Tag: community (page 2 of 14)

The University Experience: A Test of Individuality by Carlos Benito

From Joe Biden to Tom Carper to Chris Christie, the University of Delaware is known as the nurturing ground for successful individuals. It is this drive toward success that brings us together to receive an education filled with diversity of thought, interest, culture, and opportunity. In a campus so densely packed with new things it is easy to forget what brought all these people together: you. Your academics, goals, drive, and interests brought you here to pursue your passions and your experience is UD’s most valuable resource. It is your passion that spreads and intertwines with others to create new, unique knowledge. While this blend of passions is UD’s defining characteristic, you must remember that it isn’t yours.

Our forefathers fought to create a country of individuals, not generic citizens. In realizing the unique qualities of every person, they created a country where every individual could embrace themselves and prosper. We cannot forget their sentiment, especially now. As college students we are awash in new ideas and openly embrace many of them, often becoming a product of our environment. We must not forget our defining factors in this flood of contemporary thought. It is our individual actions that brought us here, no one else’s. Now, when we are inundated with the liberating feeling that comes with a major life change, we must keep our heads above water. While each of us contributes to UD’s environment, we are all masters of ourselves and must act accordingly. It would be a shame if you spent four years “finding yourself” to be left more confused than when you started. We are all in a period of rapid change and we must guide that change or risk straying further and further from our goals.

In addition to managing our own lives, we must work around others that attempt the same. UD cherishes our sense of community, but this begs the question, where does an individual fall within a community? Our nation has grappled with this question from the day of its conception. Some claim the individual must be active within the community and others say the community exists on a different plane. Regardless of your answer, we all exist nestled between shining seas. We all share the privileges and burdens that come with a lifestyle tailored differently to every American. In the fine print of our citizenship, is outlined our most important and most overlooked privilege: our right to the ballot box.

We are nearly a month away from midterm elections that may plot our nation’s course for years to come – an election deep within one of the most politically polarizing periods in our history. If we ever want to rise out of the rift that divides us, we have to pull ourselves out. It’s fitting that the fate of a nation of individuals depends on the actions of every individual. It is our duty as Americans, UD students, and individuals to cast a vote on November 6th. University of Delaware’s noteworthy individuals understand their privileges and responsibilities, we must do the same.

 

My First Week of College…on Crutches by Brittany Connely

College. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was stressing over the SAT, deciding where I wanted to apply to, and writing a bajillion essays. I’m a daydreamer, so pretty much ever since freshman year, I was dreaming about what college would be like.  Would I get to have the true “college experience”: making a whole bunch of new friends and having the cutest dorm? I had so many premonitions on what my first week could be like. One thing that I had never factored in, however, is that I would be on crutches.

Ever since I was 14, I have had pain in my hip. When the pain first occurred, doctors suspected that it was something that could be easily fixed, so they sent me to physical therapy.  After attending for months with no improvement, my mother marched into the doctor demanding an MRI and other tests be run on me, to figure out what the real problem was. After various tests, I finally got a diagnosis for what was bothering me. I found out that I had a severe labral tear in my right hip and hip dysplasia. Soon after the diagnosis, I had surgery which cut down the bone so that it would fit better in my hip socket and fixed my labrum. However this surgery only got rid of the pain momentarily, as my hip dysplasia was worse than they had thought. It would require another very invasive surgery to fix the problem.  After delaying this surgery for a couple years, and feeling the pain getting worse I decided I had to have it done before I left sate so it would not impact me for the rest of my life.

In scheduling the surgery I was adamant about not starting off at UD on crutches. I even said that I’d rather be wheeled across the stage at my high school graduation ceremony than deal with that. I believed that I would be left out as the loner, or be the only one on campus with a major injury. I didn’t want to be pitied, I didn’t want to be the girl who couldn’t go out with her friends because she couldn’t walk across campus. Unfortunately life was not on my side. I had my surgery on June 28, 2018.  After the surgery my doctor told me that I needed to be on crutches for longer than I had expected, so my nightmare was coming true. Again, my hip was stopping me from doing things I wanted to do.

However, that nightmare turned into being something that helped me rather than hurt me . While I couldn’t walk around campus, I rode the UD shuttle bus, learning how to navigate to where I needed to go. Being on crutches was also a conversation starter, not just for people to feel bad for what I had gone through, and I’ve met some of my closest friends from it. I also was not the only one on crutches, there were plenty of other people going through different situations but dealing with the same thing that I was.

So the moral of my story is that even if things don’t always go the way you had planned it, something good may come out of it. Being on crutches was seemingly the worst possible situation, yet many positives came out of it for me. So whether it’s an injury, not getting the job you wanted, or something else that doesn’t go your way – just think that in the end it will almost always turn out better than expected.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Carly Patent

It’s that point in the semester when the going gets rough. You have a professor who thinks that her class is the only one you’re taking. You have to go see a mandatory play for your theater class and must spend your Saturday night doing so. You have approximately fifty-three pages of reading – complete with an after-reading quiz, of course! And finally, the cherry on top, you have a group project due next week and seem to be the only person in the group who not only knows anything going on in the class, but also the only person who knows how to email/text/respond to GroupMe. So, what do you do to cope with all of this built-up stress? You go grab a burrito loaded with toppings on Main Street, wrap yourself into a burrito in bed, and watch the same episode of The Office that you’ve watched on repeat for the past week.

Wrong! You know what you should actually do to deal with this pent-up stress? Put the burrito down, unwrap yourself, and say goodbye to Netflix. Put on a pair of sneakers, and get moving! Throughout my college experience, I’ve learned that the best way to not only deal with stress but also feel my best is to be active. Luckily, here at the University of Delaware, we have tons of ways to do so, and I’m here to share my insider tips and tricks for how I never miss my workout (shoutout Chance the Rapper for those wonderful lyrics).

Wake up Early

My first tip is something that I know many people will instantly hate, but just hear me out. I’m not saying to wake up everyday at 5am, run 10 miles, and then go sit through hours of classes and homework. I’m saying that if your schedule permits it, try waking up before the sun rises and engaging in some form of physical activity at least once a week. It’s amazing how accomplished you’ll feel knowing that you not only got your daily workout out of the way but that you now have the rest of the day to use as you wish. You might find that you actually enjoy waking up early and will make that a part of your daily routine. Personally, I love going to the gym when it’s dark out and leaving when the sun is just rising; it makes me feel like I already have a head start to my day. An added bonus is that the gym is basically empty in the early hours of the morning, giving free reign to any machine you could possibly want. If motivation is an issue, try laying out your gym clothes the night before, setting only one alarm which will automatically force you to get up, or planning your workout routine ahead of time so that you have a goal in mind. As I’ve found, waking up early to work out has given me the jolt of energy that I need to carry me through my busy days.  

Try New Things

I first came to college relying mostly on three different activities to keep me fit: playing tennis, running, and bike-riding around my neighborhood. With a whole gym at my fingertips, however, I soon learned that there were so many more options from which I could take advantage. Not only does the Lil Bob have every machine and device imaginable – including a rock wall – but the tons of group fitness classes are fun and exciting. While I still play tennis for the Club Tennis team and make that a regular part of my exercise routine, I’ve branched out and have tried things that I never had before. Last year, I took my first BODYPUMP class, having a break in my schedule that coincided perfectly with the class time. At first, I had no clue what I was doing, but having continued doing BODYPUMP for a year, I can not only recognize which tracks coincide with certain launches but have also been able to improve my form and increase my weights. I’ve also fallen in love with Cycling, Barre, and Butts n’ Guts, classes that I had never done before coming to college. And, finally, I just recently started doing Pilates (shout out to Mini who keeps me coming back for more each week!). I signed up for Pilates on the fly one day and went to the class not having any expectations. But, having gone numerous times this semester, I now cannot see my week without it. I look forward to my Friday mornings when I can de-stress and get a good workout in – the perfect start to my weekend. I really enjoy group fitness classes because I commit to being there for a set amount of time and cannot just decide to cut my workout short. What this hopefully shows is that being active can take many shapes and forms. Try new things, and find what moves you, literally!

Mix up your Workout

Going along with trying new things is the idea that mixing up what you do can give you an even better workout. Running on the treadmill everyday or doing the same ab routine can get boring, causing a quick loss in motivation. In addition, your muscles can get accustomed to doing the same workouts and will, in turn, remain the same, not producing great results. From my own experience, I’ve found that I feel best when I’m doing a variety of different activities, whether it’s cardio, weight-training, or balance and flexibility exercises. On an average week, I try to include at least one day of each and then fill in my other workouts with whatever I’m feeling for that day. In addition to mixing up your actual workout, change up the intensity of your workouts, as well. If I push myself really hard one day, I will likely do a less-strenuous workout the next day. By constantly varying your workouts, you’ll not only never feel like Phil in Groundhog Day, but you’ll also maximize your results.

Involve Friends

This one is simple: get yourself a workout partner! While some people prefer to workout alone and do their own thing (which I totally get), having a friend right alongside you can actually be a great motivator. Seeing your friends push themselves can make you push yourself to the same degree. There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to get the juices flowing. And, even better, there are so many different ways that you can incorporate partner moves into your workout whether that means spotting each other, having a catch with a medicine ball, or doing plank hand slaps. Additionally, making plans to go to the gym with someone holds you accountable; skipping out on the workout affects both you and your friend as well. Bringing a buddy to the gym is a surefire way to work hard and have fun while doing so.

Make it Exciting

My last tip is to make working out exciting. Sure, we all have those lazy days when we just want to lounge around and only get up off the sofa to refill a bowl of popcorn. But, if your workout is entertaining and lively, then you’re more likely to actually want to do it. For me, the biggest thing that can make or break my workout is music. If I have a killer playlist – filled with Kanye, Chance, and Post – then I can zone out and just focus on the music, as opposed to the fact that I’m dripping sweat and most likely look like a sunburnt tomato. If you’re planning on doing a more stationary workout such as running on the treadmill, using the elliptical, or riding on a bike, then another way to make those workouts less monotonous is to watch something, whether it be your favorite TV show or a movie. Getting engrossed in what you’re watching is a guaranteed way to keep your eyes off of the clock. I sometimes even save watching my favorite TV shows for when I go to the gym so that I have something to look forward to. Encompassing the entire workout experience is something that oftentimes gets overlooked: your outfit. I have always gone by the motto that it doesn’t matter what I do as long as I look good doing it. While this is not always the case, feeling good in what you wear is definitely a way to increase your confidence. A new tank top or pair of leggings can be just the push you need to get going. And, finally, my last tip for making workouts exciting is to think outside of the box. Not every workout needs to be done in the gym. Throw a football, go for a hike, run up and down the stairs until you feel like your lungs might fall out. This past weekend, my roommates and I spent an hour jumping on our neighbors’ trampoline and playing “popcorn.” If that doesn’t scream college, I don’t know what does!

Being active is a great way to break up your everyday routine. Classes are only going to get harder, and having something to depend on to de-stress is critical. Working out can clear your mind and provide you the energy to deal with anything that this semester has to offer. That being said, as with everything, never push yourself too hard. If you’re not feeling it one day, that’s okay, and you should never feel guilty for not working out. Listen to your body and what makes you feel good. Going off of that, feeling good is not just about doing push-ups on a regular basis or increasing how much you can lift. There are so many other factors to focus on from balancing your social life with your academics, finding clubs and organizations that really speak to you, maintaining relationships with family and friends, and eating foods that will fuel you to keep this all going (shameless plug to my next blog post on healthy eating tips and tricks!). Without a doubt, you’ll be feeling harder, better, faster, stronger in no time!

Missing the UD Community from 7,000 Miles Away by Jenna Newman

As I sit here writing this post, I hear the rain pounding down on the tin roof of my house in the middle of the rainforest. You’re probably thinking, “Wait, Newark, DE is definitely not the middle of the rainforest.” Well, you’re right. I’m currently spending the semester abroad in Cameroon interning for World Team, a missions agency based out of Warrington, Pennsylvania. I’m taking a semester off from school to pursue my passions and get some experience living and working internationally. As I wrote about last spring, UD has been nothing but supportive and honestly, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been really hard to be away.  

I miss my friends, my classes, the clubs I’m a part of, and just the general community of UD. College is a unique time in life because you are surrounded by people all in the same age-demographic as you. I think that is one of the things that I miss the most about campus. The only other American girl who is my age out here still lives about twenty minutes away. It’s a weird reality that you step into.

Also, on campus, you really are never alone. Yes, maybe you live in a single, or maybe your roommate is never home, but still. Most of your friends probably live fifteen minutes away at most and you could always go to Morris, Perkins, or the gym and see someone you know. There are so many places to go to be alone together, including on Main Street. If I’m having a bad day and need to vent, my closest friends can be over in seconds. That’s a luxury that does not exist in most of life, especially when you’re in a remote area of Africa.

Part of the idea of constant community is a college thing in general, but I think it is also something UD does incredibly well. UD gives us spaces to convene and hang out without worrying about imposing on someone’s personal space. From the second I arrived on campus in fall of 2016, I was meeting new people and making new friends. Despite being a relatively large state school, it is almost impossible for me to walk across campus without seeing someone I know because of the way UD promotes community.

The post is meant to be more than my rambling about how much I miss UD’s campus. I want to encourage everyone to enjoy your four years. Enjoy having your best friends right down the hall from you. Enjoy being able to go to the Pod for midnight snack runs. Enjoy having so many options of delicious food places on Main Street. Enjoy what UD has to offer because before you know it your four years will be over.

“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

Continue reading

Older posts Newer posts

© 2020

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar