Life Savers and Pep Band Players

It has been a while since I wrote a blog post, which goes to show how busy college has made me.

Balancing school and other activities and prioritizing everything was a difficult transition. I’ve been trying to use my resources. For example, I go to the QR Center for math tutoring. They really are life savers.

Although college gets tough, I have great friends to lean on. I recently joined the pep band, which plays at basketball games. I really enjoy doing it. The games are fun, and it gvies me something to look forward to.

Longwood’s pep band revs up the crowd at basketball games.

There are a couple of weeks left until Christmas break, and I honestly can’t wait.


Happy Holidays from Farmville!

I am in awe of how quickly my first semester at Longwood has gone by. I always remember hearing that college would go by more quickly than high school, and I honestly did not believe it until now‑-but it is so true.

The most wonderful time of the year has begun, and so have the holiday festivities!

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey and all the trimmings, plus our famous baked Alaska for dessert!

At Longwood, there is a tradition of having a Thanksgiving dinner the Thursday before Thanksgiving. At the dinner, D-Hall staff prepare all of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, including ham and turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and stuffing. For dessert, they had baked Alaska. It was such a fun time seeing the students come together for a special time!

Recently the city of Farmville had their annual Christmas Tree Lighting! At the event, the bands from Prince Edward, Fuqua and Cumberland schools played everyone’s favorite holiday tunes. The mayor of Farmville invited kids on the stage who were children of faculty at Longwood.Two of the kids were our very own President Reveley’s children! It was so cool to see the residents of Farmville and the students of Longwood come together to celebrate!

It’s All About Planning

The semester so far has been going better than I thought it would be around this time. I’ve gotten a bit more used to the campus and its ins and outs, along with developing better time-management skills/planning that make doing work a lot easier.

The biggest thing I have learned so far from my experiences here—and from my older friends—is to have assignments and activities written out in a planner or even on your phone. Making sure that you have time to do your work as well as down time is key.

This system really came in handy when I was buckling down to get ready for crunch time at finals.

Socially things have been about the same—including still meeting new people each week, which is always enjoyable.

I am ready to finish out the rest of this semester and have Christmas break, but I have made sure that I remember not to rush it.

Diversions: Color Wars and Waka Flocka Concert

Drenching as many of your fellow students in red or green paint is the objective of Color Wars.

I have been at Longwood a little more than a month, and I have enjoyed majority of it. Yes, I said majority because nothing is ever perfect—but it’s fine when the good outweighs the bad.

One of the things that gets to me is learning how to be independent at this level, especially balancing my social life and academic responsibilities. Yet I know I am a lot better at it than I was when I arrived on campus. Balancing different aspects of college life is something a lot of people here find challenging, and that gives me the chance to build bonds with others who are struggling along with me.

Having a visitor from home can make a weekend. Here Phil (left) is with friend Pete Goodrich.

Seeing friends from home who stopped by Farmville for a visit and going to Oktoberfest activities helped me take my mind off those challenges for a while. Oktoberfest weekend was a lot better than I expected it to be, honestly, with the costumes and various events—especially Color Wars and the Waka Flocka concert.

Color Wars was exciting. Throwing paint on people isn’t something you get to do every day—but I wouldn’t mind if it were. I was impressed with Waka Flacka’s performance. Everyone was having a good time, and I know that some people were more impressed with it than they thought they would be.

Overall, my time this week and the past month has been good, with some highs and a couple of lows. Now I’m just getting ready to tackle my midterms and see how next month is going to be.

Feeling at Home: Volunteering at the Food Pantry and Familiar Faces

I’m a communication studies major and, to help fulfill our community service requirement, we have the opportunity to help out at Farmville’s food pantry, FACES. I volunteered one Saturday morning, and I felt so fulfilled afterwards.

We helped people pick out food and then helped them load the items into their cars. I must have helped 100 or more people. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing I did my part to help families in Farmville who need a hand.

The next week, during my class, we discussed how our help could have had an impact on more people than we think—like the people who receive food at FACES. The most touching interaction I had was with a woman whose family of 12 hadn’t had enough food for weeks. I thanked her for coming and told her to please come by anytime she needs to. That was the first time I realized how much of a difference I can make while I’m here in Farmville and how many people I can help.

While walking around campus, I try to look around and see how many people I know and can say “Hi” to. I’m very happy to say that I see a several people every day when I walk to class. I’m so glad that I chose Longwood—because of its size and because of those familiar faces. Getting involved with several student organizations has introduced me to a lot of new people.

I was leaving my band class the other day and I realized that I finally feel at home. I took a photo to remember that moment. It’s my first month of living here, and I couldn’t be prouder of where I am in my life right now.

A Weekend with Mom and Dad: Tasty Treats and a Shopping Spree

A few months ago, when I found out the dates for Parents Weekend, I immediately told my dad so he could get a hotel before they were all booked. Sadly, a few weeks Parents Weekend, he found out he had a work-related conflict, so he would not be able to come that weekend.

Luckily, he was able to come to Farmville the weekend before! We had a great time! We started off with brunch at D Hall, because he wanted to use a guest swipe that he had paid for rather than going to a restaurant and spending additional money. After that, we walked around Main Street and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Kara and her mom during Parents Weekend.

My mom still came for Parents Weekend! She arrived on Saturday, and we had lunch at Macado’s! It was super busy, but the burger I ordered was worth the wait! After that, we did some shopping downtown at Pairet’s, Sleeping Bee and Penelope—a few of my favorites! We made a trip to Walmart so I could stock up on snacks (thanks, Mom!). We then made our way back to the hotel for the night. For breakfast the next morning, we went to Walker’s Diner and the food there was delicious! It may look old from the outside, but I would 100 percent recommend their food!

I am so glad that both of my parents were able to come and visit! It won’t be too long before I’ll be heading back to Yorktown for fall break!

Why Longwood? Let Me Count the Ways

There are two very important reasons why I chose Longwood.

The first reason is the size of the campus. As soon as I took my first steps on campus, I felt a sense of community. I felt like I was about to be a part of something that would make me a better citizen. To me that is very important because of what I want to do after my time here at Longwood—be a teacher.


Jonathan (second from right) participates in the Call Me MISTER program, which supports young men who aspire to be teachers.

At Longwood, I would not be just a number. The professors know you by name, and they are here to help you. It is extremely important to go to a university where you feel that you would be supported by students and faculty 24/7.

Another important reason I chose Longwood is because of its rich history of producing great teachers. I want to become a fifth-grade teacher, and Longwood’s liberal studies program will give me the skills I need to become the best fifth-grade teacher I can be.

There are a ton of other reasons I chose Longwood, but I believe these are the most important.

Quizzes, Homework and a Road Trip with New Friends

This week is the fourth week of classes. So much has happened, and time is flying by.

I have had three quizzes, one exam and a ton of homework. I also was finally able to hang up all my things on my walls!! Now my dorm room definitely feels like home, and I am very proud of how my room has turned out.

Devan (top, teal shirt) and friends on their road trip to Short Pump Mall in Richmond. Fellow My Life As A Freshman blogger Kira (far right) joined in.

This past weekend my roommate, some of my new Longwood friends and I decided to go take a day trip back to my hometown. I decided to take them to Short Pump Mall, since they had never been there. We went to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen with my mom and my best friend, Kenny. We also went shopping and all got some new cute clothes that we are excited to wear.

Bringing the Heat: My Roommate and I Made the Blue Heat Dance Team

In high school, I participated in varsity dance team. It was one of the many things that excited me about going to school. The team gave me a feeling of comfort and made me feel at home. When the dance season was over, I was devastated thinking that my dance career was over. I wanted nothing more than to be part of a team again.

When I finally committed to Longwood, I decided to research the dance opportunities. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to dance forever. Three options came up, including Blue Heat Dance Team, Fierce Dance Team and The Company. I did some additional research and decided that Blue Heat was the team I wanted to join because its dance styles are similar to the team I was on in high school.

Andrea (front row, second from right) with some of her Blue Heat dance teammates.

As the tryouts were approaching, I finally convinced my roommate, Ashley, to try out for the team as well. Knowing that we both had some type of dance background, I thought it would be something fun for us to experience together. Though the tryouts were tough, we both made the team!! We then had our team initiation and met the rest of our new family. Even though joining the team will be a time commitment, I think it’ll be worth it.

Loving Longwood—Ups, Downs and a Great Grilled Cheese

I’m really loving Longwood. I’m adjusting to college life, and I think I’m doing pretty well.

I tried FarmGrill in the Upchurch University Center for the first time and got the grilled cheese. Now it’s my favorite place to go when I’m hungry. Also I have a tip: Don’t spend all of your bonus dollars at Starbucks!

I’m not feeling quite as motivated this week, but I think it’s just because I miss my home. Overall things are going great.