186 South College

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

Tag: academics

“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

“Officially a Writing Fellow” by Amanda Langell

In addition to becoming an editor for 186 South College, I am also officially a Writing Fellow this semester. I remember sitting in my E110 class on my first day of college three years ago and meeting my assigned Writing Fellow for the first time. She explained what the program was, how we could all benefit from it, and finally how she was going to help us adapt to collegiate writing. As soon as she was done speaking, I knew I wanted to join the program. As a double major in English and History, writing has always been my utmost passion and when I found out the Honors Program employed students to help others become better writers, I was itching to sign-up. Continue reading

“What I Learned in my First Month of College” by Lorraine Capenos

College is all about learning: having new experiences, meeting new people, and studying new topics. That being said, in my first month I have learned many things in the classroom, but even more outside of class. Here are some examples: Continue reading

Hitting the Academic Sweet Spot

A lot of people come to college knowing exactly what they will study. They have mastered the basic skills to advance their knowledge, participated in various school activities to get some experience, and completed everything necessary to be where they are in their majors happily.


However, other people come to college with no clue as to what they want to do. Some people come in with an idea that completely changes. People like me.


I was admitted an English Education major, had a classroom my senior year of high school and hated it. I then switched to Business Administration, attended a Decision Day, and was bored the entire time. I moved to Political Science, admitting to myself that I love to follow and analyze politics- maybe I’ll find something there. After taking a communications class I added another major. Clearly, I fall into the “all-over-the-place” category.


However, I can gladly say that this week I hit my academic sweet spot.


“What is that Shannon? What is the ‘sweet spot?’” you ask.


Today I tied together that the viral spread of a mass-mediated message displays the values of a culture (which are socially constructed by said culture by the way). A message in clear altruism does not spread if it does not ring true to the values of a culture, regardless if the intentions are kind or not.


Last week, I left myself with the mental dilemma of trying to digest two separate definitions of what the core functions of the media are by two very intelligent professors from two different classes. If they are core functions within communications, how can there be two different definitions? Through varying theoretical approaches, obviously.


 “What did you just say Shannon?” you ask. I am asking too.


If you told me any of that a year ago, I would have laughed at you. People do not get jobs studying communication! Who cares about sending a tweet and having it go viral? Who cares what that says about the culture? Who cares about the functions of media- I just want the latest sports updates!


I have realized I care. I sat outside the library, thinking about all that I learned, and wiped away for an hour that investigating these answers may not provide me with an income. I just sat there and enjoyed exploring a sweet spot in my learning experience.

The best place to have an existential crisis: outside the library

The best place to have an existential crisis, outside the library

I ask professors questions after class because my brain needs clarity. I read all the required readings because I want to. I write over every word count I get for papers because I have too much to say.

This is the academic sweet spot. When you care so much to go above and beyond because you want to, you’ve hit it.

Don’t be afraid to change your major to find it. While I may be biased being a college student and not a struggling adult, I hope that everyone finds their academic sweet spot because man, it feels good.

~Shannon Poulsen




Finding that Niche

A big welcome to the class of 2017 - I hope this photo shows you just how nerdy and fun UDHP is!

A big welcome to the class of 2017 – I hope this photo shows you just how nerdy and fun UDHP is!


Happy fall semester! This week at 186 South College, the blogger team members are sharing their respective “UD Stories,” to welcome the UDHP class of 2017. While we want the blog to be a platform from which prospective students can learn about all the different opportunities – and just as importantly, personalities – of UDHP, we’d also love if it could sometimes operate as a guide for the newly minted Honors Blue Hens. Being a Russell Fellow last year reminded me of just how exciting and overwhelming freshman fall semester is, so I definitely want to assure these students that though their first week, month, or even semester at UD may not go perfectly, chances are that they’ll soon get into a groove.


There are multiple aspects to college life – academic, social, extracurricular, and even emotional. While not the most exciting aspect, this seasoned senior says the academic facet is what you’re here for (and your parents agree with me).Therefore, I’d like share a few of my reflections and thoughts on major choice, as well as the advantages of adding a minor.


Freshmen, a lot of you are probably unsure if the major you’ve declared is the right fit. That’s completely fine – you just need to keep an open mind and reflect on what classes you enjoy and excel in.


Personally, I thought since 8th grade that I would be a Political Science major in college, because that’s when politics began to interest me. I’m still a Poli Sci major and have never thought about dropping it, because I have honestly enjoyed each and every one of the relevant classes here. I consider myself lucky in that aspect, because many of my friends have changed their major, or at least their concentration within the major.


Because of my own certainty, I’ll admit I don’t feel all that qualified to give advice about changing a major, but I did help a few of my freshmen through the process. My takeaway from those experiences is that above all, you should major in something that will allow you to a), enjoy your classes, and b), consider a future career at least somewhat related to that field that doesn’t make you cringe. 


However, if you’re certain that your academic passion is not practical enough, add it as a minor! Coming into college I knew I’d probably make History a second major or a minor, but had barely heard of the subjects that I ended up adding as my other minors, Sociology and Political Communication. They are all great supplements to my Poli Sci degree, but Honors kids are notorious for adding minors that are totally different from their majors, because they have multiple academic interests.


In sum, I don’t want a single freshman to look back on the actual academic experience of college and regret that they stuck with a major they hated because it was what their parents preferred, or because everyone in their social circle thought engineering was the route to take. Do what you want!


Do you have a great story of a major revelation? Comment below!


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