College is one of those inevitable things. The cliché to “watch out because it will go by fast!” is completely accurate. One day it will just slap you in the face how fast your time in college has gone by. This happened to me about a week ago. I was at my sorority’s senior send-off, which is a party for the graduating seniors celebrating their relationships with their sisters and their accomplishments made during our undergraduate careers. All of a sudden that night I had all of these amazing women come up to me and hug me and describe how much I have meant to them. Quite literally my sorority sisters stated to my face the woman who I had always aspired to be. But this time it wasn’t me describing who I wanted to be in the future, but who people saw me as today – in this very moment. Often times young people in college are far too hard on themselves. We were raised within a generation that is born to be competitive, independent and overly confident. So often we do not give ourselves enough credit for the work we have produced. I fall victim to this every day. Looking back on my time at Christopher Newport, I regret not congratulating myself in the moment on the things that I have accomplished during my undergraduate career.
Growing up is inevitable. It’s something I can’t stop. I remember one day having someone telling me to compare life to a train. A train keeps going on a schedule, but a train also has many stops along the way. College is one of my stops along the tracks. Christopher Newport has given me incredible friends, amazing mentors, a beautiful environment, support, kindness, opportunity for leadership and an opportunity to develop into the woman I am today. Four years ago, I adamantly did not want to go to this school. Today I find myself tearing up on the Great Lawn because I don’t want to leave. Christopher Newport has given me beyond an amazing experience and if you have chosen to go here I congratulate you! The only advice I have left to give is that you get out of it what you put into it. So throw your inhibitions to the wind and set sail at Christopher Newport because trust me, you won’t regret it.
Signing off one last time. T-minus 18 days to Graduation…. #HastaLaVista
One of my absolute favorite things about my time here at Christopher Newport has been the Office of Student Activities’ Thursday Night Trivia. For the past three years, a group of friends and I have challenged other teams to a battle of knowledge unlike any other – with the promise of Captain’s Cash as a reward dangling right in front of our noses.
Each week, we show up and put our game faces on. But really, all these nights have been opportunities for our little friend group to catch up: to share how our weeks have gone, to complain about ridiculous class assignments, and to laugh at any and everything. As the trivia questions rapidly fire by, you’d probably see us high-fiving in victory after guessing what Belgium’s national flower is … or you’d witness escalating voices and pounding fists as we argued about the name of that one actress. Our trivia nights get pretty intense.
We played our last round last night. All of us are seniors, and we’ll be walking across the commencement stage in mere weeks. Thursday Night Trivia will slowly become a thing of the past as each of us head off to new cities (and countries) for grad school and real jobs. But, I’d like to think the memories we’ve made will outlast the raffle items won. It was never really about the trivia. It was always about the friendship and the opportunity to try something new.
But, while we’re on the topic of trivia, at least I can answer more Jeopardy final questions now!
The faithful members of Team PMS pictured here with Franklin Council, the faithful host of Thursday Night Trivia!
I currently live in East Campus, across Warwick Boulevard from the “main campus”, and it is honestly my favorite place I’ve called home on campus during my four years. My apartment comes with my own room (don’t worry – there are three other rooms for my roomies to live in) which has become a blessed sanctuary in the busyness of college life.
Don’t get me wrong … I never had any problems sharing a room with a roommate my first two years here when I lived in York River Hall and Warwick River Hall, but there is something about coming back to the suite and knowing you have a space dedicated solely to you. My style of decorating, my own mess to worry about and more space in general to move around? All good things.
Plus, our suite’s windows face campus and therefore catch the rays of every single sunset this part of Newport News has to offer. We’ve been eyewitness to several gorgeous evenings! All in all I am extremely grateful to be finishing out my time here at Christopher Newport in such a cozy home.
Let’s face it, college can definitely wear us students out. We all eventually become overwhelmed or stressed out at some point in the semester, whether it is because of classes and tests or athletics, Greek life, and other extracurricular activities. There are lots of places on and off campus to go if you need to get away or find peace. You could go to the gym and work out (this normally relieves my stress). There are study rooms and multi-purpose rooms in each residence hall where you could go to find peace. Christopher Newport even offers free, confidential counseling services if you need to talk about anything related to school or your personal life. The Great Lawn is always open for students to come lay out, read, eat or nap. If you want to get away from campus and it is a nice day, campus is located very close to two beaches: Huntington Beach and Buckroe Beach.
Besides the gym, my sweet escape is my home. I am from Chesapeake, which is about 30 minutes from campus. Some may think I go to school way too close to home, but I think it is the perfect distance. I never miss birthday celebrations or family functions. If I get homesick, I can go home and come back to school all in the same day if I wanted or needed to. Most importantly, when I become stressed or overwhelmed with classes and extracurricular activities and need to get away, my home is a short drive away. I am able to go home and be around my family who makes all of my problems go away with constant jokes and love. Also, while I am there, I am able to enjoy some of my mom’s homemade meals and relax in my own bed.
When I was first applying to colleges, my favorite line was “I want to go as far away from home as my mom will allow.” I was determined to get far away from home, until I toured Christopher Newport. I could not be happier with my decision of coming to CNU, even if it is only 30 minutes from home. I think it’s the perfect distance. In the words of Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” “There’s no place like home.”
(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.
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.
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.
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.
Dan has been with me since the first day of class. Dan is the longest relationship I have ever had. Dan and I do everything together. He carries my books for me, makes sure I have my ID ready when I’m in line at Einsteins, and is always there supporting me during those late nights in the library. I really feel lost without him. He has a pocket for everything! If Dan is with me, I know that everything is going to be OK!
Dan has even let me use him as a pillow on the Great Lawn; what a gentleman! All I’m saying is that every girl, nay every person, needs a friend like Dan. Dan is an essential for your college lifestyle. Dan is getting up there in age and beginning to show some tears, rips and wear, which I don’t blame him for because we have been through quite a lot together! Dan has been to three different countries, had mac and cheese spill in him, carried six textbooks at a time and has basically never left my side. He’s my day one homie.
So all you college seekers out there: when your mom takes you to the store and wants to get you the nice backpack say “Yes!” because it will be the best thing that has ever happened to you! The nice backpack can carry incredible weights without wrenching out your back and will always stay together during tough times. So go out and find yourself a backpack like Dan, cause boy, he’s a keeper!
Since I’m in the President’s Leadership Program here at Christopher Newport, I receive a scholarship towards my tuition. For my first three years, the scholarship wasn’t specifically donated by anyone, but I got a surprise in the mail the summer before my senior year. I had a donor (a couple of them, in fact) and a specific name to my scholarship!
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting my donors in person at a luncheon held by the University. I wasn’t sure what to expect – would these ladies be nice? Would they be interested in talking to me or would we just sit around our table nibbling quietly? I was once again happily surprised to find that the ladies who give to my scholarship were not only friendly and down-to-earth, but full of Christopher Newport history themselves.
One of my donors is Mrs. Cunningham, the first First Lady of Christopher Newport! She was here at the very inception of the school I have called home for four years, and it was fascinating to chat with her and hear her stories. Her daughter and the other ladies at our table also shared neat tidbits, not only about the University, but also about their lives in general. It was truly great to connect with people who had been strangers and hear about their interests, favorite vacations and more.
Thanks to the luncheon, I now have faces and stories to put to the names of my generous donors. What an honor it was to spend a couple of hours meeting an extended part of the Christopher Newport family!
I would like to begin this post by saying that I haven’t been on a field trip since middle school, so please excuse my over-excitement.
I’m taking a communication class called Media Aesthetics, and we are currently studying street art. We have been doing lots of readings on street art and watched a couple of videos on it as well. But what better way is there to study something other than to go and see it in person? And that is exactly what we did! My professor organized a field trip to Norfolk’s Neon District, which is covered in street art. We went on the trip last Thursday and had a great time. When we got there, we were allowed about an hour and a half to roam around the city and admire the artwork. There was so much amazing street art! There was everything from tags, which is the basic “so and so was here” graffiti, to fully painted murals.
This field trip was beneficial in many ways. We spent so much time learning about street art in class and so little time actually realizing that it was all around us. It was good to leave campus and view the world outside of Christopher Newport.
This field trip made me appreciate street artists because I was able to see how huge and detailed their artwork was and I know that it had to have taken them a very long time on each piece. The trip also made me appreciate art as a whole. There are a lot of things that I saw out there, like stickers, that I probably wouldn’t have considered art before.
Walking through the city made me pay attention and look for small details that would easily be overlooked, like tiny drawings in the cement tiles on the ground that you normally just walk over and never stop to admire. Overall, the field trip was an eye-opener for me because I live 20 minutes from Norfolk and never paid attention to how much art was all over the city.
This field trip is definitely one of my most memorable moments thus far in my college career. Who knew that field trips were still offered in college?!