186 South College

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

Tag: Blue Hens (page 1 of 6)

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!

 

Here Comes That Feeling You’d Thought You’d Forgotten by Emily Fudge

Ah, fall. The time of the year where the craziness of summer is winding down and you can finally stop sweating to death (love you, Harter Hall). In my college experience thus far I have noticed that with the change of seasons comes a change of heart. Lately, my spirits have been resembling the leaves on the trees. As the leaves long for the sunshine and warmth of summer, I long for the comfort of home. What I thought was a typically freshman experience has crept its way into my second year here at UD: homesickness.

College is a weird time in a lot of peoples’ lives. All you’ve known for 18 years is lifted out from under you as you propel yourself into a brand new living and learning environment. New friends are made and interests are developed; a lot is learned of yourself and others. The expectation to automatically feel “at home” on campus, which is hard to attain. I moved across town in 8th grade and it took me awhile to adjust, and that was with my whole family by my side! While UD does a great job at welcoming students and making dorms and campus feel like a community, it is hard to deem a new place as “home” so quickly. Just when you start feeling comfortable in your dorm, it’s time to leave for a 6-week winter break. I love UD and all the opportunities it provides for me, the friends I have made, the professors that have made a difference in my educational career, and the experiences I have shared with others through common interests. I love being home where my dog and parents are always happy to see me and where I can actually drive without getting lost and turned around on one way streets.

As the months go on, ideas of what home really is start to get jumbled and you may end up feeling like home is nowhere at all. When the time has finally come to go home for break, expectations and reality do not always see eye to eye. Coming and going from place to place makes it really hard to establish some living permanence. A dorm room cannot beat the comfort of your own bed; your own bed can’t replace the late night shenanigans that ensue with your roommates. With all of this change happening at school, it can be shocking to come home and realize how much it has changed as well. The town that you grew up in feels a little different; who said it was allowed to change while I was away? All of your siblings may be back together again in one place for the holidays and you start wondering when “back together again” became the norm as opposed to just being together. Whenever someone visits me at school it is a reminder of how life used to be and how quickly it has changed. It’s not always a good or bad thing though, just a matter of growing up.

When you boil it down, home is a place where you are with people whom you love and who love you. There will always be people who care no matter where you are. The pieces from different places can be stitched together; a patchwork of home can be carried wherever you go. Little reminders of who you are and where you are from are an important part of identity. You can embody your own home wherever you are with that scarf you bought with your mom at your favorite hometown store, the UD sweatshirt you bought your first fall on campus, or the pair of socks your sophomore roommates got you just because.

“Laptop Sticker Culture” by Sarah Blum

I often hear that the modern college student looks less like an actual college student, and more like the laptop they are huddled behind. It makes sense, then, that they would like for that laptop, specifically the back of it, to be representative of them and their personality. As it seems, the best way to go about doing this is through stickers—lots of them.

I was not aware of the importance of such stickers before arriving at Delaware, but as soon as I started classes, they became hard to ignore. I found myself face to face with decorated laptops in every classroom, lounge, or corner of the library. Each day I am bombarded by people’s interests, organizations, favorite memes, and hometowns, without having to speak a word to them. After talking to my roommate, whose laptop is covered in an aesthetically pleasing selection of environmentally progressive stickers, I found out that for about $3.00 a piece, I could do the same.

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