Going through college tours, orientations and guidance counselor conversations I was terrified of the increased workload I kept hearing about. I knew it was going to be a bigger challenge than I was used to in high school. I was preparing myself for that time commitment and dreading the lack of free time. But, I had chosen a school I loved and was also excited for what Christopher Newport had to offer.
Since arriving, I have learned that it is not all stress. What I heard was true, it is a much bigger workload it is a much bigger time commitment. But, it is not all-consuming unless you let it. A schedule is important, but there will be days when you have little or nothing to do. Take those days! Most weeks will feel full. Some weeks will feel overwhelming, but there will be rare, beautiful weeks or days that are mostly blank. Do not take these for granted. Treat yourself to a nap or a Netflix session. Maybe you can even read a book. These are the moments where you take that time for yourself and recoup. Hit a restart button on these days so that you can thrive in the weeks that will keep you on your toes.
Whisper Wall: This is probably one of, if not the, most peaceful and thoughtful place on campus. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a whisper wall, it’s essentially this: a rounded piece of stone that is sculpted in such a way that if one person whispers on a side of the wall, a person on the opposing side with his or her ear to it will hear the whisper as if it was right next to him or her. It’s quite fascinating. There’s also a place to sit down so you can relax and admire the structure.
Arts Garden: One of the best kept secrets at Christopher Newport is the “hidden garden,” Located in the Ferguson Center, there is a door that leads to a space outside that is filled to the brim with beautiful, thriving plant life. There’s bench swings and plenty of sitting to enjoy the natural ambiance of the space. The garden is absolutely breathtaking!
Clock Tower: The clock tower is rooted in tradition at Christopher Newport. After convocation, a ceremony before you formally begin your freshman year, you ring the bell once. You will ring the bell only one other time in your tenure at Christopher Newport, and that is during your senior year. It’s a powerful symbol of the time that has passed by and all of the opportunities and experiences you have had during your years at Christopher Newport. It’s a great place to visit and reflect on your life and how far you have come!
St. Francis of Assisi Statue: This has returned to campus situated outside of the new Regattas entrance. The statue is certainly something to behold. The statue has become a staple of Christopher Newport. If you’re visiting Christopher Newport, you should certainly stop by to admire its craftsmanship.
Geese Fountain: This is another place on campus that is of great significance to the student body. During convocation, students receive a penny. This penny is to symbolize and remind the holder of the honor code they pledged to during convocation. The students keep this penny for the rest of their years at Christopher Newport. After graduation, students throw their pennies into this fountain, a tradition that has gone on for years here.
Everyone is in a great mood at Christopher Newport. Why? Well, because it’s getting warmer! Clubs and interest groups have certainly taken a notice of this, and they’re taking advantage of it as well. Rather than set up in the David Student Union, which many organizations still do, a handful of organizations now elect to table outside in the sun in the Trible Plaza.
This is a fantastic time to be a student here. It’s so refreshing to be taking a stroll on campus and be able to have a meaningful discussion with a fellow student out on the Trible Plaza over something they are passionate about. There is tabling for just about anything you could imagine. There are clubs, Greek fundraisers, athletics, charity events and other great things going on out on the Trible Plaza all the time.
Even in the nighttime, it’s not unusual for an a cappella group to offer a free concert for the students. They sing wonderfully and provide an incredible soundtrack for the night. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the amazing fundraisers that often take place on the plaza. There’s been fundraisers to pie people in the face, pull the table-cloth off a table forcing all of the contents on top of the table-cloth to go flying, karaoke and much, much more.
If I’m ever bored, I never hesitate to take a stroll out on the plaza and see what my Christopher Newport peers are up to!
The best part about Christopher Newport is that no matter your major or life plan, Christopher Newport will set you up for success. I have chosen to pursue a bachelor’s degree in communication studies, and I am already enjoying so many great benefits from the program.
If you’re unfamiliar with this major, communication studies is, at its broadest, the study of interaction. It can be applied to all facets of life, but common focal points are, but not limited to, its application to ethics, culture and media. With a communication studies degree, you could get involved with social sciences, HR, PR, advertising/marketing, politics and you can even work with an adviser to help ensure your communication degree sets you up for law school.
The Communication Department offers tons of great courses that delve into all sorts of disciplines and styles. Public speaking, gender, media, rhetoric and argumentation are just a few topics that communication courses focus on. In addition, there is a myriad of internship options. Just yesterday, I received an email from the Comm Department alerting me to an upcoming internship opportunity. That’s how interested Christopher Newport is in seeing the success of its students!
One of the best things about a small campus is that everything is close by. And this includes the IT Department’s Help Desk. Located in the Trible Library, this department is open 24 hours everyday of the week and is at your service. You can go here for any of your technological needs, and you will receive reliable, speedy assistance. For example, if you’re having issues getting TV signal, the IT Department can help point you in the right direction.
A common issue many students find themselves having is setting up internet, or reconnecting. For the great majority of students, the internet works perfectly. However, if a student ever has trouble the IT Department can very quickly solve the issue and get your phone, tablet, computer, etc back to working order. It’s great to know that there is always someone to offer a helping hand to you and your technology, no matter the hour or problem.
The IT Department is also a great opportunity to learn about work opportunities for computer science, information studies and plenty more.
Deciding what classes to take is not as hard as it may sound. Figuring out what times work best with your schedule may be the tricky part. Thankfully, it has always worked out for me because all my classes have been offered throughout different times of the day.
Every semester, right before the registration period, we meet with our advisers to discuss what classes we should take during the upcoming semester. This is helpful, but my favorite method is viewing the What-If Analysis on CNU Live. All you have to do is enter your entry year, major and minor (if any). After entering this information, you will be directed to a page that displays all the requirements needed to graduate. It will list the courses you need to complete and if they have been completed already or not.
This is an organized way of viewing what classes you are required to take to graduate. I did not use this my freshman year, so I ended up taking a few classes that I did not even need. It is extremely helpful and may save you a lot of time.
Studying abroad is a huge part of the college experience here at Christopher Newport University. Most students study abroad between the summer after their freshman and the start of their junior years. There are so many different programs to choose from and the Study Abroad office will help you with your decision and pairing you up with a program that is ideal for you.
You get so many benefits from studying abroad, such as the following:
- Explore new countries
- Learn about different cultures
- Meet people from all over the world
- Live in a foreign country for months
- May become a study abroad ambassador
These are just a few of the benefits. There are many more. You may be wondering, “what is a study abroad ambassador?” This is a job that you may apply for at the Study Abroad office. Typically, the office hires students who have already studied abroad. As a student ambassador you will help other students find the right program for them, share your experience with others and encourage students to study abroad.
I did a summer study abroad program for fashion design in Milan, Italy. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I met people from so many different countries, traveled on the weekends and even met family who live in Milan! I believe that studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I suggest that you go ahead and do it while you are still young and in college! Trust me, you will not regret it.
As you may know, Christopher Newport University is located in Southeastern Virginia. This means beaches, rivers and warmer weather. Winter in Newport News is not as bad as other parts of Virginia, especially the north. It is usually 10 degrees warmer down here than it is up in Northern Virginia. I cannot complain about that!
The warm weather here in Newport News allows us to do so many outdoor activities. We can go to beaches nearby or even sit on the Great Lawn and do schoolwork or just relax while taking a break from school. Sitting on the Great Lawn is almost as great as going to the beach because of the wonderful view of the buildings here on campus, especially Christopher Newport Hall.
Newport News also has its rainy days! So, a rain coat and rain boots are a must when you are a student here. All in all, the weather in Newport News tends to be warmer than cities in Northern Virginia.