A university in the first state; University of Delaware (UD), which also holds a close spot in my heart as this is where I graduated from. Never mind the fact that our less than intimidating mascot, YouDee, is essentially a buff blue hen on steroids, to us, he is perfect.
At UD, every student, no matter where you come from originally, is proud to be a Blue Hen. These students bleed blue and gold 24/7. When I was a student at UD, I don’t think I realized just how lucky I was and how much I was going to miss the place I had called home during my college days. There are certain things every UD student will miss when they graduate and what I miss most:
1. The Cockpit. What the “12th Man” is to the Seattle Seahawks the “Cockpit Crazies” are to the University of Delaware. The Cockpit Crazies consist of a group of students who dress from head to toe in blue and gold for every home football game (if you went to UD you probably have every Cockpit t-shirt). They do not sit; they stand the entire time in their own special student section called the “Cockpit”, giving them a front row view of all the action. Regardless of the outcome of the game, the Cockpit Crazies join the team in the corner of the end zone, singing the Alma Mater and the Fight Song. The players then slap hands with the Cockpit Crazies letting them know they are all in this together. It was such a feeling of unity and being a part of the UD family.
2. Homecoming. This is pretty much like a national holiday at the University of Delaware. Known as “the best week of the fall semester,” homecoming week offers a variety of events, activities and celebrations on campus. Restaurants on Main Street offer homecoming specials and decorate the whole place with blue and gold everything. Students receive free giveaways as they find creative and crazy ways to truly bleed blue and gold. And don’t worry, you can find everything you need to know on Twitter and Instagram using #UDHC. If you don’t go to UD, you will wish you did during this week.
3. Hugh Morris Library. Here is where students pull all-nighters, studying that is. Students refer to this sacred place as #ClubMorris (seriously, just check Instagram) and really the only place where studying actually happens. Rumor has it, that if you rub the nose on the sculpture of the formal federal District Court judge, Hugh Morris, you will ace your final!
4. Scenery. Students at the University of Delaware are very fortunate to have such an aesthetically pleasing campus. Even when the sun goes down, UD offers some truly beautiful architecture that stays lit all around campus. There was always a place to park myself outside in the sun on The Green and just disconnect from the rest of the world.
5. Everything for a Cause. There was always an event that one of the student organizations, fellow students, University of Delaware faculty, and the local Newark community were invited to, to help raise money for a cause. One of my personal favorites was a 12-hour dance marathon during the spring, organized by UDance, the University of Delaware’s largest student run philanthropy. UDance is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for Childhood Cancer. Last year, UDance raised $850,376.75! Attending many of these events I always felt like I was a part of something bigger and truly making a difference.
6. Techno Bus Driver. Don’t think on your bus ride home there wouldn’t be crazy dancing to techno music blasting from the speakers. Techno Bus Driver, or Nadar Azawah, always kept the spirit alive by playing electronic dance style music and wearing fun outfits. When you got on the bus you instantly looked to see if he was going to be driving. No one will ever understand the whole experience unless they were a passenger on the techno bus.
7. Newark Deli and Bagels (aka; NDB). Sooner or later you will end up at NBD whether it is for comfort food or a breakfast sandwich to help you recover from the night before. There is always a line out the door during breakfast and lunch hours. The chances of you running into someone you know are highly probable. Whenever I needed a quick bite to eat between classes NBD was my go-to. I miss you NBD.
8. UD Winter Session (#UDWinter)- As a freshmen you may look forward to going home for winter break. You will finally be able to sleep in and not worry about that 8:00AM class you were left to sign up for. That is until you realize just how long seven weeks is. Yes that is right; seven weeks. Best advice; stay at UD for winter session. I took winter session my junior year and wish I had taken it every year. I used it as an opportunity to get ahead and get some of the “harder” classes out of the way, as it is known that winter session is considerably easier. In addition, Trabant offers free hot chocolate during the whole month of February, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers a wine making class and the whole campus is a whole lot less crowded.
Since I have graduated, that spot in my heart has acquired a bit of a hole, however it will always bleed blue and gold. Once a Blue Hen, Always a Blue Hen.