University of Delaware
BackgroundInterview Date:Summer 2017
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students.
First Generation College Student: No
Minors: Political Science and Legal Studies
Extracurricular Activities: I was on the Club Sailing team and I was in a community service sorority.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
It depends on the class. For the general requirements, in the beginning you have problem sets like high school. As you get more advanced you have to read scientific articles and dissect them. So, you have to write a summary that includes things like what innovation they made and how it contributed to neuroscience literature.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
It was a relatively new major when I switched to it. What they did particularly well was get student opinions and adapt to what the students want. There are two tracks to get the degree, one is more biology heavy and one is more psychology heavy. They did this because of the students because some students don’t want to go to graduate school for it and don’t want to do the biology-based classes. In the beginning, it was really grad school focused and they wanted you to do lots of lab work, but now they realize that not everybody wants to do that.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It was definitely collaborative. I think that’s something that’s rare too because it’s a lot of pre-med students. It’s a lot of group work and bouncing ideas off of each other. A lot of the more advanced classes are discussion based, which I like.
How accessible were your professors?
Very accessible. They had office hours and if you couldn’t make those they would schedule you in. We also had TA’s.
Why did you pick your major?
I started as pre-med, and I really liked learning the material. Then I realized that I didn’t want to do medical school. I took a legal class, liked it a lot, and wanted to go abroad so that’s how I got my minor. I really liked neuroscience and the people in my major so I held on to it because I wanted to combine science and law in some way.
Are you happy with your major choice?
Yeah, I am happy. I get a few weird looks when I say I have a combined neuroscience and law degree because it’s so random but it works.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Thompson hall on east campus with 1 roommate. It was the best dorm when I was a freshman because none of the new dorms were built, but, now all the new dorms are built, I think it’s one of the worst.
Sophomore: Main Street Courtyard with 2 roommates in an apartment. It’s so far away, I don’t recommend anybody living there.
Junior and Senior: Townhouse on Amstel St. with 3 other roommates. This was my favorite.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I thought campus was very safe. The only time I felt unsafe was where I lived sophomore year because it was so far away. Sometimes I’d get UD police notifications about that area. They send out a lot of alerts so sometimes it sounds unsafe, but I never experienced a problem.
How walkable is the area around campus? Do you need a car to get regular necessities?
Yes, but you have to drive to a regular grocery store. There are pods, which are mini grocery stores around campus for stuff like milk and eggs. Otherwise, it’s really easy to walk around. You don’t need an Uber to go out.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
It’s such a good college town and there’s pizza, Chipotle, and bar food all the time. Nacho Tuesday at Klondike Kate’s is very popular for UD students. I also like Homegrown.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I was on the sailing team, so I went sailing about once a week. That was my favorite way to get off campus. It’s about 20 minutes away from campus in northeast Maryland.
Pros and cons of being in Newark, DE?
Pros: (1) It’s a great, really pretty college town.
(2) Everyone’s really friendly on campus. Nobody will be overtly rude to you.
Cons: (1) There’s not a lot other than the college around it. There’s really nothing.
(2) It’s really hard to drive around campus because everything’s a one-way street. Driving is also a pain because you have to wait for pedestrians.
(3) The police are really into catching people for jaywalking so you have to be careful when you cross.
What nights did you regularly go out?
When I was under 21 it’s Thursday – Saturday, and when I turned 21 I also went out Tuesday. They get a local band to come into one of the bars on Tuesdays.
Were there regular places you’d go?
Tuesdays were a mix between Grotto’s and Deer Park Tavern. Thursdays were Catherine Rooney’s Irish Pub. Grotto’s was the most popular bar. Klondike Kate’s is a dance bar, and the only dance bar around campus.
Can you describe a typical night out freshman year?
Freshmen will go in groups to a frat or club sports party. Cleveland St. is a big going out street, so probably a place around there. The party would be your typical college frat party in a basement with a keg. On Saturdays, there are day parties that happen all day in the backyard of a frat house that are sometimes themed. Frats would have outside parties at night.
What were your favorite days or nights at Delaware?
I loved Tuesday because nobody ever goes to Deer Park at night except for Tuesdays because they have a guy come and sing and it’s a fun scene. Ag-Day is fun. The agriculture school has an outdoor market in South Campus in the spring. Then for Senior Fling, which is open to all students, they have a free concert on the green and they have a moon bounce and games and stuff.
What is an alternative option to going to a party or bar?
You can always hang out a friend’s house. Philly is pretty close if you want to go there. Dewey and Rehoboth Beach are also pretty close. If you’re into outdoors stuff there’s lots of hiking and camping nearby.
How happy were you with the nightlife at Delaware? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I like it a lot, but I think it needs to be more open. I get that a lot of frats want to keep it closed but that can be frustrating. I felt that if you weren’t in a sorority you weren’t meeting that many people in Greek life.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Club sailing and my freshman floor, and then also class.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s pretty quintessential college. If you want a lower key state school vibe that’s what Delaware is. There are definitely some times when people will clump together, and there are other times when there is lots of mixing.
Do you feel that people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I do. I would say the diversity needs to be worked on. There was an LGBT community, but it’s a little smaller than what I’m used to, granted my high school was very liberal so that was huge. There is an exception that there are a lot of Asian students, but they didn’t speak English super well so they pretty much stuck to themselves. [About 71% of students are White.]
What is the impact of Greek Life on the social scene?
It wasn’t too much when I was a freshman, but it did increase when I was a senior. It’s one of those things you can join and it’s fine and you can’t join and it’s not a big deal. I wasn’t part of a social sorority and it was all very casual. I think it’s different for guys, though. I think they have more involvement in Greek life than girls. As far as the social scene goes, it’s club sports and Greek life.
Do people generally seem happy with Delaware by senior year? Do people “love” your school?
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
They have a lot of different seminars you can sign up for. I did one. You can meet individually with career counselors who will look over your resume, give suggestions on how to look for a job and use the alumni network.
Did you learn any specific skills or computer programs that will help you with future jobs?
I had to take a Psychology Statistics class, so we used Excel and we used programs that are more based on psychological statistics.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Delaware before entering as a freshman?
It rains a lot and they don’t have good drainage systems so make sure you have rain boots. I didn’t realize that it rained so much in the spring.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Definitely walk down Main Street and see everything that’s on it. And I don’t think they take you to north or south campus so check that out. It’s just football fields and dorms but it’s good to see.
Reasons to attend Delaware:
1) The students are great.
2) The professors are super accessible.
3) There is a lot of school pride. Everyone loves Delaware.
4) The study abroad program is great.
Reasons to not attend Delaware:
1) It’s not a big football school. There are people that go to the games, but it’s not like a Big 10 school.
2) It’s not near a city, so if you want that I wouldn’t recommend it.
I really liked Delaware, so I don’t have a lot of cons.