186 South College

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“What It’s Actually Like Living in a Sorority House” by Lorraine Capenos

Hi, my name is Lorraine Capenos and I live in a sorority house here on campus. And it’s surprisingly pretty normal.

Before I joined a sorority, I definitely had an idea in my head of what sorority girls were like. Movies and TV shows usually depict sorority houses as party venues or homes to intense, insecure, competitive girls who seem more like enemies than friends. They’re usually giant mansions filled with dozens of excitable girls.

But this hasn’t been my experience.

First, I don’t live in a mansion. The house I live in holds 15 girls but feels smaller than it sounds. It’s pretty similar in facilities to any other UD housing and is right on campus near other housing. It’s nice, but nothing crazy or fancy.

Second, we don’t have parties here. I can’t speak on behalf of other sororities, but our house is not a party venue. The girls who live here are more than happy to host visitors and chapter events like brunches and Airband preparations, but at the end of the day we have homework to complete and Zs to catch. We like to live in a clean, presentable house where people can have fun but still respect the fact that 15 girls are living in this house.

Third, sorority girls are just normal girls. There is nothing intense or competitive here. Mostly we all just want to get through the days with as little drama and as many smiles as possible. If other students can handle living in dorms, they can understand living with 14 housemates. At least we only have to share a bathroom with our suite, as opposed to the whole floor.

I have found living in my sorority house incredibly rewarding. In fact, I’m doing it again next year. It is an amazing way to get closer with others in the chapter, including the other house girls, but also everyone in the chapter who comes to the house for various purposes. I never walk to events or chapter meetings alone, and I’ve gotten to know many people better who I might not have otherwise had the chance to spend time with.

I have also enjoyed being in a location central to the chapter because I don’t have to go out of my way to attend certain events or help out the chapter. While some people may have to cross campus to get to the house, I just have to walk downstairs. I feel very in-the-loop in the chapter and I have many opportunities to be involved.

The logistics of living in the house work out nicely, as well. It’s similar, if not lower, pricing to other UD housing, free laundry, a nice kitchen, good location, and we can call facilities whenever something breaks or malfunctions in the house. We are far away enough from main campus to get some separation from classes, but still close enough to walk, and we have a bus stop nearby for days when the weather is less than optimal.

I would recommend living in a sorority house to anyone looking to get more involved in their chapter in a pretty low-commitment way, make lasting friendships, find a convenient place to live on campus, and have the ability to socialize and have private time in the same house. If you’re considering living in your chapter’s house, don’t let stereotypes dissuade you. Look more into it and take the opportunity if it presents itself.

“Dealing with the Inevitable: Poor Performance” by Carlos Benito

As smart as we may be, as hard as we may work, and as much as we may try, we will inevitably face academic failure. As much as we try to avoid it, at some point all of us sit alone, staring down a low grade that will keep us up at night. So, as dedicated UD students working towards a successful future, what can we do about it?

The first priority is to try and prevent this scenario from ever happening in the first place. Studying every week day, going to office hours or emailing questions to professors and TA’s when something is not understood are your sure fire ways of trying to prevent this from happening. However, sometimes your classes throw that complete curveball. The exam almost exclusively covered topics that were not stressed in class or were not even covered. The exam is way too long for the time given or questions are not worded clearly. These are things that we, as students, cannot control. However, as humans, we can adapt to these sorts of hectic settings as best we can. After the first exam, we all start to get a sense of how the class is run, the wording style of the professor and what their priorities are. These intuitions are your first defense against a bad grade, however they are just that, patterns that could be broken anytime the professor wishes and therefore cannot be fully relied on.

However, lets say that all of these strategies were implemented and still lead to failure. My best advice: talk to the professor. This will not be a fun talk, but it is one you need to have. You need to go over question by question, line by line, everything you did wrong on that exam with them to understand why you got it wrong and more importantly how you can avoid the same mistakes in the future. From experience, I can tell you the conversation will go something like this…

You meet with the professor, pull out the exam and they take a deep breath. They dislike this conversation just as much as you do. You start explaining your logic for answering the problem and then you come to the spot where it all went wrong, the professor hesitantly identifies this spot as where the bomb dropped and then explains what you should have done. Either that or the professor responds in a demeaning tone that is going to make this process a whole lot more painful. Either way, you push through and finally turn over that last page. You thank the professor for meeting with you and walk out feeling accomplished because you know you did the right thing, even if the professor did not.

It’s a difficult thing to do, but if we are going to call ourselves professionals we have to get used to asking superiors where we went wrong, even if we think we never did. Whether it was in our study methods, note taking methods or somewhere else – just taking the time to have this conversation will pay major dividends in the future. So if you are staring at that exam right now, put it down, shoot an email to your professor and prepare to take a step towards becoming a professional.

“Are Parisian Stereotypes True?” by Hayley Whiting

After spending my fall semester in Paris on a UD study abroad program, I definitely feel that I was able to become part of the city, rather than a tourist, which was a rewarding and fun experience. Thanks to spending three months there, I came away with a better understanding of the people, culture, and day-to-day life of the city. Below, I affirm some Parisian stereotypes, challenge others, and offer more observations from my time in Paris! (Disclaimer: I refer to Parisians specifically instead of French people because I only lived in Paris, but it is possible that these observations could be true for other parts of France as well! All of these views are also based on my own opinions.)

 

Stereotype: Parisians are arrogant and rude

In my experience, Parisians have been very helpful, respectful, and kind. Even when I traveled to Paris with my family four years ago, while we were walking around on the street with our luggage looking for our Airbnb, a lady stopped to ask if we needed help and gave us directions. That same trip, a man helped my sister carry her suitcase up the metro stairs. During my time studying abroad, I always had positive interactions with people. For example, an older lady in my apartment building always stopped to talk with me, and restaurant servers, museum employees, and retail workers were always polite. Continue reading

“Ag Day Adventures” by Erin Jackson

There is one day each year where the parking lot down on south campus here at UD transforms into an almost unrecognizable network of tents, vendors, presenters, performers, pie-in-the-facers, tractors, animals, and more. A day where the University of Delaware opens up one of their most prized resources to the members of the Newark community, letting them into the College of Agriculture and making them want to return year after year on this unforgettable day. A day that most students at UD have no idea exists.

Ag Day is for everyone. There are opportunities there in every aspect of agriculture that people of any age and interest can find exciting. There’s music from bands and acapella groups, plants you can buy to liven up the dorm room, the one and only UDairy ice cream, face-painting for people of all ages, baby animals to meet and instantly fall in love with, research surveys that will literally give you money for just participating, and so much more. Coming from a background of zero farm experience myself, I have been completely roped into the community of the college of agriculture here and there is no turning back. Continue reading

“Networking from Coast-to-Coast (and then some)” by Jenna Newman

Flashback to three years ago when a wide-eyed freshman walks into her first activity night. There were so many different options of clubs or organizations to join and they all made a strong case for recruitment. Update: that freshman was me. One of the organizations I ended up joining was the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). From the very beginning they pitched themselves as, “not a club, but a pre-professional organization,” which attracted me to their Monday night meetings. Since then, I have been able to fully realize all of the benefits this organization has given me.

By the end of my freshman year, I had the opportunity for leadership experience. I applied for the executive board and became the organization’s Public Relations Director. This meant that I was responsible for managing all of our social media accounts and generating strong and consistent content for our blog. This was invaluable experience to gain for the PR field and going into Junior year I was excited to continue to grow. That brings me to this past month (April), when I was able to be our chapter representative at the PRSSA National Assembly.

National Assembly represented the gathering of members from all PRSSA chapters internationally in Portland, Oregon. There we would vote on the next PRSSA national committee that would oversee all chapters for the 2019-2020 year. This gave me the opportunity to go to a new city and literally network from coast-to-coast! The assembly consisted of a variety of different keynote speakers and breakout sessions. We had the opportunity to talk to various chapters about what worked (and what didn’t), while simultaneously having a bigger conversation about diversity. Then, I was able to bring all of these ideas and thoughts back to the University of Delaware.

Beyond the information, I left Portland with new friendships that I would cherish. Because of the nature of the gathering, each chapter usually only sent one student. This meant that we were all in Portland alone… together. This actually made it incredibly easy to make friends. For example, I was in the elevator going to the lobby (to meet up with some other people I had met) and the guy in the elevator with me asked if I had plans with anyone yet and if I wanted to join his group.

I am sure that these relationships will extend beyond this conference both personally and professionally. Personally, we formed bonds that you can only form when traveling and exploring someplace new. Professionally, we are the future of the public relations field, so one day we will all be colleagues or competitors. Personally and professionally, we’ll get to continue building on these relationships and future conferences.

All of these relationships and experiences came from a wide-eyed freshman walking into Gore Hall for an information meeting.

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