When you think of students you think of their academic and social commitments, typically the last thing on your mind is a research opportunity because how could they possibly have another time commitment? Luckily, the process for applying for a research program is super simple and can fit around any hectic schedule.

Many professors here strive to find students who are interested in collaborating with them to research together, but most of the time they rely on the student to speak up. Individuals might not know, but a dream for a professor is having a student so interested in the topic at hand that they are willing further dive into the concept.

It’s super important for everyone to go to office hours, not only to help discuss learning material, but also to begin to build a relationship with professors, so be sure to start that habit early on. If they see you have a genuine interest and drive for their class they may approach you about future opportunity. However, if you feel extremely curious about a research opportunity, don’t hold back because any professor will certainly be excited to recruit someone on whatever project they are working on because ultimately they wish to see us succeed.

If talking to a professor directly about this seems intimidating, or if you wish to look at multiple avenues for research opportunities the university has the office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA). This is a resource that connects students, whatever their major, to people who know exactly where research can be available for their interests. This service while spanning to the creative arts this service is also open to any and all majors on campus.

It is important to start diving into the research that involves potential career paths because it not only looks wonderful on a resume, but it helps decipher what you might want to aspire to become. Through this process you can build a reputation for yourself in the field and really expose yourself in a safe environment that allows for mistakes. Ultimately, I encourage everyone to try something new and delve deeper into the topics that truly make them passionate.

The Road to ResLife

I absolutely love Residence Life at Christopher Newport. I didn’t know where my place was at this university during my first year, and when I applied for a summer job in ResLife, I immediately was smitten with every aspect of it. Over the summer I was a resident and desk assistant, which is a hybrid role. I acted as the RA for a small group of students, but took a more passive approach at that (because it was summer and the residents are only on campus for a few weeks) and, also, the role as a desk assistant, helping people get into their rooms when they lose their ID and ensuring the safety of the residence hall.

Last year I applied to be a school-year year RA, and unfortunately, I was not selected for the job, however, that just made me more driven to get there. This year, I still work in Residence Life as a front desk assistant in a freshman residence hall, and I am reapplying for the RA position.

Applying to be an RA at Christopher Newport is a pretty long and thorough process that takes almost the full academic year to complete. We want to make sure that we have qualified people who are taking responsibility over residents. This year I have gotten past the point at which I was cut off last year, so I’m really proud of myself and how I’ve grown. I’m so thankful for Christopher Newport and the Department of Residence Life for helping me grow along the way. Fingers crossed that I get the job for next year! Wish me luck Y’all!