In so many ways, UD is my home. But as a new class populates campus I am reminded of the beginning of my experience at UD, and a time when this was not always the case.
Throughout the college search, University of Delaware was not my first choice. I applied on a whim. Hey, it used the Common App, I had heard good things about it, and figured why not. But there was another school that was top of my list. It was in-state, many of my friends had gone, and I had already convinced myself that to have any shot at happiness in life, I had to attend this school. It wasn’t so much the school itself that had me so captivated, but rather the aspect of familiarity it possessed that made it so appealing. It was nothing against UD, or any of the other institutions I applied to. My mind was simply closed to any other option. It was already made up.
If it is not already obvious, things did not go as planned.
The cause of this plot twist can be summed up in one word: money. As it happens, when decisions came around, UD offered me a financial package that made it the most economically feasible option, and as my family wasn’t exactly rolling in dough at the time, it was decided that UD was the most practical option, and therefore, where I would attend. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Devastated is closer to the truth. (I hadn’t even visited our university at this point, but apparently I didn’t need to. Apparently, I knew everything.) I decided I would try it out for a semester to please the parental units, but I was already looking into the credits I would need to take to transfer at the end of the fall semester. Again, this is not what happened.
It took two weeks at UD for all thoughts of leaving to completely evaporate from my head. No sooner had I set foot on campus than I was swept up in a whirlwind of new friendships, (I met one of my best friends while brushing my teeth), new opportunities, (Thursday nights found me, someone with no ballet experience, doing pliés in a dance class), accessible professors, (my English professor made a Harry Potter reference on the first day of class and I nearly passed out from joy), all in environment where I felt taken care of, and at home.
I remember walking past Trabant one day and seeing people playing with puppies to my right, looking to my left and catching an Irish step-dancing flash mob and then witnessing a fellow student walk past a tour of prospective students and yell, “come to Delaware, it’s better than candy!” I remember sincerely wondering if this was real life.
And it was.
Rather than being consumed with thoughts of transferring, my mind quickly became occupied with how I could get more integrated into this incredible community of Blue Hens. I don’t think I even remembered how to say the word “transfer” until later that semester, a friend from home called me.
“Hey, did you send in your application?” Long pause. I had no idea what she was referring to.
“You were gonna transfer…?” I suddenly remembered my original reluctance to attend UD.
My response was simple: “I don’t want to be anywhere else! I’m home.”
So, if you’re a fellow UD student, here’s to another fantastic year.
If you’re an incoming freshman, get ready for some of the best years of your life.
And if you’re still looking for the university that best suits you, I’d like to give you two pieces of advice: keep an open mind, and if you have not already done so, check out the University of Delaware.