Category: Random Musings (page 2 of 19)

Lessons, thoughts, helpful tips and more

“Thoughts on the Apartment Search” by Lauren Wrightstone

As many first-year college students can attest, the idea of independent living is an exciting one. I have been planning for my very own apartment since I was about twelve years old. So when a few of my friends said they were looking for another roommate, I jumped at the chance. 

My friends and I met in Redding last year, back when all the freshman Honors students lived together. One of them was actually my randomly assigned roommate, but all four of us spent the whole of last year practically inseparable, so I knew we’d work well sharing an apartment. My floor was very closely connected, even if we weren’t all best friends, and I missed living with people my own age. That’s the thing I’m looking forward to most next fall semester. 

Our first step was identifying our building or property management company of choice. We knew we wanted either two or four bedrooms, depending on price. We also wanted two bathrooms. Like most people who have lived in a dorm building, we desired at least a little more privacy than we had there.

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“Love Yourself” by Shrinidhi Dandibhotla

Hi, my name is Shrinidhi, and I’m a freshman here at UD. As we all know, this year has been a lot more chaotic and unpredictable than any of us would have ever imagined. Regardless of whether it’s someone’s first year or last at UD, this semester has been a learning experience for everyone, and we’re all going through this together.

Being a freshman Honors student with an academically rigorous course schedule, I find myself spending a tremendous amount of time sitting in front of my computer. Unfortunately, that is something that can’t be avoided because all of my work, whether it be my classes, homework, or my internship, requires me to be constantly staring at my computer screen. And because of this, I have found myself spending less and less time taking care of myself, doing the small things that make me happy, and enjoying the little moments of my everyday life. 

Over the last six months, I’ve come to realize the importance of self-care and self-love more than ever before. During the beginning of quarantine, towards the end of March, I had way too much time on my hands, if that’s even possible. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t have anything to do–no task that I was rushing to complete and no goal that I was eagerly running towards. Honestly, I felt weird, like super weird, because I simply had no idea of what to do with all that time on my hands. It’s actually quite ironic now that I look back and talk about it because I remember always thinking to myself that I would accomplish so many things if only I had more time. And when I had an abundance of time, I didn’t know what to do. Continue reading

“Popular to Vote” by Chris Hope

Another semester and a new academic year at the UD Honors College! While Fall 2020 means another round of homework, midterms, and finals, it also means one more thing: the general election. Back in spring I was able to watch debates and Super Tuesday results in Redding’s main lounge, and though I’m not able to do that on-campus this semester, there’s still many important things we can do. That spring I wrote an article about absentee voting, which was not-so-conveniently written immediately following COVID-19’s sending us off campus. Now that we’ve gone several months through these restrictions and that a major election is upcoming, more options are available to voters.

In my previous article, I focused heavily on voting by mail and voter registration. For college students, especially those out-of-state and living on or around campus, voting by mail is the likely option for many. Rules involving absentee mail-in ballots vary by state, so websites such as https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/ can help in pinpointing what is required in your individual state. I took part in Philly’s mayoral and city council elections last November, and I did so by voting by mail on campus! The directions were all laid out in my ballot, including how to seal it properly and how to make sure it gets mailed off. The former is especially important here in Pennsylvania, where rules require you to place your ballot inside of a provided blank envelope and then into a second envelope from there. Many states also allow you to track your mail-in ballot online, so you can make doubly sure that it gets mailed in time. https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot-deadlines/ is a great resource for finding when your ballot is due to be mailed by, and many states even allow you to drop off an absentee ballot at a county election office. Continue reading

A Healthy Mindset during Social Distancing by Lorraine Capenos

I’m sure no one planned to experience a global pandemic during their college experience, and I’m no exception. Especially since it’s my last semester here at UD, social distancing has really thrown a wrench in my senior plans, and sometimes maintaining a positive and healthy mindset can be challenging. It can be easy to sink into disheartening thoughts about the state of the world and the unfortunate fact that I’m going to miss out on some experiences I was really looking forward to. When these thoughts and feelings come up, I take my time to feel them out and process them, understanding that my emotions and experiences are valid. That being said, I try not to dwell on them and remember to keep things in perspective. I choose to practice gratitude, taking time to appreciate the blessings I have in my life, and acknowledging that this is difficult for everyone but that I am safe and healthy, which is a privilege in itself. I believe it is important to find a balance, accepting and processing your feelings, while still maintaining perspective and gratitude.

I have also chosen to practice patience and forgiveness with myself, when I am low-energy or when I am not as optimistic or productive as I want to be. This is an unprecedented time period that most of us weren’t prepared for in the slightest. It is difficult to adjust your life on that large of a scale. Human beings are social creatures, so it is normal to feel a little blue when you can’t socialize with your friends in person for months. Add to that the monotony of quarantine and losing out on senior activities, and it’s understandable that I have had little motivation lately. So, I am being patient and flexible with myself, since being harsh on myself would likely get me nowhere and just make me feel worse. Instead, I am taking things slowly and allowing myself the time I need to process things, even when I am not being “productive” according to certain standards. Continue reading

“Language Learning from Home” by Chris Hope

Because of quarantine, many of us have more time at home to do things. It’s up to you how you spend your time, and whatever you choose to do should be what you want, whether it be getting ahead in work, picking up a hobby, or just relaxing. Languages are a big interest of mine (my majors are Linguistics and Three Languages, after all), and keeping up with language classes can be difficult when not in a classroom environment. I’m in the Honors section of my Italian class this semester, a class which has a large focus on conversation. Both my Italian and German classes thankfully have weekly Zoom meetings, but not everyone has that guarantee. There are all kinds of resources online for learning a language, and each resource offers its own pros and cons.

Duolingo is one popular app and website for language learning, offering over 35 courses in languages of all different varieties. Every language major under UD’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (DLLC) is offered on the site save for Ancient Greek, though one can always branch out if they want to, including with constructed languages such as Esperanto and Klingon. Duolingo is good for first getting into a language; however, it starts to falter once more complicated grammar concepts get thrown into the mix. Alongside that, the quality of courses differs by language, with some languages being constantly updated and others not being touched for years.

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