Tag: explore

“A Non-Exhaustive List of Cool Places on Campus” by Nadya Ellerhorst

Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that I attended UD for an entire year – without actually attending UD. As such, much of my sophomore year was spent in a first-year sort of awe at all of the different parts of campus, and even in the present it seems like I make a new discovery every day. For example, I just had a class in the art conservation lab in Old College, where I quite literally sat right next to museum objects out of their cases – and I’m not even an Art Conservation major!

Even though there’s likely still plenty of UD treasures for me to unearth, I thought I’d give a summary of some of the coolest places I’ve come across thus far.

But what is it that makes these places cool? I can’t say I’m quite sure. I hang out in some, bask in awe at others, and have frankly visited a few a handful of times. But this list just scratches the surface – there’s still plenty for this Blue Hen to uncover – and I encourage you to seek out and compile a cool-place repertoire for yourself.

Daugherty Hall

One of my favorite places to study on campus, I’m letting you in on my little secret because it’s such a beautiful, comfortable, AND convenient place to get your work done. The tables are outfitted with both fancy lamps (they happen to be the kind that turn on when you pull the lil’ cord) and outlets to charge your devices, and there are plenty of comfy chairs and couches throughout. The stained glass is also stunning, and I always love the vibes there on rainy weekend nights.

The Bouncy Turf of North Campus

Right in front of Pencader Dining Hall is a delightful, mildly springy turf that I adore crossing whenever I go on a fresh smoothie and açai bowl run. Sometimes people are playing actual sports on it, so lest I get bonked on the head by a stray soccer ball, I must settle for the concrete walkways. But in order to get there you’ll need to cross…

The North Campus Bridge

Beware of the lantern flies, but look at that creek down below! I definitely recommend crossing sooner rather than later so you can savor the surrounding autumn ~foliage~ while it lasts.

Gore Hall

I’m always pleased whenever I see that I have a class or RSO meeting here, as the bright yellow walls and beautiful atrium never cease to amaze me. The bridge connecting it to Smith Hall is an added perk (and very convenient during times of traffic and heavy rain). 

Old College

Old College is just a beautiful building in and of itself (although beware of the slippery stairs!). There’s also an exhibit space in here (and lots of other places on campus). If you don’t feel like the star of some coming-of-age movie strolling through its tree-lined walkway on your way to class, then this blog post will have been for nothing.

The Hen Zone

From board games to Nintendo Switch, the Hen Zone in Perkins has plenty to do, which I find perfect for a little stress relief or a fun, post-homework-completion night with friends. There’s also plenty of places to sit and get work done if the sound of ping pong matches and intense air hockey games is your kind of ambiance.

The Basement of Perkins

The basement of Perkins is a relatively quiet space with a variety of seating, and it’s also fun to peek into the RSO offices down there. It’s likewise a great space if you’re in need of some secretive corner to munch on a doughnut.

[Nocturnal] Trabant

Trabant itself is a pretty cool building (it hosts International Coffee Hour every Friday from 4-6), but especially so after dark, when its vaulted ceiling is illuminated by the glow of yellow and blue neon lights. I even saw an impromptu a capella performance there one night as I picked up a meal exchange, but I was shy so I sort of jogged through.

The Cherry Blossoms

There’s a fair chance you’ve seen them on UD brochures and postcards alike, and with spring will come the blossoming of these delightfully pink trees. There’s really nothing like walking (and suddenly stopping to take photos) of the blossoms in the walkway between Memorial Hall and Lammot du Pont Laboratory. Patience. Your chance for spectacular selfies will soon come.

The Student Multimedia Design Center in Morris Library

No one will shush you down here. The basement of Morris is both an excellent study space, especially if you don’t mind a little background noise, and a superb campus resource for all things digital. There’s recording booths and a lot of other technology I won’t spend my word count pretending I understand. 

South Green

If you’re looking to take advantage of the pleasant weather while it lasts, the South Green is a tranquil, lovely place for a walk. After all, it’s so… GREEN!

The Train!

Seeing this choo choo that serves as the unofficial division point between Main and North Campus will be cool the first time, like witnessing something out of Hogwarts. Relish it because from then on it’ll probably just be a source of aggravation. Listen closely, and you can hear students’ collective running-late yell of frustration over the siren.

YoUDee’s Eyes

Ok, this isn’t necessarily a place, but have you ever noticed that there are mini State- of-Delawares in them? If you don’t believe me, stare really hard at them next time you see YoUDee at a university event (those are generally pretty cool places to be, anyway). If this observation just changed your life, you’re welcome.

“On Doing Things Alone” by Nadya Ellerhorst

As we approach the spring semester’s grand finale, with final RSO meetings and bouncy house-laden end-of-the-year events,  it’s really hard to feel alone, especially with everyone having the shared experiences of preparing for finals while trying to conclude things on a fun note.

I definitely consider myself the type of person who actively tries to make time to go to as many events on campus as possible throughout the year. Doing so is a great way to take a break from academics and to have memorable, enriching, potentially eye-opening experiences, be it at a theater performance or a guest lecture. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t appreciate the occasional freebie, either. Sometimes, however, attending such events solo can prove to be a challenge. 

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“Living in a World of Canyons” by Raktim Basu

Spirals upon spirals upon spirals.

That’s what filled up Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon in Arizona. Water had rushed through, carving a swerving, graceful path of twists and turns that went on for hours of walking. Over millions of years, the rock had worn away, and the water had receded, making the perfect display of the strength of rivers.

That was just a piece of my trip into the Four Corners states (Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada). Before this spring break, I’d never gone anywhere except for Colorado, and I had never seen the deserts of the Midwest or the number of incredible canyons present there.

But from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon, from massive and incredibly varied rock formation after rock formation, I began to see the world differently. All of my life in the U.S., I’ve lived in suburban areas, surrounded by concrete and ease of accessibility. But from hotel to hotel, with three-hour stretches of desert driving, without another soul on the road, I got a sense for how big the world is.

And let me tell you, it changes how you see things. Standing on the precipice of one of the biggest canyons in the world makes you feel small. The untold scale shocks you, and the unbelievable variety of what you can see in nature is just… Astounding! From patterns of yellow to bright orange, to rocky slopes topped in snow and coniferous trees, to gleaming formations of fire-colored rock — the marvelousness of nature is unparalleled, and to begin to describe the enormity of nature is an almost impossible task.

But that’s just the thing about experiences beyond words. They’re the true memories we will always have. While I know I can never share my love of the canyons of the Midwest with people and have it resonate with them to the same extent, I know that what I saw will stick with me forever. As Honors students, we get an incredible set of faculty, friends, and chances to explore the beauty of the world, both man-made and natural. But as Honors students, we also have an obligation to explore the things in the world that we can’t really capture with words and can only capture with rapture and awe.

So the next time you get the chance to explore the world, take it. Live in a world where everything amazes you. Don’t be afraid to see the world to its fullest extent, and if you don’t have words to describe what you take in, take it as a good sign!

“Electives: Off the Beaten Path” by Jenny Gloyd

Imagine you are in the photograph above. You are taking a hike on a beautiful day in Newark. The birds are chirping and the sun is dancing on the path in front of you. The best part about the hike is that the trail is a loop, so you don’t have to think too much about the direction in which you are going. Before you know it, you will end up back at the start. Deciding on a college major is, in its simplest sense, like this hike. Once you choose a major, let’s say a biochemistry major, for instance, there is a predetermined path to take in order to be handed your diploma. Each biochemistry major needs to take organic chemistry, calculus, metabolism, etc.

But if you hiked this trail often, you might wish that it wasn’t so straightforward. Hiking in a loop does not leave much room for exploration or adventure. Indiana Jones trailed through the rain forest and needed a bit more direction than, “follow the dirt path in front of you.” In a similar sense, having every student take the exact same set of courses doesn’t feed this sense of adventure. At UD, we have fortunately accounted for this inclination. The College of Arts and Sciences, the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and the College of Engineering, like the rest of the colleges at the University of Delaware, all require breadth courses. In fact, at almost any university, students are expected to take classes that are off the beaten path. 

From theater, to studio art, to economics, to math, you may not cross paths with these subjects if it weren’t for this requirement. These classes may prompt you to pick up a minor. Maybe you really enjoy modern dance or public health. Or, it may reaffirm that you are going down the correct path (don’t worry, that C- in philosophy won’t count towards your major GPA). Regardless of what part of your college career these classes contribute to, they will provide you with experiences that you might not have had otherwise. 

I learned that I had a passion for singing because of an elective in high school, and this colored my choice of breadth courses in college. I personally have gravitated towards classes in language and music, taking history of rock, choir, and linguistics. Although it’s entirely possible that another biochemistry major has taken history of rock or linguistics at some point, all of these classes were ones that biochemistry majors don’t particularly need in their career-oriented skill set. The major takeaway here is certainly not that every chemistry major needs to develop a keen sense of music or language, but rather that they should  experience a broader variety of what is out there is to learn. 

A professor of mine once leveled with their class: “I know this is not a subject that you may care about, but many others care about it. So, please give me 30 minutes to explain this perspective.” The class was, of course, absolutely happy to listen to the lecture. I think we all understood that even if it was not our core interest, it was an invaluable experience to learn something that was not in our expertise. 

So, next time you are hiking and you see an overlook, or a tree to climb, spend some time climbing that tree, or paying special attention to the view of the forest. In other words, if you see a class you might like to take, but it’s out of your comfort zone, take the chance–you might learn something that you’ll carry with you forever.

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