Procrastination Station

I wouldn’t say I have a procrastination problem … I just find creative ways to spend my time. Examples? I know I need to look over notes for a quiz in my English class, but right now I’m looking up the music videos for a band I discovered last semester at a random concert at The NorVa – a theater just a short drive away from campus.

Or, what about the time I knew I needed to finish my application to the Master of Arts in Teaching program but decided to spend a solid three hours deep-cleaning my room on East Campus. That was a win-win situation because I was accepted to the program, and my bathroom floor was sparkling by the time I put the sponge down.

Or, there was one weekend I stayed in bed and watched half a season of “The Office” before even giving a thought to the paper I needed to peer-review from psychology class.

All things in moderation, right? That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned here at school: if you want to relax hard, you need to work hard first. Get some of that “boring” stuff done and then reward yourself with a nap, Netflix session or room-cleaning. You’ll thank me later.

Now, back to my YouTube browsing.

Eat Up!

Food: everyone’s got to eat it. Here at Christopher Newport, there are thankfully several options to consider when the hunger pains strike.

I think the dining halls are pretty common knowledge, so I won’t spend too much time talking about them – they’re not my favorite places to eat, but they are convenient! Commons and Regatta’s serve all types of food daily, from wraps and burgers to Mongolian barbecue and lasagna. The theme meals that happen once a month are also a spectacular food experience complete with chocolate fountains and meat-carving stations.

But, the lesser known eateries on campus are where the majority of my Dining Dollars are now spent. I’m talking about Discovery Pizza and Discovery Bistro, both located right inside the DSU on the first floor. Discovery Pizza serves (as one would imagine) pizza. However, it’s not your average, dining hall pizza – this is freshly made, specialty pizza. Chicken bacon ranch? Yes. Meat lovers? Of course. Veggie (with real, actual veggies)? You betcha. Stop by and enjoy a slice or two next time you’re wondering what to do for lunch!

Discovery Bistro is just a few steps from Discovery Pizza, and it’s home to a specialty sandwich and wrap station. The thing I love most about the Bistro is getting to customize the bread I want in my meal – which, for me, means always getting naan. And, the Bistro also serves sushi. What’s better than that?

Expand your horizons. Try something new. Check out a new-to-you food place at Christopher Newport and tell them LK sent you.

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.

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.

Roomie Christmas

One of my favorite things about spending part of December at Christopher Newport is getting to do a “Roomie Christmas” with my lovely roommates! In the midst of finals’ stress and the ever-present desire to head home for the holidays, the girls I live with and I have always made time one evening before break to share a meal and presents. (Then, we get back to hitting the books – or watching ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas).

This year was no different: with stockings carefully tacked onto the wall and Christmas music playing through Spotify, we gathered together to make pizzas and share about our weeks. I discovered it’s super easy to make your own pizza dough and that Commons provides tons of veggies at its salad bar that are perfect for pizza toppings. We danced around our kitchen (because upperclassmen get kitchens in their apartments) and let the sparkling grape juice flow.

The pizzas turned out beautifully! After dinner, we exchanged simple gifts like cupcakes, mugs and crazy socks and laughed until our bellies hurt – but, that could have just been all the desserts we were eating.

Even though it was just a short break from schoolwork, it was much needed. Roomie Christmas has become one of my favorite December traditions, and this senior year one was the icing on the gingerbread man.

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The four of us in our homemade aprons! 

The End is Near

You can feel it as you walk on campus – a kind of desperation hangs in the air as we run from class to class, juggling coffee cups and final papers. Our semester will be done in just two short weeks, but it feels like an eternity away due to all the work that still needs to be done!

Even though we’re smack-dab in the middle of a pretty stressful time, there’s still room for typical college fun and the festivities of the season. Some students show up to class wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, and the dining halls have been transformed into winter wonderlands full of Santas, snowflakes and trees. It’s fun to eat your Mongolian grill next to a toy reindeer that looks a lot like Rudolph. Beautiful Christmas trees are set up in many of the building on campus, and they each have a theme! The tree in McMurran Hall, which houses many of the humanities majors, is covered in little books and black and white pages. The Forbes Hall tree is usually covered in bird ornaments, which matches the biology/science-y nature of the building.

Though the lines at Einstein’s might be longer as students stockpile their coffee for long nights in the library and though the colder weather makes walking to class less appealing, the excitement for the end of another semester builds every day. We’ll be there soon, Captains! Let’s crush finals!

Dust Yourself Off

Whenever I’ve got a big assignment to do or something school-y to study, I’ll run through my usual list of things to procrastinate with – grabbing a snack, watching one more episode on Netflix or chatting with one of my suitemates. However, on special occasions, I’ll lapse into the ultimate procrastination technique (often without even realizing it!).

Cleaning.

My bedroom, my bathroom, our common room and even our kitchen isn’t safe from my scrubbing tendencies. Today, I caught myself standing in my tub with my sleeves rolled up, a bottle of bleach cleaner in one hand and a sponge in the other. I briefly thought about some of the online journals I needed to write up, and then went right back to wiping my bathroom down. I also washed all the sheets on my bed, organized the clutter in my room and went through the semi-expired food in our fridge.

Sometimes, you need a mental break from the stress of the semester, and sometimes that break comes in the form of dusting and vacuuming.

If you need me, I’ll be Clorox-ing our kitchen counter and bobbing my head to Justin Bieber’s new album (and writing those online journals, too).

4 Ideas for Those Sick of Being Sick

When the CNU plague hits and you find yourself infected with the sniffles, coughs and more, try these tips to get your body back to 100 percent:

  1. Come to class prepared. Whether you have to bring your own box of tissues or a backpack full of cough drops, don’t leave the essentials behind. Trust me, I’ve been that girl in class who sneezes and has to excuse herself with both hands covering her nose – it’s not pretty. If you’re sicker than just the average cold, let your professor know! They’ll usually excuse your absence and work with you to get caught up on assignments.
  2. Stay hydrated and sleep more. Bring a water bottle to campus and aim to finish it (maybe even twice!) and schedule your nights so you’re in bed earlier than usual. Resting really does help your body heal; plus, being sick gives you an excuse to nap more! At least that’s how I justify it.
  3. Grab your favorite soup from Panera. Living in the CNU Village apartments means the bread-y restaurant is right downstairs, but it’s not a long walk from main campus, either. Treat yourself to some broccoli cheddar soup!
  4. Let your friends know how you’re doing and how they can help. Seriously, you have roommates and hallmates for a reason – it’s OK to lean on them once in a while. Sophomore year, I drove my roommate to the hospital and waited with her when she came down with a case of pinkeye. After her diagnosis, we picked up her prescription from a Walgreen’s a little after 1 a.m. and spent the car ride back to campus cracking jokes and laughing about what life hands you. If you’re really not doing well, let someone know. Though it may sound cheesy, Captains support each other!

If you pass me on campus and catch me mid-sneeze, be sure to send a thumbs-up or smile my way (from a safe, germ-free distance, of course). We’ll get through this sick season eventually, and until we do, may the NyQuil ever be in your favor.

Stories From Senior Year: Part 2

I’m slowly finishing the assignments and projects this semester is throwing my way, and even though winter break feels so far away, I realize 2015 will be over before I know it. In the meantime, what do I do to alleviate pent-up stress? [Other than my common habit of curling up in bed and taking a three-hour nap – there is no shame in that, my friends.]

This past Friday was pretty overcast and gloomy; my roommates and I had lounged around the suite for the entire afternoon because walking over to campus seemed like too much effort. Around 5 p.m., one of my roommates poked her head in my doorway.

“Wanna build a blanket fort in the common room?”

[My answer to that question is always ‘yes’.]

We spent the next hour and a half carefully planning out and constructing an elaborate tent-like thing that took up most of the common room. It’s amazing what you can do with seven blankets, a lot of string, and push pins. Though hanging parts of the fort put me in precarious positions – balancing on one leg on the top of an armchair holding a handful of thumbtacks, just to name one – the danger was completely worth the finished product. Once done, we turned on the twinkly lights in our room, ordered some pizza and kicked our feet up for the night.

It doesn’t matter if it’s senior year and you just turned 22, or you just arrived as a newly minted freshman; sometimes you need to fall back into childhood habits and goof off with your friends. The homework will still be there when you decide to come back to reality, I promise!

For the Love of the Arts!

It’s easy to get so caught up in homework and campus organizations that I forget all about the many things Newport News (and CNU) have to offer that aren’t school-related. The Ferguson Center for the Arts is a great example of this: so many awesome performers and shows come to perform each semester that I miss simply because my major and other activities don’t take me near the Ferg that often.

A family friend of mine works in the Ferg’s office, and several weeks ago she told me about a program called My Stage @ The Ferg. To quote from its website, it’s a group that “offers special events and business networking opportunities for Hampton Roads’ college students and young professionals (age 18-35) who share an interest in the performing arts.” Membership is free, and some of the benefits include special pre- and post-show parties, possible meet-and-greets with the performers for the evening, and networking events with other young professionals from this area! All of those things sounded great, so I signed up.

My first event with My Stage @ The Ferg was this past weekend; The National Acrobats and Circus of the People’s Republic of China put on an incredible show called Peking Dreams. There were aerialists gracefully spinning in loops and swirls, precisely choreographed dances, men and ladies balancing and juggling umbrellas, bowls, and hoops, a dizzying strength display by a man with chairs stacked almost to the theater’s ceiling, and so, so, so much more. Truly, words like incredible and amazing don’t even begin to describe their show.

Right before the show started, I was invited (through my My Stage membership) to a catered dinner. The food was fantastic, and as we were finishing up, some of the acrobats and performers came out to put on a quick act just for us! Let’s just say the bar for juggling has been set very high.

Branch out of your normal routine – you just might be surprised at what’s right outside your dorm door. And, check out what our Ferguson Center has to offer!

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