Category: Victoria Snare (page 2 of 3)

The Problem with Progress

I know that as a fairly normal American teenager, I should be absolutely exhilarated by the rate at which technology is moving. The new versions of the iPhone that seem to come out every week now should thrill me; every new social networking site that emerges should excite me. But, while I’m certainly impressed with the speed at which technology is progressing, I don’t know if exhilarated is necessarily the right word to describe my feelings. Overwhelmed and slightly concerned would be more accurate.


Don’t get me wrong, I love tweeting about the random thoughts that pop into my head. I love stalking photos on Facebook. I love my GPS and Pinterest and Shazam and even the way the cursor on the Mac turns into a spinning beach ball when waiting for something to load. But recently, it’s just gotten to be a bit much.


What’s supposed to simplify our lives has only made them more complicated. When I’m sitting in the car I can’t be content just listening to the radio, or admiring the trees outside. Instead I feel pressure to tweet about the song that came on the radio. And then, once I’m on twitter, I feel the need to scroll through and read every tweet that’s been posted in the past 7 or 8 eight hours just in case I happen to stumble upon a quote that could change my life or a funny saying that could make my day.

Trapped in a tangle of technology

Trapped in a tangle of technology


When I’m lying in bed before I go to sleep I’m not satisfied to mull over my day. I need to read through the group chat that gets a new message every seven seconds, and then log into Facebook to see the photo everyone is talking about. Or I should be flipping through Pinterest pages in case there’s some craft idea on there I absolutely cannot live without.


Once we become so attached to technology, we can no longer function outside of it. I went to a birthday dinner with a few friends once, looking forward to an evening of fun conversations and enjoying each other’s company. Unfortunately, we did more bonding with their smart phones than with each other. There was one moment when I looked up from my meal to see that every single person at the table had their fingers glued to the touch screen of their iPhones. Two girls were face timing each other. From across the table. Two others were playing each other in “Scramble with friends.” Have we become so used to this image that we fail to see the undeniable dysfunction in it?


The essential purpose of technology is to help us live more fulfilled lives. Whether it is helping us become increasingly connected within (and outside of) our social circles, making certain tasks more efficient to create more time for others, or simply providing some background music to enhance an experience, technology is supposed to help us live more. Yet the pressure this adds causes us to live less. There is always something more we can be doing, a way to make a certain experience better, and because of this, we can never be satisfied. When the world is at your fingertips, it is almost impossible to be content in your immediate surroundings.  


So how do we combat this? In our rapidly advancing environment we need equally advanced technology to keep up. To slow down progress would be to encourage complacency. And to refuse to try and keep up with this modernization would be to limit our personal opportunities.


Boycotting the iPad or switching back to snail mail is not the answer. I think the solution is simpler than that. I think it might be to just relax. To be content with what is instead of what could be with the help of a few gadgets and gizmos. While I don’t exactly have a step-by-step plan for how to prevent our lives from being ruled by technology, I do know that you really don’t need to Instagram a picture of that sunset. It might be just as fulfilling to look at it and admire it.

~Victoria Snare


How I Became a Blue Hen

In so many ways, UD is my home. But as a new class populates campus I am reminded of the beginning of my experience at UD, and a time when this was not always the case. 


 Throughout the college search, University of Delaware was not my first choice. I applied on a whim. Hey, it used the Common App, I had heard good things about it, and figured why not. But there was another school that was top of my list. It was in-state, many of my friends had gone, and I had already convinced myself that to have any shot at happiness in life, I had to attend this school. It wasn’t so much the school itself that had me so captivated, but rather the aspect of familiarity it possessed that made it so appealing. It was nothing against UD, or any of the other institutions I applied to. My mind was simply closed to any other option. It was already made up.


 If it is not already obvious, things did not go as planned.


 The cause of this plot twist can be summed up in one word: money. As it happens, when decisions came around, UD offered me a financial package that made it the most economically feasible option, and as my family wasn’t exactly rolling in dough at the time, it was decided that UD was the most practical option, and therefore, where I would attend. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Devastated is closer to the truth. (I hadn’t even visited our university at this point, but apparently I didn’t need to. Apparently, I knew everything.) I decided I would try it out for a semester to please the parental units, but I was already looking into the credits I would need to take to transfer at the end of the fall semester. Again, this is not what happened.



It took two weeks at UD for all thoughts of leaving to completely evaporate from my head. No sooner had I set foot on campus than I was swept up in a whirlwind of new friendships, (I met one of my best friends while brushing my teeth), new opportunities, (Thursday nights found me, someone with no ballet experience, doing pliés in a dance class), accessible professors, (my English professor made a Harry Potter reference on the first day of class and I nearly passed out from joy), all in environment where I felt taken care of, and at home.




I remember walking past Trabant one day and seeing people playing with puppies to my right, looking to my left and catching an Irish step-dancing flash mob and then witnessing a fellow student walk past a tour of prospective students and yell, “come to Delaware, it’s better than candy!” I remember sincerely wondering if this was real life.



And it was.



Rather than being consumed with thoughts of transferring, my mind quickly became occupied with how I could get more integrated into this incredible community of Blue Hens. I don’t think I even remembered how to say the word “transfer” until later that semester, a friend from home called me.

Bleeding blue and gold with YouDee at our first football game.

Bleeding blue and gold with YouDee at our first football game.



“Hey, did you send in your application?” Long pause. I had no idea what she was referring to.


“You were gonna transfer…?” I suddenly remembered my original reluctance to attend UD.


My response was simple: “I don’t want to be anywhere else! I’m home.”



So, if you’re a fellow UD student, here’s to another fantastic year.



If you’re an incoming freshman, get ready for some of the best years of your life.



And if you’re still looking for the university that best suits you, I’d like to give you two pieces of advice: keep an open mind, and if you have not already done so, check out the University of Delaware.  


Reflections on a Failed Art Project

In the midst of the insanity that is Spring Semester, I occasionally find myself reflecting on calmer, more relaxed times, such as Winter Break- the only time I think I’ve ever had virtually nothing to do. During those seven weeks of nothing, I often had to get creative to stay busy.

Which is why one day, I found myself hot-gluing crayons to a piece of poster board and then blowing on them with a hair dryer. For those that haven’t seen this technique, the idea is that when heat is applied, the wax will drip down from the crayons creating streaks of brightly colored wax. It’s a surprisingly lovely visual. And I was in a DIY kind of mood.

While I am certainly artistically inclined, artistically gifted is more of a stretch. A project like this seemed safe for someone like me, the skill level required was exceptionally low. And yet, I managed to mess it up.

And this is why art projects aren’t a regular thing in Victoria’s schedule.

My plan was to get a bit creative and tape the outline of the words, “Carpe Diem” (oh so original), to the board so the wax would drip over them. When the letters were peeled away I envisioned crisp white letters amidst a background of dripping colors. As most aspects in my life, it didn’t turn out the way I planned.

First of all, because I left the paper covering on many of the crayons, the hard wax ended up melting inside of the coverings and ultimately falling out. The pressure from the hairdryer blew the wax in ten billion different directions, which is why a lot of it ended up on the walls. (Sorry, mom.) Not to mention the fact that the only shapes the wax dripped around were the scotch tape pieces I used to secure the letters to board, leaving a bunch of odd looking white squares amidst the mess of wax.

Now, I would like to say that despite my unsuccessful execution, the final product was striking in all its haphazard glory. That even though the project went in a completely different direction than envisioned, the end result still managed to achieve a sort of beautiful honesty. No such luck, my friends. It just looked stupid.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my career as a college student, it’s that things rarely go as planned. Whether it’s changing your major, taking a class that is nothing like what you thought it would be, studying abroad in a country you never wanted to go to, or waking up thirty minutes late to a 9am, a college student, and a human being for that matter, is constantly having to adjust and move forward. I find that no matter how carefully laid out the schedule in my planner is, there will always be those external events that can upset the entire balance. So yes it’s good to be organized; certainly it is important to plan ahead; and there is no problem with taking on a craft with the end result in mind. But I’ve found that even more crucial is learning to be flexible. When you can still keep moving forward in spite of those inconveniences, both minor and major, that’s when you really start to accomplish big things.

I’m coming to embrace that, one failed art project at a time.

~Victoria Snare

The Juggling Act

“University of Delaware is home to approximately 300 registered student organizations!”

“College is your chance to explore, try new things!”

“Apply for this!”

“Sign up for that!”

At the University of Delaware, you can’t go a day without being somehow encouraged to take part in a fundraiser, join a club, or apply for some position. UD is a mecca for student organizations, from residence life to Greek life, from honors societies to registered student organizations (RSOs), from community service to student government to cultural clubs to campus publications. They are opportunities to explore  interests, meet people, and get plugged in on campus, and they are everywhere.

When I first set foot on campus I was absolutely exhilarated by this. My first student activities night consisted of me bounding from booth to booth and putting my name down for anything that sparked my interest- even the slightest bit. Brazilian jiu-jitsu? I’m there. UD Scuba? Sign me up. Every event I got emailed about got penciled into my calendar. Every flyer I got handed was secured to my refrigerator with a magnet. I wanted to try it all. You don’t want to pass up opportunities, right? And who says I don’t have a knack for swing dancing?

Unfortunately, it soon became clear that this eccentric lifestyle could not last. Duties began falling through the cracks and my time spent sleeping began to dwindle. No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not do it all.  I was forced to give some of these activities up, feeling a sense of defeat rather than relief. I felt that I was not making the most of my college experience.

As a college student, there’s a subtle, or perhaps not so subtle pressure to take advantage of every opportunity you encounter. At a campus full of go-getters and do-it-all-ers, “Get involved” could very well be the unofficial mantra. Each involvement opportunity is a chance to better understand and develop your skills and interests, expand your network, build up that oh-so-important resume, and make your mark on the University. If you pass on just one you feel like you’re missing a chance to fulfill your potential, and perhaps even eliminating career opportunities in the future. But while this “do everything” proposal is inspiring in theory, when 300+ opportunities are presented to you, it becomes clear that it simply isn’t realistic.

The more responsibilities you take on, the less you can devote to each one. Rather than pouring yourself into a select few roles and seeing them to their full potential, you begin to do just enough cover the bases. You find yourself fulfilling your tasks out of obligation, rather than out of passion for the task itself. In this way, you’re eliminating the element that inspired your initial participation. And most likely missing out on more sleep than is healthy.

It’s been said that, “it doesn’t matter how many things you do, but how well you do them.” It is better to carefully choose just a few activities you’re truly passionate about and really do them right, than to pointlessly overextend yourself. Being “involved” doesn’t mean dabbling in a bit in everything, but being genuinely invested in what you are a part of.

So yes, try new things. Definitely explore. Absolutely get involved. Just make sure when you do, it’s not because you feel pressured, but because you truly care.

~Victoria Snare

Benefits of Being Home

It’s that time of year. That week that is highly anticipated during the first half of spring semester, and then reminisced about for the rest of it. It is tan lines, sunscreen, and sunburns. It is swim suits, flip-flops, and a Twitter feed full of, “#PanamaCity2013!” or “#Cancun!” It is of course, Spring Break. And what exotic destination have I been transported to for this year’s festivities?

Great Falls, Virginia.

While my peers sip smoothies to the sound of crashing waves, ankle deep in soft, white sand, I find myself back in my hometown. The sounds of waves are replaced by the sounds of cars on nearby roads and instead of sand; we actually got soft, white snow.

Yet, as depressing as this might sound, I’m surprisingly content in this setting. My stay at home has provided a period of pure relaxation to punctuate the fast pace of college life. It’s provided time to sleep, eat home-cooked meals, reflect, and in general, the time and the resources to do those things you’re just not able to when at the University.

As I look into study abroad, internships, and winter and summer sessions, it’s becoming apparent how limited my time at home is. Because of this, the comforts of home seem all the more precious. Whether it’s sleeping until the wee hours of the *cough* afternoon, getting to make requests for dinner, or watching movie after movie on instant-Netflix, these are rare comforts you don’t get to experience anywhere else. Especially as I become more aware that I’m really just visiting the place where I grew up and don’t exactly live there anymore, it makes me that much more determined to soak up time with my family and all the comforts that comes with it as much as possible. Excuse the sappiness.

I have also appreciated being able to occupy myself with activities because I like them, not because I need to do them. This past week I went to an open-mic night at a nearby coffee shop, a small country concert at a club downtown, rock climbed at a park just fifteen minutes away. At school you’re forced to prioritize, meaning those things you’d like to do but don’t have to do often get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list and are never checked off. At home, I’ve had the luxury of not really having a to-do list, and so been able to indulge in whatever whim I may have.

Of course, (nerd alert), there is also the fact that I’ve been able to catch up on schoolwork. I’ve definitely fallen behind in some areas since returning for spring semester and never really had the opportunity to just sit down for however many hours and get “caught up.” My fellow students may know the feeling. While it may sound entirely lame, that this is something I’m excited about. Nothing beats the feeling of being caught up and being able to return to school reorganized and ready to go.

So, if you’re stuck at home like me, or sometime in the future may find yourself facing the prospect of spending a vacation period at home, don’t despair. Even if you can’t bring yourself to treasure those moments at home, you can at least appreciate them. There’s a lot you can do with this experience and it’s one you’ll never quite be able to replicate.

~Victoria Snare

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