A Day in the Life of an HPA – Hannah Braun (guest blogger)

Hey Blue Hens! We hope you had a great experience with your virtual New Student Orientation! During one of the Honors Community & Enrichment Live Sessions or your advisement appointment, you may have met some Honors Peer Advisors (HPA). HPAs are a team of upper-division Honors students who work to prepare incoming Honors Freshmen for their Fall semester. You can read all about us here.

Over the summer, you probably received emails from us about Course Preference Forms. You may have even gotten a phone call from us about a seemingly endless string of tasks that we admit can get a little confusing. But when we aren’t making calls helping you sort out what needs to be done before you come to campus, we are working behind the scenes to make your college transition as smooth as possible. We want to make your Honors New Student Orientation interactive, informative, and engaging. 

If you’d like to hear more about what a typical day in the life of an HPA was like, keep reading!

9 AM: We wake up and pull on our signature blue Honors Program (now Honors College *woohoo*) tees. After grabbing some breakfast, we sign on to Zoom and send a friendly “Good Morning!” into our group chat to get started for the day.

10 AM – 12 PM: Those of us who are assigned to help out with Group Advisement join specific Zoom meetings, such as Chemical Engineering or Nursing. The rest of us hop on Zoom and take care of administrative tasks—checking the To-Do List spreadsheet, updating your Course Preference Forms, or calling some of you! If there’s time, we help brainstorm content ideas for your Honors Canvas module or your parents’ Blue Hen Hub.

1 PM – 4 PM: Afternoon Advisement begins! We chat with the faculty member in your major and prepare to meet you all. We take attendance, call anyone who’s missing, and answer your questions as best we can. We get to put a name to a face, and we love hearing about your academic passions and things you want to get involved in on campus. 

5 PM – 6 PM: Drop-In Hours–sometimes it’s a couple of us, sometimes it’s all five HPAs, but either way, this is when we meet with students who have had advisement sessions or haven’t attended any sessions yet and need some help answering their questions about courses or the Fall semester. If it’s not too busy, then Drop-In becomes our time to talk about our day and our plans for the rest of the week. At the end, we all play some Kahoot trivia, and the winner gets a point. HPA Hannah is in the lead right now–the winner HPA at the end of NSO gets a special Honors-themed prize! 

6 PM – 7 PM: Community & Enrichment Live Session: Usually the last thing all HPAs do on certain days is our C&E Live presentation. We start off by introducing ourselves and sharing which communities on campus make UD feel like home. We describe what it’s like to be a part of the Honors community and our own experiences during Freshman year. We explain the difference between Honors stand-alone and add-on classes, Munson Fellows and Writing Fellows, and finally academic and support resources. We talk about Honors faculty, student-run field trips, and the Honors blog. Lastly, we share how Honors helped us reach our goals and showcase some recent graduates’ accomplishments. After the presentation is finished, we get split up into Breakout Rooms and get to know all of you a little bit more–definitely one of the highlights of this job! 

That’s a typical workday for us! Even though it gets busy, we always make time for fun. Besides, when we get to meet future Blue Hens like you, it doesn’t even feel like work. We understand that virtual NSO can come with its own set of challenges, and we’re here for you. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or have questions, feel free to stop by our Drop-in Hours. We wish you the best of luck for your Freshman year and we hope to see you around campus in the Fall!

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