CNU Campus Cutie: Kait Oates '17

Meet Kait, one of Christopher Newport University's Campus Cuties! We got the exclusive on Kait, what she does on campus, and why she's so darn cute. Take a look!

Name: Kait Oates

Year: Senior (December Grad)

Majors/Minors: Psychology Major

Hometown: Winchester, VA

"So, Kait, the million dollar question, what do you want to be when you "grow up"? What are you passionate about?"

"I would love to be a mental health counselor when I grow up. I'm passionate about mental health, helping people and Samson. "

"Who is Samson?"

"Samson is the absolute love of my life. Now, I know that's silly because he's a dog, but to me he's my life saver. When I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder people looked at me differently, treated me differently and turned away from me worried that I would freak out. But not Samson, he loved me no matter what. I could be having a panic attack and he would stay cuddled up to me as if it was a normal thing. I rescued Samson two years ago after he had been found on a car lot after his abusive owner decided he didn't want him anymore. It was love at first sight, this little, scraggly dog had to be mine and now he is. About 6 months ago he officially became my therapy dog and without Samson I don't think I'd be able to handle my disorder as well as I do."

"You seem to be very educated on mental health. What are you involved in on campus?"

"I'm currently involved in NAMI as an e-board member which is awesome because I get to promote mental health with some of my best friends, I'm a member of the club volleyball team, also awesome because I got the opportunity to continue playing a sport I love with some of the best people I know and I'd like to think I'm pretty involved with PIKE (Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity). "

"Tell us more on your involvement with PIKE."

"Although I can't be an official brother (because you know...anatomy and all) I feel I have a really great connection with the fraternity itself. Each brother is so unique and wonderful in their own way and it's been such a pleasure getting to know them. I think one of the greatest things about the PIKE boys is that they aren't the typical frat guys that'll say hi to you at events because you're dating a brother and then ignore you any other time. I've always felt welcomed and since PIKE has started I've always really focused on helping them succeed and grow (because rush never ends). I've been a part of PIKE before PIKE was even a thing at CNU and it's become a big part of my college experience and I'm honestly really grateful for that."

"You've definitely become incredibly accomplished during your time at CNU, but what's the stupidest thing you did your Freshman year?"

"Unfortunately, I didn't come in as a freshman, but I guess the stupidest thing I did my first year here was take whipping to a whole new level (you know, "now watch me whip, now watch me nay nay"?) Yeah, so anyways I'm whipping every where and people are questioning this weirdo they let on campus, it was great. But, this is where it gets stupid. So my roommate and I realize I've pretty much ran out of places to whip so we're doing laundry one day and she was like oh my gosh you've never whipped on the washing machine (which was true), so stupidly, I climb on top of it start doing my thing, but as I whipped I hit my head on the ceiling, like super hard and had a bump on my head for like 2 weeks. So, yeah, it was stupid and my whipping days are behind me."

"Any advice for other Captains? What's the most important part of the CNU Experience to you?"

"For me, I think the most important part of the CNU experience is finding your place, your people, but most importantly yourself. Since coming here I've learned a lot about who I am. I learned I had generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) my second semester here and that really made me learn about who I am as a person. I learned what makes me happy, what makes me sad, what causes me to have a panic attack, and all of that good stuff. I learned that I didn't need to follow social norms to fit in. I learned that not going out every weekend was okay. I learned that not drinking alcohol was fine and surprisingly people respected me for it. I learned that good people exist and will love me for all my flaws. I learned that my mental health doesn't define me and I learned to love myself all over again. CNU has been one of the most beneficial experiences I've ever had and it's going to be really hard to leave, but I got exactly what I needed from it, the true CNU experience."