As looming rain showers gave way to afternoon sun, the newest Lancers lugged suitcases, refrigerators, posters and boxes of their favorite snacks up flights of stairs to their residence hall rooms.
We met a few of the new faces from the Class of 2019. Welcome to Longwood!
DESTINY CHRISTA (Greensboro, N.C.)
Destiny Christa’s decision to apply to Longwood was much more spur-of-the-moment than that of many of her classmates. "I was sitting in computer class, and an email popped up with the Longwood application in it, so I filled it out," she said. "I didn’t really think about it too long."
She had heard of Longwood from her theater teacher in high school and was hoping to enroll in a place that’s close—but not too close—to home. "I am really looking forward to two things: the freedom of college and the opportunity to get involved in theater productions here," she said.
Today, though, is about moving bags into her residence hall with her parents and younger siblings, meeting her roommate and jumping right into the Longwood experience. Which, considering how she applied, seems like a leap Christa is ready for.
CHRISTOPHER GOULD (Richmond, Va.)
Christopher Gould knew what he was looking for in a college. A competitive swimmer, he suffered an injury that required rehabilitation, but that mishap turned out to be the thing that revealed his passion: athletic training.
After taking a course in the subject, Gould landed an internship at a physical therapy clinic in Richmond, where he got some valuable firsthand experience that will help him in his Longwood career.
In addition to having a solid direction of study to begin his freshman year, Gould got some sage advice from his older brother, a senior at VCU, on the first week of college.
"He told me to be friendly and meet a lot of people, and most importantly take this first week slowly," said Gould. "I’m just looking forward to getting to know the other people on my hall and exploring all Longwood has to offer."
SARAH MORRIS (Charlottesville, Va.)
Sarah Morris, like many students, fell in love with Longwood once she set foot on campus. Unlike many of her classmates, Morris fell in love with Longwood early in high school. A participant in the annual YADAPP (Youth Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Project) conference held on campus, Morris knew very quickly where she wanted to spend four years after high school.
It helps that Longwood is known for the kind of academics Morris wants to study.
"I’ve always known that I want to work with kids and lots of people," she said, "so I’m interested in studying elementary education and French."
She’s one to naturally get involved in organizations and projects on campus, but Morris wants to explore a bit more now that she’s at Longwood full time. But it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone to see her in the a cappella group sooner rather than later.
LINDSEY SPARROCK (Fairfax Station, Va.)
Even in South Korea, Lindsey Sparrock had heard about the "Real LU." What she found was that Longwood is the right LU for her.
Growing up in a military family, Sparrock has spent time all over the world—most recently in Seoul, South Korea, where she spent much of her early high-school years. While there, a friend encouraged her to look at colleges in Virginia, and, in her searching, she came across the annual social media battle over #TheRealLU when Longwood and Liberty square off on the hardwood. She’d heard of Liberty, but decided to investigate Longwood further. What she found was perfect.
"I always wanted a school that was the right size for me," said Sparrock. "Seoul is a huge city, and I didn’t want to be in that type of atmosphere again. I’m not really much of a party and nightlife type of person—I’d rather be quieter and spend time focusing on my studies. So Longwood was a perfect fit for me."
DESTINY THOMPSON (Chester, Va.) and BROOKE WEBB (Manassas, Va.)
Sometimes friendship just comes naturally. Destiny Thompson and Brooke Webb met the day before they moved in and found they were hallmates, so the pair stuck together for move-in morning as they waited for their roommates to arrive at 2 p.m.
The two couldn’t have had much different priorities on move-in morning, however. "I have already unpacked and gotten the room set up like I want it," said Thompson.
"I was tired from yesterday, so I took a nap," said Webb, adding, "I’ll get the room set up when my roommate arrives."
Webb is new to campus, but it’s not an unfamiliar place for Thompson, whose mother, Sherri Clemens Thompson, graduated in 1986.
EMILY HUNTER, PAIGE ROBERTSON, and SYDNEY WALLACE (Spotsylvania, Va.)
Longwood’s women’s soccer team got a jump on move-in day, arriving on Aug. 4 to start preseason workouts. The squad had a full two weeks on campus before the rest of the student body arrived, and, for freshman teammates Emily Hunter, Paige Robertson and Sydney Wallace, that extra time has been welcome in helping them adjust to their new surroundings.
"I know for a lot of kids coming in who aren’t very outgoing, it’s hard to meet people and set up a good foundation for yourself," said Robertson, of Spotsylvania, Va. "Being a part of our team, everyone has already been introducing us to other people. It really helps build your confidence going into your first year because we’ve already met some professors. It makes it a little less hectic and stressful."
Hunter, Robertson and Wallace are part of an eight-member freshman class for the women’s soccer team, but they share an even tighter bond after playing club soccer together for most of their football careers. All three are from Spotsylvania, and they are Longwood suitemates as well.
"We’ve been playing together forever," Hunter said. "We’re used to traveling a lot with each other and going to camps, so it hasn’t really hit us yet that this is our home for the next several months, and even the next several years. But it’s nice to take a little piece of home with you."
Despite arriving on campus early, those three and their teammates didn’t have much of an opportunity to enjoy the empty campus. Between the preseason practice schedule, training and getting their feet underneath them as Division I student-athletes, they didn’t have much downtime.
"It’s pretty hectic," Hunter said of the preseason. "When we moved in, we were just ready to get into preseason. We moved in, and then we had to be places right away with the team. The next day was our first fitness test, so we couldn’t really focus all that much on the actual moving in. Soccer is all we’ve been doing for two weeks now."
The teammates got a break from their practice schedule last Friday, when they helped Longwood battle East Carolina to a 1-1 draw in an exhibition match. Women’s soccer will officially open its regular season Friday against American at home and then get the honor of playing in front of the Longwood community for The Greatest Athletics March Ever 6.0 (The G.A.M.E.) Sunday against Youngstown State.