Unlike many other colleges, Christopher Newport’s welcome period is a week-long introduction to the community. Most colleges have a 2-3 day transition period to welcome students. The university genuinely makes a real effort to insure that every individual is sufficiently acclimated, or is aware of resources if they are having a difficult time.
As soon as I reached the campus, I was greeted by students and faculty who were helping the freshmen find their residence halls. After I was settled, I received a schedule highlighting all the events of the week. Among these were several mandatory seminars. Now, I know the word “mandatory” has a very boring connotation, but these seminars were actually incomparably helpful. They informed me of the rules, resources and recreations available on campus to help me make the most of my four years here.
I was able to learn about the Center for Academic Success. A place where students can go to get extra help in their classes and other places, if needed. There was also a seminar on the study abroad programs available here. CNU is very enthusiastic about these programs, and emphasizes that there is a program for everyone and every major. In addition, I was introduced to the incredible Title IX program that combats sexual assault extremely effectively. I learned what I can do to be a better resource for my peers, and where I could find resources myself.
I was also able to make a lot of terrific friends. As a result of the campus being mostly freshmen during this week, everyone I came across was very friendly and equally excited to engage with other members of our new community. At the end of the week, we all attended the Light the Night festival, a neon party out on the Great Lawn that quite literally “lights the night,” with live music and all.
It’s been two months since, and I am still benefiting from the seminars and connections made during Welcome Week. Community is a cornerstone of Christopher Newport University, and it’s for reasons such as these that community is made. After only one week, I knew I had found a home on campus.