Incoming student questions asked and answered
Blaike Bingaman (left)), a junior, is majoring in organization community leadership. Brody Hamilton, a sophomore, is majoring in public policy and political science.
Photos by Evan Krape and courtesy of Janna He and Carissa Barksdale
August 09, 2019
Blue Hen Ambassadors and Orientation Leaders address first-year concerns
Where’s Drake Hall? Where should I eat? Do I need to visit my academic adviser? These are a few of the types of questions swirling in the minds of students and families as they prepare for college. The transition can be overwhelming.
At the University of Delaware, incoming first-year students have many opportunities to get answers to their questions. Potential students can schedule tours throughout the year led by one of UD’s Blue Hen Ambassadors and ask questions of the Admissions Office staff. Once you commit to the University, incoming students also participate in New Student Orientation.
UDaily spoke with Blue Hen Ambassadors and Orientation Leaders in July to learn the most common questions incoming students ask.
Jessica Harding, a junior, is majoring in energy and environmental policy.
How can I avoid failing classes?
“The University has everything in place to make you successful, it’s just about how you use your time and take advantage of all the resources. Go to those office hours, go to those study sessions, get with the tutors. I feel like if you are doing those things then failing won’t be a worry.” — Jessica Harding, junior, energy and environmental policy
What if I’m not sure what I want to study?
“The best quote to keep in mind is, ‘Each student’s college career path is different and that is okay.’ I’m looking at going into five years and I had to overcome the fact that I’m doing an extra year. That also goes for anyone that is undecided. I used my last semester to figure out what I wanted to do and I was very happy with my decision. Everyone has a different college path.” — Blaike Bingaman, junior, organization community leadership
Miles Evans, a sophomore, is majoring in political science.
How do you make friends?
“You will make friends if you put yourself out there. If you talk to people on your floor, if you get involved on campus, you’re going to get to know people. You just have to really try.” — Miles Evans, sophomore, political science
“Get involved and don’t be afraid of asking someone, ‘Hey what’s your major? What’s your name?’ Or even in class, ask someone to study with them. Go to the club fair, join some stuff, you can weed clubs out as you go. I signed up for all of them. You can find what you’re passionate about and get involved that way. Just step outside of your comfort zone. College is a new experience. You can really be who you want to be. College is like a blank slate.” — Loren Gross, senior, nutrition and dietetics
Loren Gross, a senior, is majoring in nutrition and dietetics.
What’s the best residence hall on campus?
“You could make any of these residence halls be the best home for you. They all have their pros and cons, but it’s the community and the people living there that give the building the feeling it has. It doesn’t necessarily matter where you’re living, it’s about how you act in the space and interact with the people around you.” — Jessica Harding, junior, energy and environmental policy
Are all first-year residence halls air conditioned?
“Not all of our residence halls are air conditioned, however first-year students always have access to air conditioned spaces like lounges and study areas. The general trade off is, if your residence hall is not air conditioned you can open your windows. You can have multiple fans in your room, too.” — Janna He, senior, medical laboratory sciences
Janna He, a senior, is majoring in medical laboratory sciences.
Do you feel safe on campus?
“As a female on this campus, I’ve never felt unsafe. We have the yellow box blue light system. [Emergency phones on campus to connect directly to UD Police.] No matter what happens there is always going to be someone within a button’s reach in 90 seconds. That said, I’ve never had a situation where I’ve had to use it and I have no friends who have had to use it either.” — Carissa Barksdale, junior, health behavior science
Carissa Barksdale, a junior, is majoring in health behavior science.
“I feel safe on campus. There are precautions that I take to be extra safe, but there has never been a time when I felt unsafe on campus. I always text my friends if I’m walking alone and I share my location with them. I always try to walk near the blue lights, but I’ve never had to use them, but I still like to be near them. I think the University is very well lit. I also walk in groups. I never try to walk home alone. If I do find myself alone, I try to catch the bus or a rideshare.” — Mecina Fellin, sophomore, wildlife ecology and conservation
Is the food good?
“It’s not a home-cooked meal, but it’s still good. I have a lot of dietary restrictions and I’ve always had good meals at the dining hall. I’m vegan and there are lots of vegan options. They are very accommodating and everyone that works in the dining halls are super nice. Overall, I’ve had a very pleasant experience.” — Mecina Fellin, sophomore, wildlife ecology and conservation
Mecina Fellin, a sophomore, is majoring in wildlife ecology and conservation.
What meal plan should I choose?
“My first semester, I had classes at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. So I would go to the dining hall after each class, plus I went for dinner and then I went to Russell Dining Hall late at night. I got the unlimited plan, obviously, but it’s different for every single person. Dining plans are pretty much up to you.” — Brody Hamilton, sophomore, public policy and political science (double major)
Life at UD
The transition to college life can be challenging. Navigating academic requirements, managing an independent lifestyle and making friends can bring obstacles for some students, especially if financial or other concerns are involved. Advocacy, support and resources are available to all University of Delaware students through Student Life’s Office of the Dean of Students (ODS), which invites any question, concern, or feedback a student may have as they proceed on their journey at UD. The office offers one-on-one support, helping students find the campus expert and best path forward for their specific needs. Students can connect with ODS by visiting udel.edu/deanofstudents, emailing email@example.com, calling 302-831-8939, or visiting room 101 of Hullihen Hall.
Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.