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Tag: spring break (page 1 of 2)

How I Changed My Own Life

This past spring break I went on a UDaB trip, although that isn’t really the main point. Yes, the trip was amazing. Yes, I made 40 new best friends. Yes, it was the freaking Everglades. But the point really isn’t what I did this spring break. The point is what I didn’t do this spring break.

Just like any other college student –scratch that, just like any other human- I have had my fair share of struggles with positivity. I’ll be the first to admit that some weeks it just feels like the world is out to get me and nothing can go my way. I’ve had those days where I have to force myself to get out of bed. Those moments where the stress bears down on me and I’m ready to quit college/run away/become an exotic dancer. This spring break, though, I decided that I was going to throw all of my negativity away. Literally. During the first day of the trip, we did a group exercise in which we wrote our anxieties down on a piece of paper, ripped them up, and threw them away. From that point on, I made a personal vow to myself that for one week I was going to try to make the best out of every situation. No longer would I let myself be controlled by my own unconstructive mindset. So, through all the poisonous plants, thousands of bug bites, and sunburn the Florida Everglades had to offer, I stayed positive. For the first time in my life I listened to the cliché advice all those YouTube self-help guru’s preach: happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy and you will be.

The Florida Everglades provided an inspired setting for an inspirational experience

The Florida Everglades provided an inspired setting for an inspirational experience

I have been trying to take step back from everything in my life that has become the “norm.” Instead of settling for the usual and getting sucked into bad habits, I’ve been looking at situations and trying to decide, really decide, if they are adding to my overall well-being. I no longer want to be put into circumstances that bring out the negativity in me. I’ve learned that it is much easier to be positive when the influences around me are positive. With more positive influences, I’ve noticed that everything that has happened to me has been able to be flipped on its head and looked at differently. Yes, I got a ticket today at a parking meter. At least I have a car to be ticketed. Yes, I was late to work and forgot to take my eyebrow ring out. At least I have a job with a forgiving manager.

I wouldn’t quite say that I have made it to happiness yet. What I will say though, is that deciding to look at the world differently has made the world different. Since making this personal choice I have started doing a lot more things for me. I’ve gone back to the gym, begun eating healthier, ended a few toxic relationships, and become more active in my commitments here on campus. All of this is possible because of an influential trip, with a great organization, and fantastic people. They showed me how easy it can be to take charge of my own life for the better. It does take courage though. I’m just glad I was able to find mine.

~Madeline Williams

A True Break

In the past two days I have been asked countless times what I did over my spring break. And each time, my answer has been the same: nothing. Yes, I did practically nothing over my week off and no, I am not ashamed about it.

 

 

Last year, I had the opportunity to take part in a UD Alternative Breaks program. With UDaB, I traveled to Bayboro, North Carolina to help with disaster relief from Hurricane Irene. It was a fantastic week and not only did I get to serve a needy community, but I also had the privilege of meeting many incredible Blue Hens. I would recommend that experience to anyone, because it is amazing to see what a group of students can accomplish in only one week. This year however, I was looking for something different over spring break: a week to myself to do nothing.

 

 

That is not to say that I stared at the walls in my house in suburban New Jersey all week. I had the distinct pleasure of catching up on all my television shows, shuttling my younger siblings around town (you bet my mother loved that), baking cookies, hiking, running errands, and watching some high school lacrosse games. Yes, there were days that I took three-hour naps, but there were also days when I actually buckled down and did some research for an essay that I have to write. So, it was not a fun-filled tropical vacation or a selfless service trip, but in my humble opinion, it was a fantastic week.

 

 

It certainly is not that I advocate doing nothing in all my free time. But on rare occasions, I think doing nothing is the best thing. As students, and especially as Honors students, we know that life at college is incredibly busy. For me it seems that once I make it through a round of tests, I have to start studying for the next one. With academics, extracurricular activities, and planning for the future, we usually have very little free time on our hands. That is why I found it incredibly exciting to be able to relax and put my mind at ease for a week.

 

 

So while I am all about having new experiences and taking advantage of all that UD has to offer, I also believe that it is important to have some time to ourselves. Service trips and vacations are great ways to spend spring break, but if you need to unwind, spending the week at home is an unbeatable decision. After all that time to myself, I am refreshed and ready to take on the second half of the semester, tests and all!

Who needs to travel when your home has a view like this?

Who needs to travel when your home has a view like this?

 

 ~Rebecca Jaeger

“Just Keep Swimming”

What Did UDo over Spring Break?

As much as we anxiously awaited Spring Break, it came and went so quickly! Now, we are back to the studying grind as we enter the final stretch of our academic year, which means we are that much closer to summer vacation and for our seniors, graduation! While Spring Break already seems like a distant memory, many of us UDHP students had some amazing experiences and created lifelong memories during our much-needed break from classes.  We are an eclectic bunch of students, so obviously our breaks varied as well. While some chose to spend their time doing volunteer work, others decided to vacation, while still others decided to get some work experience.  Some also may have done what I did and stayed home relaxing and got some use out of their Netflix accounts.  No matter what they did, the UDHP students definitely made their breaks worthwhile!

Instead of just cheering on Elena Delle Donne and the Women’s Basketball team from home, freshman Hailey Fuzak got in on the action by volunteering at The Bob Carpenter Center for the Women’s NCAA Tournament. As part of it, Hailey was a team escort, meaning she got to escort the different teams to their locker rooms, to press conferences and to practices. She says, “I got to see a lot of cool behind the scenes action.  I got to go to a couple of press conferences, and I even got to meet Ray Rice and see Joe Biden!”

The University of Delaware’s Women’s Basketball team defeated West Virginia on Tuesday, March 26th, photo by Hailey Fuzak

While Hailey stayed around campus, freshman Rebecca Jaeger utilized the UDaB program and went on a service trip to Bayboro, North Carolina to assist with Hurricane Irene relief.  Along with her group, Rebecca helped to remove the vacant, damaged houses that were safety hazards to the community through demolishing two houses with water damage and gutting a third.  As she looks back on this experience, Rebecca says, “I chose to go on this trip because I really enjoy community service. We accomplished so much and I had a great time. It was definitely an unforgettable experience!”

Senior Jessica Kradjel had a similar experience, as she co-led the UDHP service trip to the Dominican Republic.  With her group, she worked with a non-profit organization called Yspaniola to explore the Dominican Republic and learn about the different issues that affect the country.   “We worked in Yspaniola’s literacy center reading with and tutoring school-aged children and spent time with the young adults in the community,” Jessica states. In a few weeks, the trip participants will be posting about each day of the trip on this blog, so be sure to check back!

While everyone had an amazing Spring Break, it’s time to get back into school mode and push through these last few weeks.  As we do so, let’s remember to listen to Dory from Finding Nemo (and the upcoming 2015 film Finding Dory!) and “Just keep swimming!” We will make it out of this semester alive, no matter how hard it seems!

We want to hear from you! What did you do over Spring Break? Were you like me and stayed at home?  Where did you wish you could go?

~Hannah Tattersall

Once Upon a Spring Break…

In last week’s post, I made a few cracks about how I wouldn’t be doing anything over Spring Break besides eating, sleeping, and watching Netflix. I may have exaggerated – amazingly enough, I have gotten out of bed every day this break (so far), and have been surprisingly productive. The best part of my break to date, though, was my trip to New York City with my mom.

We took the bus into the city, then waited on line for an hour at TKTS. For those of you who don’t know, TKTS is in the middle of Times Square, and serves as a great resource for thrifty theatre-goers; it offers discounted tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. Last year over break, my mom and I saw the revival of Evita in previews. This year, we were determined to see the Tony Award Winner for Best Musical Once, so we got to TKTS as early as we could.

The story with me, my mom, and Once is that we almost saw it last year, and decided at the last minute to see another show. Since then, Once has won eight Tonys and secured countless, glowing reviews; we have kicked ourselves every day for what we thought was our missed opportunity.

Fortunately, we secured our two tickets without trouble (cue me nearly jumping out of my Converse), and had several hours to kill before the 2:00 matinee. Pre-show adventures consisted of checking out the Hershey Store, MAC, the Disney Store, Starbucks, Café Metro, and scouring all four floors of the massive Forever 21 (three out of the four of which are completely underground – crazy!). Plus… trying not to get hit by a cab. After all this, we finally made our way toward the theatre.

Once is currently playing in Jacobs Theatre (formerly the Royale, for the Broadway-buffs out there), which is small but cozy in a way that only truly intimate theatres can be. From the onset, this show was unlike any other: the cast was on stage and performing as the audience was getting seated. The story follows a young Irish man (always just referred to as Guy, even in the program) in his hometown of Dublin, who is vowing to give up his guitar and music forever before he meets Girl. She is Czech, forward, and extremely passionate about her opinions and ideas. Once occurs over the span of less than a week, and explores how these two people, and those around them, encourage each other, make music, and live life.

It’s an understatement to say that I can understand why Once won the Tony for Best Musical: it is innovative in its musicianship (all the cast members are instrumentalists as well as actors and singers, and play their instruments on stage the entire show) and in its book (I laughed and cried within the same five minutes). I’m infinitely grateful that, a year later, I got to see it, and I’m doubly as glad I saw it with my mom.

~Claire Davanzo

Benefits of Being Home

It’s that time of year. That week that is highly anticipated during the first half of spring semester, and then reminisced about for the rest of it. It is tan lines, sunscreen, and sunburns. It is swim suits, flip-flops, and a Twitter feed full of, “#PanamaCity2013!” or “#Cancun!” It is of course, Spring Break. And what exotic destination have I been transported to for this year’s festivities?

Great Falls, Virginia.

While my peers sip smoothies to the sound of crashing waves, ankle deep in soft, white sand, I find myself back in my hometown. The sounds of waves are replaced by the sounds of cars on nearby roads and instead of sand; we actually got soft, white snow.

Yet, as depressing as this might sound, I’m surprisingly content in this setting. My stay at home has provided a period of pure relaxation to punctuate the fast pace of college life. It’s provided time to sleep, eat home-cooked meals, reflect, and in general, the time and the resources to do those things you’re just not able to when at the University.

As I look into study abroad, internships, and winter and summer sessions, it’s becoming apparent how limited my time at home is. Because of this, the comforts of home seem all the more precious. Whether it’s sleeping until the wee hours of the *cough* afternoon, getting to make requests for dinner, or watching movie after movie on instant-Netflix, these are rare comforts you don’t get to experience anywhere else. Especially as I become more aware that I’m really just visiting the place where I grew up and don’t exactly live there anymore, it makes me that much more determined to soak up time with my family and all the comforts that comes with it as much as possible. Excuse the sappiness.

I have also appreciated being able to occupy myself with activities because I like them, not because I need to do them. This past week I went to an open-mic night at a nearby coffee shop, a small country concert at a club downtown, rock climbed at a park just fifteen minutes away. At school you’re forced to prioritize, meaning those things you’d like to do but don’t have to do often get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list and are never checked off. At home, I’ve had the luxury of not really having a to-do list, and so been able to indulge in whatever whim I may have.

Of course, (nerd alert), there is also the fact that I’ve been able to catch up on schoolwork. I’ve definitely fallen behind in some areas since returning for spring semester and never really had the opportunity to just sit down for however many hours and get “caught up.” My fellow students may know the feeling. While it may sound entirely lame, that this is something I’m excited about. Nothing beats the feeling of being caught up and being able to return to school reorganized and ready to go.

So, if you’re stuck at home like me, or sometime in the future may find yourself facing the prospect of spending a vacation period at home, don’t despair. Even if you can’t bring yourself to treasure those moments at home, you can at least appreciate them. There’s a lot you can do with this experience and it’s one you’ll never quite be able to replicate.

~Victoria Snare

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