Here it is. Junior year of college. Let’s just say I have reached my mid-college crisis. Where am I gonna go after graduation? I know the majority of college students can relate when I say that I change my mind on my future everyday.
I have been leaning on my friends with my internal struggle, and one happened to mention that the Center for Career Planning had been helping them figure out their next steps. So, I went up to the third floor of Christopher Newport Hall and made an appointment – yes, it is that easy. One of our amazing career counselors sat down with me for an hour showing me the power of LinkedIn and giving me undivided attention about my concerns and interests. The conversation ended with me feeling heard and more confident.
I have been wondering if my dream lies with publishing or higher education. Again, I change my mind everyday. My career counselor suggested I meet with individuals in different offices and conduct interviews to see the paths those individuals took and to see a glimpse of what a career in that field would look like.
I left with action items and a plan which is a lot more than what I entered with. Even after I left my career counselor emailed me an article that she came across and thought I would enjoy just based off our one conversation. How lucky am I to go to a school where the faculty is so committed to helping me succeed.
There I was, standing with a look of trepidation, palms sweaty, heart aflutter. I had no faith at all that I would be welcomed into Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the national theater honor society. I’m not a theater major. I felt I had no place in the department other than being casual acquaintances with a few classmates I had encountered while pursuing my minor. What business did I have joining an organization for a department that I had such a small place in?
Although I feared the worst, I loved theater and I wanted nothing more than to join like-minded students who could eventually become some of my closest friends. So despite my doubt, I decided to go for it. I have never been more pleased with a decision in my life!
Everyone is encouraged to join even if they aren’t sure they have enough points, which are earned through participation in Theater Department activities. APO loves new members and gives them tons of opportunities to earn points throughout the year, such as volunteering in the theater library at the Ferguson Center, working backstage on productions or tabling for APO events.
Joining Alpha Psi Omega was one of the best decisions I have made in my collegiate career! I have made a bunch of new friends, and I feel much more at home in the department as a result of simply getting to know my classmates. I had a blast during my initiation into the organization, and our members are sure to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible during the process.
Freshman year, I lived in an octo-suite in York River Hall with roommates who hated cleaning as much as I did. We vowed that we would clean once a month, and to reward ourselves for being competent adults we would throw a tea party afterwards. The cleaning portion of the plan tanked, but we quickly became inseparable friends bonding over our love of tea.
Halfway through the semester, one friend joked that we should start a tea appreciation club and name it “TNU.” We stayed up late that night creating a constitution which included more sarcasm and tea puns than substance. We refined it the next morning when we were less giggly and turned it in for approval, still more as an inside joke than anything else.
Jump to three years later, and TNU is still a fully functioning if not thriving tea appreciation club. Around 15 to 20 of us meet every few weeks to drink tea, play tea-related games and unwind from a stressful week. All because one person had an idea sparked by personal passion and a hobby shared by new friends. We created TNU through rampant silliness and it turned into something beautiful. Still best friends and roommates to this day, we can pass this sassy, well-hydrated club on to future tea-loving students.
CNU makes it so easy for students to engage in what we’re passionate about and gives endless opportunities for leadership. We still avoid cleaning like the plague, but planning, managing and leading an entire club has set us on the path toward competent adulthood. So what are you passionate about? What could your club be? If you’re sitting down to think, I suggest a hot cup of oolong.
Coming to college, I was unaware of what a resident assistant (RA) was. You hear those stereotypes that an RA is a babysitter or a mom. That an RA is an employee hired to watch you 24/7. Well, what no one told you is, that’s wrong. An RA is a student first. They are beneficial to the health and safety of the hall. They spend time saying hi, getting to know you and decorating your hall. Decorations may not sound important, but with some color on the walls it feels a little homier. They don’t sit outside their door and watch your every move or listen to your every word. They don’t treat you like children. This isn’t just a job for them. They care and they work hard for you.
I forgot to appreciate my RAs freshman and sophomore year. I forgot to say thank you. I forgot to stop and think about all they do for the hall even if I don’t see them everyday. I forgot that on top of this job they also have classes, and they often have other clubs and obligations. After becoming an RA myself I realized how rewarding it is in 1,000 different aspects. I don’t need a thank you to know I am appreciated, but us RAs have a big heart for our halls and this job, so make our days and stop to say thank you!