186 South College

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

Month: December 2017 (page 1 of 2)

The Art of Families and Thanksgiving by Liv Conlon

Welcome back to all of us lucky enough to have gotten a week’s respite from dorm life. And, if your break was anything like mine, I’m sure you’re glad to be free of the perpetual nightmare that was the excessive judgement of our family members. Sure, they don’t mean any harm, but that doesn’t mean Uncle Carl’s comparisons about his girlfriend’s daughter’s cousin, who’s pulling A’s in Harvard, aren’t going to sting a little.  

Even with a full course load and future plans for med school, it took 20 minutes of questioning before I was reduced to hiding out in the bathroom – just to escape the scrutiny over the practicality of my life plans, and how they add up to those around me.  

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but I have no idea how practical my future plans are. By the time I graduate, somebody may find the end all cure of every neurological disease and my degree as a neuroscientist will be altogether pointless. Maybe I’ll graduate and immediately be employed by a research university with unlimited funding. Or maybe, I’ll decide halfway through junior year that I’d rather write espionage novels for a living. As a freshman, with years upon years of schooling ahead of me, I shouldn’t have to have a perfected life plan paired with a powerpoint presentation ready for every family gathering.

Last year I was drilled with questions like what major am I declaring, where am I applying, am I taking the ACTs one more time JUST to see, etc, etc. This is all madness, and I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be at least 30 before I start losing hair and developing ulcers. While I can’t change their intrusiveness, I can change the way I respond.

I’m still new to this whole college thing. However, I’ve been here long enough to know that some of the brightest around here have no more clue than you or I of what they’re doing tomorrow, let alone 10 years from now.

So let’s do all of ourselves a favor and take each interrogation with a grain of salt.  Go to class, study hard, and try everything and anything that is even remotely interesting to you, because you don’t know where it may take you. The rest will follow. In the meantime, I’ve included a picture of my dogs enjoying their thanksgiving feast.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Carly Patent

Brooke Davis and Payton Sawyer, Batman and Robin, Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle, Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute, Spongebob and Patrick, Chandler and Joey, and Lilo and Stitch—just some of the iconic duos that instantly come to mind when thinking about friendship. At this time of year in particular, we typically take the time to reflect on our own friendships and the people that make those friendships oh-so-special. These friends are the people that we can call at any hour of the day, that we can send the most horrendous selfies to, that we can eat an entire pizza with and not feel judged, and that most importantly, are there for us no matter what.

 

I am sure that many of my fellow Blue Hens shared at least some of these sentiments before coming to college. How will I find a roommate that I can actually stand living with? What are the people on my floor going to be like? Will I have the guts to actually strike up a conversation with someone in my class? What will the people in my major be like? Will I even make friends? Admittedly, it can sometimes be a hard transition going from friends that you have known since kindergarten—when a girl randomly decided to ask you who you liked on the first day—to friends that you have known for barely a month or two. As a sophomore, with almost three semesters under my belt, however, I have come to learn that while I have only known some of my friends here for a little over a year, they are the friends that I could see being in my wedding party, the friends that my future children will call “aunt” and “uncle,” the friends that no matter the distance—from Pennsylvania to Connecticut to New York—will be my friends for life.

 

My parents always tell me that I am so lucky to have the friends that I do, and I’ve come to realize that they are actually right—I’ll let them have it just this once! In college specifically, friendships develop so much faster than they do in say middle or high school. Knowing someone for two months can feel like two years due to the amount of time that you spend together—going to class, walking around campus, hanging out, eating, sleeping, and everything in between. I personally can attest to this phenomenon; in just a semester, I not only learned the names of my friend’s immediate family but the names of his nieces and nephews, where he went to high school, who his favorite football player is, what his favorite restaurant is, and how he likes his coffee. Impressive, I know! I’ve come to find that it is not the length of time that you’ve been friends but the quality of the friendship that really makes it worthwhile.

 

Reflecting on how far I’ve come in the past year, the friendships that I’ve maintained from high school, and the ones that I have made during my time here at the University of Delaware, I now understand the zenith of friendship. My true friends have been the ones that let me come into their room every day to steal a piece of their candy before I go to bed. They are the friends that push me to do new things—such as learning how to skateboard so that they could tell everyone that their friend actually knows how to skateboard. My friends are the ones that threaten to come to my tennis matches with obnoxious posters to cheer me on against my will. They are the ones that have conversations with me from outside the shower. My friends are the ones that share in my oddly relaxing passion for organizing and are willing to spend an entire night folding and hanging clothes and rearranging drawers. They are the people that make me fall to the ground laughing over some of the most random, childish conversations—conversations that normal human beings would likely never have. They are the friends that I can text or call once a month, and upon seeing them in person, feel like I never even left. They are the friends that no matter what, will drop everything to be there for you, to listen to you rant for an hour, to talk to you on the walk back from class, and to always guarantee that at least one of your embarrassing stories be brought up in conversation.

 

What makes these friends valuable parts of our lives is that we cannot remember not having them in our lives, and we have no clue how we even survived without them. I have met some of my very best friends in some of the most random ways—whether it was through a Facebook message before coming to college, a conversation struck up while waiting in line, or the random selection of a specific dorm room number—and I am so thankful that our paths crossed. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I decided not to send that message, if I got in line a minute later, or if I chose to live on a different floor or in a different room number. The moral of the story is that you never know when you’re going to meet your next best friend. One Tree Hill, also known as the best show to exist on the planet (even though Netflix may disagree) presents us with this quote, “If you had a friend you knew you’d never see again, what would you say? If you could do one last thing for someone you love, what would it be? Say it, do it, don’t wait. Nothing lasts forever.” As we close off the semester and close off another year, take a second to talk to someone new, to tell your friends how much they mean to you, to be the best friend that you can be, and to take a page from the books of Mike and Sully, Nathan and Lucas, Scooby and Shaggy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Eric Forman and Steven Hyde, and Buzz and Woody.

“A Chat with My Munson” by Hayley Whiting

As a newly accepted UD Honors student, one of the first people to reach out to me was my Munson Fellow, Ellen Schenk, a sophomore from Simsbury, Connecticut. I remember getting an e-mail from her at the beginning of August and felt comforted that there was someone I could go to for advice as I made the transition to college. Now that I have gotten to know Ellen, I am thankful for her support, kindness, advice, and commitment to bettering our Honors community. To honor Redding’s Munson Fellows, here are seven questions with Ellen, my very own Munson Fellow!

 

Q: How would you describe your role as a Munson Fellow?

A: I am an academic peer mentor and the liaison between the Honors Program and the students living in Redding. But I’m also … there if you guys need anything or someone to talk to. I also build an inclusive floor community.

 

Q: Why did you become a Munson Fellow, and what inspired you to get more involved in the Honors Program?

A: The reason why I came to UD was because of the Honors Program. I loved the idea of a big university with research, good professors, career services, and just all of the amenities of a big university. But the Honors program makes that community a lot smaller … I just want to support the program … and just get more involved in it because I love it.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Munson Fellow?

A: The students! I like giving advice and figuring out what I didn’t know freshman year and … trying to make your freshman year as enjoyable as mine was.

 

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a Munson Fellow?

A: I really like seeing … events that I … put a lot of hard work into planning just come to life and seeing students enjoying them … For me, living in Redding was such an important part of my freshman year, so it’s really rewarding to be able to be a part of that and to be able to contribute to community building.

 

Q: For people who are interested in the position, how can they work towards becoming a Munson Fellow?

A: The most important thing if someone does want to become a Munson Fellow is getting involved on your floor and being able to show that you personally have built a floor community. Also having a passion for the Honors program, wanting to better students’ lives because freshman year is scary, and showing that you are able to be there and that you are able to support freshmen.

 

Q: What is your advice for freshmen as we close out the first semester?

A: Keep your door open. I think everyone has kind of formed their friend groups, but it’s also important to remember that … building a floor community is still really important, and it’s important that those goals that we all set for ourselves as a floor continue even through second semester.

 

Q: Finally, as a Munson Fellow, what would you like residents to know?

A: Munsons are a really good resource, but we’re also here to go to dinner with you guys and to come to your events that you plan and to support you in whatever you’re doing, so we’re pretty cool people to hang out with, and we just want to get to know you guys better. I think it’s kind of like a two-way street; we get to know you, but also you get to know us, and that helps build a floor community and a building community as well.

 

Ellen and all the Munson Fellows play an integral role in Honors students’ first year. From planning fun events to calming registration nerves to just chatting with us, they are here to talk with us, support us, and strengthen our community. My thanks to the magnificent Munsons of Redding for all they do!

 

Making a Difference in a World of Chaos by Jenna Newman

The other night I was sitting in our large group room at the Baptist Student Ministry house as we prayed for the church in Texas and the deaths that occurred there. When we finished praying, someone said, “It’s crazy how we are becoming desensitized to death and terror, when we wake up and hear about how another twenty people died, we just think to ourselves essentially, ‘wow, that sucks.’” Saying it that bluntly may seem kind of harsh, but take a step back and really think about it. We talk about how it’s, “crazy these things keep happening,” or, “I can’t even imagine that happening in my community,” but rarely we shed a tear.

Our generation is probably one of the last that can remember a time before this. I can hardly remember 9/11; however I can remember watching as people continued to feel the impacts of the attacks on the Trade Towers as I got further into elementary school. I can still think back to a time before it was just another day of waking up to people dying.  Kids growing up now don’t have this. They don’t know anything different, they don’t know what it is like to not be constantly afraid of someone walking into their building and shooting students for no reason, they don’t know what it is like for one bombing or terrorist attack to completely change the world and the policies around us.

I have a challenge to those of you reading this post. When the next tragedy happens, before you take to Twitter or change your Facebook profile picture to show a frame supporting whatever country, take a moment to yourself. Take a couple minutes and reflect on what happened, let it wash over, let yourself feel the pain of others. Empathy is something that our world is losing because our instant reaction is just to talk, or post, instead of just feeling.

Then take REAL action. Don’t let our society and the next generations become apathetic, or feel as though this is just a part of day-to-day life. UD is such an ideal place to work and make a difference. Join a club that works to promote global awareness. As a member of Delaware Diplomats, I learn more about people from different cultures through attending events on campus and gaining scholarship money. By learning more about the culture around me, I am more connected to people groups and countries that I have never even visited.

Do something more than posting a status on social media. Go to your Resident Assistant and see if you can work together to raise money or resources for the people living in the affected areas. There are so many non-profits or advocacy groups you can get connected to. Maybe even reach out to an organization that helps serve people living in areas affected by these attacks and then see if you can start an RSO on campus working with them here at UD.

Had it not been for organizations like the Baptist Student Ministry here on campus, I could have also slipped into the same apathetic, automatic reaction the rest of the world is falling into. It is our job to be actively involved and hold each other accountable for empathy. How would you want others to react if your hometown or city was the next target? Then act in that way towards the ones that are.

“Internships 101” by Avery Beer

To put it simply: finding an internship is TOUGH, especially when you’re applying to competitive companies that look at thousands of applicants for one position. However, internships are important: they help you narrow down what you would like to do post-graduation, they help you make connections, and they help you realize your strengths and weaknesses. However, actually obtaining one can be difficult, so I I am going to share my personal tips and tricks for scoring an internship experience for you! Continue reading

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