Post Recruitment Feelings

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If you’ve been on Christopher Newport’s campus recently or just this past weekend you may have seen flocks of girls cycling from the Freeman, to the DSU, to the New Greek Village. These larger-than-usual packs of girls were participating in Panhellenic formal recruitment. This is when all seven of our sororities on campus host rounds to showcase their philanthropies and sisterhoods. Potential new members met with each sorority Friday night and over the course of Saturday and Sunday morning narrowed down their preferences.

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For many students, and not just those going through recruitment, bid day is the best day. Bid day is when the girls going through formal recruitment receive their bids and then physically run home to their new sisterhood.  Bid day was held in the Freeman Fieldhouse for the second year in a row and was packed with sorority girls clad in gold leggings (a popular trend this year), glitter and face paint. The stands and leftover standing room was filled with fraternity men, friends, staff and curious spectators. A very overwhelming day, Bid day is filled with lots of tears, laughs, hugs and regrettably a few trips.

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As a senior who just ran ( I was in charge of my sorority’s recruitment) and went through her last recruitment, it’s a bittersweet moment as all things senior year are. Not only was I emotional over the four years I’ve gotten to experience Greek life but thinking back on all the memories I have made at CNU and through my sorority had me feeling very grateful.  However, after welcoming home our new members I have a new-found hope. These girls are going to carry on the legacy I helped to shape and advance, these girls are the future of the organization I have come to love and call home. It’s exciting to be standing on the end and seeing these girls coming in wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. While I would change places with them in a heartbeat I know there’s so much for them to come.

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While I start to pursue post-graduate options rather than possible littles I know my time in the collegiate chapter is coming to an end, However, I will be forever in debt to my sisters for their constant love, support, motivation and laughs. Regardless of what letters you wear, joining a sisterhood is one of the greatest decisions you’ll make. As you grow in the organization and finish your schooling you’ll be blind to all that it gives you, until you’ve reached your senior year and look back on your successes and downfalls. You’ll know then that without your sisterhood you wouldn’t understand how you made it through everything. To all of the girls who just went through Recruitment congratulations and welcome to the Panhellenic sisterhood. To those who have been Greek for some time don’t forget to really soak up your time with sisters and reflect periodically. To the seniors on their final lap take advantage of everything you have left, sign up for intramurals, volunteer to sing a cappella, study all night with sisters, this time next year we’ll be without them and wishing we could repeat those things the most.

Go Greek and make a change in your life.

Gearing Up for Finals

As our last week of classes is coming to an end, Finals are quickly approaching. But have no fear! I’ve got a few quick tips to help make your finals week a little more manageable.

  1. Make a To-Do List
    • I know I work so much better when I can check things off. Writing out a to-do list ensures a way to stay on track and not forget anything. I’d suggest going back through your syllabi to make sure you have all set due dates, and it doesn’t hurt to check and double-check when your finals are.
  2. Stay Hydrated
    • Keep a water bottle handy. While you might want to throw back energy drinks and coffee, water helps to keep your body going without crashing.
  3. SLEEP!
    • This is really important. I have friends who think they can tackle finals week by pulling all-nighters but this is not a highly suggested route. Plan out your study time but make sure to carve at least five to six hours of sleep if you can.
  4. Take Breaks
    • Be sure to take some time for yourself, go get food with friends, take a half-hour Netflix break. It’s important to maximize study time but it’s also good to take a few minutes to let your brain rest from all your studying.
  5. Ask Professors Questions Now
    • Don’t wait until the night of to email your professors frantic questions, chances are they will be sleeping and by the time they reply the next day you’ll be sitting in your exam. Take time to look over things this week and ask your questions before finals week starts.
  6. Avoid the Reading Day Eve Parties
    • As tempting as it might be to have one last get together before we all head home for the holidays, stick to the library. You won’t regret the extra hours when you ace your exam but you will regret going out over studying when you tank your on the cusp exam and miss dean’s list by .01.
  7. Get Blue Books and Scantrons Now
    • After you read this walk over to the Captain’s Locker and get your exam needs now, you don’t want to forget the day of and have to scramble to find a friend who has one.

Best of luck, Captains and happy exam week!

Thanksgiving Break: Then and Now

As I senior I’ve felt very sentimental this semester. Last “First Day of School,” last football games, the last time I’ll walk to McMurran in the changing fall leaves. It’s been a very emotional year so far and it’s not even the end of the semester yet! Adding to my lists of lasts is my final Thanksgiving break home.

As I drove from Christopher Newport to Northern Virginia I thought back over my years. My first Thanksgiving taking the train from Newport News to Union Station in Washington, D.C., to making friends and carpooling home with them, to now driving back home on my own senior year.

It’s always a tough transition coming home your freshman year, you still have to follow the parent’s rules, but want to go out and see your friends, come and go as you please. Now as a senior I’m much more inclined to snuggle up on the couch and binge watch TV with my family than run around town. The biggest difference I noticed in myself from my freshman year to my senior year when coming home for Thanksgiving is my want to be with family. As we get older it’s really easy to simply want to go out and explore and get away from the nest, but after a summer interning in New York and a fall break cheering on the Tar Heels in a hurricane I found myself just wanting family time.

I drove back home mid morning and made it back  before my family had returned from work and school, warmly greeted by my yellow lab Abby. My freshman year I would have just flopped on the couch to watch TV until they all got home, but I found myself cleaning up the kitchen, putting away the dishes, and cleaning up the living room, in addition to taking my bags to my room and staring laundry (all successfully on my own might I add). Freshman year I would’ve whined to my mom about how hard it is to do laundry on my own in the residence halls and begging her to just do my laundry for me, but I found myself cleaning up trying to make it easier for my mom when she got home from work. And that’s the difference I think. As an adult you shift from the mentality of what can they for me?, to asking what can I do for others?

This Thanksgiving, be kind, a take an extra minute out of your day to do something for someone you care about. A little kindness goes a long way, and as you get older family becomes much more valuable. So while your great-aunt Mary might be pinching your cheeks at the dinner table or your grandfather brings up opposing politics, spread the love and thanks and don’t forget about the little things.

Registration 101

It’s that time of the semester again: registering for classes. This is a time that some students love and others fear. I know my roommate reacts to the release of next semester’s classes like it’s Christmas morning. Personally, it’s a love-hate relationship. I can’t get too excited about my classes until registration has come and gone and my classes are solid.

As a senior who is double majoring and minoring, I feel like I’ve mastered the art of mixing and matching my classes. I didn’t want to spend my time at Christopher Newport taking classes that wouldn’t advance me for post-grad life. I’ve made sure that each class I take has a purpose. With a liberal learning core you may feel that some classes you’re taking are pointless, but they really help to round you out and prepare you for the basics of any job. Once you’re a junior and senior you’re pretty much in your major classes and loving life.

Here are a few tips I have for registration:

  • Have plenty of back ups, nothing is worse than having a perfect list of classes to find half of them have been filled and you’re left scrambling at seven in the morning
  • Talk to your professors, really talk to them. You might find a new interest or a professor that has a teaching style that works for you
  • If you’re interested, try it! Especially as a freshman or sophomore try out classes, you might find a new passion, major or minor
  • Save your Creative Expression, you’re senior self will thank you
  • Aim for subject over class time, if there is a class you really want to take, take it regardless of time. You might not get out of class on Friday before Four but you’ll enjoy your classes so much more
  • Don’t anticipate override forms. Sometimes you might get lucky, but most of the time override forms are limited and hard to get, try your best to make your classes work without having to rely on them
  • SET MULTIPLE ALARMS! It’s not the end of the world if you oversleep but waking up on time will make your life much easier
  • Test your PIN ahead of time and verify when your time to register is
  • Some students suggest going off campus because Wi-Fi gets iffy with so many people jumping on at the same time, save yourself the hassle and use your smart phone for 10 minutes as a hot spot. It might spike your data for a few minutes but a few minutes off your data plan is better than the hassle of not getting the classes you want

Have fun, Captains and may the academic odds be ever in your favor….

Bryd is the Word

 

img_7428I spent my summer interning in Long Island and exploring Manhattan. I was happy to leave the hustle and bustle of the big city behind and return to the bricks and columns of Christopher Newport University this fall. I’d continue to get my fix of art and culture in Norfolk at the Chrysler Museum or the Neon District but there was one thing my heart (er.. stomach) longed for, a great brunch spot.

My fading memories of avocado toast and fresh omelettes had almost turned to a misty memory when I stumbled upon Bryd’s Restaurant in Hidenwood shopping center. (Disclaimer: I’m sure I’ll regret sharing this gem with you all but it’s too good not to let everyone know) I had seen the new restaurant undergoing construction in August as I went on a quick grocery run at Food Lion. It looked like a cute little place but I was sure it was just some musty place that grandparents frequented, boy oh boy was I wrong.image1-2

During my first visit I dragged my brave sorority little with me to explore this unknown restaurant. With a mix of breakfast all day and delicious lunch items we were immediately impressed. She went with the eggs Benedict and I made my own breakfast sandwich, recreating my  New York Brunch favorite croissant sandwich complete with avocado. Paired with fresh apple slaw my meal came to a whopping $7! Can you say balling on a college budget?!? Fresh delicious food and perfectly priced, my brunch dreams had come true. So impressed with my first time I had to make a second trip, taking my roommate and boyfriend with me, they were just as impressed.

As a college student, I’m typically looking to get great food for an even greater price. Bryd’s does just that. Only a five-minute walk from campus (if that) and you’ve got yourself a perfect brunch spot. Complete with a coffee bar, friendly staff and diverse menu, Bryd’s has become a go to spot for me, check it out next time the link in Commons is too long or your parents are in town, you’ll be hooked just like me!

 

CNU: The Rain Edition

It might not be too obvious to the outsider but going to school near the coast brings a lot of great things: beach days, surfing, salty sweet air. But there’s one other thing it brings … RAIN.

Normally I’d say it rains more in the spring semester, perfectly timed so it pours down right as you’re trying to move out of your residence hall for the summer. But this fall, this week, it seems like it hasn’t stopped raining. I haven’t even done my hair this week because I know as soon as I walk out of my house the rain, or humidity, will wreak havoc on whatever hairstyle I tired to craft!

Although rain might make any plans you had prior a little soggy, or you hair, there are a few things you can do to keep the rain from ruining your day!

  • Be sure to own rain boots and a rain jacket (make sure it’s really a Rain Jacket and not a Windbreaker – BIG difference)
  • Have some spare ponchos for tailgates and sporting events on campus
  • Explore Newport News when the rain keeps you inside! We’ve got bowling alleys, indoor trampoline places, even a Melting Pot!
  • Use the crummy weather to study! Curl up in your room or dash over to an academic building to knock out that book report so you can enjoy the sunshine when it decides to come out again!
  • See a show at the Ferguson Center! Check out this fall’s lineup.
  • Be sure to keep you laptop dry! In a case, or even a plastic bag, make sure it stays dry when you get caught in a downpour between classes. I learned my backpack wasn’t waterproof the hard way.
  • In the worst case, you can rent a canoe from the Freeman Center to get to class (Kidding! that’s a joke, but trying out an exercise class during a rainy day is a great way to stay active and have fun!)

CNU in Seven Points

img_3251As a senior I’ve been around the block a time or two – seven semesters, three residence halls – you might say I’ve “seen it all.” And while everyone has their own bias, Christopher Newport University is one of the greatest universities to exist, and I’ll give you seven reasons why:

  1. The state of the campus
    • Everything is constantly at its best. The grass is always green, buildings are shining in the sunlight, I walk to class on a picture perfect campus everyday.
  2. Faculty
    • I won’t be able to say enough kind words here. My professors have changed my life for the better, they have shown me that I have the potential to succeed in ways I never even imagined. People say you won’t want to graduate because then you have to “become an adult.” I don’t want to graduate because I’m not done learning from them just yet.
  3. The students
    • CNU is big enough to not know everyone, but small enough to recognize faces on the way to class. You’ll always have some one to sit with in the library or grab dinner in Regatta’s with!
  4. Theme meals
    • As a senior without a meal plan this is one thing I miss most: THEME MEALS! The greatest part of the month when you won’t be judged on the amount of fried foods or crab legs you can eat in one sitting.
  5. Greek life
    • As a sorority member I can testify to just how unique our Greek community is. Never have I heard of such cooperation and inclusion in a Greek system, I swear CNU is the exception to all stereotypical statements.
  6. President Trible
    • At what other university are you invited to have dessert? Probably the highlight of my freshman  college experience was getting to visit the president’s house and be warmly welcomed into their home on the James River.
  7. You can do anything here
    • Christopher Newport is the place of can-do’s. Anything you could imagine in academics you can pretty much do here. Study abroad in Ireland, help with undergraduate research, join a coloring club! And if what you want to do hasn’t been done before, professors will work to help you find a way to achieve your dreams. Sounds crazy, but it’s a reality here.
  8. (Bonus!) The beach
    • Um yeah, did I mention there are beaches within a five to 30-minute radius of the school? The James River, Yorktown, all the way to Virginia Beach. Math isn’t so hard when you’re doing it on the beach in the sun!

Neon Lights

(Although a fellow Captain has already written about her experience, I had to share mine just to reiterate how awesome this trip was!)

Christopher Newport is one special place to say the least. We offer a beautiful campus, plush residence halls and small class sizes. Because of these small class sizes, my Media Aesthetics professor, Evan Center, was able to organize a small field trip over to the Neon District in downtown Norfolk.

Remember how excited you would get in elementary school when you got to go on field trips? Yea – we were just that excited. We all headed over on a Thursday around noon and set out to explore the Neon District.

Marked by neon triangles on the side-walk, the Neon District is now home to commissioned pieces by the City of Norfolk and local artists; neon and abstract images decorate almost every surface of the district.

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We grouped up at The Plot, a perfect outdoor area with seating, flowers in bloom and a brightly painted fence. From here we were let loose to roam the area and apply what we had been learning in class about street art. Below are some of my favorite works of art I found as we explored for the day.

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This was so much more than a field trip though. It was an eye opening experience to really apply what we have been learning in the class. If you’re wondering what to major in, I say go communication. This department has given me so many opportunities, this field trip and more! If nothing else please take Media Aesthetics, this class will open your eyes to beauty in every day life and you’ll appreciate your surroundings so much more. Give it a chance, step out on a limb and fall in love with this major just like I did.

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The Importance of Me Time

Do you ever forget to stop and smell the roses?

I know that I personally jam pack my schedule. Meetings, group projects, extracurriculars, lunch dates, you name it and it’s probably on my to-do list. Always on the go. Skipping meals, going to bed late. My fall semester was just a recurring cycle of this on-the-go lifestyle.

New Year’s rolled around and I began to think about my resolutions. I’ve never really been one to make annual goals; I try to set weekly goals and go from there.

A few weeks into the spring semester I felt really overwhelmed. So I decided to do something I haven’t yet done in my time at Christopher Newport – buy a fitness pass at the Freeman Center. I was going to set aside an hour each week for “me time.” I would try cycling, yoga, kickboxing. I was going to take time for myself and my health: two things I think we take for granted in our youth.

I tried out cycling and realized that wasn’t the class for me – not a big fan of the hard seats – I’m much more of a leisurely bike rider! But yoga…. yoga I love. It’s an hour each week I get to destress and reset. Not only am I increasing my flexibility and health, I am unwinding from all the stress going on in my life.

It wasn’t until I made the time to go to yoga and give myself a chance to step back from everything I needed to do, that I realized I was neglecting myself. Since going to yoga, I feel much more calm and less stressed, but also more self-aware.

It’s really easy to get wrapped up in everyday life, studying all nighters, building your resume, hanging out with friends. However, don’t forget about yourself. Whether you enjoy yoga, painting, video games, running or cooking…take time for yourself during the week. And if you find yourself needing more than just some personal time, the University has a great counseling center with plenty of people willing to listen or provide you with materials to assist in your well-being.

Column or Girl?

It’s a column, it’s a clock tower, no … it’s just me.

I’m 5’11” and have always been tall. Coming to Christopher Newport University didn’t change that much. Instead, it highlighted my giant-like height in a few ways:

1.) Back Library Bathrooms

I swear people in the past must have been much shorter than we are today. If you ever find yourself chugging venti coffees in the lib at late hours and in need of some relief, take a brisk walk to the back bathrooms and you’ll find yourself a few feet taller than the stalls, can you say #Awkward? I can! Nothing is more uncomfortable than making eye contact with the girl next to you while you’re in the restroom. The tall struggles are so real here.

2.) Classroom Seating

Have you ever gone to the movies and some giant sits in front of you? That’s exactly why I can not sit in the front of a classroom. I block the view for all of my classmates. Lucky for me I prefer the back of the classroom anyway!

3.) Lofted Beds

One of the coolest things you discover during move in is the fact that the height of your twin bed can be adjusted! My roommate and I decided we would set it to the highest peg possible (maximum under bed storage was a must for all of our shoes). Each night I would be able to hurtle up to my bed, while my roommate would have to make a running start to get onto hers. I found early on it pays to have mile-long legs!