announced. One year, my friend made a turtle stuffed animal, the next a bear. This year who knows what we will build, but I know I can count on the fact that we will do it together and I will finally get to build my buddy complete with a miniature CAB T-shirt for my stuffed animal to wear. Thanks to CAB, I have many opportunities to take a break from classes and engage in events with friends.

Walking Through the DSU

Christopher Newport is an incredibly active campus. It seems everyone is always doing something. The students love to engage, and no place showcases this better than the David Student Union (or, DSU). On most days, walking through the DSU, you’ll see rows of tables and booths. Organizations request these spaces to help encourage the CNU community to get involved.

For example, the Red Cross Club set up a booth to raise awareness for blood donations, the Marching Band had a table and had a bake sale, and the list goes on and on. It’s important to note that not every booth/table wants donations. Some just want your time, or for you to learn about their organization. It’s difficult to not stop and say hello to at least one or two. Plus, you just might get some free stuff, like a T-shirt or a water bottle.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be on both sides of the table. As a member of the SPCA Club, I sat behind a table to sell cookies to raise funds for our local SPCA. In addition, I also got the chance to sit behind a table for Student Assembly. We collected student surveys for a new Creative Classes initiative. There are so many opportunities at CNU, and to find them, one doesn’t need to look much further than a quick visit to the Captain’s Locker or Regattas Dining Hall in the DSU.

CNU Under Construction

At the moment, standing in the middle of campus one can see the expansion of the dining hall, Regattas, on one side of campus and the expansion of the library on the other. My first year here Christopher Newport Hall was just completed, and in the works are a few more buildings and expansions. To some this may sound inconvenient. People always ask me, “How do you feel about the constant construction?” and “Doesn’t it take away from the beauty of campus?”

My answer is no. When I see the construction I see growth. I see a campus in the process of reaching its highest potential. I do not see an inconvenience, I see it as an honor. I feel excited and honored everyday to be a part of the history of CNU where we are building. I feel attending this university at this time is a way for me to leave an impact on the expansion of this school. We are in a time where the changes we make as students and faculty impacts the future the most.

For this reason, I see the construction and smile. I see changes that I will be excited to come and see years from now as an alumna. The buildings being built do not take away from the beauty of campus, but rather adds an excitement. Excitement for the beauty and resources they are going to add.

4 Extremely Aesthetically Pleasing Places on Campus

CNU is known for being a beautiful campus. Here are a few places you should definitely check out, whether you’re a student or just visiting!

  1. The “Secret” Garden. Through an easily missed doorway in the Ferguson Center for the Arts, there is a secret garden outside. Complete with swinging seats and plenty of beautiful greenery, it’s a place where anyone can enjoy a terrific natural ambiance as your worries melt away.
  2. The Great Lawn. Everyone knows this place. Though, not everyone spends much time here. The Great Lawn is a relaxation hub for all Captains. Whether you want to toss a Frisbee around, or just lay out on the grass, there’s plenty of space for both. The grass is mowed weekly, so it always looks crisp and clean.
  3. The Geese Fountain. The Geese Fountain is located right outside of the Pope Chapel. It’s a great place to sit down by and be soothed by the trickling water sounds. Though, this is also a place of tradition for CNU students. Graduating seniors toss the pennies they were given their freshman year convocation into the fountain for good luck.
  4. The walkway to Commons. During the autumn and winter seasons, the walkway to Commons across the James River courts, is littered with orange and red leaves. It’s perfect for some awesome picture posing. And the best part? You’re on the way to Commons, so grab a bite!

 

Going to the Gym at CNU

If you didn’t go to the gym in high school, that’s OK! In college, you’ll find it’s much, much easier to start a gym routine and have a great time exercising. Many people’s reluctance to go to the gym has to do with distance and cost. Thankfully, at CNU, the gym is free for all students. Also, being such a small campus, the gym is only a minute’s walk away. You won’t have to worry about either distance or cost so long as you’re a Captain.

Though, many people believe that your first day at the gym is the “hardest.” In a way, it is. You have to motivate yourself to start exercising and take the leap. Also, it’s easy to feel like everyone is staring at you. However, at CNU, you’ll find no one is judging anyone in the gym. Rather, everyone is just working on bettering themselves. If you need a spot, or want to know how to use a machine, just ask a fellow student and they’ll be happy to help.

If you’re still feeling hesitant, consider taking a class. The Freeman Center offers free fitness classes for the students. These involve anything from Pilates to yoga or cycling to Zumba. There truly is something for everyone. So, give it a shot!

Life as a Student Athlete

Being an NCAA athlete is one of the most memorable experiences I have had during my years at Christopher Newport. Not only did I have the opportunity to represent my university and wear my school name proudly, but it also gave me skills in leadership and time management that I could not have gotten anywhere else.

When first arriving at school, it is often nerve-racking as everyone scrambles to find friends. For me, my team wasn’t just an immediate group of friends but an immediate family. Being teammates is an unforgettable bond, and many of those teammates are people I know will be my close and dear friends for the rest of my life.

Being a student-athlete gave me the opportunity to continue building leadership skills. During practice I could lead by example with my focus and diligence as well as leading the new freshman classes each year. But, I also got to be a leader in academics, helping my fellow teammates balance schedules and succeed both on the track and in the classroom.

However, being an NCAA athlete does make the balancing act a bit more difficult. As a student-athlete, your only choice is to have superb time management skills, but in no way is it impossible. Gaining this skill is probably my favorite thing gained by continuing my athletic career into college. It has made me a better athlete and student.

I am incredibly thankful for the years I have gotten to spend representing Christopher Newport as an athlete. Our school reigns supreme in the Capital Athletic Conference in just about every sport, and I am forever grateful for the skills, lessons and friends that this opportunity has granted me.