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 10)

“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

Advice for Incoming Freshmen by Jenna Whiting

The temperature is reaching into the 80s, group projects and 10-page research papers are being dumped upon us, and finals are looming ever closer. My freshman year in the Honors Program at the University of Delaware is coming to a close. I feel like the first day of New Student Orientation was both yesterday (the year went so fast) and four years ago (it feels like I packed four years worth of classes/activities/clubs/events). into one year. To honor my first year of college reaching its completion – below is a list of some advice to the freshmen who will be arriving on campus next semester. (The pieces of advice with *** in front of them apply only to students who will be living on campus).

  1. At UD, it’s a running joke that it rains every Tuesday. Two things you will be very thankful for when precipitation starts gushing from the clouds one day a week are rain boots and an umbrella. Pro tip: get a pair of boots that double as rain and snow boots to save money. L.L. Bean has good sturdy ones that can tread through water in both its liquid and solid forms.
  1. ***If you can afford it and if it is feasible – live on campus. It enables you to make lots of friends, walk to exams or activities that take place in the evening, have somewhere to go throughout the day if you don’t have classes back-to-back, get involved in residence leadership opportunities and dorm events, and just have a bigger connection to the campus and its happenings in general. That’s not to say that you can’t have a rewarding experience if you don’t live on campus; of course, everyone can enjoy the UD experience in different ways!
  1. Get to know your professors, which is made a lot easier by the small size of Honors classes. Your college life (and even career opportunities) will be richer if you make those connections.
  1.  ***If you have to pick one thing to invest in, it’s a good quality, squishy, THICK mattress pad. Not having to worry about trying to fall asleep on a hard, paper-thin mattress is essential. Your sleep is already going to be limited as it is.
  1. Always go to class. I honestly don’t know how people survive when they skip. If exams are based on lectures, you are in a bad position if you skip a day.
  1. ***Bring a reusable water bottle, and if you drink a lot of water (like me), also bring a larger container for storing water. (Honors freshmen live in Redding, which has a water bottle-filling station on the first floor. That bad boy was my best friend this year – I filled up my bottle and container any time I wanted and stored the container in my mini fridge to avoid making extra trips to the bottle filler).
  1. The dining hall food, in my opinion, is not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Disclaimer: I do not have any dietary restrictions, so being able to choose whatever I want to eat contributes to my perception of its quality. The Caesar Rodney dining hall is huge and has plenty of options (including vegan and gluten-free), and there is always a salad bar no matter the time of day (bless). If all else fails, pizza is normally a staple in the dining hall.
  1. ***You say to yourself, “Oh, I don’t need snacks. I’ll be eating at the dining hall.” But you’re really going to want something to munch on while you are doing your homework late into the night or when you get back from an activity late at night.
  1. Try and do a dry run of your classes before the first day of classes. It will help you feel less stressed on your first day and also not be late.
  1.  ***Take your dorm key everywhere. Yes, that means the bathroom, too. You do not want to be stuck calling the RA on duty at 2:00 A.M. because your roommate locked the door and went to sleep while you were chatting with someone in the lounge.
  1.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: use a planner, for goodness’s sake. If not a planner, then Google calendar or the like. It will save your GPA and your stress levels, honestly.
  1. ***I, for one, used my mini ironing board and cheap iron a lot this year. I knew I was not going to want to wear wrinkled clothes, so if you are one of those people, I recommend hitting up Bed, Bath, & Beyond and getting those items.
  1. You will feel like you have no idea what classes you need to take or how to even schedule come second semester. Don’t worry: every major has a checksheet online that lists all the classes you need to take to graduate. Just Google your major with the words “University of Delaware” and “checksheet” and it should pop up. Also, use your degree audit on UDSIS to check what credits you need to take and which credits you already have fulfilled. Your degree audit is basically a checksheet that shows your progress. On the note of registration – if you need to take a class at another university, follows the steps for transferring credit that you can find online. And don’t forget about Honors requirements.
  1. Use the Blue Hen Planner on UDSIS for figuring out your schedule for registration – it lets you make multiple prospective schedules, and you can even import your schedule straight from the planner on registration day.
  1. You will learn the layout of campus in two weeks tops. You might learn shortcuts later than that, but you’ll figure it out. This school is the perfect size and it has never felt too big.
  1. Go to office hours. You will get to know your professors and your grades will almost undoubtedly benefit. Trust me, even if you don’t think you have to go, go.
  1. ***Bring flip flops for the shower and a shower caddy.
  1. Take your classes seriously. I can personally vouch that the Honors classes here are quite challenging, even the introduction classes. That’s not to say that they are impossible – but just be aware that you will have to work hard.
  1. ***If you are going back and forth between getting a printer or not, I would recommend getting a printer for your dorm. You can print at any time of day or night, and you don’t have to get up and walk to the library or a student center to pick up a piece of paper that could have taken two seconds to obtain if the printer were in your room. This is especially helpful if you are a night owl like me.
  1. Get involved. Joining a club will give you friends and a fun and/or useful activity to do as well as show you are a well-rounded student. (Shameless plug: Swing Club is the best thing I ever did here). But be careful: joining too many activities can make you overwhelmed and put a stress on your academics, so explore but then choose wisely so that you don’t overcommit yourself.

A last piece of advice: have fun and have a positive mindset! Encourage yourself to try new things, talk to new people, make new friends, and get involved. Make the most of your experience here. You only get a few years to experience college, so make it count!

“What I’m Taking from My First Year of College” by Lorraine Capenos

With only a few weeks left until I return home for the summer, I have found myself reflecting on my first year of semi-adulthood. I have no idea where the time has gone and I honestly couldn’t tell you how it is already May and I’m a quarter of the way through my bachelor’s degree, but I can tell you that I have learned so much this year and made so many memories. But as important as classes are, the most important things I’m taking from this year are the ones I had to learn on my own, that no professor could have taught me.

The first lesson I’ve learned is that taking care of myself must be a priority. I’m the kind of person who puts others before myself and stresses myself out taking care of those that I love. Being there for the people I care about is the most important thing to me, but I have to remind myself that one of those people I care about is me. And for me to be there for others, I have to set aside time for myself and check in with my mental and physical health. I’ve learned this year that you can’t pour from an empty glass. Self-care must come first if you are to care for others. Continue reading

Coffee Shops of UD by Jenna Newman

I find my happiness in coffee shops. I love to study there, to read there, to meet people there, to people-watch there, to drink coffee there, to eat unhealthy pastries there. Everything about coffee shops and their atmosphere draws me in. Since coming to UD I have had such a fun time exploring all the various coffee shops in the area and below I compiled a list of my favorites and why they’re so great.

(1) BrewHaha: This is one of my personal favorites. BrewHaha is the perfect place to go if you’re meeting other people and you want a pretty central location with a decent amount of seating. If it’s a nice day outside they have a full patio that you can sit out on. There’s always enough noise that you never feel as though everyone is listening to your conversation. They have a good variety of food choices, too! I personally recommend either their soup of the day or one of their bagel sandwiches, but really everything is good! For drinks, my go-to is the Iced Coconut Dream!

(2) Brewed Awakenings: If you want something less crowded and more home-like, Brewed Awakenings is the place to go! They have AMAZING bagels and you can even get day-old bagels for $1 to bring home. They have board games on their bookshelves and all the staff is super friendly. The place is relatively small though, but if you get a table it’s easy to camp out there for hours. They are also a non-profit that gives out free drinks and food to many of the less fortunate in Newark (sorry college students, this doesn’t mean you)! My go-to drink here is the London Fog.

(3) Little Goat Coffee Roasting Co: This is the newest edition to my compilation of Newark coffee places and sadly I haven’t gotten over there as much as I would like. Even so, this place is perfect for anyone living towards Haines Street! They are a roastery, so you can see all the machinery right there in their shop. They also have a large deck area that would be great to sit out on in warmer weather. When going to a new place, my go-tos are always either Cold Brew or a Hazelnut latte.

(4) Saxbys: Perfect location for business and music students, considering it is right across from the music buildings and behind the business buildings! They have a good, balanced environment, not too loud, but not too quiet. The workers there are really friendly! I wish they had more food options, but they do have an extensive specialty drink menu. I haven’t gone through all of their drinks yet or found one that really sticks out, but I’m sure I will!

(5) Central Perk: The initial appeal of this place is the name, especially for any Friends fans! Central Perk is right on Main Street and is one of the larger, more spacious places on this list. They also have one of the more extensive food menus. They’re fundraisers for campus organizations are really awesome because they last the entire semester and all you need to do is show a picture of a card. This is a great place to check out to raise money and get a good bite to eat.

“The Spring Weather Shift” by Sarah Blum

I’ve experienced the shift from winter to spring for 18 years, but it has never been so dramatic, or so welcome, until my first year of college. I’ve been on campus since August, and by now I feel as though I have a pretty good account of my bearings. I know where all of my classes are, I’ve ventured to almost every restaurant on Main Street, and I can manage to get from my dorm room to the bathroom at 7am when I’m still half asleep. Campus, my building, and my friends, are physically the same as they have been for the past nine months. Somehow, though, the shift to warmer weather has the power to magically change everything, making my experience during the spring semester much different from fall.

I remember the first day this year that I opened The Weather Channel app on my phone to find that the temperature was going to hit 70 degrees. Tired of staying inside during the seemingly endless Delaware winter, my friends and I almost immediately planned to eat lunch outside on the turf that day. The day before that, I had trudged to class in my winter coat and boots, nearly giving myself frostbite trying to carry an iced coffee while the wind whipped against me. But that first day of spring weather was completely different. Not only could I walk comfortably to class in a t-shirt and Birkenstocks, but somehow everyone seemed happier. The sky was bluer, my exams were easier, lunch from Russell was a little more bearable, and the turf in my shoes didn’t bother me as much. Continue reading

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