Why I Chose Commuting

I recently started commuting to school.

It’s been almost a month since I made the transition. What made me chose this decision is that living with a group of girls is fun and all, but I like to have my own space. I also like to be alone sometimes and have personal time to myself. Living on campus wasn’t for me, and it’s not what I expected. I’m used to being alone, so that’s what I realized I preferred.

It was a small process to go through to be able to commute. I had to give my reasons for why I wanted to commute to the residential housing office. I was waiting for about three days to find out what their decision was. They finally reached out to me while I was in class, and I was so excited and happy to be commuting.

Once I got the decision, I made my way to my dorm and started packing my things. I called my mom and told her what was happening, and that’s when she came to pick me up. It was a long day that day, but it was all worth it because I was finally happy and not homesick anymore.

Serious Help or Serious Fun: Longwood Has It All

As the semester progresses, Brooklynn is discovering what study strategies work best for her.

Whether I’m looking for something to do or somewhere I can get help — I don’t have to look far to find it here at Longwood.

As far as getting help, the Writing Center is a good example. The center is such a great resource to help me do the best that I can with my writing—which is not one of my strengths. I recently went to the center for help with an assignment in my Society and Media class, which is for my major in communication sciences and disorders. I had to write a paper about a famous person who has brought public awareness to a disability.

The students who work at the Writing Center are very patient and kind. They helped me with my grammar and punctuation, and with writing a stronger conclusion to the paper. I was really nervous when I first went to the center, but now I am feeling confident. They helped me realize that I’m not a bad writer—I’m just still learning.

I’m also becoming more confident in my study skills. I had my first test recently, and I have discovered that flash cards and study groups are the best way for me to study. Also, studying a little each night helps. The library has really nice group study rooms.

To take a break from my homework and assignments, I have gone to some of the Lancer Productions events!

There were a lot of people at Casino Night. A bunch of friends from my floor went together. We played roulette, black jack and poker—not with real money, of course. We used play money, and any that we had left over at the end of the evening we could use to “buy” raffle tickets for cool prizes. The evening also included an airbrush artist who was giving temporary tattoos, a person making balloon animals and a big selection of great desserts.

On another occasion, I went to a show by a really awesome magician, Daniel Martin.

I also went to a fun craft night inspired by Pinterest. I made fabric coasters, a dray erase board photo frame and some “slime,” and I painted some jars. All the materials were provided, including a bunch of different fabrics to choose from for the coasters. The slime was really fun to make and play with.

Seven-pointed Princeps crowns can be found throughout campus. Princeps is a student organization devoted to developing leadership skills.

 

As the semester progresses, Brooklynn is discovering what study strategies work best for her.

A Door to Adore: “The Lauren”

Jayla and her roommates got in the fall spirit by decorating their door, inspiring some of the other students on their floor to do the same.

As the season begins to change and upcoming holidays approach, we wanted to be the cheerful part of the third floor of our hall.

Laya, Lauren and I had a blast decorating our dorm room door. We ran to Walmart grabbing everything that we felt was fall. As we picked up all of our door decorations, we joked and played around getting lots of ideas.

When we came back to the dorm to decorate, we played our music. We sang with no thought of being too loud. Everyone could hear us laughing and our jokes. They got curious and came out into the hall. They stood around watching and eating snacks like we were performing in a full show. They kept saying, “That’s so cool and cute.”

The other people on our floor were so inspired by our little door that we happened to set a trend of door decorating. We even encouraged a door-decorating contest for Halloween.

I guess it’s stuff like that gets you comfortable with dorm life. This little thing we did for fun definitely helped us get used to the people around us and to make new friends. It was great because living away from home takes time to get used to.

 

A work in progress.

Student-Athletes Support Each Other

Go team! Averee and her fellow lacrosse players with their new Longwood scarves.

After being here for a little over a month, Longwood feels like home.

The people I surround myself with make it so much more fun and enjoyable because you’re never really all alone. Being a part of the women’s lacrosse team gives me an opportunity to meet so many new people, and I get along with them so well.

As you know, the Longwood community is small. All of the activities are a lot of fun, but it is all about what you make of it—such as the athletics events. My suitemates are field hockey players, so you will see me watching most of  their home games. Before I came here, I had never gone to a field hockey game because they didn’t have it where I lived. It was a thrill to watch! The soccer games are also a lot of fun to watch, and basketball season is approaching as well. There’s always a sport going on throughout the year.

The best part about it is that you see all the athletes around, and everyone knows each other. You go to everyone else’s games, and they end up coming to yours. You always want a crowd watching your game for spirit, so it is really nice to support each other and cheer on our school!

I can’t wait for spring to come around for our season so everyone can come out and watch!

Lacrosse practice somewhere over the rainbow.
Lacrosse practice somewhere over the rainbow.

College and High-School Classes: A Comparison

Classes in general are more enjoyable in college than high school.

The best part about them is that you can have a break between classes and get other things done rather than sit in multiple classrooms in a seven-hour span. Although college classes may be more difficult, the challenge is nice because you can accomplish so much more and take what you learn and turn it into something that you may do in the future.

Some differences between the two environments: The professors are not as lenient in college, and you have to get everything done that is asked and turned in on time. In high school, teachers were more tolerant with assignments and let you turn in things later without punishment. Also, in college an abundant amount of classwork and homework is done on the computer. It is very important to keep track of your responsibilities and agendas, especially if you have extracurricular activities.

There are not many similarities, as I have found. College life is so much different. You are on your own with everything, but it is not too bad. I was told to not take high-school habits with me into college, and that was the most useful piece of advice that I was given.

I am still learning and getting the hang of things quickly.

Your Not-So-Typical Friday Night

Dinner with Cecily and Abby in Dorrill Dining Hall — a.k.a. D-Hall. They’re both also members of the Cormier Honors College.

When people think about what happens on college campuses on Friday nights, most think of parties, loud music and crazy young adults. However, for me, none of those events takes place on a typical Friday night.

I’ll be honest, most Fridays I don’t really do much of anything. I usually just go get dinner at Dorrill Dining Dall (a.k.a. “D-Hall”) with my roommate or another friend, do some homework and then go to bed. I know, that sounds super exciting right? You might be wondering why I don’t participate in the typical party scene on Friday nights, and the reason is simple: I’m tired. After working really hard throughout the week, I just don’t feel like doing much of anything by the time Friday night rolls around.

That being said, I did mix up my routine a little this past Friday.

After my last class, I went back to my dorm and started working on some homework. I had an assignment due the next day (Saturday) and I wanted to go ahead and get it done so I could work on other assignments. After spending about 2-1/2 hours on homework, I thought I should take a break and go get some dinner. On my way to D-Hall, I saw one of my friends and she was on her way to dinner as well. We met up with one of her other friends, then all ate dinner together.

After that, her friend went back to her dorm, and we were just hanging out. People were going out for the night, and my friend asked me what I had planned for the rest of the evening. I said I was just going to continue working on some homework. To my surprise, she said she was planning to do the same thing. We went to a study lounge and started on our assignments. We talked, told stories, ate some gummy bears and managed to get everything done that we wanted to. After we got done with our assignments, we just hung out again until we were tired and wanted some rest.

As you can see, I didn’t go to any crazy parties on my Friday night, and I still had a really fun time. You don’t need to go out to have fun—you can just hang out with a friend. You can do homework or do nothing at all.

In college, it’s important to prioritize your time. It’s crucial actually. But it’s still important to do some fun things with friends from time to time because everyone eventually needs a break. But if you’re like me and parties aren’t your scene, it’s OK.

Not everyone at Longwood goes out on Friday nights. I usually study or hang out with a friend—or both.
What the Shrek? I love Shrek and couldn’t resist taking a photo with this pillow that one of my friends’ roommate brought from home.

 

Longwood Is Home Already

I’ve been at Longwood for more than a month, and I already consider this my home. That’s something I thought would take much much longer to say because I’ve lived in the same place for 18 years. I’ve only gone home twice, each time for family purposes. When I’m back at my home town, all I want to do is come back to my real home: Longwood.

There really is no better feeling than just being on your own and learning how to provide for and take care of yourself.

For example, I have done laundry twice, and I actually love doing it because you actually feel like an adult.

Another thing I have learned to enjoy is cooking for myself. Obviously I don’t make very intricate meals, but I’m really good at making pasta. I’ve got it down to a science. D-hall is pretty good—it just gets old having the same stuff over and over. A fun tip: I take Tupperware and fill it up with ingredients to make my pasta even better. I don’t do this often, but you are already paying for the meal swipe.

Just remember that everyone is feeling nervous and homesick. Talking to the Care Team has helped. They give you ideas on how to make the transition to Lancer life.

College Surprises: Finding Out Professors Are Helpful and It’s Easy to Make Friends

After 3 weeks of being on campus I couldn’t be happier with the place I now get to call home.

From week one, the professors treated me so nicely and were so wiling to help. This shocked me at first because all through high school I had the impression that professors weren’t willing to help and you had to figure things out on your own. This isn’t the case at Longwood. From the start, I felt like I could come to my professors with anything and they would be willing to help.

On the athletic side of my experience at Longwood, I was in for a culture change—but one that I’m so happy to be a part of.  Balancing baseball practice and school is tough, but it will all be worth it to be able to put on the Longwood jersey in the spring. The toughest part has to be the early morning conditioning, but it makes it so much better to have friends going through the same thing.

I honestly think the best thing about my first three weeks is how easy it was to make friends. I met people in these three weeks that I can already tell I will be friends with for a long time.

All of this has happened in three weeks. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store.

Loving College Classes, the Library and the Gym

One of Brooklynn’s first art projects was a pen mandala.

It has been almost a month since I have been here at Longwood, and I can happily say I chose the best school to go to!!

I love my classes because they are mostly for my major. I love my professors—they are all so fun and truly love what they do. The cool thing about college classes is they are mostly classes that interest you. I think that definitely makes it more fun learning about your passions and what makes you happy.

I have found that the only place I can get my work done is the library! I love the library. They have a really cool little store where I like to get a snack to take a little brain break from studying or writing a paper.

To relieve stress from classes, I like to go to the gym. The gym here is so nice. I enjoy the Zumba classes!

Fun and Freakouts

Daniel and his new friend Grace show off their Lancer scarves.

After two weeks of classes, I can say that I’ve had my fair share of stress and freakouts.

There is no hiding the fact that college classes are extremely stressful, but it’s not unmanageable. I’m beginning to learn the system that’s best for me to be successful in my classes. Having this much freedom and free time means that you almost must have a system in place to not fall behind in classes—but the system can be different for different people.

A lot of my time—aside from classes and studying—has been spent playing basketball, and I’ve finally gotten the date for tryouts to play on the club basketball team. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for it, so I will definitely be in the gym a lot these next couple weeks preparing for tryouts.

The traditions have also been so much fun! The most well-known tradition that I’ve gotten to participate in so far is called The G.A.M.E.  The acronym stands for “Greatest Athletics March Ever,” and it’s where you receive the coveted scarf for that year. It’s part of an event called First Friday Back. So the first Friday after move-in, there is a carnival-like event on Wheeler Mall, then everyone gathers together and makes the long walk to the field of whichever varsity team is playing (This year it was women’s field hockey.) Finally you arrive and pick up the scarf for that year. I decided to go with someone from my small group that I met at New Lancer Days named Grace, who is becoming a very good friend of mine. There was so much energy and good vibes throughout the entire event, and that made it so much fun!

Although there is a lot of stress that comes with class and the workload, I am still loving college and am sure that Longwood was the right choice for me! The only things for me to focus on for now are my classes and club basketball tryouts.

First Friday Back features a carnival with rides and other activities.