Category: Jenna Newman (page 2 of 3)

How UD Allowed Me to Follow My Dreams by Jenna Newman

When I first tell people that I am taking a semester off from school to go serve abroad, one of the first questions I get asked is, “Wow, do you really dislike school that much?” In actuality, it’s the complete opposite, because of how much I love UD and the opportunities it gives me, I am able to take time off from school.

A little background on the situation – I am a sophomore communications and international relations double-major with a passion for serving others. Last fall, I realized that my education was something that I enjoyed, but it was also just a stepping stone to bigger things. I realized that the worst thing I could do would be to follow the easy path: finish my degrees in three and a half years, intern somewhere cool for a semester, go on to get my masters, and then end up in some cushy job, having never taken the time to travel the world and help others.  Once this idea to travel NOW entered my head I started exploring whether it was feasible within the confines of UD’s academic framework.

UD offers so many opportunities to come in with credits or get credits beyond the typical Fall/Spring schedule. I was able to come in with a handful of credits and then had the opportunity to take not only summer classes, but winter classes as well. This set me up so that after taking a semester off I am able to come back and still graduate within the four year time period (which definitely makes my parents feel better about everything)! Now that I had figured out that I could easily do this academically, I began seeking advice from mentors and peers.

Everybody that I talk to about this is so supportive and encourages me to follow my dreams now while I’m able and have relatively little commitment. Because of the typical reaction I get when I tell people about my decision, I am often apprehensive, especially when it comes to telling professors and other UD administrators. After a discussion last December with Honors Program Coordinator, Sarah Georger, I became much more excited about my decision, and many nerves were dissolved. I told her about my decision and she was instantly supportive, promising to help in any way she could to make the transition out and back into UD as smooth as possible.

All of this being said, I am not writing this trying to convince everyone to drop-out of school and find a third-world country to go volunteer. I am writing this to emphasize the amazing opportunities UD allows students solely through their support. So, FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. If that means starting a new RSO that reflects your interests, DO IT. If that means taking a class online so you can also spend those extra three hours at your dream internship in Wilmington, DO IT. This school wants you to succeed and follow your passions.

Making a Difference in a World of Chaos by Jenna Newman

The other night I was sitting in our large group room at the Baptist Student Ministry house as we prayed for the church in Texas and the deaths that occurred there. When we finished praying, someone said, “It’s crazy how we are becoming desensitized to death and terror, when we wake up and hear about how another twenty people died, we just think to ourselves essentially, ‘wow, that sucks.’” Saying it that bluntly may seem kind of harsh, but take a step back and really think about it. We talk about how it’s, “crazy these things keep happening,” or, “I can’t even imagine that happening in my community,” but rarely we shed a tear.

Our generation is probably one of the last that can remember a time before this. I can hardly remember 9/11; however I can remember watching as people continued to feel the impacts of the attacks on the Trade Towers as I got further into elementary school. I can still think back to a time before it was just another day of waking up to people dying.  Kids growing up now don’t have this. They don’t know anything different, they don’t know what it is like to not be constantly afraid of someone walking into their building and shooting students for no reason, they don’t know what it is like for one bombing or terrorist attack to completely change the world and the policies around us.

I have a challenge to those of you reading this post. When the next tragedy happens, before you take to Twitter or change your Facebook profile picture to show a frame supporting whatever country, take a moment to yourself. Take a couple minutes and reflect on what happened, let it wash over, let yourself feel the pain of others. Empathy is something that our world is losing because our instant reaction is just to talk, or post, instead of just feeling.

Then take REAL action. Don’t let our society and the next generations become apathetic, or feel as though this is just a part of day-to-day life. UD is such an ideal place to work and make a difference. Join a club that works to promote global awareness. As a member of Delaware Diplomats, I learn more about people from different cultures through attending events on campus and gaining scholarship money. By learning more about the culture around me, I am more connected to people groups and countries that I have never even visited.

Do something more than posting a status on social media. Go to your Resident Assistant and see if you can work together to raise money or resources for the people living in the affected areas. There are so many non-profits or advocacy groups you can get connected to. Maybe even reach out to an organization that helps serve people living in areas affected by these attacks and then see if you can start an RSO on campus working with them here at UD.

Had it not been for organizations like the Baptist Student Ministry here on campus, I could have also slipped into the same apathetic, automatic reaction the rest of the world is falling into. It is our job to be actively involved and hold each other accountable for empathy. How would you want others to react if your hometown or city was the next target? Then act in that way towards the ones that are.

September: Redding Residency to Apartment Living by Jenna Newman

As a Freshman living in Redding Hall everything is new and exciting. You walk into this massive five-story, U-shaped building, overwhelmed, and not knowing where anything is, not even your room. Time goes on, and slowly you get familiar with how everything runs – what times the bathroom is packed, which shower is the grossest, what time it would be impossible to find an open washer and dryer. You begin to realize that just because people are always around to hangout in the lounge, doesn’t mean you always should. Then, in the blink of an eye, freshman year is gone, and unless you’re a Munson Fellow or Resident Assistant, so are the luxuries of living in Redding.

This year I opted to go for something different and get an apartment, and it definitely is different. Here are the top three things I realized moving from Redding into an apartment.

  • The POD is a luxury. If you live on the Turf, GO TO THE POD RIGHT NOW!! Living off-campus there’s no convenient grocery store full of all the things you shouldn’t want, but do at 2:00 in the morning while cramming for that exam you completely forgot about. The POD is no longer a hop-skip-and-jump away from my bedroom. Yes, I do have the luxury of a kitchen, but there is something different about grabbing your friends from down the hall and taking a break to stock-up on Chex Mix, milkshakes, and Subway sandwiches.
  • You miss the community. I was the person who would always dread my hall meetings because there were so many other things I could be doing, but now living in an apartment with two other girls who are on completely different schedules from me, you miss the community. There is no longer the luxury of being able to just go and procrastinate in your best friend’s room for fifteen minutes on your way back from the bathroom. On any given night of the week, there isn’t some event – probably with free food, that is happening only a floor down from you. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to live off-campus, but living with two girls is different than living with hundreds of other students.
  • Responsibilities. This sounds silly. Yes, as you grow up you get more and more responsibilities and those are things you just need to deal with as it’s a part of life. But I didn’t realize how easy I had it living in Redding until now being in my own place. First off, trash isn’t something you can just go and throw into the dumpster whenever it gets to the point where your RA comes in and says, “Wow, why do you have so much trash? You should probably do something about that.” Now trash day is something that happens once a week and if you miss it, you’re out of luck until next week.

Like I said, I’m not complaining about living off campus, I love it, but for anyone still living in Redding, or on-campus in general, don’t take it for granted!

“April Showers Bring May Flowers” by Jenna Newman

“April showers bring May flowers.” This is a typical cliché that can be heard over and over again this time of year. We typically associate the month of April with rain and hold out hope that May will bring flowers and brighter, happier days. However, I personally cherish the rainy days that April brings. Although I will admit I am not a fan of my frizzy rain hair, I don’t really have any other issues with the rain. In fact, I love rainy days! Here’s why…

Rain Boots. The thrill of rain boots is the ability to jump in puddles with little care of getting wet. One of my first memories on campus was walking back to Redding Hall with my now best friend, seeing a massive puddle, looking at each other, and then taking off running and jumping in it. If that’s not the beginning of a true friendship, I don’t know what is.

If you’re not one for child-like fun, there are also practical reasons that rain boots are so great and why they make rain more bearable. It can be a pain when you just really need to get to class, but the shortcut you usually take is all muddy and you don’t want to get your new shoes covered in mud. Solution? RAIN BOOTS.

Books. Who reads books for fun nowadays? Well, I do. If that’s not your cup of tea, insert Netflix or however else you may wish to spend your time. On a sunny day when your friend asks you if you want to go hammock or hang out on the Harrington turf playing soccer or volleyball, it’s really hard to say no. On a rainy day though, none of these outdoor activities are really applicable, and it’s so much more socially acceptable to curl up by yourself with a good book or your laptop.

The Smell. There is nothing more satisfying than the smell of rain radiating off the pavements. This is without a doubt the best part of the rain. After running back from class in your rain boots and grabbing your favorite book that you haven’t read in forever, you can crack open a window and smell the freshness of the earth. I love embracing nature and its amazing features.

I understand that rain isn’t always the best thing in the world, but it provides the nourishment for those beautiful, sunny days. On the next rainy day, I challenge you to try to find the sunshine in life through these wonders of rain. As the musician Robert Wood once said, “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” During these last few rainy days of April who will YOU choose to be?

“Flexibility and Balance” by Jenna Newman

“I’m amazed at how you find 27 hours in a 24 hour day.” This is what my grandmother said to me the other day on the phone as I began to describe at great length my down-to-the-minute schedule for the weekend. Honors students often have the tendency to want to do everything they possibly can because well, why not? 

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