Category: Amanda Abrom (page 1 of 2)

We’re Halfway There!

I can’t believe how quickly college is going. It seems like just yesterday that I was unloading my car outside of Russell B and strategically choosing which side of the z-shaped room to pick. I can still remember my first day of college when my entire floor went outside to play awkward ice-breakers on the Harrington Beach. We were the epitome of UD freshman….we wore blue lanyards around our necks, seemed hopelessly lost on campus, and did not stray from Russell Dining hall for at least a semester. It is incredible to look back and see how much we have grown up over the past two years.

Now that I am well into junior year, I am starting to think about internships, opportunities, and…dare I say it…the real world! I was reminded of the fact that my class is halfway done with college when I attended the General Honors Award ceremony this past weekend. The Honors Program rewarded all of the juniors that are halfway done with their honors degree. We all received a certificate on-stage and afterwards stayed for a short reception.

When the ceremony began, I was the first person in the entire class to receive my certificate (curse alphabetical order). Oh, and did I mention I am extremely clumsy? One time I fell off the chorus risers as I was walking to sing a solo version of Amazing Grace…it was the polar opposite of graceful. So at the ceremony when I was getting ready to receive my certificate, I was praying that I wouldn’t trip while walking up the stairs to shake hands with the Dean of my college. Luckily, I successfully completely the journey across the stage and back to my seat. The tune of “I’m Almost There” from the Princess and the Frog played faintly in my head. Yes, only I would make a Disney Princess reference about getting my Honors Award.

One of the best parts of the day was that we received formal recognition after our two years of course-work. Another great part was that the whole ceremony was a huge Russell reunion. I got to see so many people from my freshman floor, hear about their accomplishments, and celebrate our achievements together. We have come so far…but we still have a long way to go. It only makes me more excited to see what the next two years will hold!

Reuniting with some of the freshman floor!

Reuniting with some of the freshman floor!

~Amanda Abrom

Life’s Many Moments

This past weekend I traveled to New York City with my family to see Aladdin on Broadway. The show was absolutely spectacular and the amount of money and work that was put into the production was astonishing. There were gorgeous costumes, and the way they portrayed the scenes from the movie like the Cave of Wonders and the Parade were so creative and imaginative. My siblings and I left the theater in love with the show and talking excitedly about all of our childhood memories.

Tokens of remembrance from a memorable night.

Tokens of remembrance from a memorable night.

The next day I went to see the REPS’s Angels in America. This show was completely the opposite of Aladdin. It was a serious play with hard themes and exquisitely talented actors. Even though these two plays were dramatically different, they both were an outlet of creativity used to tell a unique story.

I started thinking about my story, and how University of Delaware has helped shape that. Have you ever just stopped walking on the way to class and thought to yourself, what am I really doing here? How did I end up here and where am I going? (That is…after you step off the path to dodge the incoming bicycles and long boards.)

There have been so many times in my life when I’ve pondered that exact question. Our lives are defined by a string of entwined moments that make us who we are. From being a Writing Fellow to living with Honors Freshmen, I realized that the Honors Program in particular has played a huge part in these significant “moments” of my college experience.

I soon realized that the moments I remember about my college career have not been when I was sitting in a lecture, but rather when I was out in the community doing something meaningful. I have seen Honors Students volunteering, creating their own RSOs, going abroad, and planning incredible events for their communities.

I love being in Honors because each and every student pushes me to be a better version of myself. It is not so much a competitive environment, but rather a collaborative one where people work together to make new strides.

Seeing these two shows definitely stand out as “moments” during my semester. They were amazing afternoons where I got to reconnect with family and friends and think about life. They even inspired me to continue writing a musical of my own. The project was on the back-burner, but if other people can write a show, shouldn’t I give it a try?

The moments that shape us during our college experience can mold us into a new person, or they can solidify our passions. So my question is…what moments will define you?

~Amanda Abrom

What Inspires You?

This past weekend, I traveled to my home town to see my little sister perform in a dance show. The show dramatized many classic novels, but it was told entirely through dance. It was an incredible production, and seeing this show made me extremely nostalgic, but ultimately reminded me how much I love to dance.

After seeing this production, I was inspired to take a dance class at the University of Delaware in the fall and continue to stay involved in the Dance Minor Program. This semester, I performed in the Dance Minor Concert on campus in two pieces, and it was one of the best parts of my Spring Semester. I had the opportunity to work on a piece with a professor as well as a guest artist from another college. The concert really pushed me to expand my movement quality and adapt to different styles of dance.

danceI realized that dance is what I love, and in order to be fully happy here I need to keep pursuing it. Before deciding on the University of Delaware, I anticipated attending a college in Pennsylvania as a BFA Dance Major. Now that I’m not majoring in dance, I need to find other ways to pursue it.

Dance allows you to be someone that you’re not. I love becoming another character on stage and sharing the performance with everyone else in the number. All the shows I have done remain the most poignant memories in my head. Dance is definitely my passion, my inspiration.

But what inspires you?

I love learning about what inspires other people and what drives them to do what they do. Especially in Honors, students have so many different talents.  People are devoted to politics, the arts, research or their activities on campus. I love talking to all the 48 Honors students on my floor and hearing about their passions and backgrounds. My residents are passionate about service, clubs, and their classes.

Dance is something that I do for myself. It is personally fulfilling and the art form inspires me. With finals coming up and the end of the year nearing, I think it is important to find time to do things you love or to take a short break from academics. Take an hour and write a short story, go out to lunch with your friends, or sing Disney songs on the green. Make time to do things that you love during the hectic final few days of school.

This past weekend, when I saw my sister in her dance show, it hit me that she was halfway done with high school. Suddenly I realized that I am almost halfway done with college. It was a scary yet rewarding realization. I realized I only have two years left to make the most of my college experience before entering my career.  I realized I only have two years left to make the most of doing what I love.  For the next two years, I will truly make the most of my college experience…I’ll dance like no one is watching.

Home Is Where the Heart Is

On the side of a New Jersey Street sits a little house with sky-blue siding. The house is two stories, and has one small apartment on each floor. A steep rock driveway curves around the back of the house to a three car garage. A cute little staircase leads straight up to the front door.

HouseThis blue house was my childhood house, and I got the surprising chance to re-visit that house this past week. Last week I was visiting my family in northern Jersey and we decided to take a walk through the old house because we knew the current owners. The house has been owned by my extended family for years, and almost everyone in our family has lived in it at some point during their lifetime.

When I arrived at the house with my dad and sisters, it looked exactly the same as before. The only thing that had changed was that a small bear figurine sat in the front yard, which was put outside by our superstitious uncle. The figurine made us laugh, and then we continued into the house. It was nostalgic walking up the stairs to the second story apartment and stepping into my old room.

BearI as walked around, I remembered old stories…waking up in the attic on April Fool’s Day to see a foot of snow outside, going to the park across the street, and when our car rolled off the back driveway into our neighbor’s pool. There are so many memories in that house and it made me think of all the places I had lived over the years.

My family has lived in Arizona, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I lived most of my life in the little city of Lancaster which is surrounded by miles of farm land. Whenever I tell people I’m from Lancaster, they always ask if I’m Amish. I don’t mind constantly being asked this, and instead I find the question humorous. Just like my childhood town in New Jersey, Lancaster has a special place in my heart.

Now I call Newark, Delaware my home. This town has grown on me each semester, mostly because of the friendly college students and the quaint little shops on Main Street. Each time class starts again, I can’t wait to come back. I love returning to our campus with the picturesque brick buildings and greens out of a storybook. I feel like I’ve had so many different homes over the years, but the thing that makes each place special is the people that I’ve met in all the different communities.

It took me a long time to realize that spending time with people is the best part of life. I used to care completely about schoolwork, planning ahead, and achieving the next goal. This year I really have taken care to get to know people and I now appreciate every single conversation I have with my friends and family. Without my friends and family, my childhood house would have been nothing more than just a house. It sounds cliché, but home truly is where the heart is. Now I can’t wait to one day buy my own house and create even more memories. Who knows…maybe one day I’ll live in my childhood house again.

The Language of Music

It has always been a dream of mine to learn another language. I love listening to people speak in different languages, and I am always amazed that hundreds of different sounds can consolidate into comprehendible, meaningful words. I admire that people in certain countries grow up fluent in two or even three languages.

In college I took a few Spanish classes, so I usually can hold a reasonable conversation in Spanish. I also picked up a few Portuguese words from meeting international students. Someday I desire to be bilingual, so I recently began researching top languages to learn. As I was researching everything from Mandarin Chinese to rare Indian dialects, I realized I do know a language other than English: the language of music.

I consider music to be another language because it has its own set of notations and symbols that create meaning. There are so many different styles of music, from jazz to classical to techno. But the best thing about music, is that it is a universal language. People from all over the world, no matter what language they speak, recognize tunes and songs. Music has the ability to move people from all walks of life.

When I traveled to Spain this summer, I was amazed to hear American pop music playing on the radio. My native Spanish friends knew the songs and sang the tunes, despite the fact that they did not speak English. I was able to learn songs from them, and picked up melodies without having to comprehend every Spanish word.

Being a singer and an instrumentalist myself, music has always been a part of my life. I love listening to music, learning songs, and even writing my own music. The best part about music is being able to share it with others. Music also brings people together. It provides opportunities for people to collaborate and present their talents to others. This week in Honors, we had the annual Redding Coffee House, which allowed students to showcase their musical talents to people in the entire building.

One thing that attracted me to the University of Delaware was the plethora of musical opportunities on campus. The university has incredible choirs, orchestras, acapella groups and theater companies. Delaware also has an immense amount of talent. In my building, people are always playing the grand piano, improvising vibrant melodies at all hours of the night.

Music is also a way to display challenging topics. I am involved in the “Campus Chatter Workshop Troupe” on campus. A few undergraduates are learning songs to perform at a showcase about struggles international students face coming to America. The songs are filled with emotion, and the show reveals student’s struggles to fit in when they feel they are different. I love how these stories about international student’s experiences are presented through the universal language of music. Music acts as a medium to present these moving messages. Whether listening to music makes a person feel sad, elated, or hopeful, it still makes an impact.

Music has played a huge role in my life, and I am so grateful to have many opportunities to express myself through the art of music. Even though I might not be able to communicate with others in Italian, French, or perfect Spanish, I know I can speak through music.

~ Amanda Abrom

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