It’s that time of year again… Now that we’re about a third of the way through the semester, we’ve all probably had that first extremely overwhelming wave of tests. In a way, this is a nice way to truly get a feel for how the class is run as a whole. Some of us were probably pleasantly surprised at our exam scores, but most of us would like to see a bit of improvement before midterms sneak up on us. Here are some tips to whip you into shape when it comes time to study:
1) Take advantage of your lounge. I think just about everyone will agree with me when I say that my room is filled with way too many distractions to actually be productive. No matter which residence hall you live in, you have access to numerous lounges. I personally prefer an environment where I can play some quiet music and ask friends questions while studying, but quiet study lounges are also a great way to make yourself crack down.
2) The cappuccino from the dining hall is delicious. Honestly, I think it is comparable to Starbucks, making this drink the perfect accessory to any study session. After dinner, I usually take some in a to-go cup and head to the lounge. The caffeine boost can’t hurt!
3) SelfControl is the best app ever invented. If you’ve never heard of SelfControl, it’s a
free app that helps you stay off of distracting websites such as Facebook or Twitter. The app allows you to select which websites you’d like to block yourself from and then sets a time for when you are allowed to access them again. I highly recommend this app for those of you who are lacking in the willpower department, like me.
4) Set a bedtime. My roommate and I are notorious for staying up until the crack of dawn because we procrastinate so much. In order to fix this before our next wave of tests, we decided to set a time limit for homework. We try to tell ourselves that our deadline for going to bed is midnight, and usually it works. After all, a good night’s sleep is necessity the night before an exam.
Even though I’m sure many of you readers stumbled upon this post while procrastinating studying, I hope this list of tips helps bump up those midterm scores. If anyone has anything to add to the list, please comment below!
After class on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays I always meet up with my friends for lunch at Trabant at 12:05. All throughout my 11:15 class my mind wanders to eating my signature wheat wrap (complete with spinach, apples, grapes, edamame, avocado, feta, and balsamic dressing) from Greens to Go of course to debriefing the morning’s shenanigans with my friends. There’s just one problem: the amount of people waiting on line for lunch at Trabant is comparable to the worst traffic jam you’ve ever been in.
Whoever gets out of class first always sends the same text message in our group chat – “I’ll try to snag a table.” By snag a table we mean casually pace around the seating area until it looks as if someone is about to get up. When that happens, we briskly walk over to the soon-to-be-available table and pretend that we’re not about to throw our backpack onto the chair the second the current occupant stands up. Then comes the inevitable “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to rush you…” conversation, and we’re in.
Once we’ve finally secured a place to sit, we have to venture into the tangled mess of lines in order to satisfy our now grumbling stomachs. Sushi is by far the easiest option because you just grab it and get on line to pay, but we can’t do that every day. Waiting on line for a burger or a wrap is almost as bad as waiting in line at the DMV. Of course you can always count on making awkward eye contact with that one person who you were hoping you wouldn’t see, but that’s all part of the fun of waiting for lunch at Trabant.
While I can’t blame the massive lunch crowd at Trabant for having the same break as my friends and I or for wanting to eat at the best place on campus, it would be nice to stroll in and just sit wherever we please. On the other hand, the hunt for a table and the struggle to get our food before our break is over always gives us something to laugh about while eating. Although we haven’t quite mastered the system yet, I’m sure we’ll be experts at table-snagging by the end of this semester.
After much deliberation at the end of last year, my roommates and I decided we wanted a change of scenery regarding our living situation. This year, we decided to live in Thomas McKean on Laird Campus. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I absolutely loved living in Honors housing for freshman year, so I was a little hesitant to live in traditional housing. Honestly, I cried when I moved out of Russell and I thought that I wouldn’t be as happy living anywhere else. Even though the move wasn’t as drastic a change as I had originally thought it would be location wise, it’s a strange feeling going from living with thirty of your best friends to knowing no one on your new floor.
Since East Campus has such a strong sense of community for freshmen, I was nervous that I wouldn’t feel that way about Laird Campus. I failed to realize that it wasn’t just my three roommates and I who were moving to the opposite end of the school – everyone else was too! While it’s refreshing to be able to meet someone new every day, I still see familiar faces in the dining hall or (attempting to be) doing homework on the turf.
Although suite-style living is different than what we were used to, it’s actually been quite nice to have a little more privacy. On the other hand, there’s no more hanging out in the hallway during a study break or passing neighbors on the long trek to the bathroom, so it can get a little lonely at times.
In order to stay in touch with friends from our floor last year who are now scattered around campus, we try to go to a meal together at least once a week. It is odd not seeing them every time I leave my room, but it’s nice to catch up when we do make it a point to see each other.
At the end of last year, my whole floor was pretty excited to move on and meet new people. Yes, we’re all certainly enjoying our air-conditioned rooms, but the floor dynamic is just not the same as freshman year. I think we’re all beginning to realize that it’s true what they say about people needing to spend time apart in order to truly miss each other. I’m sure I speak for all of my freshman year floormates when I say that no matter where we live on campus, we’ll always trace our roots back to Russell B1.
Throughout my senior year of high school, I couldn’t wait to see where I would end up spending the next four years of my life. After touring a multitude of campuses I was so eager to just get the process over with so I could finally move to the school that I was destined to attend: Boston University.
Obviously fate had something else in store for me because I’m not in the historic city of Boston with all its glory, but in humble Newark, Delaware. When I pictured myself at college I didn’t even consider a green, suburban campus that isn’t located in the heart of a major city. I saw myself bustling to class amongst “hipsters” and filmmakers and photographers and not actually waiting for the walk sign to legally cross the street.
Financially, Delaware was the best choice for me so I thought I’d give it a try. Everyone I know from high school who attends UD loves it, so it couldn’t be that bad. However when I first moved into Russell last year, I couldn’t really find my niche and I wasn’t loving my major so I actually thought of transferring schools.
One day during winter break I was scrolling through my photo albums and realized that I was laughing in almost every picture. I’ve made incredible memories with kids that I’d only known for a few months and realized that I’m not going to find relationships like that anywhere else. College isn’t about the name of a school or the image a school gives you, it’s about what you make of your experience and opportunities in any situation you’re put in. My impatient self didn’t realize that all the qualities I was looking for in a college were directly in front of my face the entire time.
The moral of the story is that we find happiness where we least expect it. It’s not always about the big picture, but it’s the little things like laughing with your roommate about her sleep-talking or admiring how beautiful the sunset looks from the window of your dorm that make you appreciate the place that you live. Looking back I feel crazy to have ever thought of leaving this university that I’m proud to call my home. To all you new Blue Hens out there: if you don’t absolutely love it here at first, give it a semester. I can almost guarantee that you’ll fall in love with everything about this campus just like I did.
Yet another striking sunset at a UD football game
One Saturday morning in mid-July my family and I packed up our car and (at an unhealthy hour) headed down to Rehoboth Beach along the shore of Delaware. We’d visited this beach when I was younger, but I couldn’t remember any specific details about the trip that stuck out in my mind aside from the boardwalk, so I wasn’t jumping for joy about staying there for another week. However, this vacation certainly changed my apathetic mind for the better.
When we arrived in Rehoboth I knew we were close to the hotel because I remember the complicated pattern of streets that zig-zagged into each other. I also realized that my eight-year-old mind did not retain any of the hole-in-the-wall restaurants or quirky little shops that filled every storefront. Each time I set foot outside in Rehoboth my eyes dart from colorful flags to flowerpots bursting with life to shops displaying a million different knick knacks in their windows. And get this – each shop is completely different. I kid you not, you can find everything in Rehoboth ranging from a caramel popcorn shop, to a bird house maker, to a bookstore that specializes in gay pride.
If you’ve ever been to Rehoboth, you’ll know that the plethora of things to do can be a little overwhelming. Here are some of my favorites:
- Grab some lunch. I couldn’t even count how many restaurants are in Rehoboth but I can say that hardly any of them are chains. Some of my favorites include Planet X, an earthy café with plenty of vegetarian options, and Greenman Juice Bar that serves any kind of fresh squeezed juice that you can think of.
- Rent a bike and explore the town. Walking around all day can get a bit tiring, so if you really want to do some sightseeing, I recommend renting a bike to get around quickly. Tandem bikes are also a fun alternative.
- Get some ice cream. Although there are at least ten ice cream parlors in Rehoboth, The Ice Cream Store, located right on the boardwalk, blows every other shop out of the water. They have over a hundred flavors!
- Last but not least: go to the beach! In Rehoboth, beach access is free, so after a long day of shopping, biking, and sightseeing, roll out those towels and take a long nap in the sun.
The best part about Rehoboth Beach is that it’s located just an hour and a half from campus! If you have a free weekend coming up with nothing going on, I highly suggest that you grab a few friends and head to one of the cutest towns I’ve ever seen because it is definitely worth it.