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grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

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“Ag Day Adventures” by Erin Jackson

There is one day each year where the parking lot down on south campus here at UD transforms into an almost unrecognizable network of tents, vendors, presenters, performers, pie-in-the-facers, tractors, animals, and more. A day where the University of Delaware opens up one of their most prized resources to the members of the Newark community, letting them into the College of Agriculture and making them want to return year after year on this unforgettable day. A day that most students at UD have no idea exists.

Ag Day is for everyone. There are opportunities there in every aspect of agriculture that people of any age and interest can find exciting. There’s music from bands and acapella groups, plants you can buy to liven up the dorm room, the one and only UDairy ice cream, face-painting for people of all ages, baby animals to meet and instantly fall in love with, research surveys that will literally give you money for just participating, and so much more. Coming from a background of zero farm experience myself, I have been completely roped into the community of the college of agriculture here and there is no turning back. Continue reading

“Networking from Coast-to-Coast (and then some)” by Jenna Newman

Flashback to three years ago when a wide-eyed freshman walks into her first activity night. There were so many different options of clubs or organizations to join and they all made a strong case for recruitment. Update: that freshman was me. One of the organizations I ended up joining was the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). From the very beginning they pitched themselves as, “not a club, but a pre-professional organization,” which attracted me to their Monday night meetings. Since then, I have been able to fully realize all of the benefits this organization has given me.

By the end of my freshman year, I had the opportunity for leadership experience. I applied for the executive board and became the organization’s Public Relations Director. This meant that I was responsible for managing all of our social media accounts and generating strong and consistent content for our blog. This was invaluable experience to gain for the PR field and going into Junior year I was excited to continue to grow. That brings me to this past month (April), when I was able to be our chapter representative at the PRSSA National Assembly.

National Assembly represented the gathering of members from all PRSSA chapters internationally in Portland, Oregon. There we would vote on the next PRSSA national committee that would oversee all chapters for the 2019-2020 year. This gave me the opportunity to go to a new city and literally network from coast-to-coast! The assembly consisted of a variety of different keynote speakers and breakout sessions. We had the opportunity to talk to various chapters about what worked (and what didn’t), while simultaneously having a bigger conversation about diversity. Then, I was able to bring all of these ideas and thoughts back to the University of Delaware.

Beyond the information, I left Portland with new friendships that I would cherish. Because of the nature of the gathering, each chapter usually only sent one student. This meant that we were all in Portland alone… together. This actually made it incredibly easy to make friends. For example, I was in the elevator going to the lobby (to meet up with some other people I had met) and the guy in the elevator with me asked if I had plans with anyone yet and if I wanted to join his group.

I am sure that these relationships will extend beyond this conference both personally and professionally. Personally, we formed bonds that you can only form when traveling and exploring someplace new. Professionally, we are the future of the public relations field, so one day we will all be colleagues or competitors. Personally and professionally, we’ll get to continue building on these relationships and future conferences.

All of these relationships and experiences came from a wide-eyed freshman walking into Gore Hall for an information meeting.

“My Experience Changing Majors at UD” by Ryan Dean

Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions in one’s college career. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the first choices students are pressured to make. And the ramifications for selecting a pathway inappropriate for you vary wildly, from adding on a semester to catch up on classes, to going back to school years later. Therefore it’s critical that you decide on a major that both satisfies your interests and secures your economic future. In my case, I simply lacked the experience to say for certain exactly what I was interested in. My parents were willing to support me in whatever career path I chose, which was very kind but ultimately placed greater responsibility on me to enroll in a program that was compelling and feasible. I ended up selecting a major that aligned with where I believed my skills lay, namely, English—with the caveat that I would return to the matter after my first year at UD.

Over the course of two semesters, I managed to explore a variety of topics within and beyond my selected field of study. I took classes in subjects that had always interested me but were not offered in my previous schooling, all the while fulfilling a collection of breadth requirements I would need to complete regardless. By the conclusion of this investigative period, I had finally landed upon an avenue of study that I had always trended towards, but never thought to pursue: Computer Science. However, the idea of altering such a fundamental aspect of my college education appeared quite daunting. I feared that I might go about this process incorrectly as a consequence of my own ignorance, hindering my ability to take required courses or even delaying my graduation date. I wasted valuable time mulling over my decision and attempting to research the necessary steps. Continue reading

“Spring into Spring” by Carly Patent

Every season has something special. Summer is known for its heat, its pool parties and barbeques, sugary sweet watermelon, and sun burns that turn us into lobsters. Fall calls for comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, apple picking, Halloween candy, and the bright hues of leaves. Winter is a holiday of lights, snowmen, gifts, family, friends, and fireplaces, candy canes, hot chocolate, and Elf. But spring is sometimes the forgotten season. Yes, we all love that after a long winter, we can finally come out of hibernation and break out the shorts and t-shirts that had been buried in our drawers for so long. We love that the flowers are blooming, with their sweet smells filling the air as we walk. Green grass and allergies go hand and hand in springtime, giving Claritin the boost that its been waiting for ever-so-patiently. And pastels – whether on our clothes, our decorations, or our Easter Peeps – make everything cheerful and bright. But, while these are just some reasons why we love springtime, we often don’t make the most of our sunny and 75° days. Especially for us Blue Hens, who spend the majority of the spring season at school – unlike other college students who have most likely been out of school for weeks already – it’s important that we soak in spring and everything that it has to offer. For that reason, I’ve decided to share my top five tips on how to make the most of spring in our final weeks here at the University of Delaware.

  1. Ice Cream at UDairy

It’s no surprise that as the temperatures get hotter, we naturally want something to cool us down. And, it doesn’t hurt that we have a creamery located right on campus to provide us with every flavor under the sun, well, not every flavor, but they’re getting closer and closer every day to that. The proximity of UDairy offers an excuse to put away the books for a little and treat yourself for making it this far into the semester. Gather up your friends, take a walk to UDairy (to burn off a few calories before inhaling a double scoop in a waffle cone…with blue and yellow sprinkles, of course), and try one of their many, many flavors. Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet would be a refreshing treat on a hot day, while their new Candy Crackle Pop, cotton candy ice cream with Pop Rocks, is the perfect thing to transport you to your summer days spent at carnivals or baseball games. After cooling down with a much-needed treat, giving you the sugar high you need to keep powering through with assignments, enjoy the walk home (to continue to walk off the ice cream). Or, if you’re feeling a food coma, there’s nothing wrong with taking the bus back either!

  1. Dining Al Fresco

Continuing with the theme of food (clearly the best theme there is), another way to make the most of spring here at Delaware is to eat outside. Whether you’re getting takeout from Russel or Pencader, setting out a blanket and enjoying it on the turf, or scouting out a table on Main Street – there’s nothing better than eating in the cool, crisp air. Places like Klondike Kate’s, Finn McCool’s, Stone Balloon, and HomeGrown all have a lot of outdoor seating, so I’d suggest hitting those up first. Another great option is to get takeout from SNAP, MOD, or El Diablo to set up a picnic on the Green. An additional perk: as you’re eating al fresco, it’s very likely you’ll either spot dogs going for their nightly walk or little kids going for a stroll with their families. Either way, prepare for a cuteness overload!

  1. Outdoors Exploration

To find a way to work off all of the eating, spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and have fun! Aside from being prime sunbathing locations for those attempting to get a little color before summer, our turfs and the Green are great spaces to throw a football, toss a frisbee, or kick a soccer ball. Pro tip: if you have chosen the sunbathing route, definitely don’t close your eyes for too long as you never know when a frisbee throw might go awry (I must admit that I’m definitely not pro when it comes to getting my frisbee to actually go to the person I’m throwing it to…so look out). Having lived on both East and North campus, I loved seeing all of the activity going on outside when the weather got warmer, it always inspired me to do my work more efficiently – and take less breaks – so that I could get outside quicker. Additionally, campus has a ton of basketball and tennis courts for open use as well. For those looking to truly get away from the hustle and bustle of college life, White Clay Creek and the reservoir are a nice escape. Going through the trails can help your momentarily forget about the reading, the paper, and the group project you have due, offering a true getaway. On a sunny day, there really is nothing better than getting outside. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and reconnected. Just be sure to bring water!

  1. Local Excursions

The theme of exploration emerges again as our location in Newark allows us the ease to take numerous day or weekend trips that are perfect in springtime. The plethora of Delaware beaches offers an amazing choice for a hot day with nothing to do, if one friend has a car, then you’re in luck. Load up the towels, the snacks, and the sunscreen for a fun day away. Bring a good book (or a textbook…it’s sure to be a better experience reading with the sound of waves crashing than the sound of train rolling by) and some good music, and you’ve got yourself a day of fun in the sun! Sporting events can also be an inexpensive and easy way to get out and get away. For Phillies fans (the best fans!), Citizens Bank Park is just a short drive or train ride from here, and truly nothing in the world can beat Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries drenched in melted cheese sauce. Finally, Longwood Gardens, just a thirty-minute drive, comes alive in spring, making this the time to go. Be sure to bring a camera to get some pictures of the breathtakingly colorful flowers and gardens, it’s very likely that you’ll get a prime Insta, as well, so dress accordingly! If you’re terribly afraid of bees, though, take caution!

  1. Campus Gems

Finally, use this time to relish in everything that our beautiful campus offers. Although the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. has since passed, our cherry blossoms are in full bloom and can still be seen lining Memorial Hall, the bridge to North Campus, and the sidewalk across from the ISE Lab. If you’re looking for an activity, Ag Day, which is on Saturday April 27 this year from 10:00-4:00, offers everything you could ever want: UDairy, farm animals (including an actual Blue Hen), plants, food trucks, and fun shopping! It’s definitely a day not to miss and something that I personally look forward to…not to mention that UDairy is revealing a new flavor this year! Lastly, with the weather getting nicer, head out to support some of our sports teams, whether it’s lacrosse, tennis, or baseball, make it your goal to go to at least one of every game to cheer on your fellow Blue Hens!

For seniors or those of us who cannot help but acknowledge that another year here has come and gone, spring is the time to take advantage of all that the longer days and warmer weather has to offer, whether that’s studying at the tables outside Morris, sunbathing on the Green, or devouring some buffalo chicken nachos on the Kate’s porch. It’s official: spring has sprung, and it’s time for us to fly from the nest to see all that this weather has to offer!

“Top Four Tips for Finding a Job After College” by Avery Beer

“What are you doing after graduation?”

This question seems to be asked at least once a day, and I am sure to all my fellow graduating class members, you know exactly what I mean. These last few years have given me so much here at Delaware; but what I can tell you is that there are just some things that you cannot learn in a classroom. Yes, you guessed it. I’m talking about the complex, competitive, seemingly never-ending job search. I have had quite a few internships, and I am currently in the job search process now. It is not easy by any means, but having experience with the internship search has taught me a bit about what it takes. I have become a sort of “connoisseur” in this area, so I have decided to compile a list for all of you Blue Hens reading this who may also be looking for a job. Once your résumé is polished, check out these top four tips for landing a job post-graduation.

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