My Sweet Escape

Let’s face it, college can definitely wear us students out. We all eventually become overwhelmed or stressed out at some point in the semester, whether it is because of classes and tests or athletics, Greek life, and other extracurricular activities. There are lots of places on and off campus to go if you need to get away or find peace. You could go to the gym and work out (this normally relieves my stress). There are study rooms and multi-purpose rooms in each residence hall where you could go to find peace. Christopher Newport even offers free, confidential counseling services if you need to talk about anything related to school or your personal life. The Great Lawn is always open for students to come lay out, read, eat or nap. If you want to get away from campus and it is a nice day, campus is located very close to two beaches: Huntington Beach and Buckroe Beach.

Besides the gym, my sweet escape is my home. I am from Chesapeake, which is about 30 minutes from campus. Some may think I go to school way too close to home, but I think it is the perfect distance. I never miss birthday celebrations or family functions. If I get homesick, I can go home and come back to school all in the same day if I wanted or needed to. Most importantly, when I become stressed or overwhelmed with classes and extracurricular activities and need to get away, my home is a short drive away. I am able to go home and be around my family who makes all of my problems go away with constant jokes and love. Also, while I am there, I am able to enjoy some of my mom’s homemade meals and relax in my own bed.

When I was first applying to colleges, my favorite line was “I want to go as far away from home as my mom will allow.” I was determined to get far away from home, until I toured Christopher Newport. I could not be happier with my decision of coming to CNU, even if it is only 30 minutes from home. I think it’s the perfect distance. In the words of Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” “There’s no place like home.”


My First College Field Trip

I would like to begin this post by saying that I haven’t been on a field trip since middle school, so please excuse my over-excitement.

I’m taking a communication class called Media Aesthetics, and we are currently studying street art. We have been doing lots of readings on street art and watched a couple of videos on it as well. But what better way is there to study something other than to go and see it in person? And that is exactly what we did! My professor organized a field trip to Norfolk’s Neon District, which is covered in street art. We went on the trip last Thursday and had a great time. When we got there, we were allowed about an hour and a half to roam around the city and admire the artwork. There was so much amazing street art! There was everything from tags, which is the basic “so and so was here” graffiti, to fully painted murals.

IMG_8301  IMG_8302

This field trip was beneficial in many ways. We spent so much time learning about street art in class and so little time actually realizing that it was all around us. It was good to leave campus and view the world outside of Christopher Newport.

IMG_8303  IMG_8304

This field trip made me appreciate street artists because I was able to see how huge and detailed their artwork was and I know that it had to have taken them a very long time on each piece. The trip also made me appreciate art as a whole. There are a lot of things that I saw out there, like stickers, that I probably wouldn’t have considered art before.

IMG_8306  IMG_8307

Walking through the city made me pay attention and look for small details that would easily be overlooked, like tiny drawings in the cement tiles on the ground that you normally just walk over and never stop to admire. Overall, the field trip was an eye-opener for me because I live 20 minutes from Norfolk and never paid attention to how much art was all over the city.

IMG_8310  IMG_8312

This field trip is definitely one of my most memorable moments thus far in my college career. Who knew that field trips were still offered in college?!

The More Credits, the Merrier

One of the best decisions I could’ve made in high school was taking Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment classes. AP classes are college-level courses offered in high school that allow you the opportunity to earn college credit after passing a final exam. Dual Enrollment classes are courses offered by local community colleges where you enroll but take the class at your high school and earn college credit.

I took AP Government and Dual Enrollment College Composition my senior year in high school. Both of these classes were very beneficial to me in many ways: I learned how to take notes from lectures with no PowerPoint to guide me, I learned how to properly study in a way that actually helped me, I learned how to keep up with the fast pace of my teachers, and I learned how to write at a higher level. Plus, in the end, I earned all of my credits that I transferred with me to Christopher Newport.

AP and Dual Enrollment classes are similar but different. In both cases, you are taking college-level courses as a high school student. However, AP classes are free and offered through your high school, while Dual Enrollment classes cost based on the community college you are using. In order to earn college credit from an AP class, you must pass an exam with a certain score determined by your desired university. To receive college credit from a Dual Enrollment class, you must pay the tuition cost in the beginning of the semester and simply pass the course with a C- or higher.

When I came to Christopher Newport as a freshman, I transferred over nine college credits with me: six from my Dual Enrollment class and three from my AP class. The benefits of coming into college with credits are amazing. I was able to register for classes earlier than other freshmen so I did not have to worry as much about classes I wanted to take being closed when it was time for me to register. I was also able to participate in the housing lottery earlier! Depending on how many credits I take each semester, I will be able to graduate early if I want to. But most importantly, taking these classes in high school saved me and my family so much money and time. Since I took those writing classes in high school and got the credits already, I only have to take two more writing classes instead of taking four in college when things start to get harder. If I am able to graduate a semester or two earlier, I save about $25,000.

If there is one thing that I would recommend to any high school student, I would definitely say take AP or Dual Enrollment classes. The more college credits you come in with, the merrier you will be.

C-N-U Makes Me Happy

There are certain people on campus (besides the students) that when you see them, you can’t help but to smile and have your day made. These people do nothing out of their ordinary routine, yet they somehow seem to make me the happiest.

  1. The janitorial staff: Every morning, as I’m leaving my residence hall, I pass by janitorial staff members who wake up early to come and make sure that each hall and kitchen is completely spotless. As I walk by, the staff makes sure to speak to me and other students to say, “good morning!” and tell us to have a good day. When I come back to my room during the day, they are still out in the halls working hard. But as I walk past, they stop me and ask how my day was and what I learned in my classes. They have full conversations with me and you can tell that they genuinely care about each student beyond just making sure that their residence hall is clean.
  2. The dining staff: Like the janitorial staff, I see the dining staff multiple times a day and each time they make me happier. For breakfast, I go to Commons to grab a personalized omelet. The staff seems to genuinely love what they do and they are really patient with us when we are choosing what we want on each omelet. Even when the lines start to get long, they do not rush through making our omelet but instead focus on making each one perfect and they start taking more orders so that they will already be ready when the stove clears off. For lunch and dinner, I go to Regatta’s most of the time. There the staff engages in conversations about everything from sports to families to school with us. One staff member really made my day once when we had a conversation while I was waiting on a sandwich. She was telling me about how she was having a bad day but how coming to work made her day better because we students had such great manners and showed that we cared about the staff just as much as they care about us.
  3. The maintenance staff: I do not see the maintenance staff every day, but when I do, they never cease to amaze me. If you have an issue in your residence hall with anything, you file a work order online and wait for the maintenance staff to do the rest. However, that wait is never long at all. The longest I’ve waited after filing a work order was 30 minutes. They come through and fix whatever needs fixing in a matter of minutes then show you how to operate certain things properly so that you do not have any more trouble. One thing I admire about the maintenance staff is that they are so considerate. If they come to fix something early in the morning or later in the evening, they will whisper when talking and try to fix things as quietly as they can so that they don’t wake anyone.

I believe seeing these staff members makes me so happy because I understand what they do and I do not take them or their work for granted. Without the janitorial staff, our campus wouldn’t be so clean and beautiful. Without the dining staff, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy meals that are almost as good as home-cooked ones. Without the maintenance staff, I would struggle if anything broke or malfunctioned in my room.

Greek Week 2016

Greek week at Christopher Newport is a very exciting time filled with activities that unify the Greek community and show off all the good that Greeks do for our campus. Kick off was held Thursday and it was amazing! Since it was also St. Patrick’s Day and CNU Day, the entire campus and even alumni came out to support. Kick off started with a CNU Day flash party on the Great Lawn, which was filled with faculty and students in CNU blue and silver (and green for St. Patty’s Day), green foods and drinks, music, Greeks mingling with their teams and some of the Greeks strolling. After the flash party, the kick off was moved to Trible plaza, where Greeks competed in Minute to Win It games and had a chant off.

Greek week continued on Friday with Relay for Life and Black and Glow Zumba! Black and Glow Zumba was so much fun. The lights were turned off in the gym and as we entered, we received glow sticks and glow necklaces and bracelets. We had a great time dancing around in the dark. The Relay for Life event was also held that night where organizations raised money and came out to walk and support survivors of cancer. This event was very important to me because one of my sorority sisters is actually a survivor of lymphoma, so we had fun going out and supporting her. Also, together 38 teams raised over $50,000, which is AMAZING!

I am very grateful for my experience as a Greek on my campus. Through Greek week thus far, I have been able to make new friends and meet Greeks that I never knew. I have a new-found respect for all the Greeks on this campus because you never know how much hard work goes into making events happen, but since we are all working together, I can actually see how much we are giving to make this week great.

Sun-Tastic Campus Spots

Spring has made an early appearance, and we Captains are definitely enjoying it. If you were to take a tour of the campus on a warm day, you could easily notice some of our favorite spots to hang out and soak up the sun.

The first (and the most obvious) is the Great Lawn. The Great Lawn is in the heart of the campus and is exactly what its name implies, a great, big, green lawn. We use it to enjoy the weather in many ways: some brought their pets to campus and let them run free and play, while some gathered blankets, snacks and books and took to the Great Lawn for peace and relaxation. Others grabbed footballs and frisbees and enjoyed tossing them around with their friends. They even welcomed other students and pets to join their games.

The next best spot is Christopher Newport Hall, our newest building, which houses services vital to student success – from admission through graduation. On its beautiful steps, you can see friends gathered talking and laughing, people reading books and eating lunch, and you can even hear the campus celeb Violin Guy playing angelic sounds that could be heard all throughout the area.

Another well populated area that Captains take to to enjoy the weather is the Whisper Wall. There you see students playing all types of instruments, like guitars and ukuleles. Students also gather there to sing together and enjoy the mysterious workings of the Whisper Wall. If you walk by, you might think you’re listening to an organized band.

Students like me weren’t the only ones who wanted to get out and enjoy the weather. Some professors chose to hold class outside behind Luter Hall where there are chalkboards on the back of the building. This made for some really fun classes because you can enjoy the sun while also learning.

All in all, you could tell that we all loved the three days of warm weather that we had. I can’t wait until it becomes consistent so that we can enjoy it more!


Spring Break Countdown

Spring break is quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like me, you’re losing motivation to finish the week off strong because you can’t stop thinking about your plans for the break. With literally three days left and four midterms to take, I am struggling trying to hold on. Instead of packing for my spring break trip to Las Vegas with my sorority sisters, I’ve been dedicating all of my time to the library. I know that it is well worth it, though. After I pass these exams, I will not even stress about how well I think I did on them because I have spent so much time preparing for them.

To help out those who feel the same as I do, here are some tips for staying motivated as we countdown to spring break!

1. Turn on your tunnel vision and zone in on the light that is at the end! It is super easy to lose motivation right before the break because you just want it to be here already and you’re over attending classes every day. But, don’t lose sight of the light! It may appear dim right now, but we will be there quicker than you know. Stay focused in class and stay on top of your work so that when you do finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel, you have nothing else to worry about.

2. When you have free time, study! Don’t waste your time lying around or napping when you’re not in class. That’s what spring break will be for! Make sure you’re studying so that you will easily pass those midterms and make it to spring break smoothly.

3. When spring break finally gets here, enjoy it! You’ve made it to the end of the tunnel! Be safe and make sure you get some rest so that you will be prepared to dive right into the books when you get back.

We’ve Got Spirit! Yes, We Do!

Christopher Newport University has one of the best athletics programs. It’s not only great for the athletes, but also for the students and community who come out to support.

I recently attended a men’s and women’s double-header basketball game. Double-headers are the most exciting home games to me because you get to enjoy a full evening of nonstop sports action! Our basketball teams are great. The men’s team is ranked No. 5 in the nation, and the women are ranked No. 16. Cheering them on and supporting them is easy because they are so good, but I believe that if even if they were ranked last in the conference, the Christopher Newport community would still be their biggest fans. It amazes me that we have Division III athletics, but fans support like we are a top D1 school.

At the games, I noticed so much spirit it made me even more proud to be a Captain! The stands were completely filled with so much energy. There were people standing the entire game, holding signs, jumping around and yelling. Along with all the cheering, they were sure to wear their blue and silver. We have so much spirit that the students cheering in the stands began chants before the cheerleaders even had a chance to organize their next cheer. So if anyone asks if we have spirit here at Christopher Newport, yes we do!


All in the Details

Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s the little things that count?”

That statement is very true here at Christopher Newport!

One day last week, I was not in a good mood because I had been up studying for my first exam of the semester. I was super tired and really didn’t want to be bothered until after I had finished taking my exam. As I was going through my day around campus, it seemed as if everyone had tried their hardest to make sure I was happy, even if they didn’t know me.

It started that morning as I was on my way to lunch. Every person I passed and made eye contact with made sure to smile at me. As usual here at Christopher Newport, the door was held for me multiple times as I went through buildings to get lunch and hurry to the library to slip in a last-minute study session. After my studying, I stopped by Einstein’s, our coffee shop, to grab a frappe. As I grabbed the cup from the barista, I noticed a bit of writing that was more than just my name and the code used to tell them what drink I wanted. I looked at the writing and there I saw a small inspirational scribble that said, “Be happy. Be bright. Be you.” A smile crept across my face as soon as I read that and I knew that I had to be happy.

As I continued my day, I made a stop at the restroom before my exam. After closing the stall door, I notice a yellow sticky note on the back that said, “Just keep swimming!” with a picture of a fish. Seeing that sticky note literally made my day because that quote is from the movie “Finding Nemo,” which is one of my favorite childhood movies. From that point on, I tried my hardest to have a good day and I even got an A on the exam that I was stressing myself out so much about! The motivation I felt from the small things that happened to me that day was great and it showed me that we Captains really care about each other, even if we don’t know each other personally.

The small things that happen everyday here is what makes the Christopher Newport campus and community come alive!

Unbreakable Bonds

I made the best decision of my life in April of 2015 by joining Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (AKA). Since that date, I have seen how much AKA has helped me grow as a leader here at school and in the community. I have had the opportunity to make significant impacts on the life of my sisters as well as people in the surrounding community by providing backpacks and school supplies for elementary school children, feeding the homeless, helping Christopher Newport freshmen move into their new homes, spreading awareness about mental health and heart health, and cleaning up the streets of Newport News and Hampton.

The best thing I have received from AKA is the opportunity to form unbreakable bonds with some wonderful women. I honestly believe that by being one of the smallest sororities on campus, AKA has the upper hand. Each sister gets to really know each and every sister in the organization. The entire chapter has a meaningful bond rather than having many close groups of sisters within the organization. The sisters I have made through AKA are some of the best people I have ever met. They can tell when something is wrong before I even have to tell them, and they know how to fix it. They give amazing advice. They are comforting, and we all genuinely care about each other. We push and motivate each other to do better in school and in life. We strive together for closer relationships in our faith. We celebrate each other when one of us does something that is worth the celebration, like making dean’s list or graduating. We never push each other down or think we are better than any other person. We lift up each other and every member of the Christopher Newport community.

I could honestly write a book about what joining AKA has done for me, but this is just a small post to show my appreciation to the best sorority in the land!