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!

 

Lucky To Be a Captain

Some people win the lottery. Some people have a fast metabolism. Some people’s fortunes always come true. But me, I got into Christopher Newport.

CNU is a place like no other. Columns so pristine and glistening, bricks always in perfect contrast to the blue Virginia sky and never-fading green grass. Attending Christopher Newport University has me luckier than a leprechaun.

Aside from the beauty and aesthetics of our campus we are lucky Captains when it comes to academics as well. Small class sizes, hands-on student research and easily accessible professors make Christopher Newport University almost like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Even CNU’s dinning halls, Discovery Cove, and Bistro are magically delicious!  

What really makes Christopher Newport University a lucky four (leaf) year institution is the Captain for Life experience. We cast our sails as freshman and learn to navigate with the changing winds of roommates, deciding majors, creating friendships and preparing for the adult world. But what we learn here, and the memories we make last with us long after we toss our lucky penny into the fountain on graduation day. It’s the memories we have from all-nighters in Trible Library, the trivia nights we barely lost in the Crows Nest, the lingering tasteful memory of a buffalo chicken wrap last with us.

This year we reflect on Thursday, March 17 on all the memories we’ve made. Students are showing their CNU pride with our silver and blue, Captain Chris and just the right touch of green for a lucky finish to our college careers.

Be sure to join in on the memories and use the #CNUDay16 to share your memories on social media!

Cooking Show (Residence Hall Version)

Unless you have been living under a rock, it is pretty likely you’ve come across a BuzzFeed or Tasty video giving you a 30-second tutorial on how to whip up a tasty snack or treat.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to make one of these videos a reality. We took on the challenge of making red velvet cake pops. We started off with store-bought cake mix and baked it according to the instructions on the box. After the cake cooled, we rolled up our sleeves and crumbled up our red velvet. After finely crumbling it, we mixed in cream cheese frosting. 

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After mixing our frosting and cake, we began to create our cake pops! Things got a little “trial and error” from here. We realized as we started to make cake balls, rolling cake into quarter-size balls, that it would help more if we stuck the cake crumble in the freezer to chill. So, we put our mix in the freezer for about 10 minutes. From there, we were able to roll our cake pops and slide cake sticks into each. We then placed them in the freezer to set even more.

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As the freezer did its magic, we danced around the kitchen to music to kill some time. After bustin’ some moves, we began to dip our cake pops in melted white chocolate. Once they were covered in chocolate, we put them back in the freezer to make sure everything set properly for a final time…

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We finished our cake pops off with purple dyed chocolate drizzle and enjoyed the fruits of our labor. We realized that in reality, these fun little videos are actually quite doable! Give your favorite recipe a try, or master our Cake Pops!

Election Day Magic

With the first Republican and Democratic debates of the new year occurring this past week, I started reflecting on my own political journey. In a very partisan time, where mud is being slung at every candidate, I began thinking of politics a little differently.

This past semester I worked for a state senator in the Virginia Beach area.

On Election Day, I sat at a polling station from 10 a.m. until poll closing. I had handouts for voters and some snacks to keep me going throughout the day. Lucky to have sun and no rain, I greeted voters hoping to sway any last-minute undecideds. Around lunch time, I had a very nice grandma approach me and we engaged in a conversation. She commended me on taking my time to be out there and was concerned I didn’t have any lunch. I told her not to worry – I had snacks. Our conversation ended and she walked to her car. I munched on some fruit snacks as I greeted more voters for the next hour or so.

A little while later, a car rolled up, and in it was the grandma. She had returned with a burger, large fries, chocolate milkshake and chocolate chip cookie for my lunch. When I thanked her and told her she really didn’t need to do that, she said she hoped someone would have done the same for her daughter.

This really hit home for me because my grandparents live 3,000 miles away from me. But it was even more amazing to me because I had no idea what political party she identified with, but she felt the compassion to bring me a meal while I donated my time.

In a world where politics can often be nasty and malicious, I was reminded that at the root of it we’re all simply human beings who care for each other. Although we all may get into heated debates, humanity and compassion is more important.

After my surprise meal, my spirits were lifted and I continued to talk to many more voters. Once the sun went down it got a little chilly, and I was the only volunteer at the polling location.

A family had mentioned me needing hot chocolate, and I joked, “only a few more hours” in reply. Well, sure enough, a few minutes after voting they had returned with hot chocolate to get me through the last few hours of election day. I was truly shocked and grateful once again.

You could argue accepting food from strangers is dangerous in today’s society, but the real message to get out of this is: regardless of party lines and ideologies, we should be taking care of one another. After all, we are all simply human. Maybe if there was a little more compassion in politics, we’d get a few more things accomplished.

 

Sisterhood

A lot of people are skeptical of sororities – often times believing that they’re just a group of fake girls who take “candid” photos together and stand for empty values.

I could not disagree more with this.

This past weekend I was reminded of just how strong and phenomenal my sisterhood is. It was formal recruitment: a seriously jam-packed three days of sorority-meeting, emotions-running and celebration-happening. Although sororities prep all year for this hectic weekend, one can never truly be ready. Luckily, when tragedy strikes, my sisters and I are there for each other.

Girls might describe sisterhood as being there to cry with your sister after a bad break up, or staying up until three in the morning to study for a big exam, which are two very real life examples. However, this weekend, sisterhood was literally giving the clothes off my back and shoes off my feet to my sisters. Before the start of our sisterhood round of recruitment, one of my sisters came to me in tears. She had just changed into her dress and felt very uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do. I was still in my baggy T-shirt and sweats. Without hesitation, I simply said, “You can wear my dress” (keep in mind I’m 5’11” and she’s somewhere around 5’5″). Although I wasn’t really sure what I was going to wear, it was important to me for my sister to feel comfortable and confident. I found a spare dress just a few minutes before the start of sisterhood rounds (*sigh of relief*).

I felt as if had I dodged a bullet, but tragedy almost struck later in sisterhood rounds. A different sister broke the strap on her shoe and was, in result, without any shoes to wear. She came up to me wondering what to do because you can’t really go barefoot in this setting … but that was exactly what I was about to do. I wasn’t talking to anyone that round so I slipped my shoes off and gave them to her so she was able to talk in the next round.

The trend with these two incidents was that I didn’t even question what I was doing. My sisters had a need; I had a solution. After two years in my sorority I’ve realized that is what sisterhood is. Not goofy pictures or shirts with “SISTERHOOD” printed on it, but being willing to give everything you have to lift up your sisters. I’ve always known my sisterhood was strong, and this weekend reinforced that.

To the outsider, dresses and shoes might not seem like a big deal. But to me, it’s the care and love we have for each other that really defines sisterhood.