Procrastination Station

I wouldn’t say I have a procrastination problem … I just find creative ways to spend my time. Examples? I know I need to look over notes for a quiz in my English class, but right now I’m looking up the music videos for a band I discovered last semester at a random concert at The NorVa – a theater just a short drive away from campus.

Or, what about the time I knew I needed to finish my application to the Master of Arts in Teaching program but decided to spend a solid three hours deep-cleaning my room on East Campus. That was a win-win situation because I was accepted to the program, and my bathroom floor was sparkling by the time I put the sponge down.

Or, there was one weekend I stayed in bed and watched half a season of “The Office” before even giving a thought to the paper I needed to peer-review from psychology class.

All things in moderation, right? That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned here at school: if you want to relax hard, you need to work hard first. Get some of that “boring” stuff done and then reward yourself with a nap, Netflix session or room-cleaning. You’ll thank me later.

Now, back to my YouTube browsing.

High School vs. College Snow Days


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Christopher Newport University’s first snow day of the year.

When I was in high school, getting a snow day was one of the greatest things ever. My mom, an elementary school teacher at the time, would teach me all these weird rituals to make the snow come. We’d wear our pajamas inside out, and put spoons under our pillows. It’s safe to assume that we really liked getting out of school. When it did snow, we’d make snow ice cream (also known as snow cream) and go sledding. All the kids in the neighborhood would come over, and we’d play without a care in the world. When we had to go back to school, all my friends and I would talk about how much sleep we got and all the fun we had. In fact, my senior year it snowed so much that mid-terms were canceled! It was great.

In college, snow days mean a different thing. A little bit of snow isn’t going to cut it for our lovely university to stop running. It takes a lot, so a snow day for a high school might be another day in the life of a college student. When it does snow a lot and class is canceled, we’ve still got plenty of work due when we come back to school. We have these nifty little things called syllabuses, and they make it so even if a day of class is missed, you don’t have to wait on the professor to tell you what to move on to. All your reading assignments are on there, too. Even if you don’t have class on the day your big paper is due, your big paper is still due. So really, it’s like you’re taking your class online because class doesn’t stop outside of the classroom for us.

We do have fun, though. When the snow piles form, we climb them. We also have snowball fights on occasion. However, the cold weather mostly just keeps us from our much-needed trips to the Trible Library, and makes it more slippery when walking to the dining hall for food.

Friends and family, don’t be mad at us college students for not sharing your enthusiasm for the snow. We’re happy for you, really. It’s just different for us.

Stereotypes are real.

Not to get deep or anything, but it is the truth. As much as we encourage people not to judge by appearance – we all fall victim to taking part in stereotypes. The reality is that there is a lot of truth to stereotypes. I may categorize someone by the way that they act, the way they dress and who they hang out with, but in my mind that isn’t a negative thing. At Christopher Newport every student has a stereotype. It’s unavoidable. The stereotypes we gain on campus are our traits that stand out the most to others. In society, stereotypes are seen as negative because they are seen as a judgement of another person. In film and literature, stereotypes are often used to alienate or humiliate someone who is different from the majority.

But, here at Christopher Newport, stereotypes take on a new form. Most of us embrace the stereotypes that fall upon us. We accept them because we identify with them as a part of who we are. Everyone knows that a person cannot be defined by just one description so while we all have stereotypes we also know that is not where a person’s personality ends. Because we choose to embrace these stereotypes, they are not used in a negative fashion. I have never felt left out or alienated by anyone here based on who they thought I was. The Christopher Newport community is one that is indescribable. We blur the lines of stereotypes. At Christopher Newport, we will not limit you to one description. At Christopher Newport, students identify themselves in many different ways.

I am an athlete. I am a sorority girl. I am a business student. I am a leadership dork. I am campus leader. I am active volunteer in the community. I am a youth development advocate. I am an intellectual. I am all of these things together. Christopher Newport has given me the opportunity to be all of these things – just as it will give anyone the opportunity to be anything they want to be.

The Sorority Recruitment Experience

Let’s talk about recruitment.

Going into it, I had a lot of preconceived ideas regarding what each sorority was about. I tell you this because it’s true: you need to go in with an open mind. Formal recruitment into Christopher Newport’s thriving Greek life involves hours of socializing with sisters, learning about philanthropy work and getting an idea of what sisterhood is all about. Going into it with various rumors floating in your head really messes with your experience, and can make you say no to the sorority that’s perfect for you. Luckily, I was given this advice prior to the second round, and, sure enough, it helped me make the right decision in joining my sorority.

Day one starts with learning about the philanthropy, then day two is all about sisterhood and what it means to be in each organization. On day three, also known as bid day, you visit your preferences and later on in the day get a bid to a sorority. One thing I also saw a lot of during that final day was a lot of people being upset they got their second choice and walking away. My advice for that is trust the system. Trust that these women know what they’re doing, and are matching you up with the people who are going to bring out the best in you and love you for who you are. Perhaps that’s not the sorority you thought it was, but you know what? All seven of the Panhellenic sororities are amazing and full of dedicated sisters who love what they do. Being able to join one is a privilege, even if it wasn’t the one you thought it would be.

Though recruitment was stressful, and some tears were involved, I had a wonderful time and encourage any other female Captains to seriously consider going through. And if you don’t like it, you can drop! But give it a chance, because this weekend I was impressed by hundreds of classy, hardworking, fun-loving women of Christopher Newport University. You could be, too.

Waiting for our bid cards!

Snow Days

Snow days bring out many different emotions for the students here at Christopher Newport. For some students, their inner 7-year-old comes out as they rush to play in the snow. They build snowmen and have campus-wide snowball fights in the middle of the Great Lawn at midnight. For others, they become sloths and lay around and sleep all day. Some use the time to catch up on all the work they procrastinated on so much. Either way, one emotion I think all CNU students share is the emotion of joy. Joy that classes are canceled. Joy that we get to enjoy this weather in whatever way we choose.

Last Friday we experienced our first partial snow day. All classes after 1 p.m. were canceled. When that email and text alert went out, I heard screaming and screeching all over my residence hall. It seemed as if the entire CNU population, including myself, took to Twitter to celebrate their first snow day and begin scheduling snowball fights. Once the celebrating died down, it was time to make some executive decisions. All I kept thinking was, “What if we get snowed in? What if the dining halls close?” It was already cold enough for me and I did not want to have to continue leaving my warm residence hall, so my sorority sisters and some of our fraternity friends went on a grocery shopping trip to stock up on all the last-minute stuff we needed. We drove over to the grocery store and there we found more of our fellow Captains. It seemed as if all of the CNU community decided to take their grocery trips at the same time.

When we returned, we watched movies and the snow falling outside our windows. We used our snow day to relax. I guess you could kind of refer to us as ‘sloths’ for the day. However, the next day we woke up early and immediately got into our books to study and read.


Top Five Struggles of Spring Semester

All right, Captains. We’ve survived a full two weeks of spring semester, and the newness is beginning to wear off. At first, it was awesome being back at school. We were getting antsy sitting at home with nothing to do … We all started missing our friends from school … And we were dying to return to the independence that college life provides. But, as the rise and grind routine becomes normal again and we start to really get into our classes, I know that deep down, we’re all missing winter break just a little bit. Here’s the top five struggles of being back at school for a new semester.

1) Realizing that you actually have to be productive.

I don’t know about you, but I think I was in denial the entire first week of classes. I had zero desire to BUY a textbook, let alone OPEN it. For some reason, being back at school made even the simple task of getting off the couch seem as difficult as climbing Mount Everest. The realization that I could no longer spend all day, every day in bed watching Netflix was a reality too harsh to comprehend, and the withdrawal process was not easy. It was a major struggle not pushing everything off ’til a far away “tomorrow” and convincing myself that I did need to get out of bed and complete my homework assignments.

2) It’s an Arctic tundra out there!

Why do they call it “spring” semester anyway?! There is nothing spring-like about the weather we have faced already since returning to school. I’m fairly certain that thermostats everywhere are lying, and it’s actually an average of -47 degrees in Newport News right now. Nothing makes you want to go to class less than knowing that if you go outside, you might contract hypothermia before you reach your classroom.

3) Having to wake up before noon.

Closely related to number one, number three really hit me hard upon my return to Christopher Newport. To be honest, I had forgotten what the “a.m.” symbol on my alarm clock looked like. I swear, the earlier it is, the more comfortable my bed feels. It’s definitely not easy to wake up when parting from my bed is such sweet, sweet sorrow.

4) Coming up with outfits again.

No longer can I just roll out of bed and spend the entire day wearing a onesie with my hair in a bun; I now have to look socially acceptable every morning. Putting on makeup and “real clothes” is something I did probably four times over break. I’m not going to lie to you, it was fun putting together new outfits and looking nice for the first week of classes, but I’ve reached a dilemma. I’m running out of sweaters and boot socks. I can only be cute and basic for so long before I run out of options!

5) Missing mom’s cooking. 

This was one of the big ones for me. Christopher Newport has really good food. (Come on, y’all, if you deny it, you’re just being picky.) But there’s something about a home-cooked meal that just can’t be beat, and I really miss it when I go back to school. Knowing that my family is sitting at the table eating something delicious without me makes me miss winter break just a little bit more. General Tso’s and buffalo chicken wraps are great, but nothing can top mom’s cooking.

So, those are the top five things that I think we’re probably all struggling with the most since being back at school. However, re-reading through the list, I’m realizing that, if you look at it the right way, all of those dilemmas can be easily solved.

Being productive is hard to readjust to, but you’re back with your best friends in the world. Make a study group and knock out the homework together. Yes, it’s absolutely freezing outside, but you KNOW you want to bundle up and go take pictures in the snow so you can have a new profile picture. Waking up seems like absolute death, but why not cook a pancake breakfast with your suite to make the getting out of bed process a little easier? You might be running out of new clothes, but roommates are lifesavers in that situation. If you think about it, you each have two full wardrobes! If you’re missing family dinners, gather up your friends and go out to dinner. Sitting around a table laughing with them will make you feel at home again.

Being back at school might seem like the ultimate struggle right now. And yeah … Sometimes it’s hard. But look at the bright side of things! The pros totally outweigh the cons. Enjoy your time at CNU, notice the little things, and remember that spring break is right around the corner.

A Look At the Semester

Looking back over my first semester not only at Christopher Newport University, but also at college in general, I have noticed quite a few lessons that I will be taking with me into the spring semester

  1. It’s OK to cry a lot. If strange experiences make you cry, this relates to you. If being sick away from home makes you cry, this relates to you. If stress makes you cry, this relates to you. You will cry a lot, but the great news is that you feel so much better once you’ve cried it out.
  2. You won’t get along with everyone. You’re going to have classes where you absolutely want to tape shut the mouth of the individual next to you. You’ll be in organizations where someone just doesn’t want to be your friend. That’s OK – you’re on a campus of 5,000 people. Don’t let the people who don’t appreciate you bring you down.
  3. Make flash cards for everything. Literally everything. And then practice them three times a day. Or four or five. Flashcards helped me get a final grade that brought my B to an A. Take notes on flash cards, if you want to save time. I learned that at the end of the semester, after transferring 40 pages of notes onto a 150 flash cards.
  4. Accept the failures you encounter. You aren’t going to ace every test, every group project, every essay. You aren’t even going to get a B on every test. You may meet the day when you celebrate getting a C. There will be days when you just aren’t prepared, and there will be days when you feel prepared and get surprised by your grade dropping two letters. Learn to be prepared for it.
  5. Don’t let you failures control you. Likewise, don’t assume there’s nothing you can do about your failures. An A can make your grade jump right back up in the other direction. So can talking to your professor to help you understand the material on a deeper level.
  6. Even if extra-terrestrial life is out there, our race will likely be extinct by the time they contact us back. This is the most interesting fact I learned from my astronomy class, which was somewhat sad and somewhat relieving. At least we know we won’t have to experience a real-life “Independence Day.”
  7. You will have a go-to meal, and eat way too much of it. Life gets stupid busy, and you’ll start taking time out of activities you deem less-important to add time to what you consider more important. For me, this meant having a go-to meal of rice and salad. While being surprisingly delicious, those items are also in the shortest lines in the cafeteria. Unfortunately, your go-to meal will likely end up being what you eat all-day every-day on busy weeks.
  8. Appreciate down time when you have it, because chances are you won’t. The thing I’ve experienced least at Christopher Newport University is time to relax, which is disappointing considering there is a beach 20 minutes from my room. However, that’s what will happen when you get involved and are devoted to your academics. So when you have down time, appreciate it. Don’t waste it on your phone, or sleeping.
  9. You don’t need a lot of people, just find that one person who is there for you. People who focus on having huge social circles usually end up feeling alone because of how surface-level their friendships are. Don’t feel lonely because you have only one or two friends. Just focus on finding that small group – which might even only be one person! – and growing lasting relationships that won’t change the minute you live on different halls.

Eat Up!

Food: everyone’s got to eat it. Here at Christopher Newport, there are thankfully several options to consider when the hunger pains strike.

I think the dining halls are pretty common knowledge, so I won’t spend too much time talking about them – they’re not my favorite places to eat, but they are convenient! Commons and Regatta’s serve all types of food daily, from wraps and burgers to Mongolian barbecue and lasagna. The theme meals that happen once a month are also a spectacular food experience complete with chocolate fountains and meat-carving stations.

But, the lesser known eateries on campus are where the majority of my Dining Dollars are now spent. I’m talking about Discovery Pizza and Discovery Bistro, both located right inside the DSU on the first floor. Discovery Pizza serves (as one would imagine) pizza. However, it’s not your average, dining hall pizza – this is freshly made, specialty pizza. Chicken bacon ranch? Yes. Meat lovers? Of course. Veggie (with real, actual veggies)? You betcha. Stop by and enjoy a slice or two next time you’re wondering what to do for lunch!

Discovery Bistro is just a few steps from Discovery Pizza, and it’s home to a specialty sandwich and wrap station. The thing I love most about the Bistro is getting to customize the bread I want in my meal – which, for me, means always getting naan. And, the Bistro also serves sushi. What’s better than that?

Expand your horizons. Try something new. Check out a new-to-you food place at Christopher Newport and tell them LK sent you.

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.