College Relationships

College relationships. They’re fun, complicated, fleeting and sometimes, just sometimes, they’re the “one.” With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching you may find yourself stressing to find a valentine, you’re running away from prospective lovers, or planning your own Valentine’s Day festivities with an established love. Love in college is a unique spectacle. There are the couples who are attached at the hip walking across the Great Lawn, the couples you question if they are still dating because they’re so independent, the high school sweethearts, the hallmates, the junior-freshman combos, the power couple of the Office of Student Activities and the list just goes on and on.

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For me personally, I am in a long-distance relationship with someone who doesn’t attend CNU. He’s in North Carolina about four hours away from me. This obviously is a little more difficult of a relationship to have during college. The distance can put some strains on things and we don’t always have time to sit and talk on the phone for hours with our different lifestyles. But! We do plan constant trips to see each other and mini weekend vacations to different cities in Southern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. I will say one big benefit of dating long distance is that he’s never here to distract me from my studies! During the week I have time for myself, school and friends, which helps to balance all of the things that are important to me.

Another common type of relationship I’ve seen on campus has been the welcome week meet up. I’m going to be 100 percent honest: welcome week will be the most fun you’ve ever had in college IF you leave your dorm room and go meet people. It doesn’t have to be party hopping it can be as simple as going to the gym or a school sponsored event. While you’re out getting to know people you’ll probably meet some of your best friends and maybe even your significant other. I know a lot of people who met welcome week and have been together ever since. This is kind of cool because they are building college memories together.

A third type of relationship common at CNU is the love from back home. Some high school sweethearts attend college together at CNU while others attend separate schools. While these can be possible long-distance or short-distance relationships if one goes to another school, these type of relationships seem to be rock-solid. Having already been together for three or four years, these couples know everything about each other but still maintain their own sense of independence when it comes to their college years. It’s really cool to see these couples last until senior year of college and beyond! Image result for valentines day candy

Regardless of if you’ve been in a relationship for years, weeks, days or never, college is all about having fun and making the most of your time. This Valentine’s Day surround yourself with those who make you happiest. If that’s a boyfriend or girlfriend, awesome! If not, grab your galentines or your bromance and pass the cheap candy hearts!

Miss Independent

This past week I found myself sitting in the lobby of Pep Boys for a few hours, waiting for my car to be serviced so I could find out why different lights had been coming on when I start my car. Planning to take a few road trips in the following weeks, I wanted to make sure my car wouldn’t quit on me as I was driving down the interstate. Forty dollars and two-and-a-half hours later, I was told that my car was fine. I was already at a car store and in need of new wipers. As I was staring at the wipers I called my dad to try to figure out what my car needed. Trying to look like I knew what I was doing, I picked up a couple different wipers and looked them over. My attempt to look like I knew what I was doing failed and a nice grandpa who worked at the store helped look up my car’s needs. One 19″ wiper and one 22″ wiper and I was headed back to campus.

My father had told me that if you purchase the wipers they would install them for you, but I was determined to install them on my own. After all, the last time my windshield wipers were replaced was when my dad and I did them in August. Once I started to attempt to take the current wipers off I remembered that this wasn’t an easy task, and then I felt really overwhelmed at the task I had just given myself.

Cold and windy, my hands were stiff and I was blindly trying to switch out the wipers. The directions on the package didn’t help and my two attempts for help were also clueless. Alas, after about 20 minutes of self-questioning and prayers that I wasn’t going to break my car, I had successfully changed my windshield wipers. To some, changing your windshield wipers may be simple, but for me, it was a task! College is about learning, studies and how to be an adult. If there’s only one thing I learned in college it may be to have the mechanic install your wipers for free,  but I like to think of myself as strong independent women who can do that herself.

The Day Must Go On

Christopher Newport University has a beautiful, well manicured campus.The weather, however is a little less well manicured. We’ve recently had some chilly rainy days (very normal for any winter day) but as a college student there isn’t really an opportunity to stay in bed on those cold days. Here are some motivations that make getting up and going on a cloudy chilly day worth while!

  • Classes with Friends
    • The great thing about smaller classes means that you get to know those in your classes. The best part is I have found that these peers, as the semester progresses, become friends.
  • 12:00 Lunch
    • My friends and I have a daily tradition of all meeting in the dining hall at noon everyday to have a meal together. This is a great way to have fun during a normal day!
  • Einstein Pick Me Up
    • There is nothing better than a caffeine pick me up. From the seasonal to the traditional drinks, there’s no way to go wrong.
  • Group Exercise Classes
    • The Freeman Center offers a variety of daily group exercise classes. This makes going to the gym even more fun and allows for friends to tag along with you.
  • Check the daily email for different events
    • As a Christopher Newport student, we are sent a daily email of the goings on of the campus. So no matter what, there will always be something on campus to attend!

Although tempting to stay in bed when the wind howls and your bed is just all too comfortable, getting up and going to class, lunch, the gym, Einstein’s, or an on-campus event are the perfect solution to a very motive-limited day!

Home Sweet Christopher Newport

I have just begun the second semester of my junior year! Quite honestly I have never felt more at home at Christopher Newport University than I do now. Looking back, I’ve realized that I began referring to going back to school as “going back home” as early as my freshman year. Don’t get me wrong, I love being home–home its where I can rest, relax and re-energize with friends and family in between semesters.

I have pretty much lived in the same house my entire life and I knew almost everyone I went to high school with because for the most part, they lived in the same house for their entire lives too. Familiarity is what I loved so much about being home and was also what I was most nervous about coming to Christopher Newport. Now, three years into it, I consider myself to have dual homes. My first home is where my family is, where I go to on breaks, where friends from Christopher Newport intercept me on our own travel plans on breaks. My second home is where Christopher Newport is because it is where my life-long friends are, where I’ve met challenges and have come out stronger and more able than ever.

I spent almost 18 years calling Northern Virginia home and now, in three short years Christopher Newport has become home too. As I’m attempting to pen all the many reasons why Christopher Newport is home to me, I’m realizing that it has been in the details. Those little details are things like becoming best friends with my freshman year roommate, becoming involved in campus activities, having professors get to know me as me, attempting to make it to as many on campus speakers, seeing broadway shows at the Ferguson Center of the Arts (at a discounted student price!), always having the opportunity to say hello to someone as I walk to class, speaking with President Trible when he’s on campus, knowing my peers and professors in class, and last but certainly not least (or even last for that matter, just have to end my list somewhere) the incredible opportunities I’ve been given as a Christopher Newport student that I would not have elsewhere.

Christopher Newport is a special place. It is home to me and my friends, I know that even after graduating it will always have a nostalgic sense of home. As I have come to realize in these last three years, I have understood how hard it is to move and make where you live feel like home. Making school feel like home wasn’t really by my force it was the atmosphere of this school, the equal opportunities it has for its students and the faculty and staff that make Christopher Newport feel like home-home.

 

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!