November in Newport News

Rotting jack-o-lanterns, political lawn signs, and crunchy brown leaves? Must be November

~Travis Rocha, Lifestyle Editor~

The spooky ghouls and goblins and blacks and purples of Halloween have been swapped out for wholesome turkeys and autumn leaves of warm, fall colors as the month changed to November. A week in, the month has already ushered in a new era of significant cultural change with the election process well underway and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris presumably set to enter the White House in January. The election is undoubtedly the most popular story dominating the news cycles right now as political pundits still speculate if there could be any late game surprises as the final votes are counted. The nation is clearly divided with a near 50% split between votes for Joe Biden and Donald Trump, but this isn’t the only tough decision being debated in college dorm rooms. It’s also that time of the year when folks start wondering if it’s too early to bring out the Christmas tree. (It’s never too early.)

In Newport News, November truly signals the coming of fall. After two months of weather in which Virginia could not decide on being hot or cold, she has finally resigned herself to the chilly temperatures of autumn. Christopher Newport students can finally rest assured that wearing a hoodie to class will not result in sweaty disaster. In fact, you might even consider bringing your jacket next time you head out. As the layers pile on, so do the feelings of joy and merriment that define the holiday season. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and most Captains are eager to return home to spend time with their friends and family. Soon enough, many of us will be enjoying turkey, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, delicious desserts, and, inevitably, a comfy pair of sweatpants to make room for it all. Even with the stress of an election, it’s hard not to be excited by the season we’re in and all of the festivities it brings.

It’s the perfect time to grab a friend and go for a leisurely walk on the Nolan Trail before enjoying some nice hot chocolate or other festive beverage. It truly is a great time to be a Captain and just relax. Of course, that’s assuming you aren’t being totally bombarded with an endless stream of assignments from which there’s not been any break all semester. And surely that’s not happening to anyone, right? Unfortunately, that’s likely how most Captains feel right now after an exhaustingly demanding semester under daunting circumstances. The good news is that we are all on the home stretch and that the end of the semester will be here before we know it.

Regardless of whether you voted for Biden or Trump, believe Christmas decorations should be put out before or after Thanksgiving, or even celebrate any of the season’s holidays at all, November might be stressful for you for any number of reasons. As with anything, it’s important to take the good with the bad. The first step in that process is acknowledging what you have right in front of you. At Christopher Newport, we’ve been very fortunate to remain on-campus and enjoy a degree of normalcy other college campuses haven’t been able to. A lot has changed this year and even more change will continue to unfold, but for now I hope we can all enjoy November in Newport News for what it is. After all, it only comes around once a year.

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