Every season has something special. Summer is known for its heat, its pool parties and barbeques, sugary sweet watermelon, and sun burns that turn us into lobsters. Fall calls for comfy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything, apple picking, Halloween candy, and the bright hues of leaves. Winter is a holiday of lights, snowmen, gifts, family, friends, and fireplaces, candy canes, hot chocolate, and Elf. But spring is sometimes the forgotten season. Yes, we all love that after a long winter, we can finally come out of hibernation and break out the shorts and t-shirts that had been buried in our drawers for so long. We love that the flowers are blooming, with their sweet smells filling the air as we walk. Green grass and allergies go hand and hand in springtime, giving Claritin the boost that its been waiting for ever-so-patiently. And pastels – whether on our clothes, our decorations, or our Easter Peeps – make everything cheerful and bright. But, while these are just some reasons why we love springtime, we often don’t make the most of our sunny and 75° days. Especially for us Blue Hens, who spend the majority of the spring season at school – unlike other college students who have most likely been out of school for weeks already – it’s important that we soak in spring and everything that it has to offer. For that reason, I’ve decided to share my top five tips on how to make the most of spring in our final weeks here at the University of Delaware.
- Ice Cream at UDairy
It’s no surprise that as the temperatures get hotter, we naturally want something to cool us down. And, it doesn’t hurt that we have a creamery located right on campus to provide us with every flavor under the sun, well, not every flavor, but they’re getting closer and closer every day to that. The proximity of UDairy offers an excuse to put away the books for a little and treat yourself for making it this far into the semester. Gather up your friends, take a walk to UDairy (to burn off a few calories before inhaling a double scoop in a waffle cone…with blue and yellow sprinkles, of course), and try one of their many, many flavors. Raspberry Lemonade Sorbet would be a refreshing treat on a hot day, while their new Candy Crackle Pop, cotton candy ice cream with Pop Rocks, is the perfect thing to transport you to your summer days spent at carnivals or baseball games. After cooling down with a much-needed treat, giving you the sugar high you need to keep powering through with assignments, enjoy the walk home (to continue to walk off the ice cream). Or, if you’re feeling a food coma, there’s nothing wrong with taking the bus back either!
- Dining Al Fresco
Continuing with the theme of food (clearly the best theme there is), another way to make the most of spring here at Delaware is to eat outside. Whether you’re getting takeout from Russel or Pencader, setting out a blanket and enjoying it on the turf, or scouting out a table on Main Street – there’s nothing better than eating in the cool, crisp air. Places like Klondike Kate’s, Finn McCool’s, Stone Balloon, and HomeGrown all have a lot of outdoor seating, so I’d suggest hitting those up first. Another great option is to get takeout from SNAP, MOD, or El Diablo to set up a picnic on the Green. An additional perk: as you’re eating al fresco, it’s very likely you’ll either spot dogs going for their nightly walk or little kids going for a stroll with their families. Either way, prepare for a cuteness overload!
- Outdoors Exploration
To find a way to work off all of the eating, spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and have fun! Aside from being prime sunbathing locations for those attempting to get a little color before summer, our turfs and the Green are great spaces to throw a football, toss a frisbee, or kick a soccer ball. Pro tip: if you have chosen the sunbathing route, definitely don’t close your eyes for too long as you never know when a frisbee throw might go awry (I must admit that I’m definitely not pro when it comes to getting my frisbee to actually go to the person I’m throwing it to…so look out). Having lived on both East and North campus, I loved seeing all of the activity going on outside when the weather got warmer, it always inspired me to do my work more efficiently – and take less breaks – so that I could get outside quicker. Additionally, campus has a ton of basketball and tennis courts for open use as well. For those looking to truly get away from the hustle and bustle of college life, White Clay Creek and the reservoir are a nice escape. Going through the trails can help your momentarily forget about the reading, the paper, and the group project you have due, offering a true getaway. On a sunny day, there really is nothing better than getting outside. It’ll leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and reconnected. Just be sure to bring water!
- Local Excursions
The theme of exploration emerges again as our location in Newark allows us the ease to take numerous day or weekend trips that are perfect in springtime. The plethora of Delaware beaches offers an amazing choice for a hot day with nothing to do, if one friend has a car, then you’re in luck. Load up the towels, the snacks, and the sunscreen for a fun day away. Bring a good book (or a textbook…it’s sure to be a better experience reading with the sound of waves crashing than the sound of train rolling by) and some good music, and you’ve got yourself a day of fun in the sun! Sporting events can also be an inexpensive and easy way to get out and get away. For Phillies fans (the best fans!), Citizens Bank Park is just a short drive or train ride from here, and truly nothing in the world can beat Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries drenched in melted cheese sauce. Finally, Longwood Gardens, just a thirty-minute drive, comes alive in spring, making this the time to go. Be sure to bring a camera to get some pictures of the breathtakingly colorful flowers and gardens, it’s very likely that you’ll get a prime Insta, as well, so dress accordingly! If you’re terribly afraid of bees, though, take caution!
- Campus Gems
Finally, use this time to relish in everything that our beautiful campus offers. Although the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. has since passed, our cherry blossoms are in full bloom and can still be seen lining Memorial Hall, the bridge to North Campus, and the sidewalk across from the ISE Lab. If you’re looking for an activity, Ag Day, which is on Saturday April 27 this year from 10:00-4:00, offers everything you could ever want: UDairy, farm animals (including an actual Blue Hen), plants, food trucks, and fun shopping! It’s definitely a day not to miss and something that I personally look forward to…not to mention that UDairy is revealing a new flavor this year! Lastly, with the weather getting nicer, head out to support some of our sports teams, whether it’s lacrosse, tennis, or baseball, make it your goal to go to at least one of every game to cheer on your fellow Blue Hens!
For seniors or those of us who cannot help but acknowledge that another year here has come and gone, spring is the time to take advantage of all that the longer days and warmer weather has to offer, whether that’s studying at the tables outside Morris, sunbathing on the Green, or devouring some buffalo chicken nachos on the Kate’s porch. It’s official: spring has sprung, and it’s time for us to fly from the nest to see all that this weather has to offer!