186 South College

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

Month: April 2017 (page 1 of 2)

“April Showers Bring May Flowers” by Jenna Newman

“April showers bring May flowers.” This is a typical cliché that can be heard over and over again this time of year. We typically associate the month of April with rain and hold out hope that May will bring flowers and brighter, happier days. However, I personally cherish the rainy days that April brings. Although I will admit I am not a fan of my frizzy rain hair, I don’t really have any other issues with the rain. In fact, I love rainy days! Here’s why…

Rain Boots. The thrill of rain boots is the ability to jump in puddles with little care of getting wet. One of my first memories on campus was walking back to Redding Hall with my now best friend, seeing a massive puddle, looking at each other, and then taking off running and jumping in it. If that’s not the beginning of a true friendship, I don’t know what is.

If you’re not one for child-like fun, there are also practical reasons that rain boots are so great and why they make rain more bearable. It can be a pain when you just really need to get to class, but the shortcut you usually take is all muddy and you don’t want to get your new shoes covered in mud. Solution? RAIN BOOTS.

Books. Who reads books for fun nowadays? Well, I do. If that’s not your cup of tea, insert Netflix or however else you may wish to spend your time. On a sunny day when your friend asks you if you want to go hammock or hang out on the Harrington turf playing soccer or volleyball, it’s really hard to say no. On a rainy day though, none of these outdoor activities are really applicable, and it’s so much more socially acceptable to curl up by yourself with a good book or your laptop.

The Smell. There is nothing more satisfying than the smell of rain radiating off the pavements. This is without a doubt the best part of the rain. After running back from class in your rain boots and grabbing your favorite book that you haven’t read in forever, you can crack open a window and smell the freshness of the earth. I love embracing nature and its amazing features.

I understand that rain isn’t always the best thing in the world, but it provides the nourishment for those beautiful, sunny days. On the next rainy day, I challenge you to try to find the sunshine in life through these wonders of rain. As the musician Robert Wood once said, “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” During these last few rainy days of April who will YOU choose to be?

“Checking In: One Year After Applying to UD” by Shannon Murphy

While on the plane heading back to Florida for spring break, I found myself aimlessly browsing through the saved documents on my laptop. That is how I stumbled upon something that I had tried to block from my memory, as a form of post-traumatic self-defense: my “College Apps” folder.

This month marks one year since submitting my deposit for the first semester at UD. I remember thinking how annoyed I was that there were so many supplemental essays, at least one for every school. Everyone warns you about the Common App essay: “finish it over the summer,” they say, “that way you won’t be stressed come fall.” Yeah, right. I did that, expecting be in the clear, only to realize that there was a lot more to it than that. Every supplemental prompt was distinct and intriguing, and required lots of time and energy.

Prepared to cringe at my own naiveté, I read through my essays one by one. Some were completely embarrassing (for goodness sake, I even said “UDel” in one! I wouldn’t have accepted me!) while others were still kind of relevant.

One question asked applicants to summarize what makes UD special in two sentences. My response: “UD is the ideal place to continue to hone my skills as a critical thinker and leader in order to best serve my community, country, and world. The opportunities and advantages that are available at UD are exceptional, with the resources of a university and the community spirit of a tightly knit school.”

Besides the groan-worthy clichés, I’m pleased to report that this claim has pretty much held up. To be perfectly honest, UD was not my first choice or my dream school. I always imagined myself at a small liberal arts school in the woods somewhere cold and remote. Somehow, I ended up at the complete opposite, but now I couldn’t possibly envision being anywhere else. Even though it sounds like cheesy glossy pamphlet rhetoric, those two sentences are absolutely correct. Just one year of being at this university has made possible all sorts of opportunities and experiences.

A second supplemental question asked students write about what they expect college life to be like. I wrote about going outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. (My ridiculously small comfort zone does not even deserve to be called a “zone.” Really, it’s more of a compact area of solid ground maybe just barely large enough for me to fit both feet.)

Here’s what I said: “The past year has been spent in anticipation of college—where I’ll fit in, what will be difficult to acclimate to, what will make me happiest. And I’ve realized that to be comfortable, I’ll need to branch out of my comfort zone. Communicating with new people, living in a new and unfamiliar environment, and taking challenging courses will all be things that will require adjusting and courage, but nevertheless are experiences that am excited to have.”

The verdict: totally true. Although by most people’s standards I haven’t done anything earth-shatteringly bold, I like to think I’ve changed for the better. A year ago, the prospect of having to interview strangers would have been panic-inducing. Now, I do it weekly as a reporter for The Review, and even though I still get occasional jitters, it has become much easier, maybe even fun. The new environment has pushed me to expand that growing comfort zone inch by inch.

Without the people, this year would not have been nearly as good. I don’t care if it’s cheesy; I would scream it from the rooftops: I have met some of the best people here.

(I mean, if you asked me a year ago, I definitely couldn’t have predicted seeing Joe Biden give a speech at a building where I go to English class everyday.)

In my application, I said: “Something that I am most excited about for college is to be around people who are like-minded in their passion to learn, but diverse in perspective, background and goals. I hope that college will be a place where people genuinely care about their education, and are excited and inspired to learn more about the world around them.”

Friends from home who are now high school seniors are beginning to hear back from (and get accepted into!) their dream schools. I still remember that moment, opening my own first acceptance letter. It feels like all your hard work has really, finally paid off and that letter is something tangible you now can show for it. It feels really good to be watching from the other side. I can’t wait to see if their applications hold true, too.

“Resisting Passiveness” by Avery Beer

I wouldn’t call myself the adventurous type. I can definitely be impulsive and I am certainly passionate, but I don’t always act on my instincts. Whenever I think about college, I think of it as a time to build ourselves outside of our comfort zones. I think of being bold and being active. Freshman year for me was a refreshing transition: I finally felt the air in my lungs again. I had my moments where I really loved high school, but I struggled with a lot of anxiety as well. Thinking about it now, and knowing how much I’ve grown, I am proud of myself. I am proud of myself for not staying passive, but rather fighting it and truly defining what it means to live my life. Continue reading

“The Biden Factor” by Alyssa Schiff

When considering dynamic duos, some may think of strawberries and chocolate, Batman and Robin, Beyonce and Jay-Z – but none can compare to the greatest duo in history: Joe Biden and the University of Delaware. Graduating in 1965, Biden has since maintained a close relationship with UD, typically making a visit several times a year. When I first toured University of Delaware I remember taking one thing to heart: Joe Biden graduated from here and that the likelihood of seeing him on campus at some point is very high. While Joe visited UD for the first time last semester at the coffee shop Brew-Ha-Ha, I was unfortunately giving a group presentation, and I was honestly devastated when I heard that I had missed his visit. I saw the crowds and zoomed in videos all over Snapchat and I wallowed in my self-pity over not seeing the (at the time) Vice President of the United States. When I began giving up hope that I would see him, a light appeared in the darkness. Continue reading

“To Have an Open Mind or be Trapped in Time” by Erin Jackson

I used to think that only princesses like Cinderella got to go to the ball. I never imagined myself in her shoes, dressed in the perfect gown, travelling in the perfect carriage, and swept off my feet by the perfect Prince Charming. This weekend I had the chance to attend the International Ball at the United States Naval Academy, and it was an experience I will never forget. It was also–for lack of a better word–perfect. Continue reading

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