Homecoming Week

Yes, you read the title correct. Homecoming at CNU is not just a weekend, it is an entire week. Each day has a new event to celebrate the university and to just have fun. My freshman year I was not aware that the weekend festivities started the Monday before. The week of celebration kicks off with a senior class fundraiser giving back to the university.

The remainder of the week hosts events that contribute to a competition between organizations. Tuesday, you can Yell Like Hell during the chant competition. On Wednesday, organizations display a 4X4 spirit sign that was decorated to portray their organization and school spirit. Thursday is a test of CNU knowledge with a trivia night. Saturday was a Golf Cart parade judged and awarded points based off of decorations and participation. At the end of the week the organization with the most points gets awarded the Captain’s Cup.

Then comes the weekend, the most known and anticipated part about Homecoming. Friday, Midnight Madness occurs in the Freeman Center Field House and on Saturday everyone gathers for the football game, tailgate and the announcement of king and queen.

However, the best part about Homecoming is the return of the alumni. CNU is always said to have an unspoken magic on campus. To me, I feel the most magic when alumni return home to celebrate the impact and beauty of campus. The extent of Christopher Newport’s impact on their students deserves much longer than a week to celebrate, but I am a #CaptainForLife and will enjoy this week every year.

Commons vs Regattas

As I am writing this post, it is currently buffalo chicken wrap Wednesday here on campus. Everyday, about twice a day I ask this question, “Regattas or Commons?” Both dining halls offer a diverse menu that is different from the other, making my decision harder. I usually go to Commons because I live in Santoro Hall and the two are conveniently connected. If I want a change of pace I go to Regattas. Neither one is better than the other. However, they both present their own staples.

Regattas is commonly known for their modern design, grilled cheese line and Mongolian grill. It is also known for being pretty busy due to their good food and placement in the heart of campus. Walking into Regattas you are met with students waiting to get their daily grilled cheese or burger. It is a line worth waiting in because the Regattas staff makes you a sandwich that reminds you of home. My favorite days in Regattas are the ones where they have General Tso chicken or tender Tuesday.

In Commons, you are met with a staff who knows your name. They make you omelets while asking about your day. The staff often remembers previous conversations you have had making students feel special. They also have a set meal schedule, making it fun by giving us something to look forward to. The greatest thing about Monday is chicken nuggets, Tuesday is tenders, Wednesday is buffalo chicken wrap day and Thursday is tacos. The benefit to having two dining halls is having options. It all just depends on what you are feeling that day.

My stomach is now growling, I’m gonna go get me a buffalo chicken wrap!

Written Agenda vs. Google Calendar

“Google calendar is my life,” “I couldn’t live without my agenda.” Based off of these common quotes I hear around campus it seems there is a controversy between the efficiency of Google calendar and a traditional notebook agenda – yes, they still exist. Time management skills at Christopher Newport are a must, and that is taught to students from day one. We often have a number of obligations that need a structure if we are going to be successful. I have always used an agenda in my time as a student. I couldn’t live without my agenda. Everything must go in it, down to what I need from the grocery store.

However, second semester sophomore year I discovered the power of Google calendar. You can schedule recurring events, you can color code, you can set reminders and others can invite you to meetings and events that magically show up on your calendar. I went from a list of things needed to be done each day to a schedule that told me what time each day I was going to be working on tasks. This structure was so specific, so detailed it kept me on task and up to date. However, seeing a schedule filled from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed was, visually, stressful.

So, pros to Google calendar are that it is interactive, easy to use and quick, but it can be extremely detailed. First semester of junior year I decided to use a little of both. I have scheduled all my classes, work shifts and dinner dates into my Google calendar. I have color-coded my agenda with homework assignments, papers and tests. This way I get the best of both worlds from each form of scheduling and I stay on task without getting too stressed.

The moral of my story is that time management is essential. Try different strategies or stay with the one you like, but find what works for you so you can succeed.

Family Weekend

My family group chat is busy, the tailgate passes are bought, my room is cleaned and my father has sent this year’s itinerary. I am ready for Family Weekend. I look forward to this one weekend every year. In my family, Family Weekend is a big ordeal. We start planning months in advance to make sure every member has a hotel room because all around town the hotels become booked with student’s moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and siblings.

The night before the campus is quiet, but I buzz with excitement knowing that tomorrow it is going to be busy with family and happiness. I find campus to be even more beautiful when it is full of people enjoying it. Planning for Family Weekend is easy when so much is offered. Our Campus Activities Board usually puts on a movie in the theater. Our chorus usually puts on a concert as well. The biggest event of the weekend, however, is the football game. My family looks forward to the game the most. We dress head to toe in Captains gear and go cheer on the team. It makes me love this school more when I see how proud my family is to come see where I spend my time and integrate themselves into our special community with their endearing school spirit.

What CCP did for me

Here it is. Junior year of college. Let’s just say I have reached my mid-college crisis. Where am I gonna go after graduation? I know the majority of college students can relate when I say that I change my mind on my future everyday.

I have been leaning on my friends with my internal struggle, and one happened to mention that the Center for Career Planning had been helping them figure out their next steps. So, I went up to the third floor of Christopher Newport Hall and made an appointment – yes, it is that easy. One of our amazing career counselors sat down with me for an hour showing me the power of LinkedIn and giving me undivided attention about my concerns and interests. The conversation ended with me feeling heard and more confident.

I have been wondering if my dream lies with publishing or higher education. Again, I change my mind everyday. My career counselor suggested I meet with individuals in different offices and conduct interviews to see the paths those individuals took and to see a glimpse of what a career in that field would look like.

I left with action items and a plan which is a lot more than what I entered with. Even after I left my career counselor emailed me an article that she came across and thought I would enjoy just based off our one conversation. How lucky am I to go to a school where the faculty is so committed to helping me succeed.

Thank Your RA

Coming to college, I was unaware of what a resident assistant (RA) was. You hear those stereotypes that an RA is a babysitter or a mom. That an RA is an employee hired to watch you 24/7. Well, what no one told you is, that’s wrong. An RA is a student first. They are beneficial to the health and safety of the hall. They spend time saying hi, getting to know you and decorating your hall. Decorations may not sound important, but with some color on the walls it feels a little homier. They don’t sit outside their door and watch your every move or listen to your every word. They don’t treat you like children. This isn’t just a job for them. They care and they work hard for you.

I forgot to appreciate my RAs freshman and sophomore year. I forgot to say thank you. I forgot to stop and think about all they do for the hall even if I don’t see them everyday. I forgot that on top of this job they also have classes, and they often have other clubs and obligations. After becoming an RA myself I realized how rewarding it is in 1,000 different aspects. I don’t need a thank you to know I am appreciated, but us RAs have a big heart for our halls and this job, so make our days and stop to say thank you!

5 Reasons why Fall Fest is a Must

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) has an annual event called Fall Fest. It’s widely anticipated and attended on campus. I myself look forward to Fall Fest rolling around every year. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  1. Say goodbye to summer; say hello to fall.

    It is a chance to celebrate the start of fall. The start of hoodies, football games and bonfires. The start of the cold weather, blankets and pumpkins. This semester, Fall Fest just happened to occur on the first day of fall anyway. What better way to say hello to fall than surrounded by your fellow Captains and free food?

  2. Yes, there is free food.

    You get free food! You get free food! You get free food! I know as a college student the word ‘free’ has become my favorite word. No dining hall swipes or cash needed. Things like cotton candy, pretzels and more. But wait! CAB is also handing out swag for your enjoyment. As soon as you enter you are showered with pens, sticky notes, pins, cups and more. I have an ongoing collection of Fall Fest button pins on my desk.

  3. It smells like apple cider.

    Another reason it is a perfect setting to welcome fall is the apple cider. It’s a fall icon. What’s a celebration of fall without it?

  4. Bouncy house galore, face painting and more!

    CAB takes you back to your childhood with all the bouncy houses you could ask for. They even have bouncy house obstacles. Compete with your friends with a blast to the past. Take off those shoes and hop in! If bouncy houses weren’t your childhood go to maybe face painting was. At Fall Fest you can enjoy that childhood moment again. Just take a seat and tell them what you want! I rocked a rainbow butterfly for the rest of the night.

  5. It’s a CNU tradition.

    Most importantly, the best way to immerse yourself in the Christopher Newport community is through our traditions. Traditions are something that this campus holds close to their hearts. Fall Fest is just one of those.