186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Month: August 2013 (page 2 of 3)

A Family Affair

Welcome back Honors Blue Hens! I have been looking forward to the start of this new school year since I moved out of Russell in May. While I have only been a sophomore for one full day of class, I know it will be a great year, although it has a lot to live up to since my freshman year was absolutely life changing.  Seeing all of the new freshmen reminds me of how excited I was this time last year and how that excitement has only grown exponentially since.  It also makes me look back and wonder why I ever was thinking about going anywhere other than the University of Delaware. Now that I am starting my second full year here, I honestly can’t picture myself at any other school.

The four Tattersall Blue Hens celebrating another UD graduation!

The four Tattersall Blue Hens celebrating another UD graduation!

How did I get here, you may be asking? Well, that story starts all the way back to the time when I was just a tiny fourth grader.  My oldest sister was in the midst of college acceptances and weighing the pros and cons of the choices.

Ultimately, the school she chose was UD, which I was extremely excited about since that meant my biggest sister would only be 20 minutes from home! Moving her into her room in Russell B1 later that year, all I remember was being extremely hot, but, as cheesy as it sounds, I remember thinking there was also something magical about this place, and was so excited for my sister.

Fast forward to later that year when my next sister was applying to colleges. She was so certain UD was for her that she only applied here! Thankfully, she got in! So, we ended up moving her into Russell too that next year and again, I was extremely hot. But, I couldn’t put my finger on what was so special about UD.

Five years later, my next sister was in the college decision process and guess what school was at the top of her list? That’s right…UD. Honestly, I was quite surprised that she decided to go here because of how different her major was from the other two sisters.  But, as we moved the third Tatt into Russell, I realized again the special quality UD had about it and how it ended up being the perfect fit for her.

Three years later, it was my turn to go through the college decision process and I was a wreck. I was so stressed about where to go! Do I follow in my sisters’ footsteps and choose UD? Or do I create my own path and go to a new school? Obviously, I decided to go to UD.  But, how did I come about that decision? When it came down to it, I kept comparing other schools I was visiting to UD because that was all I had ever known.  Each other school I looked at was lacking something that I couldn’t explain. Then, I stepped on UD’s campus and that gut feeling inside me told me this is where I belonged. Ultimately, I ended up finding out that special quality I noticed all those years ago.  There is just something about the campus that makes me feel comfortable and at home.  Because I feel comfortable, it allows me to thrive and be myself. But, because UD has such a vast array of majors, clubs, and activities for each student, every person has the ability to thrive and succeed and make these four years the best of their lives.

When it came time for me to move into Russell, even after that first day on campus, I just knew I made the right decision to follow my family and choose UD. Every day after that has just reinforced that the decision to continue to make UD a family affair was easily the best decision I have made to date, as is the case for the past, present, and future Blue Hens!

Good luck this semester!

~Hannah Tattersall

A Memo to Freshmen: What I’ve learned

It’s amazing how a simple conversation can quickly bring you back to a significant moment. Today was my last day at one of my internships this summer, and another intern / fellow Blue Hen told me that he was excited to help his younger brother move into his freshman dorm. We started reminiscing about our own freshman move-in days, and laughed at how both of our dads had to drag our moms away from campus because they were lingering and about to cry at the idea of leaving their “babies.”

I remember the day I moved into Russell -the “old” home for Honors freshmen- clearly. Yet in two weeks, I will begin my senior year of college! Even though those three years went by incredibly fast, I recognize how much I’ve grown.

Therefore, as a senior who doesn’t like the finality of that title, I offer the class of 2017 congratulations, a warm welcome, and a little UDHP-specific advice on how to make the most of college!

1. Consider taking an Honors class in a field you know nothing about it. Don’t just stick to Honors classes for subjects you know you’ll ace, because you could discover new interests and talents.

2. Befriend your Munson Fellow! I held this position last year when it was called “Russell Fellow,” and I can’t stress enough that these Honors upperclassmen genuinely like to help their freshmen.

3. Even if you love each and every person on your dorm floor, be open to friendships with other people. Not only will your friends from English class or yoga club be a welcome reprieve from the inevitable occasional floor drama, they’ll introduce you to their own dorm friends! Seize every opportunity to reach out to new people.

4. Appreciate your fancy new lodging and air-conditioning.

5. Engage with your Writing Fellow. Sure, I’m biased because I am a WF, but each and every one of the Writing Fellows really is excited to help their tutees’ ideas come alive on paper. Still, we can only do so much with a so-called reluctant tutee, so come to your conference excited about improving your writing.

Most important of all, relish every moment, because before you know it, you’ll be thinking that Taylor Swift totally misrepresented the age of 22.

~Ruby Harrington

In the Blink of an Eye…

“Don’t blink.” A line from Doctor Who, stamped across t-shirts and quoted religiously by fans everywhere.

 

“Blink and you’ll miss it.” A tried and true saying one particular friend of mine uses on any occasion she can find.

 

“The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye; the story of love is hello, goodbye.” A Jimi Hendrix line: one that suddenly seems all too relevant as I find myself down to the single digits of the remainder of my summer vacation.

 

I don’t understand. I’m a Whovian, a quoter of old sayings, and a music lover. I heard the warnings. Summer seemed to be sidling leisurely across my calendar pages, spent reading and sipping iced coffees… But somehow, I must have managed to blink, because the past three months have sprinted by at almost breakneck speed. I think I see Hendrix’s point, because I seem to recall a post earlier this year about how quickly it seemed my college career overall was going, only to find myself halfway through it. More recently (say, last week recently?), I blogged about turning twenty, and how two decades could pass so quickly without my noticing.

 

It seems I’ve been doing more blinking than I thought.

 

So, in an effort to retrospectively slow down (Time Lady, remember? The ability to slow down or speed up time comes with the fabulous wardrobe and the little blue box), this post will be a sort of highlights reel of the summer. We’ll also all be on the same page when we’re all back on campus in less than two weeks!

 

From the end of classes until mid-June was a glorious block of time, which consisted mainly of lounging around on various, comfy surfaces in my house, catching up on my shows and my blogs and everything I’d neglected at the end of the semester. I honestly would not underrate this time at all; to say I was whipped past the point of cream by the end of last semester would be generous. Then, I started interning with Cambridge five days a week; I gave my weekends to my other job: cashiering at Staples during back to school season.

 

I’m beginning to understand why those six weeks in particular are a blur.

 

Throw in learning how to Snapchat like a professional (thanks to siblings Allie and Christopher) and preparing for choir auditions (happening on the day I return to campus), and you’ve pretty much got my summer. Oh, and turning twenty. Best not to leave that out.

 

One night in particular, though, is sticking out in my memory, and upon which I’m going to base the upcoming semester: a late evening at Applebee’s with the ladies from my Girl Scout troop. People I’ve grown up with and still love to bits.

An Applebees reunion with some the above described Girl Scouts- all grown up!

An Applebees reunion with the above described Girl Scouts- all grown up!

 

This semester, it’s all about the Girl Scout life: be your best and stay focused, but remember to keep up with the people you love.

 

And don’t forget the cookies.

 

See you on campus!

~Claire Davanzo

 

6 Quick Lessons from an Orientation Leader

This past summer, I worked for the University as an Orientation Leader. The NSO program not only provided me the best job I EVER had, it also showed me the extent of resources we have here on campus. I did not know about half of the programs UD has to offer here until I was trained to share it with freshmen. So whether you’re a freshmen or an up-and-coming senior, I’ve compiled a list of helpful hints to aid you while navigating your next school year.

1. Getting sick in college is different. Avoid it and learn how to take care of yourself if you do get sick.

We have the HENS program to get you fit, the Office of Student Wellness and Health Promotion to help you avoid getting sick, and finally the Student Health Center in case you do. Do you know how much our health center has to offer? Truly?
If you’re sick, just pop online and make an appointment to come in. Got a cold? They have cold care packages! Grab some soup at Perkins and relax at home- you’ll be healthy in no time.

2. With over 300 RSOs, you can and should try something. Even something new!

Forget the fact that joining an extra-curricular activity improves students academically and just think: IT’S FUN! The best decision I’ve made in college is to audition for my improv troupe, Riot Act. I love my troupe so much and all that we do. I also loved getting involved in the Honors program through the Freshmen Fellows program. I learned so much about the Honors program and how it works. Getting involved gives you skills and knowledge that you just don’t get in a classroom. Bonus: a guaranteed group of friends. Get involved and make those college memories.

3. Don’t be afraid of the big dogs

Do you think that President Harker has any idea who I am? No. BUT. He was giving the morning speech for NSO one day and I decided, “Hey. Just because he’s this extremely intelligent, busy, important man doesn’t mean I can’t talk to him.” So I joked around with him and he laughed. President Harker is a normal guy. Your Dean is a normal person as well. Eat at Walter’s Café and you might run into someone “important.” Strike up a conversation and make their day. They might make your day later on.

4. Go to Football games, paint your body, and lose your voice.

We got a new coach and the football players are extremely kind.

5. UDairy ice cream is a gift from God.

Eat it as often as you can.

6. The Office of Academic Enrichment wants to fight the academic battle with you- go to them for help! Seriously!

There are so many other things about the university I learned from NSO I wish I could include. However, it’s best that you learn some things on your own. That way, you can look back on what you did wrong, how you survived, and laugh at it the way I did my entire freshman year.

~Shannon Poulsen

On Turning 20

My Uncle Joe, a former high school principal, claims that people leap from childhood to adulthood, moving from age twelve to age twenty, with nothing in between. He insists that this skip helps avoid the “unpleasantness of being a teenager,” or, more importantly for him, dealing with teenager-dom. Considering his past career, it’s obvious he’s joking,  but when he mentions skipping thirteen through nineteen, it just seems like such a long time.

I suppose my Uncle Joe can welcome me back into the family, because it finally happened. I knew the date was coming up, but, somewhere in the back of my mind, I don’t think I really believed it would arrive (too much wibbly-wobbly from Doctor Who or something along those lines). But, as time tends to do, it passed, and on July 26th, I finally turned 20.

The day of my birthday itself was great. I slept in, had an iced coffee delivery from my mom, went out to dinner with two of my very good friends (thanks, Greca and Jay!), and, for the most part, just relaxed. I’m even still awaiting a mysterious birthday present from my little sister. Overall, my family and friends made the day wonderful. It wasn’t until the day after the fact that it hit me. I am no longer a teenager.

As it happened, I was working my summer job at the Staples in my hometown the day after my birthday, and, amid the customers flooding in that weekend for back to school madness, my mind was racing. I’m twenty, and I’m still working the same job I’d started when I was sixteen. True, this summer has been the one of my internship at Cambridge University Press (see my last post for some details on that!), but that moment’s realisation made me feel like I’d gone stagnant before I’d even started.

In part, this is probably due to the rapid and random arrival of articles about twenty-somethings (or twenty-nothings, if you’re me) I’ve been reading lately. Almost on cue, they began to spring up on my Facebook timeline: things twenty-year-olds don’t know, things twenty-year-olds should be doing, things twenty-year-olds should remember, etc. Standing behind the counter at my retail summer job, thinking of this flood of instruction and advice, it was easy for me to panic. And panic I did. But just a little.

Because despite what the articles say, twenty is still young. I still have time, and while I don’t plan on wasting it, I don’t plan on spending it stressing and fretting, either. I still want to write and publish a novel (or two, or three…), I still want to teach, and I still want to be happy. There are a number of different paths I could take to get there, and twenty is the start of the road.

~Claire Davanzo

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