4 Things to do Before You Come to CNU in the Fall

  1. Network. Use your Christopher Newport Class Facebook page with all of those in your class year! There are tons of opportunities always being posted on the page, and you should definitely take advantage of this. Go to events and meet other like-minded people! In addition, be sure to create and join group chats with people who are on your hall or those who share your major. This is a great way to get to know people.
  2. Research for Jobs. There are so many opportunities for work at Christopher Newport and in Newport News. It’s important to jump-start your job search and begin researching now. Discover what jobs appeal to you the most and design your resume accordingly.
  3. Plan Your Move-In. If you’re anything like me, you’ll wait till the day before college move-in to pack. Hopefully, you’re not like me. Start thinking about moving in now. Consider car space, amount of cars, carpooling, size of the rooms, amount of drawer/closet space when deciding what to bring, etc. You’ll be spending  a whole year on campus, and while, you’ll visit home – it’s still certainly better to have everything prepared beforehand.
  4. Get Excited. The next four, or however many years you choose to stay here, are going to be some of the best of your life. Christopher Newport will put you on the path to success and you’ll stay on it for the rest of your life. So, get excited and get ready to come to Christopher Newport! We’re all waiting for you!

How it Feels to See the Finish Line

It has definitely been a long year, and I’m happy to see the finish line. Parents, guardians, family friends, teachers and, generally, just anyone older than you will tell you that going to college is a big adjustment. And it is, I mean, you’re moving out of your house for the first time and living in a dorm hours away from home in most cases. Though, Christopher Newport made the transition so easy. I never for a second wished I was anywhere else.

The courses I’ve taken are exactly as advertised. They are engaging and make you think. A lot of times, there’s more than one right answer and you’re free to experiment with whatever avenue you wish to find a solution to the question/problem at hand. The professors have been more than accommodating to any needs or questions I, or any of my peers, may have had. After a year at this school, I can personally attest to the excellence of academics that are evident in every single classroom.

I’ve also had the opportunity to explore my interests through extracurriculars. I became involved in student government, which allowed me to make impactful change on campus. I also had a great and very fulfilling time serving the community with the President’s Leadership Program and the SPCA Club. Though, I do believe I am most grateful for my fraternity, Psi Upsilon, which has offered me a brotherhood of the highest quality.

I’ve made so many great friends this year and have had so many amazing experiences I’ll never forget. I am ready to finish out the year and take my finals next week, but I also am just as ready to jump into my sophomore year next fall!

A Support System

Christopher Newport does a great job of ensuring each student is having a comfortable and enjoyable time. With so many opportunities, and such a friendly community, it doesn’t take long to make a group of friends that will last a lifetime. These are the people who will be by your side, helping you through each day that passes. And just as they help you, you’ll help them too! This is your support system.

It could start as simply as meeting your roommate or suitemates on the first day of move-in. As you sit down with one another and start talking, you’ll quickly learn why each of you chose to be a Captain and why you love Christopher Newport. That’s something that everyone has in common here! We all adhere to Christopher Newport’s honor code and definitely take it very seriously.

Of course, you’ll also start meeting plenty of new friends in your classes and whatever extracurriculars you choose to do. Christopher Newport offers a wide variety of extracurriculars ranging from athletics, service, interest, religious, Greek, government and plenty more! Within the Christopher Newport community, you’ll find yourself fitting into plenty of smaller communities as you find your way and develop yourself during college. Though, at the end of the day, we all are Captains and we all have each other’s backs, no matter what.

Thank you Residents

At the start of this year I wrote a post reminding you to thank your resident assistant (RA) for all that they do. After a year of experiencing what it is like to be apart of a hall community as an RA I have learned that your residents impact your life far more than you are impacting them.

So, thank you residents for building a community I have been proud to witness. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for challenging me in ways I never thought I would be challenged. Thank you for showing me what it means to be an RA, what it means to be a mentor and a friend. Thank you for putting up with my many emails and asking meaningful questions. Thank you for not judging my love of memes. Thank you for being the best neighbors. Most importantly, thank you for providing me with something I am sad to say goodbye too. If I have impacted you even a sliver of the amount you have impacted me I am grateful.

Here at CNU I have learned that (1) you impact people far more than you realize and (2) you will be impacted by the people around you far more than you expected. I am so grateful.

A Second Language

Christopher Newport requires its students to take a second language course if they do not have second language credit transferring in. A lot of prospective students might groan at this, but it’s actually one of the most helpful and practical skills you can learn in a semester in college!

The curriculum for Spanish 200 is great, and offers a wide range of practical skills and techniques that you can use to communicate effectively in a Spanish-speaking country. If you’re anything like me, then you haven’t taken Spanish in quite a few years. Thankfully, the courses here ease you in to the subject at your own pace to ensure that you are soaking in as much information as possible. It took about a week or two to get re-acquainted with the language, but after working closely with my peers and professor I have definitely overcome my original difficulties.

Some students even elect to major or minor in Spanish, and it’s easy to see why after having taken the class. There’s so much to learn about this rich culture, and becoming bilingual is very desirable quality that employers love to see. Christopher Newport encourages its students to look outwards to the world. There are many more languages than just English; and there are many more languages to study than just Spanish at Christopher Newport (to name a few: Arabic, French, German, Chinese). That’s why a second language course is required, to widen your worldview and aid in making you a more cultured person!

4 Things CNU Students do in Their Free-Time

  1. Study. Academic success is of the utmost importance to the legacy and foundation of Christopher Newport. We take our classes seriously, so you can rest assured most students spend a hefty chunk of their time completing assignments and vigorously studying for their next test. Whether alone in your dorm, in a group in the library or with your hallmates in the hall study room, there’s plenty of space to get some studying done.
  2. Serve. Service is another key aspect of what it means to be a captain at Christopher Newport. Almost all clubs and organizations on campus engage in some kind of service for the Newport News or Christopher Newport community, sometimes even outreach to other regions of America and the world. This is where a fair amount of time goes for students here. They find a cause they are passionate about, and feverishly commit their time to furthering the goals of their organization through this cause.
  3. Socialize. To enjoy a well-rounded college experience, you could socialize and engage with your peers! Of course, some are more introverted than others; however, there is a place for everyone at Christopher Newport. Whether it’s a large group of your peers or simply your roommates, every Christopher Newport will quickly find their group of friends. These people become your support system, and they will be people you can rely on for the rest of your career at Christopher Newport. 
  4. Extracurriculars. CNU students get involved. There is an abundance of opportunities that all students can indulge in. Whether it’s a service, athletic or interest group — there is genuinely something for everyone. The best part about CNU is always having something to do!

The Joys of Tabling

Christopher Newport is a very service-oriented institution. While it is required for the President’s Leadership Program and Bonner Scholarship, most students participate in service for the community out of their own freewill!

Just about every club, organization and athletic team has some sort of philanthropy or cause that raises money, support and/or awareness. While there are tons of creative and innovative fundraisers that are happening on campus all the time, a lot of time is also spent simply tabling. Seemingly, this can be seen as one of the more “boring” ways to serve the community. You sit down at a table, whether it’s in the DSU or the plaza, and try to get the people passing by to interact with your platform.

However, I have actually found a great deal of enjoyment in tabling, as have many of my peers. Firstly, it is a great bonding experience between you and the people you are tabling with. You are all passionate enough to donate your time towards this cause, and it feels great to be among like-minded people. In addition, interacting with those passing by is always a pleasant experience. Having the opportunity to teach someone about a topic you are passionate about is a very rewarding activity.

Sure, a lot of it is just sitting, but the interaction is what makes it so worth it. Engaging with the Christopher Newport community is a reminder as to why this university is so special. So many people are willing to stop at your table and learn about what you are doing, and it’s great to know that you have that kind of support from your peers.

Theme Meals

Are you worried you’ll get tired of dining hall menus or worried that the cycle of food will get old after a month or two? Well, fear not. Even though the dining halls do a great job of offering a variety of food, they also make an effort to put on a theme meal every so often. These are very special and very happy occasions.

Halloween, winter season, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month and St. Patrick’s Day are some of the theme dinners that the dining halls have hosted so far. It’s a great that just about everyone shows up for. The students who normally just grab a to-go box invite all their friends to share a meal with them inside of the dining hall. There’s plenty of food to share, and everyone has a great time enjoying the unique cuisine while laughing with their friends.

I remember my first theme dinner, Halloween. I was swamped with homework, but my good friends coaxed me into taking an hour or two off to come to the dining hall and delight in a delicious meal. While I was at first a tad apprehensive at procrastinating my work, I ended up having a great time that I wouldn’t have traded for anything. College, first and foremost, is for academics, but there’s no reason why you can’t have fun along the way. Theme meals are Christopher Newport’s way to remind the students to celebrate one another and enjoy their time at the university.

My Favorite Service Experiences

  • Relay for Life. This was definitely one of my favorite times volunteering this semester. The event went on all night long. Essentially for 12 hours, the idea is that someone is always walking on the track to symbolize moving forward in cancer research. It was so much fun! The organization running the event administered all sorts of activities for the volunteers to participate in during Relay. It was a great experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
  • SPCA. Earlier this year, I got involved with the SPCA club on campus, and it was one of the best choices I made. Specifically, working with our local SPCA to bring the dogs to campus has provided a lot of smiles for myself and my peers. It’s amazing how happy a few dogs can make someone! There’s nothing like relaxing on the lawn on a sunny day with a couple of dogs running around you.
  • Elementary school. At the end of welcome week, students in the President’s Leadership Program had the opportunity to spend a few hours with a service track of their choosing. I chose to visit a local elementary school and help set up for the upcoming school year. The teachers and faculty there were all so happy to have us and provided a great atmosphere to work in. This was my very first service experience at Christopher Newport and it certainly will not be one I forget!
  • Psi Upsilon. As a new member of Psi Upsilon this semester, I’ve gotten to spend lots and lots of hours volunteering for our national philanthropy about suicide prevention. We’ve hosted tons of fundraisers and have gotten involved in the community to aid in ensuring that our message is heard as far and as wide as possible.

The best part about all these experiences is that I know it’s just the beginning. I’m going to be able to build on these experiences as the years go by and I can’t wait!

Preparing for the Real World

Christopher Newport University really teaches us how to prepare for the real world post-grad. The Center for Career Planning does a great job with hosting workshops, information session, the career fair and other events that help us gain more knowledge about careers, jobs and internships. The center also welcomes students for resume reviews, mock interviews and help with choosing the right career and learning what we can do in each career.

Professors are also a great source for gaining knowledge about what the real world is really like. From personal experience, I have had professors who have impacted and advised me through my decision of what career I will be going into. Academics at CNU also is geared to help improve skills needed for life after college. Some professors require presentations in their classes and I believe that improves our public speaking skills, which is necessary in the real world.