186 South College

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Tag: enrichment (page 1 of 6)

My Greatest Lesson: Navigating Ambiguity by Carlos Benito

College presents us with the greatest density of resources that we will ever know. Experts in any field reside here and the university is brimming with advisors and support staff whose sole purpose is to help us succeed. There lies the greatest enigma that no one can help answer, what is success? How do we define it now and how will our definition change in a time where every dawn brings a new disaster? No one can answer that for you, but I believe everyone faces at least one common obstacle on their quest for success – ambiguity.

Ambiguity is that fog of uncertainty that clouds the path to success. If any of us hope to find success, we must learn to chart our way through this fog. As noble as it may seem to storm in, suffer then finally succeed, there is an easier way. Ambiguity, despite its inherent nature, is always composed of the same few components. If you can anticipate these components and come ready with your response you will find success with less strife.

Component 1: Chaos

The universe is defined by entropy, and our lives within it are no different. We know our lives are most commonly filled with a specific flavor of chaos: disorganization. If we know we will encounter disorganization we must preemptively prepare a response. For us at UD, that response comes in the form or advisement. Everyone at UD has unique and useful knowledge, from a student’s review of a professor to an advisor’s wisdom in course selection, no one’s experiences can be disregarded as “worthless”.  Talk to students who have taken the course you wish to take and ask them what they thought of the professor. If you understand how the professor runs his/her class you can format your actions accordingly.

Component 2: Human Error

We all know people are not perfect but few actually take that into consideration before taking action. When a class is composed of a professors, TAs, preceptors, lab coordinators, and other staff, you can anticipate having at least some errors or inconsistencies due to miscommunication. If you know that will happen, prepare for it. I combat this by meeting with each staff member separately to understand what they value academically and emotionally as well as how they communicate with the other members of the staff. If I know how one person grades or one person is consistently out of step I can anticipate problems and clean up issues before they arise. This does not make any specific person’s knowledge, time, or opinion any less valuable. All it means is that it will take extra effort on your part to understand their thoughts and more often than not you will benefit from that extra effort.

Component 3: Failure

This is by far the hardest component of ambiguity to come to terms with. The failure we face can be caused by many factors, but I choose to look at failure on my terms. It can be easy to say failure came from human error or disorganization on the part of others but in the end it doesn’t affect them nearly as much as it affects you. With that in mind, you have to look at every failure as a consequence of your actions. It doesn’t matter whether it was or not, but you only have control over your emotions and your actions so anger towards anyone else is not useful. Sometimes failure is truly a consequence of your actions. When that times comes – and it will – you have to be ready. That preparation comes in the form of building a reputation of dedication, hard work, and responsibility. If everyone understand the values you stand for, even in your darkest moments they will still stand behind you. Then it relies on you to modify your plan to better prepare for a similar scenario in the future.

It is my belief that every person’s success is determined by their actions. With that in mind, you must make it your duty to make use of your support and sail forth towards ambiguity and towards your idea of of success. Safe sailing my friends.

Taking Fun Classes by Lorraine Capenos

Many people think that when it comes to classes, they’re all boring and slow and require long hours of work. And while it is true that some classes out there are like that, there are so many that are fun and can be taken regardless of your major or schedule. Fun classes can fit into any schedule or program if you know what to look for and how to fit it into your schedule.

My first tip is to major in something that you’re interested in. This is going to help exponentially with your class enjoyment. If you are in a major that you don’t care about and you’re just doing it for money or because it’s what someone told you to do, you won’t enjoy most of your classes. But when you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it will come more naturally and be more enjoyable for you. My major is environmental studies and I take many classes that I find fascinating. I’m currently taking MAST200 which is a class on the oceans, and I love it and find it super interesting because it’s what I am passionate about.

My next tip is to look at what breadth requirements or elective credits you need, and find fun ways to fit those in. For instance, I fulfilled one of my Group B requirements with a history class on ancient Greek and Roman society instead of a class I would find boring. One of my group A requirements is being filled with an English class about Harry Potter, and everyone in that class loves it. You can find room in your schedule to fit in fun classes, you just might have to look a little harder. Using the UD course search can really help with this if you use its features to narrow down what you’re looking for and what requirements you need to fill. You can even narrow down what days and times you need a class to fill.

Another tip is to be prompt about registration. Most people know how competitive registration can be and understand the rush to try to enroll in a certain class before the spots all fill up. Fun classes like mythology and Harry Potter will fill up fast because everyone wants a spot. If your registration appointment is at 8 am, be ready to register at 7:45, with your computer on, charged, and logged in to register, and with a list already prepared of what classes you want to get into, and some alternatives in case those don’t work out. It’s very important to have alternatives, because you don’t want to get stuck in a class you won’t like because you took too much time to figure out your schedule while you could have already been registering for classes.

My final recommendation is to ask your friends about classes they have taken. People always seem shocked to find out that I took a class about Greek mythology and got honors credit for it, because it was an absolute dream of a class and it fulfilled honors credits and a breadth requirement for me. Definitely ask your friends or classmates about which classes and professors were their favorites, or at least spend some time looking at the course listings for the upcoming semester and see if you can find anything interesting.

A Study Guide for the Midterm Elections by Sarah Blum

I know the midterm in your next class seems really important to you right now, and it is. It’s gotten to the point of the semester when college students everywhere are taking advantage of the library and all of the caffeine that coffee can offer in preparation for their next midterm exam. The problem is, a lot of those same college students ignore an even bigger midterm that’s coming up – the midterm elections. If you’re reading this, you’re probably at least 18, and you’re hopefully registered to vote. It is important you realize that the right to vote is not something you should exercise only every 4 years.

Midterm elections are exactly what they sound like: they are elections that happen in the middle of a presidential term. A lot of people assume that if they aren’t going to be voting for the president, then their vote doesn’t matter, but they could not be more wrong. During these elections, you can vote for who you want to fill ⅓ of the seats in the U.S. senate and 435 of the seats that make up the U.S. House of Representatives. The people you vote for essentially control congress, and congress essentially controls the direction of the country. And that’s not all! There are also many local elections you may be eligible to vote in depending on which state you are registered in. For example, this year, 36 states are holding elections for governor. Local policy change dictated by these elections can have a huge effect on your day-to-day life – especially for students, when topics such as “tuition-free college” are being discussed.

This year seems like a really promising one for young people to make a change with their votes. The problem is, especially in the midterms, young people don’t actually follow through. Just because you don’t “follow” politics does not mean that politics don’t follow you. I urge you to figure out where and when you can vote as soon as possible. If you are lucky enough to be within your district on election day, you can quickly search online to see where your voting location is. If not, you are able to vote through an absentee ballot, but you’re on a bit of a time crunch. In most states, you can still apply for an absentee ballot up to a week before the elections, but you should check online to make sure. Vote.org is particularly useful website for all information regarding how and where to vote in your state/county.

It is quite possible that this message got to you a bit late. I know many students who did not bother to order a ballot because they didn’t have enough information, or they simply felt like their vote wouldn’t matter anyway. In terms of being unaware, the best thing you can do is educate yourself for the next time you are able to vote. After Election Day, there may be certain special elections within your individual state or local government in which you can vote. Websites like TurboVote.org will tell you fairly quickly all of the upcoming elections you are eligible to vote in- they’ll even send you text reminders. As for your vote being unimportant, the short answer is that it’s not. Young people especially seem to believe that their votes won’t change anything, but it is this frame of mind that keeps everything at a standstill. The only time when your vote doesn’t count is when you don’t cast it.  

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.

“The Beauty of Yoga” by Avery Beer

I remember walking in the studio for the first time, timid yet eager to embark on this new journey. I was greeted by so many friendly people in such a small, zen area. Stacey, the teacher, had a toned figure, sparkling eyes, and silky gray hair falling just below her shoulders. I wanted to do yoga not so much for the physical benefit, but to silence the everyday screams and worries of my mind. I was not ready to surrender to my anxiety, not yet. I knew yoga was the place I may let my body and mind to coexist without battling each other. Yoga is my safe haven. I don’t need special equipment, or physical space, I just need my mind, body and my desire to receive clarity from my practice. At a time where I wanted safety and lucidity, at a time where I needed to be uplifted, I found yoga. I am forever grateful.

The art of moving your body through sequences of poses and breathing sounds strange. I never understood that this ancient expressive art would have an impact on a person like myself. Yoga is not changing yourself to fit a stereotype, or changing your personal spiritual beliefs; it is working with the beautiful body and brain you were given and learning to accept everything that comes with it. In doing this, you can be happy and peaceful each day. Instead of everyday workouts: cycling, running on a treadmill, or weightlifting, etc., this incredible art encompasses the heart space—so it is not just about a physicality. It works to benefit all parts of the body, not just to burn calories. Each person may say their own intentions for their own practice. Everything is personalized, even in a class-type yoga setting. Continue reading

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