186 South College

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Tag: enrichment (page 1 of 7)

“Connection” by Avery Beer

From the day we are born until the day we die, the power of human connection is a force stronger than anything. As we grow up, a lot of us forget that it is 100% okay to still need to feel that. Babies cry because they need to be touched, loved, nurtured and attended to. That never really goes away. Just as our basic needs of food, water, air, and shelter stay constant, so does our need for each other. Not only does our psychological survival depend on human connection, but our physical survival as well.

Feeling connected to another person can be so powerful, whether it is through friendship, love, or blood. Picture a yin-yang: we are all balancing each other out but have a little bit of ourselves in the other person. I believe that sometimes, we just meet people that understand our souls. It just works. We are wired to connect. Think about the complexity of interconnection amongst people who can simply be present for each other. Whether it is an outcome of a dyadic interaction or a larger group interaction, human connection is one of the purest forms of brilliance. If we erase the material belongings of life, we would be more than okay as long as we had each other. Somewhere as people get older, our ego gets in the way without us really knowing it, and we sometimes fall into accepting the idea that we can do it all alone. We want to do everything ourselves: we want to feel needed but not do the needing. Life really is not made for that. Life is made for connectedness. Continue reading

Climbing to New Heights by Jenna Newman

Growing up I was always involved in a wide variety of extracurricular sports, so the transition to college while also not being an athlete for the first time in my life was definitely a strange one. I tried to supplement this in a variety of different ways. Freshman year was full of trying a variety of intramural sports every season. Sophomore year I began to play tennis regularly with one of my friends and that spring I trained for my first marathon. It was exciting to have a goal to work towards, but there was still something missing. I wasn’t excited or passionate about sports the way I was doing crew in high school or playing middle school basketball.

Then, this past winter session, something changed. I got a gift card to a local rock climbing gym. Rock climbing was always something that fascinated me. For one, it was pretty much a giant jungle gym made for adults, while also being an insanely good workout. Beyond that, I had many fond memories of rock climbing at the local YMCA when I was kid. I also loved being outdoors and the idea that gym climbing could prepare me for new outdoor adventures was a major draw.

Although I was incredibly hesitant to set foot into the gym for the first time, from the moment I did I was hooked. When my two week trial expired, I got a membership and began going 3-4 times per week. All I talked about was rock climbing, I dragged friends and family to the gym with me, and my Instagram feed became full of bouldering, top roping photos, and hashtags. I had finally found a new sport that I was passionate about and excited to continue.

When it was time to head back to UD, I was nervous that my new dedication would not translate when I was back in the hustle and bustle of all things junior year. However, UD has allowed me to continue to pursue this new sport and challenge myself mentally and physically. The rock gym in the Lil’ Bob has a variety of different routes and is open six nights a week. Beyond the confines of the UD campus, less than 10 miles away is the DE Rock Gym, which offers a ton more routes and expands to lead climbing and top roping.

I have not only found a new sport and way to stay in shape with rock climbing, but it has also offered me a new community and a way to stay grounded mentally. Going to the rock gym has become something that allows me to take a mental break while challenging myself to climb to new heights (literally). The community is so open and encouraging. I’ve often found myself engaged in conversations with fellow climbers of all different abilities, all of us trying to help each other to accomplish our goals in a non-judgemental environment.

I’ll leave you with this quote by an unknown, but insightful, author: “You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.”

Shifting My Focus by Lorraine Capenos

Being in college can feel really overwhelming, especially if you’re really involved and tend to take on more responsibilities than you probably should. It can feel like a crazy balancing act just to get through the day. Personally, I usually end the day tired and overwhelmed by how much I need to get done the next day. It is also easy to feel lost and unsure about how to move forward in your life.

I recently decided to shift my focus and really home in on my academic and career goals. I began to think seriously about what I need to do in order to graduate on time and what I could do to boost my resume so that when the time comes, graduate school and a career will not seem so unattainable.

I already put in the work in my classes to get good grades, but it is important to me to maintain a high GPA and do well in my classes, so that goal was reaffirmed. I also became a DENIN ambassador to get experience in environmental event planning and advocacy, which will be great experience for me as an environmental studies major. The biggest change I made was accepting a research position for the spring and summer, in which I will be working with a professor to analyze climatic effects on agriculture, and which will not only be great experience but also will fulfill my field experience requirement, which I need in order to graduate.

Admittedly, I feel a bit out of my element and overwhelmed by this position and juggling it with all the other things in my schedule. But I cannot deny that as soon as a shifted my focus to career and academics and set my intentions to find a research internship position, the opportunity presented itself to me perfectly. I also believe that as long as I put in the work, this position will benefit me in so many ways and I am grateful for the opportunity to work on such important and advanced research. It is important for me to get out of my comfort zone and take new opportunities as they come my way, and I also believe that focusing on my career will be more beneficial for me in the long-run than focusing on less consequential aspects of my life.

Finding a balance where I can still have a social life and be involved in Greek life and clubs, but also put a lot of attention into my academic work and start a research position is difficult. There are days when I feel incredibly overwhelmed and stressed. But ultimately it will be worthwhile, and this shift of focus will help me achieve my ambitions. I decided I did not want to waste time anymore and that, while I made it a priority to still take care of myself, I did not want to content myself with just focusing on college without thinking of the future. My future is fast-approaching, and I plan on being ready for every twist and turn.

“Artes Vita: Touching Up Your Work Flow” By Abhigna Rao

HI EVERYONE! WELCOME BACK! I hope everyone had a lovely, restful Winter Break, whether you were taking a Winter Session, chilling at home, away on vacation, or studying abroad!

But now it’s back to the grind, and I can’t be the only one who’s feeling a tad bit overwhelmed with the impending hustle of the next twelve weeks. It’s only been three weeks into the spring semester, and I already feel like the rustic bricks of Old College are being thrown at me.

Nevertheless, how we handle the pressure of achieving a healthy work-life balance is fully within our control—if we develop the right mindset to do so. One of my objectives for personal growth this semester is to really work hard to stay on top of my academics and activities, and I want to share with you some of the strategies I have been using in order to do just that. Continue reading

Hen’s Kitchen by Carly Patent

As college students, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing to help us get through long days, busy schedules, projects, assignments, tests, quizzes, homework, reading, meetings, relationships, and everything in between. And, no, sorry to say, but that one thing is not Netflix, puppies, or the Starbucks in Smith, instead, it’s food.

We never really pay much attention to the effect that food has on our overall happiness, but I’m here to say that there’s something quite magical about an ice cream cone rolled in rainbow sprinkles or a slice of ooey gooey pizza. Oftentimes, college students, myself included, take for granted how important it is to eat right – especially during those weeks when your professor decides to assign a fifty-page reading in the last five minutes of class, when your calendar looks like a game of tic tac toe, and when you can’t even remember what color the carpet in your room is. Focusing on the elements that you can control – such as how much sleep and exercise you get and what you put into your body – is a starting point.

Living on campus the past two years, I had the luxury of a meal plan. Whenever I was hungry, I could walk the fifteen or so feet to my nearest dining hall, head up to a station, grab a plate, sit down, and enjoy. I never had to think about meal planning, grocery shopping, preparation time, or washing dishes. Now, however, having moved into an apartment, I now must consider all of these things – on top of my schoolwork, commitments, and activities. Knowing that I am not alone in the boat of college students who came to college with experience making maybe one or two items – scrambled eggs and toast, anyone? I’m here to share what I have learned. And with that, let me present some tips and tricks to guide you when it comes to making healthy, satisfying meals that are not only easy on the wallet but will make you feel like Rachael Ray or Emeril…BAM!

 

Plan Ahead of Time

There’s nothing worse than going to the supermarket on an empty stomach. Anything and everything will be tempting, and anything and everything will make it into your cart and back home with you. The dinosaur chicken nuggets? A necessity. A jug of chocolate milk? Can’t live without it. A family size bag of Cool Ranch Doritos? Ah, toss it in. If you write out a set list of exactly what you need for that week’s meals, you’re less likely to fall into the trap of a growling stomach. Before heading to the supermarket, look through your fridge and pantry to see what you have, what you need, and what you absolutely want. What really helps me, surprisingly, is having limited space to store my food. If I don’t have room for it, then I can’t buy it. Take a cue from Santa; make a list, and check it twice!

 

Make Healthy Choices

When living at home, it’s easy to eat healthy when your mom nags you to eat your vegetables! But, when you have the freedom to instead stock up on taquitos, waffles, and Easy Mac, getting your daily dose of greens might take the back burner unless you think wisely. First, read nutrition labels. I know that we were all taught how to do this in middle school health class and have most likely tried to forget about that time in our life – Juicy tracksuits, hair feathers, Axe, and Silly Bands. Knowing what to look for when shopping for ourselves, however, is important. Items that we consider “healthy” such as granola bars can actually be loaded with sugar. Taking the extra time to read the labels can help you prevent that Freshman – or Sophomore, Junior, and Senior – Fifteen. Second, sneak in your vegetables. We always hear of parents tricking their kids into eating mashed potatoes with cauliflower and zucchini in their muffins. So why not do the same? Throw a handful of spinach into your morning smoothie or add some veggies to your omelette. You can keep eating what you love, but with some simple switches, what you love will show the love in return!

 

Be Creative

While I consider myself to be a decent cook and an avid watcher of the Food Network, before coming to college, I had quite limited experience actually planning and making my meals. The first week or so, I resorted to making the same few dishes, and while they are still my favorites, as I got more comfortable cooking for myself, I began to branch out and try new things. There are literally millions of recipes out there to try so that you’re not stuck eating the same things every night. When I first made chicken – something that oddly enough freaks me out thanks to a not-so-pleasant experience with undercooked chicken – I felt like a true adult and rejoiced in my roommates’ praise for conquering such a task! I think it’s important to recognize that while the kitchen can be scary, coming from someone who has dealt with some minor burns and cuts, it can also be freeing. Trust yourself and your ability to try new things so that you can break free from the Ramen Noodles that are holding you back!

 

Treat Yourself

My final piece of advice for transitioning to the added responsibility of cooking for oneself is to value food for what it is: a story. Every time that we eat, we tell a story of where we are in life, who we are with, and what we value. We all have that one meal that is ingrained in our heads: a meal that we shared with someone we love, a meal that went terribly wrong, or a meal that we would pay millions of dollars to relive. Whether it is the taste of your mom’s caramel brownies or your favorite restaurant’s lobster macaroni and cheese, food has a transformative ability. It can help us connect with those around us. It can bring us back to a special moment. It can heighten our moods. The power of food should not be underestimated. And, for that reason, treating yourself to a nice meal – whether prepared by yours truly or picked up on Main Street – is a valuable act. I’m not sure that there’s anything a warm chocolate chip cookie can’t fix!

Food can take many forms, and not just literally! It can be a warm hug, a much-needed reward, a call home, and a memory. As college students juggling hectic lives and trying to balance everything that we’ve signed ourselves up for, food is one of the many things that we can control, and for that reason, it becomes much more important. For all of my fellow Blue Hens who have recently made the transition from meal plan to apartment kitchen, I hope this blog post has inspired you and made your stomach rumble. We have a lot on our plates, pun intended, so let’s at least make sure that we’re filling them up with something that would bring Guy Fieri straight to Flavortown! (Can you tell that my roommates and I have been watching too much Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives?)

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