Tag: spring break (page 1 of 3)

“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!

“More Than Just Spring Break” by Brittany Connely

As a freshman, there are so many options for student organizations to get involved in. The possibilities seem endless, especially when attending the Fall Involvement Fair. Seeing all the tables all around campus is simultaneously overwhelming and exciting. Like many of my Honors friends that I made in Redding, I wanted to get involved as much as I could. Therefore, I signed up for as many clubs as I could.

One of the programs that I signed up to be involved with was UD’s Alternative Break Program (UDaB). I have always had a passion for serving my community and thought it would be amazing to spend my Spring Break in another city with a group of students just as passionate about service as I am. So, when it came time for applications to be opened, I filled out the form right when it was released. After several workshops and interviews, I found out that I had gotten into the Spring Program in Boston, working at Community Servings, a non-profit organization that makes meals for individuals and families living with chronic illnesses. I was ecstatic to be in a new place serving others. Continue reading

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

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