A Captains Homecoming

Homecoming in college is one of the most special events of the year. Alumni come home to visit old friends, and faculty get to reconnect with former students to see how they’re doing. This is what happens at every university in America, and it’s a great thing – but as Captains, we strive to do so much more!

Helping raise awareness for sexual assault victims through The Shadow Event, a night where some Captains share their journey from pain to healing.

Dancing like fools in the Trible Plaza while participating in Yell Like Hell to support our Homecoming court candidates.

Selling out the Ferguson Center for the Arts for a glow-in-the-dark a cappella concert, followed immediately by a giant pep rally to introduce the men’s and women’s basketball teams – which lasts well into the night.

All capped off with the Homecoming football game, complete with fireworks and a performance from the Marching Captains (plus the alumni band).

These are all just some of the things that make being a part of Christopher Newport so special during this week, and made me realize how great it is to be a Captain. In high school, I thought the best part about Homecoming was dressing up for different spirit days, but then I got to college and realized that people *gasp* actually go to events during Homecoming week! This was the best change, and it acted as a great stress reliever and distraction from tough schoolwork. Whether it was supporting my friends as they sang, or supporting fellow Captains who have dealt with sexual assault, all of these events brought the CNU community together.

The other part of Homecoming which is different from the culture in high school is that alumni want to come back and see people – which is one of the best things ever. My favorite part about this was seeing all of the band alumni come back to play with the Marching Captains. As a member of the Marching Captains myself, it was really powerful to meet alumni from as long ago as 2012, who still come back every year to play with us, because they love this school so much and want to stay involved in our community.

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a Busy Life for Me

I’m a busy bee, or should I say Captain. In high school, I played three sports, sometimes overlapping two sports per season, and was involved with student government, theater and DECA.

When I came to college, I felt so lost because I was not playing a sport and wasn’t in any clubs. Of course, after wandering through the club fair that changed! Now as a junior, I am my sorority’s philanthropy chair; I’m also the president of the Class of 2017, a member of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, a digital media assistant for the Office of Communication and Public Relations, and a volunteer for a local state senator’s campaign.

I like to be busy. It’s just how I work.

I’ve tried to take things off my plate, but I just seem to add more and more in the empty time I have. And, it wasn’t until this past week during Homecoming that I realized why I do it all.

An administrator asked if I was thinking of running for homecoming queen next year, and I was honestly kind of confused. It hadn’t crossed my mind to even have that as a dream, and that’s because I don’t do the things I do for recognition. I do them because I truly enjoy doing them. I like planning events, I like making memories for people, I genuinely enjoy putting others first. And then it hit me, that’s what it means to be a Captain. To enjoy your time here doing what you like. Making memories for yourself and others. Putting others first, but finding enjoyment in it.

And to tie into my other posts about what makes Christopher Newport special, I think there is a self-responsibility with making CNU special. You have to be willing to pour into CNU; as soon as you put a little bit in, you’ll get so much more out of this University, this experience, and the time you spend here.

My college experience wouldn’t be half of what it is today if I wasn’t a busy Captain.

7 Quirky Things CNU Students Do

Every university has things that make it special, unique, and quirky. Christopher Newport is no exception. Here are a few things that CNU students do that make us different from other Virginia college students:

1) We pretend that the Secret Garden is actually a secret, when it’s not.

In Christopher Newport’s amazing performing arts center, the Ferguson Center for the Arts, one will find a strangely placed garden in between practice rooms and offices. Originally an abandoned courtyard, one of TheaterCNU‘s own professors decided to take the time to restore the courtyard and transform it into a getaway for students and faculty. The garden has been dubbed the “Secret Garden” by students, because of its odd location and mystical feel. However, this getaway is no secret at all, and its completely visible from the glass door you use to walk in. In all honesty, its pretty cool to say you have a secret garden on campus!

2) His name is P-Tribs, not Paul Trible.

President Paul Trible is loved on campus, so much that we’ve given him the nickname P-Tribs. It’s even on his license plate! While some people may think that calling a former U.S. senator by such a nickname is weird, he loves it, too! President Trible isn’t an ordinary president. In fact, he’s probably met every single student at Christopher Newport University at least once. During freshman year, students in the President’s Leadership Program are invited to his home (which is gorgeous, fun fact) to enjoy desserts and sometimes get a selfie with him and Rosemary (his wife). Love you #P-Tribs!

3) Tight-Ropers and Hammockers, oh my!

Hammocking has definitely become a huge fad on college campuses everywhere, but CNU’s taken it a step further. Now, we have tight-rope walkers! You may be on your way back from class and notice a weird string hanging from one tree to another and wonder what it is. Well, it’s a tight rope! Next time you’re on campus and it’s a warm day, take a look around to see what kind of activities Captains are doing outside. It’s definitely worth being on your Snapstory.

4) DO NOT step on the circle outside of Santoro.

If you intend on graduating on time, stay away from the decorative circle in the pavement right outside Santoro Hall, one of the residence halls. The myth goes that if you step in the circle, you won’t graduate on time. Whether it’s graduating early or late, no one knows – but do you really want to take the chance? Avoid at all costs!

5) We play music in the Whisper Wall.

CNU is always growing, and creating new traditions. One of the newest additions to campus is the Bell Tower Plaza, featuring the bell tower and a semi-circular seating area that features the names of honored CNU faculty and staff in the walls. Students have nicknamed this the Whisper Wall because of the way it conducts acoustics, and it’s a very popular location for the musicians in the CNU community. The semi-enclosed space allows for great sound production, and its also a sweet place for a photo-op!

6) Einstein’s milkshakes for days … even in 30-degree weather.

Einstein’s Cafe is located in the Paul and Rosemary Trible Library, another outstanding piece of architecture that sits on CNU’s campus. Einstein’s serves Starbucks drinks, but also features other food items and drinks. Its milkshakes, by far, are the most praised item on their menu. Just because it’s snowing outside does not mean someone isn’t in the Library sipping on a chocolate milkshake. It’s an obsession, and we’d probably riot if they discontinued them at Einstein’s.

7) Let me hold that door open for you, all the time.

Sometimes we’re called a community of door holders, and for good reason. No matter how far you are from the door, odds are someone will be holding it open for you. CNU students earn an A in politeness on campus, and usually that habit follows them once they’ve graduated!

For these reasons and more, CNU is a unique setting to spend four years learning! Our campus is filled with traditions and strong sense of community (and a love of hammocking while sipping on something sweet from Einstein’s).


Stories from Senior Year: Part 1

Picking a smaller university definitely has its benefits – not only can you make personal connections with your professors, but you also can get to know a wide chunk of the student body in just four years. One of my favorite things about Christopher Newport (but really, I have so many), is how on any given day I pass friendly faces in the Trible Plaza, on the Great Lawn, and up and down the halls of my academic buildings.

Just this past week, I met with the director of CNU’s Master of Arts in Teaching program to figure out my classes for next semester. You see, I discovered two of the classes I needed to graduate occurred at the same time, so I dashed – panic-stricken – to an advising meeting.

Don’t worry; everything has worked itself out, and I will be dancing across the graduation stage in May.

As I strolled back through campus, I took time to really notice what surrounded me. Stately columns, brick paving stones, autumn leaves strewn throughout the perpetually green Great Lawn … all things I’m already beginning to miss as I inch closer and closer to graduation. When I got to the Plaza, I stumbled upon a girl I’ve been friends with since freshman year. We sat barefoot in the sunlight on the steps of the Trible Library and swapped senior-year stories; I told her how my graduation had just been saved and she told me about the undergrad research she was doing (it went just a little over my head). For a few minutes, all of our busy-ness paused. We were simply two Captain friends enjoying a fall day before diving back into the stress of post-midterm life.

CNU doesn’t offer me the large school experience, but I’ve decided the friends and laughs I’ve gained here count so much more than televised football games and giant lecture halls. With a close-knit community like ours, you’ll always run into someone to share your stories with.


After talking with my friends from back home who go to different schools all over the place, I realize how special of a school Christopher Newport is. While they all spend time complaining about things on campus, I get to brag about how everyone here speaks to each other, holds doors and acts as a family. I get to brag about how clean and nice our buildings are, how fancy and updated our residence halls are, and how great our food is.

Dining at CNU is very unique compared to other schools. You do not feel like you are eating in your high school’s cafeteria, but instead you’re eating at a nice restaurant. The food is high quality and tastes like a home-cooked meal every time.

My favorite part of CNU dining is the weekly specials. However, they are my most difficult day sometimes because I have to make some of the hardest decisions of my life (choosing CNU was a super-fast and easy decision). Wednesdays are literally my favorite day of the week. I wake up in an extremely good mood and get dressed up super cute because it is Wing Wednesday. The conflict arises from there, because it is also Buffalo Chicken Wrap Wednesday.

During lunch time, the newer dining hall, Regatta’s, transforms into that great place to get wings. There are normally three different sauce choices each week, along with a side of fries, curly or waffle or normal, and ranch or blue cheese. On the other side of campus, another dining hall known as The Commons, transforms into your favorite sub shop. The dining hall workers wait behind the glass as you pick and choose your toppings and sauces for your buffalo chicken wrap. Since I can’t be at two places at one time, I struggle every week trying to decide whether I want all-you-can-eat wings for lunch or one of the huge buffalo chicken wraps (they’re all-you-can-eat as well, but they are so big that I can barely finish one).

Despite the problem of making a decision between Wing Wednesday and Buffalo Chicken Wrap Wednesday, dining at CNU is great. Instead of hating school food and having to go spend my own money on fast food just to get a decent meal, my school provides me with quality meals, where I can taste the love in every bite. Also, there’s always more than enough food, which I always seem to be surprised by because Wednesdays are like holidays here for everyone.

Not Another Number

I just wanted to take a moment to express how great I think Christopher Newport is.

(This is not some shameless plug or cheesy admission gimmick.

This is me.)

Christopher Newport University is a small liberal arts school, and let me tell you, THIS is why CNU is the PERFECT school to go to.

Here at CNU, not only are you surrounded by red bricks, shiny domes and sunlit columns, you are also surrounded by faculty and staff who care. I wish I had realized this sooner than my junior year, because I would have been exposed to so many more opportunities and experiences.

This fall, I met with our president (Ya, how many other schools would provide you with a one on one meeting?) to ask for his advice. From there, I had a string of meetings, including the dean of the Luter School of Business, a professor and that professor’s colleague.

At any other state school you would not receive the time or attention of professors to truly get to know you and then expand their resources to you so you can succeed.  Mind you, I’m a communication and political science double major, no business major here! But, even so, professors in that department were willing to sit down, talk with me and provide me with the tools I need to succeed.

CNU is a place of many splendid things, and our faculty and staff just happen to be one of them.

The Hurricane Known As “Midterms Week”

In the hearts and minds of college students everywhere, there are two words that inspire immediate feelings of the utmost fear and dread more than any others: Midterms Week. There’s no getting around it; midterms are hard. Sometimes you end up feeling like your life has turned into one giant coffee pot and a million piles of notes surrounding you as you desperately try to remember which flashcards correspond to which class.

I am no exception. The stress gets to me. Deep down, I know that it’s only one week, and I know that if I study hard I will do well. Despite that, sometimes it’s hard to not become overwhelmed. This semester specifically, I was feeling the pressure. Midterms week happened to line up with the arrival of our good friend Hurricane Joaquin, and as I sat in my room studying, listening to the raindrops pelt against my window, I began to feel like my study guides were mocking me. I needed to get out of my room.

Randomly, a friend texted me and said that he and two others were about to bike down to the river, and he invited me to come along. Initially, I thought he was insane. The idea of biking to the beach in the middle of a torrential downpour kind of made me question his mental stability, but as I stared at the mountains of textbooks all over my floor, I decided that a bike ride in the rain sounded pretty good. I have to admit, that was one of the best decisions I made this semester. We rode all the way to the river, and we were so drenched by the time we got there, that we decided to go swimming, clothes and all. We rode our bikes back to campus, making absolutely sure to aim for every puddle in our path, and we ended the night with a lot of pictures and a great story to tell.

Sometimes, you just need to close the textbooks and have an adventure. Your flashcards will still be there waiting for you when you get back! Yes, midterms are daunting, but the next time you start to feel overwhelmed by schoolwork and studying and exams, give yourself a break. Go dance in the rain. I’ve realized that those experiences often turn into the best memories you’ll have in college.

What I Did In Europe Is…

I spent a month in Brussels this past summer for a study abroad program in communication and anthropology. ‘Tis the season for study abroad applications and this trip is definitely one to consider.

Be sure to watch my other videos about my trip as well!
What I Did In Belgium Is… https://youtu.be/92mHehvLG7Q
What I Did In Amsterdam Is… https://youtu.be/I8xfjns08Ps
What I Did In Germany Is… https://youtu.be/2bypYCcde7I

One Step at a Time

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll end up saying it again: the CNU community is unlike any other. During my past three years, I’ve been able to see how Captains look out for, respect and support one another. I could share so many stories of how the community I’ve met here has changed me for the better (and I will in future posts). For now, let’s just start with one story.

This past weekend, I ran a half marathon in downtown Hampton. I had trained for months for this race, and it came up in conversation with my roommates all the time. Though I wanted to see some friendly faces at the finish line, I wasn’t sure if any of the girls in my suite would be able to make it – their Sundays were full of homework, church and dance practice.

As I rounded the last bend in my race course, I could hear the announcer calling out the names and cities of each person who crossed the finish line. There were pockets of people cheering along both sides, but the only thing I could focus on was the giant timer marking the end of the half marathon. Suddenly, I heard my name yelled out.


One of my roommates had wedged herself in amongst other onlookers; she was waving a homemade sign and cheering like she was at an NFL game. I really hope the race photographers caught the grin that spread across my face as I finished the course and jogged towards my best friend.

CNU has provided me with friends who sacrifice their Sunday mornings and love me well, and that’s part of why this university feels like my home away from home.