186 South College

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

Author: schiff (page 1 of 10)

“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.

“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.

“Spring into Spring” by Carly Patent

Every season has something special. Summer is known for its heat, its pool parties and barbeques, sugary sweet watermelon, and sun burns that turn us into lobsters. Fall calls for comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, apple picking, Halloween candy, and the bright hues of leaves. Winter is a holiday of lights, snowmen, gifts, family, friends, and fireplaces, candy canes, hot chocolate, and Elf. But spring is sometimes the forgotten season. Yes, we all love that after a long winter, we can finally come out of hibernation and break out the shorts and t-shirts that had been buried in our drawers for so long. We love that the flowers are blooming, with their sweet smells filling the air as we walk. Green grass and allergies go hand and hand in springtime, giving Claritin the boost that its been waiting for ever-so-patiently. And pastels – whether on our clothes, our decorations, or our Easter Peeps – make everything cheerful and bright. But, while these are just some reasons why we love springtime, we often don’t make the most of our sunny and 75° days. Especially for us Blue Hens, who spend the majority of the spring season at school – unlike other college students who have most likely been out of school for weeks already – it’s important that we soak in spring and everything that it has to offer. For that reason, I’ve decided to share my top five tips on how to make the most of spring in our final weeks here at the University of Delaware.

  1. Ice Cream at UDairy

It’s no surprise that as the temperatures get hotter, we naturally want something to cool us down. And, it doesn’t hurt that we have a creamery located right on campus to provide us with every flavor under the sun, well, not every flavor, but they’re getting closer and closer every day to that. The proximity of UDairy offers an excuse to put away the books for a little and treat yourself for making it this far into the semester. Gather up your friends, take a walk to UDairy (to burn off a few calories before inhaling a double scoop in a waffle cone…with blue and yellow sprinkles, of course), and try one of their many, many flavors. Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet would be a refreshing treat on a hot day, while their new Candy Crackle Pop, cotton candy ice cream with Pop Rocks, is the perfect thing to transport you to your summer days spent at carnivals or baseball games. After cooling down with a much-needed treat, giving you the sugar high you need to keep powering through with assignments, enjoy the walk home (to continue to walk off the ice cream). Or, if you’re feeling a food coma, there’s nothing wrong with taking the bus back either!

  1. Dining Al Fresco

Continuing with the theme of food (clearly the best theme there is), another way to make the most of spring here at Delaware is to eat outside. Whether you’re getting takeout from Russel or Pencader, setting out a blanket and enjoying it on the turf, or scouting out a table on Main Street – there’s nothing better than eating in the cool, crisp air. Places like Klondike Kate’s, Finn McCool’s, Stone Balloon, and HomeGrown all have a lot of outdoor seating, so I’d suggest hitting those up first. Another great option is to get takeout from SNAP, MOD, or El Diablo to set up a picnic on the Green. An additional perk: as you’re eating al fresco, it’s very likely you’ll either spot dogs going for their nightly walk or little kids going for a stroll with their families. Either way, prepare for a cuteness overload!

  1. Outdoors Exploration

To find a way to work off all of the eating, spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and have fun! Aside from being prime sunbathing locations for those attempting to get a little color before summer, our turfs and the Green are great spaces to throw a football, toss a frisbee, or kick a soccer ball. Pro tip: if you have chosen the sunbathing route, definitely don’t close your eyes for too long as you never know when a frisbee throw might go awry (I must admit that I’m definitely not pro when it comes to getting my frisbee to actually go to the person I’m throwing it to…so look out). Having lived on both East and North campus, I loved seeing all of the activity going on outside when the weather got warmer, it always inspired me to do my work more efficiently – and take less breaks – so that I could get outside quicker. Additionally, campus has a ton of basketball and tennis courts for open use as well. For those looking to truly get away from the hustle and bustle of college life, White Clay Creek and the reservoir are a nice escape. Going through the trails can help your momentarily forget about the reading, the paper, and the group project you have due, offering a true getaway. On a sunny day, there really is nothing better than getting outside. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and reconnected. Just be sure to bring water!

  1. Local Excursions

The theme of exploration emerges again as our location in Newark allows us the ease to take numerous day or weekend trips that are perfect in springtime. The plethora of Delaware beaches offers an amazing choice for a hot day with nothing to do, if one friend has a car, then you’re in luck. Load up the towels, the snacks, and the sunscreen for a fun day away. Bring a good book (or a textbook…it’s sure to be a better experience reading with the sound of waves crashing than the sound of train rolling by) and some good music, and you’ve got yourself a day of fun in the sun! Sporting events can also be an inexpensive and easy way to get out and get away. For Phillies fans (the best fans!), Citizens Bank Park is just a short drive or train ride from here, and truly nothing in the world can beat Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries drenched in melted cheese sauce. Finally, Longwood Gardens, just a thirty-minute drive, comes alive in spring, making this the time to go. Be sure to bring a camera to get some pictures of the breathtakingly colorful flowers and gardens, it’s very likely that you’ll get a prime Insta, as well, so dress accordingly! If you’re terribly afraid of bees, though, take caution!

  1. Campus Gems

Finally, use this time to relish in everything that our beautiful campus offers. Although the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. has since passed, our cherry blossoms are in full bloom and can still be seen lining Memorial Hall, the bridge to North Campus, and the sidewalk across from the ISE Lab. If you’re looking for an activity, Ag Day, which is on Saturday April 27 this year from 10:00-4:00, offers everything you could ever want: UDairy, farm animals (including an actual Blue Hen), plants, food trucks, and fun shopping! It’s definitely a day not to miss and something that I personally look forward to…not to mention that UDairy is revealing a new flavor this year! Lastly, with the weather getting nicer, head out to support some of our sports teams, whether it’s lacrosse, tennis, or baseball, make it your goal to go to at least one of every game to cheer on your fellow Blue Hens!

For seniors or those of us who cannot help but acknowledge that another year here has come and gone, spring is the time to take advantage of all that the longer days and warmer weather has to offer, whether that’s studying at the tables outside Morris, sunbathing on the Green, or devouring some buffalo chicken nachos on the Kate’s porch. It’s official: spring has sprung, and it’s time for us to fly from the nest to see all that this weather has to offer!

“Hi, I’m Carly, and I Studied Abroad in Italy” by Carly Patent

With Winter 2020 Study Abroad interest meetings currently taking place and application deadlines soon approaching, I thought that I would take the chance to share my experience studying abroad on the LING/ENGL Italy program this past winter. As one of thirty-one students who were given this amazing opportunity, I was able to see sights that pictures cannot do justice (even though the thousands of pictures on my Camera Roll would prove otherwise), eat authentic pasta, pizza, and gelato that even my favorite Italian restaurant could not match, and soak it all in with a group of people that I likely would not have met or even passed by on my daily walk through the Green to class.

I had gone on numerous family vacations out of the country to places like Aruba, St. Martin, and Cancun, but traveling to Europe was always on my bucket list. Fortunately, I knew that I wanted to study abroad while in college and looked into Delaware’s winter study abroad program to help me meet this goal. While our almost two-month long winter break can drag and literally make you go stir crazy (I still have flashbacks to freshman year when I went to the mall every day, found random trips to the grocery store entertaining, picked my brother up at school just to get out of the house, and baked enough cookies and brownies to feed an army), winter break offers the perfect opportunity to travel, earn a few credits, and delight in the wonders of a brand new country.

Each program is different, but I found mine to be especially rewarding. Whereas some groups stay with host families and other groups stay on college campuses or in hostels, we bounced around from city to city and hotel to hotel. The constant hustle and bustle kept the trip exciting, with each transfer introducing us to a new culture and new way of living. We started in Sorrento, made our way to Rome, Siena, Verona, and Florence, and then returned back to Rome for our departure. Interlaced within these bigger cities, we took excursions to Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples, Caserta, Monte Cassino, Orvieto, Venice, San Gimignano, and Pisa. We made our own pizzas, took gondola rides, went on boat and ferry rides, saw a donkey, chilled on the beach, climbed towers, tossed coins, squeezed underground, and watched sunsets; clearly, I could go on for hours about each day’s adventure and everything that I did and saw, but I’ll spare you.

To conclude my sales pitch, I now leave you with some of the hidden gems that I picked up on my time spent last month in bella Italia:

Fifty pounds is a lot less than you would think, and getting rid of sixteen pounds in the airport is in no way possible.

You’ll likely only pay attention to the first two movies that you watch on an eight-hour plane ride.

When you see rocket on a menu, it actually refers to arugula.

Many Italian hotels require you to hand in your key when leaving the hotel and pick it up at the front desk upon returning.

Italian ZARA tops any American ZARA.

Bread and oil are a must before every meal.

Showers in Italy only have half of the shower door, leaving a flood of water on the bathroom floor.

Their version of hot chocolate is literally chocolate soup…not complaining about it though!

Italian gyms are not a thing.

Good pasta needs nothing but tomato sauce.

When scrunched, good leather actually goes back in place.

Pineapple juice will taste like an actual pineapple as opposed to the stuff you get in a can.

Falling asleep on the bus may be the best sleep you’ll ever get.

A gondola ride typically takes less than the advertised thirty minutes.

The Lime and Pink Pepper Piu Gusto chips are the best.

The train makes two stops in Florence – do not freak out if are not able to get off at the first stop.

Look for gelato that is not mounded and does not have a lot of artificial colors – this is the authentic stuff.

Pork is everywhere.

Pompeii has a brothel complete with a stone bed.

To get to the main road in Siena, do not go over a sketchy bridge.

Soccer is life. It’s harder to get into a Roman soccer game than it is to get on a plane home.

Italian Coca-Cola tastes so much better than the American kind.

When taking a picture at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the person taking the picture should move around to get the right angle as opposed to the person posing.

There is indeed McDonald’s in Italy…and they do have Big Macs.

Italian outlets are circular and only contain two prongs, meaning that adaptors are a must.

Mercedes makes the best coach buses.

For guys, adding a scarf to any outfit will instantly make you look more Italian.

There is nothing better than stracciatella gelato.

Pinocchio is everywhere!

Italian dogs are gorgeous and oh-so-well behaved, while I cannot say the same about the pigeons.

Chicken parmesan and spaghetti and meatballs do not exist.

Leggings and sweatpants are not a thing.

Hopefully, what my laundry list of random facts illustrates is that going abroad is an experience that seeing pictures, reading books, and watching videos cannot emulate. To truly take away all that I have and all that is possible, you must immerse yourself in the country and the culture. I can 100% say that anyone looking into studying abroad should take full advantage of Delaware’s winter session and the opportunities that it provides. I am so grateful to have been given the chance to study abroad in Italy, somewhere that I only once dreamed of going. In just thirty days, I was able to gain thirty new friends, eat all that I could, see all that I could, and make memories that will last me a lifetime, but that’s not to say that I haven’t already started planning my return to the beautiful country that is Italy. Andiamo!

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