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Category: Jenna Newman (page 1 of 3)

“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.

“Climbing to New Heights” by Jenna Newman

Growing up I was always involved in a wide variety of extracurricular sports, so the transition to college while also not being an athlete for the first time in my life was definitely a strange one. I tried to supplement this in a variety of different ways. Freshman year was full of trying a variety of intramural sports every season. Sophomore year I began to play tennis regularly with one of my friends and that spring I trained for my first marathon. It was exciting to have a goal to work towards, but there was still something missing. I wasn’t excited or passionate about sports the way I was doing crew in high school or playing middle school basketball.

Then, this past winter session, something changed. I got a gift card to a local rock climbing gym. Rock climbing was always something that fascinated me. For one, it was pretty much a giant jungle gym made for adults, while also being an insanely good workout. Beyond that, I had many fond memories of rock climbing at the local YMCA when I was kid. I also loved being outdoors and the idea that gym climbing could prepare me for new outdoor adventures was a major draw.

Although I was incredibly hesitant to set foot into the gym for the first time, from the moment I did I was hooked. When my two week trial expired, I got a membership and began going 3-4 times per week. All I talked about was rock climbing, I dragged friends and family to the gym with me, and my Instagram feed became full of bouldering, top roping photos, and hashtags. I had finally found a new sport that I was passionate about and excited to continue.

When it was time to head back to UD, I was nervous that my new dedication would not translate when I was back in the hustle and bustle of all things junior year. However, UD has allowed me to continue to pursue this new sport and challenge myself mentally and physically. The rock gym in the Lil’ Bob has a variety of different routes and is open six nights a week. Beyond the confines of the UD campus, less than 10 miles away is the DE Rock Gym, which offers a ton more routes and expands to lead climbing and top roping.

I have not only found a new sport and way to stay in shape with rock climbing, but it has also offered me a new community and a way to stay grounded mentally. Going to the rock gym has become something that allows me to take a mental break while challenging myself to climb to new heights (literally). The community is so open and encouraging. I’ve often found myself engaged in conversations with fellow climbers of all different abilities, all of us trying to help each other to accomplish our goals in a non-judgemental environment.

I’ll leave you with this quote by an unknown, but insightful, author: “You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.”

Long Distance Friendships: The Struggles of Being Abroad by Jenna Newman

In my two-and-a-half years of being at the University of Delaware thus far, I have had the opportunity to spend time abroad twice. The first time was my freshman year and I spent about six weeks in London during Winter Session. Currently, I am two months into my four months abroad in Cameroon pursuing an internship. I’d be lying if I said that being away for so long didn’t take a toll on my relationships back at home. Especially “college friends” because you are so used to spending practically 24/7 with those people, however, I threw together some tips, tricks, and advice to best manage these friendships.

#1 Recognize that every friendship is different. I have some friends that I need to talk to regularly or else I know we are going to drift apart. Then I have other friends where we can not talk for months and then when we see each other again, we pick up right where we left off. One of my closest friends is AWFUL at showing emotion over text message, so when I was in London for Winter Session I barely heard from her. When I got back to campus that spring she ran up excitedly to see me. I admitted that I wasn’t even sure she missed me. All of that is to say that it’s important to recognize the differences in friendships and respect that not every relationship is going to look the same or have the same upkeep methods once you go abroad.

#2 Know that your real friends will stick around. Some of your friendships just aren’t going to last when you’re not around each other all of the time. That’s just the reality of life. My philosophy has always been that if I can keep one or two close friends from each stage of life I am in, then I’m doing something right. Time abroad will be a good way to tell who your real friends that are sticking around are. The real friends will be the people that check in to see how you’re actually doing, not just how the picture of you at the Eiffel Tower portrays you. They’ll be the friends that when you get back want to hear every single detail of every single day, not just ask you, “how was it?” expecting you to summarize your four month immersion experience in Africa in a sentence.

#3 It takes two people to maintain a relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in whatever is going on while you’re abroad and almost set expectations on your friends to be the ones to reach out to you. However, they could be feeling as though you’re so busy that you’ll just reach out if you have time. This could then lead to just not talking for way too long. It’s important to remember that it takes two people to maintain a relationship and it could be good to set up times that you can talk and catch up. A close friend and I pick a two-hour time frame twice a week that we’ll make sure to be paying attention to our phones so that we can text for a little while.

Long distance friendships can be hard. Especially when you’re used to doing even the mundane, like brushing your teeth, together. However, with a little hard work and determination you’ll be able to enjoy your time away and still come home to a great group of friends that you can pick up where you left off with!

Missing the UD Community from 7,000 Miles Away by Jenna Newman

As I sit here writing this post, I hear the rain pounding down on the tin roof of my house in the middle of the rainforest. You’re probably thinking, “Wait, Newark, DE is definitely not the middle of the rainforest.” Well, you’re right. I’m currently spending the semester abroad in Cameroon interning for World Team, a missions agency based out of Warrington, Pennsylvania. I’m taking a semester off from school to pursue my passions and get some experience living and working internationally. As I wrote about last spring, UD has been nothing but supportive and honestly, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been really hard to be away.  

I miss my friends, my classes, the clubs I’m a part of, and just the general community of UD. College is a unique time in life because you are surrounded by people all in the same age-demographic as you. I think that is one of the things that I miss the most about campus. The only other American girl who is my age out here still lives about twenty minutes away. It’s a weird reality that you step into.

Also, on campus, you really are never alone. Yes, maybe you live in a single, or maybe your roommate is never home, but still. Most of your friends probably live fifteen minutes away at most and you could always go to Morris, Perkins, or the gym and see someone you know. There are so many places to go to be alone together, including on Main Street. If I’m having a bad day and need to vent, my closest friends can be over in seconds. That’s a luxury that does not exist in most of life, especially when you’re in a remote area of Africa.

Part of the idea of constant community is a college thing in general, but I think it is also something UD does incredibly well. UD gives us spaces to convene and hang out without worrying about imposing on someone’s personal space. From the second I arrived on campus in fall of 2016, I was meeting new people and making new friends. Despite being a relatively large state school, it is almost impossible for me to walk across campus without seeing someone I know because of the way UD promotes community.

The post is meant to be more than my rambling about how much I miss UD’s campus. I want to encourage everyone to enjoy your four years. Enjoy having your best friends right down the hall from you. Enjoy being able to go to the Pod for midnight snack runs. Enjoy having so many options of delicious food places on Main Street. Enjoy what UD has to offer because before you know it your four years will be over.

Coffee Shops of UD by Jenna Newman

I find my happiness in coffee shops. I love to study there, to read there, to meet people there, to people-watch there, to drink coffee there, to eat unhealthy pastries there. Everything about coffee shops and their atmosphere draws me in. Since coming to UD I have had such a fun time exploring all the various coffee shops in the area and below I compiled a list of my favorites and why they’re so great.

(1) BrewHaha: This is one of my personal favorites. BrewHaha is the perfect place to go if you’re meeting other people and you want a pretty central location with a decent amount of seating. If it’s a nice day outside they have a full patio that you can sit out on. There’s always enough noise that you never feel as though everyone is listening to your conversation. They have a good variety of food choices, too! I personally recommend either their soup of the day or one of their bagel sandwiches, but really everything is good! For drinks, my go-to is the Iced Coconut Dream!

(2) Brewed Awakenings: If you want something less crowded and more home-like, Brewed Awakenings is the place to go! They have AMAZING bagels and you can even get day-old bagels for $1 to bring home. They have board games on their bookshelves and all the staff is super friendly. The place is relatively small though, but if you get a table it’s easy to camp out there for hours. They are also a non-profit that gives out free drinks and food to many of the less fortunate in Newark (sorry college students, this doesn’t mean you)! My go-to drink here is the London Fog. Continue reading

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