Tag: adventure (page 1 of 8)

“Electives: Off the Beaten Path” by Jenny Gloyd

Imagine you are in the photograph above. You are taking a hike on a beautiful day in Newark. The birds are chirping and the sun is dancing on the path in front of you. The best part about the hike is that the trail is a loop, so you don’t have to think too much about the direction in which you are going. Before you know it, you will end up back at the start. Deciding on a college major is, in its simplest sense, like this hike. Once you choose a major, let’s say a biochemistry major, for instance, there is a predetermined path to take in order to be handed your diploma. Each biochemistry major needs to take organic chemistry, calculus, metabolism, etc.

But if you hiked this trail often, you might wish that it wasn’t so straightforward. Hiking in a loop does not leave much room for exploration or adventure. Indiana Jones trailed through the rain forest and needed a bit more direction than, “follow the dirt path in front of you.” In a similar sense, having every student take the exact same set of courses doesn’t feed this sense of adventure. At UD, we have fortunately accounted for this inclination. The College of Arts and Sciences, the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and the College of Engineering, like the rest of the colleges at the University of Delaware, all require breadth courses. In fact, at almost any university, students are expected to take classes that are off the beaten path. 

From theater, to studio art, to economics, to math, you may not cross paths with these subjects if it weren’t for this requirement. These classes may prompt you to pick up a minor. Maybe you really enjoy modern dance or public health. Or, it may reaffirm that you are going down the correct path (don’t worry, that C- in philosophy won’t count towards your major GPA). Regardless of what part of your college career these classes contribute to, they will provide you with experiences that you might not have had otherwise. 

I learned that I had a passion for singing because of an elective in high school, and this colored my choice of breadth courses in college. I personally have gravitated towards classes in language and music, taking history of rock, choir, and linguistics. Although it’s entirely possible that another biochemistry major has taken history of rock or linguistics at some point, all of these classes were ones that biochemistry majors don’t particularly need in their career-oriented skill set. The major takeaway here is certainly not that every chemistry major needs to develop a keen sense of music or language, but rather that they should  experience a broader variety of what is out there is to learn. 

A professor of mine once leveled with their class: “I know this is not a subject that you may care about, but many others care about it. So, please give me 30 minutes to explain this perspective.” The class was, of course, absolutely happy to listen to the lecture. I think we all understood that even if it was not our core interest, it was an invaluable experience to learn something that was not in our expertise. 

So, next time you are hiking and you see an overlook, or a tree to climb, spend some time climbing that tree, or paying special attention to the view of the forest. In other words, if you see a class you might like to take, but it’s out of your comfort zone, take the chance–you might learn something that you’ll carry with you forever.

“Nico’s Adventure” by Jenny Gloyd

I have collected countless stories throughout my three years at the University of Delaware, but I know that some of the best will be from the time my roommates and I lived with our adorable dog, Nico. Nico, a lanky old English Pointer, has a snaggle tooth and mismatched ears. A disciplined former hunting dog, he spends most of his time sitting by our sides, looking very distinguished. He is very smart, and always holds an expression that convinces you that he knows what’s going on. Whether he is giving us an excuse to step out of the house a few times a day for a walk, or making an odd sound here and there to break a long silence–we like to call him our resident foley artist–he has brought great value to our lives. Continue reading

“My Fall Break in Italy” by Hayley Whiting

One of the advantages of studying abroad is visiting other cities and countries besides the one you’re studying in. For example, in Europe, a neighboring country is just a short plane or train ride away! So, over my fall break, I left Paris on a blissfully short flight (under two hours) to meet my parents for a week-long trip in Italy.

Our first stop was Rome, where we spent half of the week. Right away from our first day, I was surprised at how crowded the city was, especially for non-tourist season! To get to our Airbnb from the airport, we took a tram that was so packed there was barely enough room for anybody else to get on, and, later that day while sightseeing, I was surrounded by swarms of people in the streets and squares. The city definitely has a crazy, energetic, boisterous feeling to it, even at night, when you can hear shouts in the streets and scooters whizzing by! Continue reading

“Reunion Run” by Erin Jackson

I recently ran the Café Gelato 10 miler alongside an amazing assortment of individuals whom I couldn’t have imagined together in any other circumstance. To be honest, I was not in my best shape and I didn’t know anyone else running the race, but I figured if nothing else, it would be a wake up call to myself to start working out more. Anyway, I am not going to write about myself because that would be boring; I want to write about my state and my school and how lucky I am that they are in the same place.

I didn’t know anyone else running when I registered that morning. However, once I began making my way over to the start, the reunion began to unfold. People from all parts of my past were crossing my path. Some I said hi to, others I maybe only smiled as they walked by, not noticing me. Still others I didn’t acknowledge at all for I didn’t know how to. Friends from high school cross country, freshmen to seniors, showed up in various stages of in-shape-ness since the glory days of having scheduled time to run together every day. More familiar faces included parents of friends, old teachers dating back to middle school and beyond, and that person I did that one project with one time but don’t know if they’d recognize me so out of context. Continue reading

“My First Week Studying Abroad in Paris” by Hayley Whiting

Studying abroad in France has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school. French has always been one of my favorite classes, and I distinctly remember the day when my friend’s sister (who had studied abroad) told me that if I could study abroad in the future, it would be the best decision I ever made. Fast forward to my sophomore year of college, and here I am in Paris, thankful and excited to be here after many more years of studying French, with my aspiration to study abroad no less radiant than back then.

The day of my flight, I was extremely excited. I took a plane overnight, landing in Paris in the morning and basically missing a whole night of sleep with the six-hour time difference. Thankfully, I stuck to my goal of staying up that whole day and only going to sleep that evening (which is the best advice for avoiding jet lag – it worked!). The day of my arrival, I was greeted by my really kind and welcoming host mom, who gave me a tour of the neighborhood and plenty of food. She even prepared a special “apéritif” before dinner to celebrate my arrival. Continue reading

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