Heather Waldo graduated from Staunton River High School. If you see her out on campus, she’ll often have a camera around her neck (yes, a real camera) because she’s interested in photography—which is convenient because she’s a communication studies major. She likes to write, too.

In high school, her favorite classes were yearbook, English and sociology, and she was involved in the National Honor Society. She may be new to Longwood, but her family isn’t. Both her mother and her mother’s brother (Heather’s uncle) graduated from Longwood.

Here are some random interesting facts about Heather from Heather:

  1. My family did not write or produce the book Where’s Waldo.
  2. I’m 5-foot-8, and everyone assumes I’m athletic—but I only participated in a school sport once my whole life.
  3. My two favorite books are Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Live Fearless is all about how defeating and breaking away from fear will change your life. The author also describes how trusting in God more in your life will make all the difference in defeating fear. I just really like how it is inspirational but also mentions God and his word, and it allows me to expand my faith. The Secret is also an inspirational book. It doesn’t mention God as much as Live Fearless but puts more emphasis on how the power of positive thinking will lead to positive outcomes. It’s more karma-based I guess. I find myself using techniques from Live Fearless and The Secret simultaneously to better myself every day.

Living the Dorm Life

Heather (left) and her roommate, Jessi, have figured out how to get used to sharing a dorm room.

Most people know what a college dorm consists of: a really small space in which you have at least one roommate. At Longwood, you’re actually required to live in a dormitory your first year. As to why this rule exists, I couldn’t tell you, but living in a dorm is definitely a unique experience that everyone should have (maybe that’s one reason behind the rule).

Living in a dormitory is unlike any other living situation you’ve most likely had. Some dorms are coed (meaning guys and girls are on the same hall; my dorm is like this) or some are strictly for boys or girls. As I just mentioned, my dorm is coed, and I was very unsure about how I would adjust.

In movies and in TV shows, living in a college dorm looks super fun all of the time. However, I was really scared to live in a dorm. I actually thought about how I was going to get used to living with a roommate and sharing a bathroom with suitemates more so than the difficultly of my classes!

This fear most likely stems from my being an only child. Throughout my whole life—up until going to college—I always had my own bedroom, bathroom and space to myself. So the thought of always having to share my space and always be considering other people’s class schedules (for the bathroom) was a really scary thought to me.

On the bright side, you’ll be happy to know it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

When sharing a small space with someone else, it helps if you can get along. Luckily for me, my roommate and I get along very well. My suitemates and my roommate and I get along pretty well also. So if you luck out and get a decent roommate and suitemates (or request to live with someone when choosing housing), then that makes everything else run more smoothly.

As you can see from the photos, the dorms are small, probably even smaller than you think, so getting along with your roommate is key. That being said, one big tip about housing that I remembered from Orientation was that you don’t need to be BFFs with your roommate. As long as you can both respect each other, that’s really all that matters.

It’s something to remember when you’re trying to adjust to living in a shoebox with a complete stranger.

Living in a dorm can be a little challenging sometimes, I’m not going to lie.

Always having to consider others and not really having that much time to yourself can be hard to get used to, but, trust me, you’ll get used to it more easily than you would think. Take it from someone who grew up always having her own space and didn’t even want to go to sleep-away camps because I didn’t want to live with other people!

Just be open-minded, work out a bathroom schedule and find a place of your own to escape to sometimes when you want some privacy and you’ll be fine.

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.


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.