It is hard to believe that the end of the spring semester came so quickly. My first year as a college student is complete; in comparison to how long it felt like I waited to get here as a high school student, desperate to break out into the “real world,” it’s gone by all too fast. With the end of the semester came the (somewhat tedious) process of planning for the next fall semester. I took the opportunity to reflect on my current major and solidify some big decisions.
At some point during the fall semester, after scouring the course catalog a few times and reflecting on my current classes, I decided that I wanted to switch out of Exercise Science. Based on my interests, the logical decision seemed to be Biological Sciences. But all of this raised an obvious question: when do I make the switch? I found myself in an academic advisor’s office around midterms during the fall semester, asking all of these questions and unsuccessfully trying to figure out four years in one meeting. Her advice to me? “Go back to your dorm and worry about your midterms for now.” It wasn’t the right time to start questioning all of my life decisions, and the courses that I was taking had me on the right track for Exercise Science or Biology. There was no rush to make that decision at the time, and I’m glad that I took the time to consider my options. Continue reading
I don’t remember the first TED Talk I ever watched, mostly because I was fascinated with my dad’s fascination during my first ever TED Talk. Instead of looking at the screen, I would notice how his eyes would go wide at every interesting point made, every audience reaction. Each time the presenter mentioned something profound, he would instantly perk up and say, “Did you hear that?” I usually responded with a very convincing “yes,” but he would rewind the video anyway, this time pointing at the person’s face in rhythm with his words to make sure I understood. And under the façade of paying intense attention, I would chuckle under my breath at how passionate he was about the science rolling off the speaker’s tongue.
As I floated through middle school and entered high school, TED Talks began being used more and more as a teaching supplement. From Hugh Herr’s experience with bionic legs, to Amy Cuddy’s perspective on the effects of body language on confidence, and even further still to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce,” I was exposed to a variety of tastes based on the nature of the class as well as my teacher’s interests.
My all-time favorite talk in the entire world is “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator,” presented by popular long-form blogger Tim Urban. I find myself going back to this one time and time again, not just for the humor and the energy of the speaker, but to re-learn the life lessons he lays out for his audience. His message and his values resonate with me for different reasons every time I return to his video, and he really embodies the vision and purpose of TED. Continue reading
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
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
Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions in one’s college career. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the first choices students are pressured to make. And the ramifications for selecting a pathway inappropriate for you vary wildly, from adding on a semester to catch up on classes, to going back to school years later. Therefore it’s critical that you decide on a major that both satisfies your interests and secures your economic future. In my case, I simply lacked the experience to say for certain exactly what I was interested in. My parents were willing to support me in whatever career path I chose, which was very kind but ultimately placed greater responsibility on me to enroll in a program that was compelling and feasible. I ended up selecting a major that aligned with where I believed my skills lay, namely, English—with the caveat that I would return to the matter after my first year at UD.
Over the course of two semesters, I managed to explore a variety of topics within and beyond my selected field of study. I took classes in subjects that had always interested me but were not offered in my previous schooling, all the while fulfilling a collection of breadth requirements I would need to complete regardless. By the conclusion of this investigative period, I had finally landed upon an avenue of study that I had always trended towards, but never thought to pursue: Computer Science. However, the idea of altering such a fundamental aspect of my college education appeared quite daunting. I feared that I might go about this process incorrectly as a consequence of my own ignorance, hindering my ability to take required courses or even delaying my graduation date. I wasted valuable time mulling over my decision and attempting to research the necessary steps. Continue reading