The Honors College Just Might Change Your Life

Heather and friends at The G.A.M.E. (Greatest Athletics March Ever) showing off their new Longwood scarves

At Longwood University, being a part of the Honors College isn’t just something stated on a piece of paper or resume. In the Cormier Honors College, being an honors student is a privilege that comes with many experiences and opportunities.

When I first found out I was accepted into the Honors College, I was overjoyed. I knew I would love being a part of such a special group at Longwood and meeting amazing people, both students and faculty. Shortly after I was accepted, I received an email saying I was invited to attend the honors retreat. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but I knew I should take advantage of this awesome opportunity.

In a later email, I found out the day the retreat started was also our move-in day. All of the honors students moved in four days before the rest of the freshmen arrived on campus. In those four days, I participated in so many different things and activities I can’t remember them all.

To name a few, I went on an outdoor high and low ropes course, met with my honors mentor and group on multiple occasions, played “zombie tag,” went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and, lastly, watched the Match your Mentor Pageant.

The Cormier Honors College retreat gets loud.

In the pageant, each honors group met with their mentor and fellow group members and came up with a theme and a creative skit to perform. In the photo of this group, you’ll note they’re mostly wearing red. That’s because their theme was American pride. They were also singing the famous song Born in the USA during the photo. They later won a category at the end of night.

In the other photo, you see three girls who didn’t participate in the skit and decided watch instead. We chose to do this only because this event took place at the end of the night and we all pretty tired. However, I can honestly say watching all of the skits was so much fun and something I will never forget. Anyway, in the photo, the girls are Brittany Armstrong, Hannah Elmore and myself. All three three of us are freshmen, and I met them through the retreat, and Brittany is also one of my suitemates.

Through all of the crazy schedules and having some really long days, I still loved the Cormier honors retreat. I met a lot of my first friends at Longwood through the retreat and often find myself seeing familiar faces everywhere around campus because I met so many people. The retreat made me push my boundaries—or altogether break them down—and I learned a lot about myself during that time.

So, if you have the opportunity to apply for the Honors College, you totally should because is just might change your life.

Orientation—A Day to Remember

Heather and her mom at orientation.

My Longwood orientation was definitely a date I will always remember—from the beginning of the day (which for me was at 4 a.m.) to arriving on campus and experiencing all of the different activities, meetings and seminars.

Shortly after my family and I arrived on campus, the opening seminar was about to start. There were a couple of different speakers talking about a variety of topics, like a soon-to-be graduate’s point of view of his freshman year, to housing information, move-in day and much more. Listening to all of the different speakers I gained a lot of very important information, so I would say going to the opening seminar is vital to your orientation experience.

Heather’s camera couldn’t resist the giant Lancer logo on the side of Willett Hall, where basketball games are played.

A lot of advice was also given to the Class of 2022. One bit of advice that stood out to me was the fact that college is what you make it and that you have to take the initiative to take advantage of all of the opportunities open to you. That really resonated with me, and I hope I always remember that.

After the opening session, we were asked to go outside and find a current Longwood student holding a sign with our major written on it. I went to the person holding the communications sign (I later learned his name was Andrew—he was really cool) and our group went to meet with a communications professor and then to a computer lab to fill out housing and meal plan forms online.

After that, much of the rest of the day was the students’ choice: We could visit specific colleges within Longwood, speak with admissions or financial aid, and everything in between.

My Longwood orientation experience was positive from all aspects. I think it is important for new students to attend to get information, but I also think it is important because there’s just a certain energy at Longwood that can’t be found in most places. The whole time while I was on campus, everyone I interacted with was so nice and helpful, and I could tell they really cared. That feeling of home and compassion is one of the aspects I like most about Longwood. Everyone here wants students to succeed, and the faculty will help them anyway they can.