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.

Surprise: Professors Do Care About You!

Unreachable, unapproachable and all too busy are just some of the rhetoric you may hear when beginning the college process in regards to professors. Warning signs of distant professors is always important to consider when deciding on which university you wish to attend for the next four years.

In my time at Christopher Newport University, I can say with full confidence that I have yet to experience a lack of care from a professor. In fact, I have yet to experience a time that I wasn’t extended a helping hand, or an opportunity to utilize office hours multiple times a week.

At Christopher Newport there is a high standard for success and the role of the professor for each student. The hope of the university is that smaller classes provide students with the means necessary to not only be successful in academics, but also to build academic relationships with their professors.

Like many things, small class sizes have their pros/cons, but it is important to recognize when something within the pro column is working. Christopher Newport professors do not fit into the classic horror-story rhetoric. Our professors are encouraged to not only play a role in the classroom but to keep an open door for students always. I have heard from my own professors as well as from my peers that the amount of care each professor has for their students is not common on a college campus.

I have found that Christopher Newport has a strong understanding of the importance of its students and their well-being. One of the most endearing moments of my time here was this semester. As we were addressing announcements in my class, my professor added, “…and if no one is going home for thanksgiving, my family would love to have you. Email me to let me know you’re coming so we can have a seat for you.” That stopped me in my tracks – well it stopped everyone in the class. Our professor (and many others) genuinely cared enough to ensure that those who were seatless on thanksgiving had the opportunity to have a seat at a table on a historically familiar holiday.

Christopher Newport cares for its students. The important idea is that students feel comfortable enough to go into a professor’s office and be themselves. In my own experience, professors understand that life happens and that some things are out of our control. An understanding professor, one who is more concerned about you personally than how you did on the last test, are the professors the Christopher Newport is investing in.

I am thankful for the investment of genuine professors who disprove stereotypes time and again. Quality over Quantity.

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.

Honors and PLP – Can You Do Them Both?

Two of the great opportunities Christopher Newport University offers are the Honors and President’s Leadership Programs. To put the great dispute to rest once and for all as to whether or not one can be a part of both at the same time, I’d like to present you with the answer: Yes, you can.

When I was applying to CNU, I applied for both programs. In that exciting and nerve-wracking moment, I didn’t wonder if it were possible to take part in both. However, when I received not only my acceptance letter to the University but also both programs, I worried that I might be in too deep before I’d even begun! Both had a list of commitments somewhat intimidating, and combined – well, I didn’t even want to think about that.

Here’s the good news: Now that my first semester is coming to a close, I can officially tell you that it is so very possible to do both at the same time! In fact, if you’re in the President’s Leadership Program and you have a very vigorous academic schedule such as myself (double-majoring along with minoring in leadership because of PLP) it is easier to be involved in Honors.

The President’s Leadership Program involves earning credits towards the minor, 100 hours of community service (split between all four years, which is incredibly easy to knock out considering I’ve finished over 30 hours this first semester alone), involvement in an on-campus organization, and attending a variety of leadership events. This can seem quite overwhelming, especially as someone experiencing everything college has to offer all at once. The good news is, it’s actually not all that difficult.

Thankfully, the Honors program frees up your schedule drastically by waiving approximately two-thirds of the Liberal Learning Curriculum! This allows you to not only begin working toward your major right away, but also to allow you a more relaxed schedule, which in turn frees up time for the other obligations both programs require such as events or community service.

I think it’s incredibly important for everyone to know this information, that way they don’t feel overwhelmed or forced to choose one or the other. If you have further questions, check out one of Christopher Newport University’s Honors and President’s Leadership Program visit days!

The Buildings of CNU: The Trible Library

The Trible Library is a building that matches the grandeur of all the new buildings around it. Situated directly across from the David Student Union, the Trible Library is also directly in the center of campus. If you’re a student of Christopher Newport University, you will grow incredibly fond of this building over your time here.

I’ll start, as usual, on the first floor. The moment you walk through any one of the many pairs of doors at the front of the library, you’ll be overwhelmed with two smells – paper and coffee. If you’re anything like me, those are the two best smells in the world. From left to right, you have four important areas: the 24-hour room, the front desk, the computer area and Einstein’s.

The 24-hour room is a complete blessing. It is exactly what is sounds like: open 24 hours. This room is perfect for pulling all-nighters and getting a huge amount of work done. When I know I need to get a good 4+ hours of work in and it is past 8 p.m., I head straight here so I don’t bother my roommate while she tries to sleep. Another great aspect of this room is that it is home to the amazing IT team who will fix literally anything your computer is going through, well almost anything. My only word of warning for this room is that it is very easy to settle down in this room thinking you’ll only be there a couple of hours and then suddenly realize it is 3:52 a.m. and you have an 8 a.m. class.

The front desk/circulation desk is where you will pick up any books you reserve on the online library. The staff is incredibly kind and will even assist you with finding books or learning how to work their system!

The computer area holds dozens of computers – almost like a computer lab, but more personal and comfortable – as well as study tables and a printer. It’s a great place to go if you need to print something out or don’t have your personal computer with you!

Finally, Einstein’s is the cafe that serves some of the best drinks around! They’re sell Starbucks products (so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own campus to get your favorite latte!) along with their own personal drinks. They also sell sandwiches along with a variety of other food items. The lines get super long in the morning, but it is well worth the wait! Plus, there are study rooms connected to it, making it the perfect reward for your group study session!

The second floor of the Trible Library is slightly less exciting, but it does have some very important rooms.The first feature of the second floor that is so very convenient is that is has a ton of study space. There are two major study rooms, and then a third study area with computers much like the first floor. One of the two study rooms is great for group studying, and has long tables and allows talking. The other study room is perfect if you need to study by yourself without getting distracted, because it is a noise-free room! Only study here if you’re committed to being as silent as physically possible.

The other most important area of the second floor is the Honors suite! If you are an Honors student, you will become very familiar with these rooms. If you have any questions about the Honors Program this is the perfect place to have them answered! Honors students turn in their activity reports here, and it’s home to the head of the program himself, Jay Paul! If you ever have any questions, I would suggest stopping by. He is always willing to help people out, and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met.

Additionally, the second floor of the Trible Library is home to the Media Center. Cameras, laptops, DVDs, the Media Center has it all for you to rent for free. You can use one of the desktop Macs or rend out an editing suite if you’re working on digital projects for class. If you find yourself with some free time after studying the Media Center has a wide collection of DVDs for your viewing pleasure.

Make sure, on your next visit, that you don’t pass up my favorite place on campus: The Trible Library!