An Interview On
University of Delaware

Background

Interview Date:February 2019

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Black
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Middletown, DE with a graduating class of about 250 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Nursing
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: I don’t participate in any extracurricular activities on campus. The only thing I do is I participate in my church a lot.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
I have lectures and science labs and nursing labs which are simulation labs where you practice nursing skills in a setting that is very similar to a hospital. Exams usually make up the majority of our grade, but then a small percentage will be a project or a paper.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
The Nursing program does a good job of being organized and giving us information that we need to know. They make sure that we’re studying and emphasize the things that they would like us to know. It never seems like the Nursing students are uncertain what to study or what exactly we’re learning because it’s pretty structured.

Something they could improve on is they could give us more time to practice for simulation labs. In the Nursing labs, half of the time is spent teaching us how to do something and then maybe 20 or 30 minutes is spent actually doing it, and those only happen once a week. The way we’re graded on them is we have three practice labs and then a test out for that skill. In those three labs we learned three different skills, and sometimes I don’t think we’re given enough time to prepare for the test out.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it was particularly competitive or collaborative?
I don’t think of the Nursing program as being very competitive. The Nursing students are pretty collaborative. We want to help each other out in any way we can, we don’t want other people to fail.

How accessible are your professors?
I think they’re accessible. They give their email out and sometimes their phone number too. Whenever I try to contact them, they get back to me in a relatively good time frame.

Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
In high school, we had allied health classes which introduce you to the medical field, so I was drawn to that. It took me a while to actually figure out that I wanted to do nursing, but I think what helped me make that decision is my mom is a nurse too and she described me all the different things a nurse can do. You can work bedside, you can be a teacher, you can be a school nurse, and you can be a researcher, so I liked the flexibility.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on and around campus?
Freshman & Sophomore: I’ve been a commuter for the past two years.

How has being a commuter impacted your experience?
Commuting can be hard. It’s good and bad sometimes because you do have to worry about going home at the end of the day. I find that hard because I find studying with other nursing students to be really helpful, but if you’re going off their schedule, which is based on them living there, you find it hard to leave. You really want to take advantage of your fellow classmates to study, but it’s hard to do that when they have all the time in the world to do it and you don’t have as much time or flexibility. It’s also good because I save a lot of money and going home can be a break from everything.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I’ve felt pretty safe. I haven’t had anything dangerous really happen to me.

Pros and cons of being located in Newark, DE?
Pros:
1) It isn’t a very dangerous part of Delaware.
2) I like that it’s its own little campus town. It’s in the middle of being suburban and urban. It’s not overwhelming.

Cons:
1) It can be difficult to find stuff to do in Newark. Other than a party, I don’t know what you would do. Your options for having fun can be limited.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Sometimes I’ll just go hang out with my friends in their dorms. I’m not particularly a party person, but sometimes I’ll go to parties. There will also be events with my church that I’ll go to, like volunteer events or potluck dinners.

What are some of your favorite on-campus events?
I really like the events that the CPAB does. They try to make events for minorities, particularly Black students. They have events during Homecoming weekend and the have events where speakers come in. Also, sometimes Perkins Live can be fun. That happens on Friday nights and they have comedians, magicians, and other shows come in.

How happy are you with the weekend options at Delaware? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m the kind of person who likes to stay in and am really content with just watching a movie, so I’m not sure. I’d like some more options, but I’m not sure what they would be.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
I met my closest friends through the Nursing program. We met in the first week but then realized that we all had the same classes so we grew closer over that.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
I think everyone’s pretty friendly for the most part. People care about one another but not overly so. If somebody tripped on the sidewalk, somebody would help them even if they didn’t know them.

To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I do think that the social experience can be segregated where White people hang out with White people and Black people hang out with Black people. It’s not purposeful, it’s just that sometimes people relate better to people in their culture, which is fine. It could be good and bad because you don’t find yourself sitting with a mix of people. [About 71% of undergraduate students are White.]

How would you describe the Black community? How strong is it?
Because it’s pretty small, everyone knows each other. It’s not like we are close, but we all have seen each other and mostly know each other’s names. I do feel that in the Black community if you’re in Greek life you are looked on as honorable or superior and people who aren’t in [historically Black] Greek life don’t have that reputation or look. [About 5.5% of students are Black.]

To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek life mix socially?
I think they mix. It’s just that people in the [same fraternity and in Greek life overall] share something that people who are not in it cannot. It does seem like they stick with their brothers or sisters, but it’s not that they feel weird about socializing with non-Greeks.

How would you describe the Christian community on campus? How strong is it?
From what I’ve seen, the Black Christian community is similar to the Black community in general because most of them are Christian. There is an umbrella Christian group, [Blue Hens for Christ], and they’re pretty close and welcoming.

How do you like the size of Delaware in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [There are about 19,000 students.]
It’s good. It is pretty big, but I think that’s fine and it doesn’t bother me. It’s not crazy big either.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
No, I haven’t reached out to them.

What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
The only time I’ve used it so far was to rent out a private room to study for finals. It’s really nice. Other than that, I haven’t used them.

Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
I learned Excel in a statistics class.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, how easy are they to work with?
I honestly feel like financial aid for me was not that helpful because I live with my parents who are married and I guess make good money. Financial aid didn’t help because they didn’t give me much money, I only have loans.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Delaware before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that it wasn’t going to be as diverse as I thought. I also wish I knew they wouldn’t give me as much money in financial aid as I thought they would.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I think they should tour Perkins [Student Center] more because it’s really pretty.

Reasons to attend Delaware:
1) It’s a relatively safe place
2) It’s a challenging school
3) I like that the learning environment isn’t very competitive. We are all collaborative and help one another.
4) The dorms are nice.

Reasons to not attend Delaware:
1) The lack of diversity. [About 71% of undergraduate students are White.]

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