University of Delaware
BackgroundInterview Date:Summer 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: I’m from central New Jersey by the Jersey Shore. I went to a magnet school, which you don’t have to pay for but you have to take a test to get in, with a graduating class of 68 students. My high school had almost a 100% college matriculation rate.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: International Relations and English Double Major
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in running club, I’m in Haven, which is the LGBTQ club, and Anime and Manga club.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I don’t know. Running is something I’ve done on my own anyways, so just being in there was nice. Haven I go to in and out, but it’s still really fun. I [hold a leadership position] in Anime & Manga, but it’s also fun.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
For English, all of your coursework is all reading and then like 90% of your final grade is your final paper. Then International Relations is also a lot of reading and then a lot of tests.
Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
I feel International Relations and English are both really good at being able to customize your concentrations. Like, in International Relations, I was able to pick that I want to focus on Latin America and I want to focus on diplomacy and world order. And, there’s other options, like if you’re particularly into economics, you can do that, or if you’re particularly into Asia, you can do that. English doesn’t really have concentrations, but you’re pretty much allowed to take whatever classes you want and there’s very little core requirements of taking classes you don’t want to take.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
English is definitely not competitive at all. International Relations and Political Science in general kind of overlap, and they’re a bit more competitive and opinionated in there.
What have been your favorite classes in your majors?
International Relations: I took Topics in Latin American Politics, which I was really in to and the professor was amazing.
English: I took an elective on Harry Potter which was tons of fun and super easy.
What have been your least favorite classes in your majors?
International Relations: Macroeconomics, just because I hate math and I’m more into the political and history part of it, so taking that sucked.
English: American Literature, which is one of the few required classes.
Why did you choose your majors?
I am happy with it. International Relations was because I love politics, history, and traveling, so I was really interested in that. English I picked up because it was so flexible and I had so many credits left over after International Relations. I could have just wasted them on electives, but it was kind of stupid to not do a second major. So, English had a lot of customization and it looks pretty good for being able to write indie journalism and things like that, which I’m also interested in.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I actually gave up on the whole frat scene my freshman year. Now I’m 21, so I kind of like the bar life. Yeah besides that, I have a lot of close friends that I hang out with outside of the Main St. scene. Newark’s nice because it’s close to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, so if you ever want to go to concerts and things around there you’re never too far from being in a city.
What have been your favorite times at Delaware?
I think it’s really beautiful in the springtime because everyone is outside on the green and it gives me a lot of time to socialize and do sports and things like that. It’s also a beautiful campus, so it’s really nice during the warmer season.
How has being an LGBT student influenced your experience with nightlife at Delaware?
The LGBT scene isn’t really huge in Delaware. Everyone’s pretty liberal there so it’s kind of accepting. I have a few close friends that are into the whole Haven scene, and there’s a few events that are hosted by them, like drag shows, that are definitely fun. Everyone’s pretty cool with it and accepting. It hasn’t really impacted anything negatively.
How happy are you with the weekend activities or nightlife at Delaware? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it. The only thing I would change is that it really is a major party school, which the reason that a lot of people go there, but I would like to see more stuff that doesn’t require going out and paying to get drunk [laughs]. So, if they had more events and stuff like that in the town that would be fun outside of just bars.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Caesar Rodney Dorm with two other roommates in a triple room.
Sophomore: Suite in Thomas McKean Hall on North campus. I had one roommate and two other suitemates that were connected to us by a bathroom.
Junior & Senior: I live in The Gardens, which are off campus apartments, and I have two roommates.
What was your favorite living situation?
My favorite is definitely off-campus because it’s a lot less expensive and I get the kitchen and a living room and a bigger bedroom. It’s not like being shoved in a dorm.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I think it’s super safe. They have blue lights everywhere that you can press if there’s an emergency, and I always see the cops patrolling. I’ve walked around at one, two, three o’clock in the morning and have never felt in any danger as long as I’m on campus.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
I love Ramen Kumamoto. It’s on Main Street and it’s this great, not expensive Japanese food.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I have a lot of friends that live in the area, so just getting off campus and getting to explore the Newark and Middletown area in Delaware is fun. I also love going to Baltimore or Philadelphia which aren’t that far from there.
Pros and Cons of being in Newark, DE?
Pros: (1) You get the small-town community feel while also being close to the city.
(2) Newark’s a really nice town in general.
(3) Delaware’s really nice because it doesn’t have a sales tax.
Cons: Delaware isn’t a huge state of opportunity. You do have to leave the state to get a lot. I think that’s the main con is that Delaware is super small in general, so if you’re looking for in state opportunities you have to leave.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met a lot of my friends in the clubs and everyone’s kind of like a friend of a friend. I met a lot of my friend’s freshman year when we had all floor meetings and things like that. It’s kind of easy to connect through your freshman hall when you’re forced to socialize.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I feel like people really stick together, but it’s primarily a white, straight campus. I mean if you want a huge interracial crowd, it’s probably not going to happen much. There are different races’ fraternities and sororities, and Haven is pretty much the only LGBT thing going on. I feel like those clubs definitely do mix, but it’s hard to find those people unless you’re looking for them. [About 71% of students are White.]
How would you describe the overall social scene?
I’d say it’s upper class and there is a certain type of people that is primarily white, primarily straight, super into partying, and people that have a lot of money. But I’ve never had issues with people being cruel or mean. Everyone’s pretty liberal, pretty nice, and pretty average just in general. [The median family income at University of Delaware is about $147,000.]
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Delaware by the time they graduate?
Yeah, I think people like UD a lot. I think it prepares you for the future. I think if I’ve seen any regrets from my friends who have graduated it’s just that it’s a very expensive school for people out of state. But I don’t think a lot of people regrets their classes or their time on campus.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, they have the Handshake Program, and I am in the economic place where I can do work-study. I like Handshake a lot, it connects you with a lot of on campus jobs and other places that are hiring. It’s a really good online program.
How much have you used the career office?
I’ve only used the career office once, and I wasn’t a huge fan of it. For people that are trying to decide what they’re doing, it’s not very helpful. But if you already know what you want to do, they can point you in a direction from there.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful professionally?
I mostly learned all of that in high school because I took computer science and classes back then. I wouldn’t say that any of my classes have been particularly technological.
Have you used financial aid? If so, what was your experience with the financial aid office? Have they been accommodating to you?
Yes, I use financial aid. I honestly haven’t been there a lot to talk to them, but they’ve been accommodating. Sometimes I would need to do late payments and they’re pretty accepting with that. There’s no outstanding fees and it’s not like they will kick you out of school if you don’t pay right away, so I’d say they’re pretty accommodating.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Delaware before entering as a freshman?
It isn’t a very diverse school. There is a primary type of person. It’s not racially diverse, it’s not gender or sexuality diverse, and it’s not very economically diverse, except for the people from Delaware.
What is something a prospective student may have missed on a visit that is worth checking out?
I think there’s a lot of cool events that the university sets up. The student centers are really amazing, and in Perkins there is the Blue Hen Zone, for example, there is a whole underground video game-pool table place that you can go and hang out in. There are places to just sit down and get your work done and have fun that a lot of people don’t really check out much. For events on campus, I saw John Mulaney who is an amazing comedian.
Reasons to attend Delaware:
1) UD was amazing for my major and had some really great alumni. Joe Biden comes by all the time.
2) Delaware is a small state, so you can network with people in Delaware really easily. We have a lot of senators and people come by just to speak at clubs and stuff.
3) Delaware is that really nice where it’s close to Maryland, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, so it’s a central hub to a lot of places.
Reasons to not attend Delaware:
1) Out of state is super expensive. [For the 2018-2019 academic year, the tuition for out of state students was $34,310.]
2) If you’re not a partier it’s kind of hard to find your scene. If you’re not into partying and you don’t join a lot of clubs it’s kind of hard to meet people.
3) I feel like school spirit isn’t super high. If you want to go to sporting events, there isn’t a lot of participation.