Bella Silvus graduated from Mathews High School. Her favorite class there was early childhood education. Not surprisingly, Bella is pursuing a degree in special education and wants to eventually help children with challenges achieve their full potential.

If you see someone with a hula hoop on campus, it might be Bella. It’s one of her favorite things to do, and she even started the hula hoop club at her high school.

Here are some random interesting facts from Bella about herself:

  1. I love buying and selling vintage clothes.
  2. I love to draw landscapes using any type of pastels.
  3. I was a Brownie and once sold 400 boxes of Girl Scout cookies by driving my dad’s riding lawn mower through our neighborhood.

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.

Getting Oriented

Bella (in the back seat) and her mom get a ride to the next orientation activity.
Bella (in the back seat) and her mom get a ride to the next orientation activity.

Coming in I was very nervous and confused about a lot of things, but everyone was super helpful and nice.

The day started off with chifilia minis, fun raffles and pretty much a huge pep rally. The top peer mentor spoke first. It was calming to find out he had struggled immensely at first but is now helping upcoming Lancers know everything will be OK and that just because some of us make mistakes it’s how we grow from them that matters. The housing department then gave this hilarious presentation and rules and regulations on living on campus.

We were then split up in groups by our majors and headed to our corresponding buildings. The education meeting was very informative: They handed out information on the Praxis and even gave out different pamphlets on the different majors describing the classes required.

We then went to the computer lab to take the language placement test. Don’t freak out like I did because I didn’t take a language in high school. The test proctor was very nice and even set me up to take American Sign Language.

Then we met up with our parents and had lunch. The new students were able to use their new Lancer ID cards, which made it official. Lunch was amazing, and the peer mentors sat with the families to answer all the questions we had.

Mrs. Mitchell in financial aid was very nice. She answered my hundreds of questions and didn’t even bat an eye. My mother, who has bad knees and can barely walk, requested a golf cart, and everyone involved bent over backwards for her.

Everyone was so nice, gracious and helpful it makes me excited to become a Lancer!