186 South College

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

Tag: Blue Hens (page 1 of 11)

Halfway There by Emily Fudge

It feels as though I was just moving into Redding Hall the other day. It was wicked hot, crazy busy, and extremely nerve-wracking all at the same time. This mix of emotions left me feeling a little queasy; not a great thing to feel when you are moving into your first ever college dorm. Luckily for me, the first friend I ever made at college was thanks to the elevator. Side note: I have decided that an elevator can be an extremely ideal place to meet people, as neither person can run away from the other until the doors open. The ride is never usually that long either, so it’s basically the equivalent of speed friend dating. A friendly girl named Mia and I joked about how long it took to get a cart to move our belongings with, and how the huge dorm seemed like a madhouse. We said goodbye once the elevator reached our floor, and then we realized we were living next door to each other! What a relief to have made a friend within the first 30 seconds of being at college.

Now, I just moved out of Harter Hall, the last dorm I will ever live in. I got to live with my first college friend ever, Mia, and our other friend Madison in a triple in the upper-division honors housing. While it isn’t the same as Redding, we did our best to make it feel like home, with our other friends living right down the hall. It is crazy to think that my undergraduate career is halfway over – two years can go by in a flash. I am thankful to have lived with such great people, made so many wonderful friends, and for all of the opportunities UD has provided for me.

Sophomore year is kind of weird. Seen as the “forgotten middle child” of the school years; you’re both expected to take on more responsibilities than freshman year but you’re not yet old enough to be recognized as an official upperclassman, there is definitely a struggle in striking a balance in the work-school-fun realm of responsibilities (yes, finding room for fun is a responsibility). One of the best things about sophomore year is that new opportunities will begin to open up for you. College is what you make of it, and if there is something you might be slightly interested in pursuing, my advice is to go for it!

Nevertheless, I am ready to take on the challenges that junior year will bring. I’ll be living in an apartment with five of my closest friends. I have parted ways with my good friend, Caesar Rodney dining hall, and opted to cook at home. I’ll be student teaching, heading the Student Literacy Council and Educational Honor Society, continuing to work at the university Writing Center, and writing for 186 South College too!

UD is a gem of a place. Whenever I see tours walk past, I simultaneously want to force people to come here, but also keep the campus to myself. I know it sounds selfish, but sometimes, it seems as though the campus is too good to be true. I am thankful to have two more years here and, in this ode to UD, intend to make the most of them.

House Hunting: College Edition by Carly Patent

When you think of college, a few things likely come to mind: football games, roommates, clubs, dining halls, parties, freedom, classes (of course), friends, Greek Life, and junk food among others. One aspect of college, however, encompasses all of these elements to truly make or break one’s experience. And that detail is none other than the stereotypical college dorm.

Late into the summer every year, incoming freshman make the transition from the comfort of their very own bedrooms to what may be deemed measly “shoeboxes”—which would be shared with another random human being—and a communal bathroom down the hall. Advertisements for college essentials are widespread. Husband pillows, patterned bedspreads, shower caddies, shower shoes, storage bins in every size and color, string lights, bulletin boards, command hooks, and bed risers magically pop up during the month of August. Personally, I was apprehensive about this new living situation, but I knew that I had no choice but to accept this fate. There were so many questions buzzing through my mind about the dorm experience. Did I bring my clothes to the shower to change into or risk walking back in a towel? Would I be able to even get into my bed if it was raised? Was my room in a prime location for meeting people? Were the lounges quiet enough to actually get work done? Did I have enough storage space to hold the bulk boxes of Goldfish and Rice Krispie Treats that I had purchased?

Luckily, like everyone else, I quickly figured out the answers to my questions. While the move from my own bedroom to a shared dorm room was difficult to get used to at times, I truly loved living in my dorm. I not only was fortunate to meet some of my best friends on my freshman floor, but I liked that there was always something going on. East campus was abuzz with people playing volleyball and other games on the turf, making POD runs for late-night snacks, and scrambling to figure out how to survive without their parents. Communal bathrooms actually fostered conversations in that people were forced to leave their rooms. There was constantly someone in the lounge and something going on in the hallway. Floor events were numerous—and, to my benefit, almost always included free food. Living in Redding, I was lucky enough to have been provided with one of the nicer dorms, complete with non-cinderblock walls, spacious lounges, and bathrooms on each wing. But, either way, a freshman dorm is a freshman dorm. I do have some great stories, but you truly had to be there.

Next, we’ll go to my sophomore year, which I am currently in the process of completing. This year, I made another transition in that I moved away from East campus and made the big step up to North campus. For all of the people who are unfamiliar with what this actually means, North campus is about a fifteen (ten if you’re a fast-walker like myself) minute walk from the rest of campus—separated by what some consider the world’s longest bridge. While there is an increasing amount of freshman living on North campus, it consists mostly of upperclassmen, making it the perfect step in between dorm living and off-campus housing. This year, I lived in Independence Hall East (also known as “Indy”) which is a suite-style dorm. Through a bathroom, my room connected to another room housing my two suitemates. Giving us the opportunity get ready together, to talk to each other while in the shower, and to meticulously color-coordinate and decorate our bathroom, Indy, to quote Hannah Montana, was the “best of both worlds.” We were no longer freshman dealing with communal bathrooms, but we were also not fully-fledged renters. The nearby turf and dining hall reminded us of East Campus but also offered a welcoming new environment. Independence provided me the perfect Goldilocks experience for my sophomore year.

And, finally, we transition to my plans for junior year. Following the lead of most undergraduates, I, along with four of my friends, will be moving off-campus for my junior year into a townhouse. Let me just say that the process of actually renting a place on campus is no easy task; whether it’s researching available locations, touring those locations, going through paperwork, signing a lease, applying for renter’s insurance, setting up utilities, or actually furnishing a home, this step truly makes you feel like an adult. I am very excited for this next step in the housing experience. I cannot wait to have my own bedroom and sleep in a full-size bed. It’ll be nice to have a kitchen in which I can actually make all of the foods that I have been craving. I will actually be able to chill on a sofa and watch my favorite reality television shows on an actual flat-screen. While there is a lot that goes into moving off-campus (my friends and I have a color-coded spreadsheet denoting anything and everything that we could possibly need), moving off-campus is the next step towards telling myself that I’m becoming an adult. That’s not to say that I won’t come downstairs on Sunday mornings to watch Zoey 101 re-runs in my pajamas while eating Lucky Charms, but, hey, it’s a work in progress.

The various living transitions that students make—from homes to dorms to suites to apartments and houses—keep the college experience exciting and new. It’s been fun to live in a new place every year and to meet new people in doing so. I am enthusiastic about what is to come as I move into my townhouse! Let’s just hope that I haven’t said too many of the stereotypical house-hunting lines in the process; cue “It needs an open floor plan” or “Where are the walk-in closets?”

Having a Job While in College by Audrey Ostroski

This semester, I got a job for the first time in college and I absolutely love it. I have had many jobs before, just not during the semester at UD. I didn’t think I would like to work while I was also taking classes – I thought it would be too much to handle and that my already-high stress level would just blow through the roof. But I needed a job for the summer and my Mom encouraged me to offer to start working on weekends during the spring so that I could get some experience before summer begins. And, for more than one reason, she was right to push me.

I work at a restaurant on the canal in Lewes, Delaware called the Wheel House, and it is about an hour and a half away from UD’s main campus in Newark (that’s why I only work on the weekends and not during the week). The restaurant is huge and has a lot of outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the sunset. It has great food, a great atmosphere, and great staff, and I thoroughly enjoy working there.

I have never worked at a restaurant before so I was very nervous about starting. I was also nervous about meeting this huge group of new people. I am not usually very good at that. But surprisingly, I made friends quickly and everyone there is very nice and helpful. Right now, I am just bussing tables, but I hope to be a server eventually. I am very good at what I do and that is a great feeling.

That is just one of the reasons why I would encourage everyone to get a job while in college. A lot of people I know don’t want to have to juggle a work schedule and a class schedule. They just have to work so they can earn money, but there are so many other benefits to working. Even if you don’t get a job related to your major, it can still be beneficial. If you are just working at a movie theater or at a coffee shop or serving in a restaurant, you can learn life skills that will come in handy down the road. These include dealing with difficult people or just a good work ethic. If you work hard and put a lot of effort in, you will be good at your job. And if you are good at your job, you will feel accomplished, which is very important. Sometimes, college can be rough – you take hard classes that you aren’t necessarily good at, no matter how much you study, and it’s just frustrating and demoralizing. Trust me.  Having a job that you are good at can help you regain some positivity and confidence in yourself. It can make you feel appreciated and fulfilled.

A job also gives you a distraction from school. It is a different kind of distraction than Netflix or parties. It is a constructive distraction. It allows you to take your mind off of stressful school work or other stressful events in your life and completely immerse yourself into something you enjoy and something that makes you feel good, all while earning money. I have a long drive to work where I get to listen to music and just be by myself. It allows me to recharge after classes all week and before my shift begins. I work long shifts since I only work a few days a week and it gives me plenty of time to unwind from a long week of school. I get to have fun and joke around with my coworkers, as well as be outside. This is very helpful to me, being outside with fresh air and nature has a healing effect for me. My job also forces me to be very active since I have to run around a large restaurant carrying heavy bus tubs, balancing plates and glasses, and running up and down stairs. This is a nice refresher after sitting through lectures all week.

Overall, my restaurant experience has been amazing so far. I actually look forward to my weekends and don’t mind leaving campus to work. At this point in my life, it was just what I needed and I am very grateful for it.

“What I’ve Learned During My Freshman Year” by Hayley Whiting

As my freshman year comes to a close, I am thankful for an amazing first year at UD! Transitioning from high school to college is a daunting change, but UD has given me the best first year of college I could have asked for, from joining clubs to living in a residence hall to meeting new friends to learning from awesome professors. Although it seems like I was just a high school graduate looking up advice for college, here are some tips about things I’ve learned during the past year – especially for any incoming freshmen!

  1. Download the UD1743 app and the UDShuttle app

Wondering where your classes are located? Never heard of a building you need to go to? The UD1743 app – while useful during the first couple of days at UD for its schedule of events and more – is also handy beyond the welcome weekend for its detailed map of campus! Also, if you need to make a journey and don’t want to walk – especially if it’s raining or snowing – check out the UDShuttle app to track UD bus routes!

  1. Get involved

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“A Little Love for the Library” by Erin Jackson

Though we have all been to the Hugh Morris Library at some point by now, the building holds a different meaning for all of its attendees. For some people it is the only place they can get work done; for others it’s the ultimate destination for group projects; some people go there as a social event; and still others use it as a way to escape the noise of an active college community. For a while, I had no idea where I fit in among these classifications of library-goers. It started out as a necessary destination whenever I needed to print something before I invested in a printer of my own. Then, after my first semester of freshman year when my laptop somehow got blacklisted from the UD internet for reasons unknown to this day, I again was forced to the library to either rent a laptop or spend time there on their desktops, knowing that some day I’d again have a functional laptop and could have more control over my study location.

It was not for a while that I began attending the library out of choice instead of necessity. I would occasionally go to the reading room between classes, or wander around the third floor until I found a rare empty seat, afraid to cough or breathe too loudly and disrupt the population already there. Even then, I felt a little lost, not having a spot of my own, a routine location I could count on. I still didn’t fit into any of my pre-determined library stereotypes, but I kept trying. Continue reading

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