The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Robert is a Philadelphia tutor and 2015 graduate of University of Delaware. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and specializes in algebra tutoring, geometry tutoring, and science tutoring, among others. Check out what Robert had to say about his time at University of Delaware:
Describe the campus setting and transportation options at University of Delaware.
Robert: The University of Delaware has a green that runs through the center of campus and ends at Main Street. Campus is easy to navigate and safe. You can easily bike anywhere around campus. There are shuttle buses from the further areas of campus that are easy to catch using the school’s app.
How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Robert: Most professors are easy to reach during office hours. I recommend forming relationships with them early in the year so that they recognize you face-to-face. If you wait until the day before an exam to seek help, they will likely be less receptive than if you put in the necessary effort earlier.
How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Robert: The dining hall food is average. The dorms are a lot of fun, and I made life-long friends in my freshman dorm that I still talk to daily. The campus is set up very well, except for sporting events. The stadiums are all on the other side of campus, which makes students less inclined to attend sporting events.
Which majors/programs are best represented and supported at University of Delaware?
Robert: The engineering school (my field) was definitely well represented. My friends in business- and health-related majors always seemed happy with the resources at their disposal. I cannot recall any programs having a bad reputation. I studied engineering because I like applied math and physical sciences. I believe engineering is a never-ending process of optimization. This means that I will always have challenges to overcome, and the ability to grow; this pursuit is what led me to engineering.
How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Robert: Greek life plays a significant role at the University of Delaware, but there are lots of other things to get involved in too. I personally was on the men’s rugby team. I recommend playing a sport, joining Greek life, or finding some other activity or club that interests you. I also recommend having close friends that you hang out with outside of the people you live with. Do not get so involved that you are overwhelmed and your grades suffer, but definitely find something to do outside of school.
How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services?
Robert: The best resource is the career fair (in the fall and spring). Go freshman year even if you have no idea what you want to do, especially if you are an undecided major. Just the experience of being there will make it less stressful in a few years when you are more serious about finding an internship or job. It is a great opportunity to network with professionals, and most of the booths do not get many interested students. If nothing else, you can grab a pair of free sunglasses, candy, and plenty of other free stuff. The career services website and the network of alumni helped me get my first job, so I highly recommend them.
How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?
Robert: The library and dorm study areas are nice. I did not use them much, so I cannot comment much. They are never over-crowded until finals week.
Describe the surrounding town.
Robert: The green ends at Main Street. Main Street has plenty of places to eat or hang out. The closest major city is Philadelphia, so it is rare for people to leave campus to go to another area. The Christiana Mall is about 20 minutes away for anything that you cannot find closer.
How big or small is the student body at University of Delaware? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Robert: Class sizes range depending on major and content. I felt a lot of my classes were a bit large. They are not large in comparison to other large state schools, but it is rare to find yourself in a classroom with 20 people.
Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Robert: One of my most memorable moments in college was my fall of junior year. We had just taken our first fluid mechanics exam, and we were getting them back. For those unfamiliar, it is a difficult class. As we were sitting there with our test grades, some happy, most disappointed, our professor gave a great speech. He pulled out a plastic bin and began filling it with a concrete chunk, some gravel, some pencils, crumbled up papers, and anything else close by. We sat wondering what he was doing, surely another fluids experiment that we were not in the mood to listen to. He opened it up to the class to explain what he was demonstrating. After a few minutes of silence, he finally stepped in to explain. Every object represented a moment. Some bigger or more important than others. He compared the giant concrete block to getting married or having your first child. The slightly smaller things represented events such as graduation or getting your first job. He continued moving through the container until he came to the small pieces of gravel that were hardly visible. They represented the test that we had just taken. It was worth working hard and taking pride in success, but ultimately insignificant in the grand scheme of life. I do not remember what I got on that test, but those few moments will stick with me forever.
Check out Robert’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.