University of Delaware
BackgroundInterview Date:April 2019
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Public school in northern New Jersey with a graduating class of about 350 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in a fraternity and all the other stuff I’m involved with on campus is through the fraternity, like UDance. I’ve also held leadership roles in the fraternity.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
The fraternity has definitely made the experience a lot more fun and brought together a good group of guys. Everyone is like-minded and wants to do the same kind of things, so it’s rewarding and a good way to make friendships.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Depending on the class you’ll have problem sets. If you’re in an Accounting or Economics class you’ll probably have problem sets. For the other classes, you might have homework but usually it’s heavily test-based, usually about 75% of your grade. For other classes, you’ll have clicker questions and for some classes, you won’t. Attendance is totally variable; some professors take it and some don’t and the entire grade is your three exams.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
They do a good job of getting employers in touch with students and for students to get prepared for the job application process. There are a lot of opportunities for you to get your resume fixed and do interview prep.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it was particularly competitive or collaborative?
It depends on the class. If you’re in a class with a bunch of your friends, then it’s relatively collaborative. If you’re in a class and don’t really know anyone, people aren’t going to be going out of their way to help you. The classes that are graded on a curve are a little bit more competitive because you have to fight against everyone else. In the more basic finance classes there’s not a curve and those classes have more people helping one another.
How accessible are your professors?
Most of them are very accessible. They have office hours two to three days a week and you can talk to them any time after class.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Probably either Investments or I took a valuation course because both of those I see myself using in the future.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I always knew I wanted to do something in finance and hopefully work in New York City. I’m happy with my choice and I think it prepared me well to do that.
How difficult is keeping up with your academics and being in Greek life?
I get very good grades, but I’ve seen people in my fraternity that have gotten lost in the black hole of the fraternity and tank completely. I would say the majority of the fraternity does not get the best grades, but there are people like me that get know how to manage their time and get work done when you need to. It sucks when you have to do work and you see your friends going out, but you have to do it. As long as you are committed, it shouldn’t be a problem at all, and you’ll find people who have the same mindset who are also trying to do well that you stick with.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on and around campus?
Freshman: I lived in an on-campus dorm with two roommates.
Sophomore – Junior: Off-campus fraternity house with about 30 of us total
Senior: Off-campus house with five roommates.
What was your favorite living situation?
Probably this year because it’s right next to Main Street which is nice.
How was transitioning from New Jersey to Newark, DE in terms of location?
It was very easy. It’s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Also, a lot of people from my area go to Delaware so it’s easy to get a ride there and back if you don’t have a car.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
There’s a pretty large police presence. I’ve never felt unsafe. I sometimes think there are too many cops because they will bust parties which is annoying.
Pros and cons of being located in Newark, DE?
Pros: 1) There’s a great main street with a lot of stuff to do.
2) Philadelphia is close which is cool so we will have Greek life events there and we can go to sporting events and concerts there. It’s about a 45-minute drive.
Cons: 1) It’s near Wilmington which is not such a great area. [The crime rate in Wilmington is 139% higher than the national average.]
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
During the week there will usually be a party or you’ll go to the bar on Tuesday, Thursday, or both. Friday night there will usually be a night party and Saturday there are day parties.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I would say it is the entire nightlife for underclassmen because they can’t get into the bars. As a girl, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a sorority if you want to go to parties. As a guy, it can be hard socially if you’re not in a fraternity. I joined my fraternity fall of freshman year, and if I didn’t join then I would 100% have trouble getting into parties. Now that I’m older and have more friends in other fraternities, I can also go to other fraternities’ events if I want to. [About 28% of the undergraduate population is involved in Greek life.]
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
Through the fraternity we’ll have formal trips where we’ll go to the beach for a weekend. I’ve also gone to Atlantic City and to Philadelphia in the future
How happy are you with the weekend options? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m very happy with it. One thing I would change is they’ve really been ramping up the laws in Delaware so they’re very strict. It’s ramped up a lot ever since we were ranked the number one party school.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I came to school with a couple of people I knew from home and the rest I met through my fraternity. My closest girl friends I met through Greek life too.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s pretty great. As long as you’re in Greek life as a guy, it’s a lot of fun. We’re friends with people who are not in Greek life, mainly girls, but I honestly don’t know what a guy that isn’t in Greek life would do on this campus.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
That’s one of the better things about Delaware. I came from a predominantly White hometown, but at school there is a lot of intermingling. It’s very open. I’m friends with a bunch of people of different races and ethnicities, which I think is a good thing. I don’t know much about the LGBTQ scene on campus, but nobody I know would hold any grudges against people who [identify that way].
How would you describe the student body?
I would describe them as a very energetic group of people that are always wanting to do stuff. With pretty much everyone I know, nobody wants to sit at home. Everybody wants to be active during the day, which I think is fun. People are always on the green hanging out. Overall, people are also very involved in campus initiatives.
How do you like the size of Delaware in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How has that impacted your experience?
I think it’s a great size. It’s about [19,000] students so it’s the point where you can have a good group of friends but can still meet someone new every weekend.
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Delaware? Do you think people leave loving Delaware?
Yes, absolutely. We have alumni from the fraternity who are constantly coming back to visit. We even have guys who visit who graduated years ago, people always want to be back, which I think is a testament to how much people love the school.
Has the alumni network helped you in applying to graduate school or finding internships?
Not me personally, but I know people who have. I’m constantly seeing posts for jobs in Baltimore and Philadelphia from alumni. I’ve met up with a bunch of alumni who work in New York City and they’ve been really open. They respond quickly and are actually interested in helping you out.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful are they?
I haven’t used it that much and think that’s maybe one of the slightly weaker things at this school. I think they have a lot of good referral programs for getting in touch with people, especially in Philadelphia. For me personally, I’m looking at jobs in New York City and they haven’t been that helpful with that.
Have you learned any computer programs or languages that will be helpful to you professionally?
Yeah, I’ve learned Excel and R. We had Management Information Systems classes where we learned all that stuff.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Delaware before entering as a freshman?
I guess I would have liked to know the bar situation because there’s no bar that you can get into. I also would have liked to know how important it is to join Greek life. Even though I got that and joined, I think that’s something you need to be ready to do.
What’s something a prospective student interested in Greek life may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
Academically, and it’s this way at every school, school will be completely different and you need to get your grades up because fraternities will look at your GPA.
What’s something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They would miss Main Street. Stop by Grotto’s and get a slice of pizza and walk around so you get a bit of a feel for the atmosphere.
Reasons to attend Delaware:
1) It’s a really fun school. It’s a great atmosphere.
2) The campus is beautiful and the classes are all situated very closely together. The campus has a very collegial feel.
3) You can pretty much walk anywhere and I think it’s nice that you don’t necessarily need a car.
4) Greek life is pretty incredible at Delaware, so if you want to get involved with that’ definitely do.
Reasons to not attend Delaware:
1) If you are a guy and absolutely against joining Greek life and want the traditional college social scene, it might not be the place for you. Obviously, people still have social lives outside of Greek life, but it might not be at the scale you’re looking for. [About 28% of the undergraduate population is involved in Greek life.]
2) The freshman dorms aren’t very great unless you’re in one of the new ones.
3) Some of your classes will be in big lecture halls. If you really want small classrooms, that’s not going to be the case for every class. You’ll have some smaller classes, but if you’re not comfortable being in a big room this might not be the best school for you.