The Exodus

I snapped awake and checked my watch, knowing I had to be late for something. My eyes widened as I read the numbers, 8:02. I leapt to my feet and threw on whatever clothing my hands landed on first. I ran down the hall cursing my alarm clock under my breath. Why had I signed up for classes at 8 a.m.? I walked into my class 10 minutes late to students with no teacher. Now the law commonly accepted among students is that if your professor does not show after 15 minutes you are free to go. So with five more minutes to wait the game was on. It seemed like time was mocking us as she slowed her seconds and minutes down maliciously. Finally, it was happening. The allotted time had come and gone for our professor to show up. While the others in my class were unsure of what to do, I for one intended to take advantage of this new nap time that had just presented itself. So fearlessly, I led the way to freedom. As a few of my classmates and I left, the familiar vehicle of our professor pulled up outside the window. Being already committed to this exodus, we quickened our pace down the hall to get out in time. I got as many out as I could, but all I could think about as I curled up back in my bed were the poor souls who were left behind.

National Heart Awareness Month

February is National Heart Awareness Month, and as young people I know we probably don’t think about our heart health too much. Our nation’s number one killer is heart disease, so it is important that we make our heart a priority! Making some slight lifestyle changes is an easy way to keep your heart in shape.

  1. Go to the doctor regularly.
    1. Have your blood pressure checked often.
  2. Get fit!
    1. Exercise often – for at least 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be super intense, and it is easier to commit to this when you are doing something you enjoy like gardening or dancing.
  3. Eat wisely
    1. Eat low-fat foods and lots of fruits and vegetables for your meals and snacks.
    2. Limit your alcohol consumption.
  4. Quit That Habit
    1. Smoking directly attacks your heart, so trying to decrease/quit how much you smoke will benefit you in the long run.
  5. Stress Less
    1. This tip might seem nearly impossible as a college student, but it is imperative. High stress can increase your blood pressure. Try to be more positive in stressful situations and relax more!

Here’s to being heart healthy!!!

Nowhere Near Normal School Work

As freshmen typically do, I began at CNU with no real idea of what I wanted to do or major in. The most popular choice among the guys in my class was business, so I began taking classes connected with a business major. I began regretting my decision more and more as classes such as economics and accounting popped up on my schedule. I continued questioning myself until that fateful day was thrust upon all the sophomores of CNU. Signing Day, the day you officially declare your major. I was in a single art class that semester and it seemed to be going fairly well. So, having no other ideas of what to do, I became a studio art major. While this is probably not the ideal way to choose the subject you will be studying during your college career, it has somehow worked for me. My classes drastically changed from listening to long lectures, to painting and sculpting. Although the lengths of my classes have dramatically increased, the work was enjoyable and allows for the time to pass quickly.  Even though landing on my major was mostly a forced decision, it has been a welcomed change from the monotony of what I call, “normal school work.”

 

Priorities

Being a theater major, there is always a lot going on that can distract me from fully committing myself to my classes. With all the extracurricular things like auditions and rushing for Alpha Psi Omega, the national theater honor society, classes can be the last thing on my mind. However, I’m glad to be in a department that values classes over extracurricular activities.

When you are taking all theater classes you can get overwhelmed by just how much there is to do. The other day I realized not only am I learning lines for a scene in my acting class, but I’m also learning a Shakespearean monologue for my actor’s voice class, reading a new play a week for my playwriting and theater history classes, and working on projects and studying for tests in my costume history class. When you add being cast in a show, “Tartuffe,” and all the preparation for that show, it’s easy to get lost in all the work.

But like any other person who is swamped in work, you quickly learn the importance of having priorities. When you know what things take precedence over others you can easily achieve in your classes. Knowing that sometimes you will have to sacrifice hanging out with friends and having a social life to get things done is a part of taking responsibility for yourself and ensuring that you will do well in your classes.

This semester has really just begun and the best way to make sure you have a successful semester is to make sure you start off the right way.

On the Field

Playing college sports was truly one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. When I started playing lacrosse in middle school, I had no idea of the journey this sport would take me on. After all, I just wanted to hit people. Once I began developing a passion for the game a new goal popped into my mind, and after years of work I found myself lacing up my cleats on the Captains Turf Field here at CNU. The first couple months were basically all punishment and no reward as we constantly trained. Early morning lifting and afternoon conditioning became unbearable without an opponent to take your frustrations out on. Spring finally came around and we began preparing for actual games instead of measly scrimmages. Then, it was game day. Even though we had been training and practicing all fall and spring for this moment, I somehow felt unprepared. Being a freshman I knew I wouldn’t see much of the field, but I was terrified all the same. My heart pounded as we lined up outside of our locker room, preparing to take the field. The pounding only increased when the first whistle ripped through the air. This feeling of adrenaline and excitement continued through every game whether I was on the sidelines or playing. The road to participating in college athletics was long, strenuous and time consuming, but I wouldn’t trade those experiences on and off the field for anything.

 

 

The Code

Honor is often talked about in cheesy ways before great battles or pivotal moments in movies, but we take it to a further degree of seriousness on our campus. Our entire community is centered around honor and academic honesty. Obviously, cheating and plagiarism are examples of academic dishonesty, but a high standard of integrity is also expected outside of the classroom. Violating the honor code at CNU in any capacity can bring about serious repercussions, including expulsion. We expect honor to be upheld in all aspects of life here. Our intramural sports, for example, can and will kick you out for certain behaviors seen as hurtful to the community. The environment that our honor code has created on campus is truly unique and creates a place of trust and respect.

The Urge to Serve

What do you think of when you hear the word “service”?  Do you think of serving the homeless, or collecting cans for a food drive? In my opinion, service is completely subjective. It can be direct or indirect, but every bit of service is helpful. Like most people, I grew up learning the importance of serving others. I would help out at church, and one year my family and I delivered Christmas presents to less fortunate families in the area.

Here at CNU, I am a Bonner Service Scholar and I regularly work with the elderly community – about 10 hours a week. I have learned a lot of skills aside from just the issues surrounding the aging population: time management, how to write a press release and conducting surveys. A lot of people get overwhelmed with the unknown that is attached to “service.”  What kind of people will you be working with? Are they sick?  Will they think I’m helpful?  What if I don’t even make a difference or just get in the way?

It isn’t always easy to set aside the time to give back to the community, so how can you make it easier on yourself? One way is to be a part of something that excites you!

If you love animals, then maybe working with the elderly isn’t for you, but you could try to get involved at the SPCA or another animal shelter. If you love kids or want to have a future in education, then maybe after-school tutoring or a Big Brother/Big Sister program would best suit you.

Service means different things to different people. It may take you a while to figure out what exactly it means to you and how you want to use service to make a difference, but don’t stop trying. Be open to different service opportunities, even when they may not seem to be a perfect match. No matter the experience you will always be learning and growing from your failures and your successes.That is the best way to find your niche – and you will be helping people along the way!

Spring Service

Coming back to school, after three weeks away can take a little while to adjust back. The air is still frigid and the dread for the new classes to begin is stirring. New classes mean black-stained cups that are filled to the brim with coffee, bags under the eyes from sleepless nights of studying and of course the realization that we have to form a new routine when we just got used to the previous one. Although there are some negatives to starting a new semester, we must not forget all the fun that is coming our way. Soon the wind will warm and the trees will bloom and the Great Lawn will fill with blankets and corn hole boards. The realization that the beach will be warm enough to visit and the satisfaction of getting used to your new schedule is exciting. The spring semester brings hope of new adventures and the opportunity to learn more.

One of the things that everyone has in common in the spring is the drive for service. The spring is filled with philanthropic events through Greek life, athletics and clubs. The overwhelming amount of service that is seen on the CNU campus is beautiful and rewarding for the entire campus. Every week, I walk through the DSU breezeway and I’m handed a flyer for another event to raise money for a cause. It makes me incredibly proud to be a Captain, that our school as a whole is so focused on making a positive change. Having the support of the entire campus is crucial when putting on these events because there needs to be a large attendance at each event. The events range from pageants, to dance competitions, to canned food drives and even to donating dresses. I am proud to say that CNU is not only leading change in the community but to one another by continuing to support each other’s causes.

 

 

 

 

‘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.