Aidan King (UNH Social Media Associate, UNHTales writer, and co-tweeter of @UNHStudents): This year has been a crazy one: filled to the brim with Somali Pirates, political elections, Middle Eastern bloodshed, and giant Russian meteors. We had the Olympics in London, “Linsanity” in New York, Bombings in Boston, civil rights protests on a global scale, and Mother Nature doing a bit of “protesting” of her own – in the form of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. Children were shot, chicken wings were consumed, Batman topped the charts once more, and scientists discovered revolutionary new particles. Like any year, humanity has done a pretty good job at staying busy. There’s been happy times and sad times. Awe-inspiring events and devastating tragedies. A proverbial smorgasbord of wild happenings, and it’s all taken place atop the surface of our rocky, interstellar spaceship called “Earth.”
On a smaller scale, the University of New Hampshire and our beloved students have kept busy, too. Playoff hockey, a solar powered music festival, some deliciously themed dinners at HoCo, and even a visit from a campus-roaming astronaut. We’ve had sunny days, rainy days, snow days, and slow days. Exams came and went, as did the semesters, and every day spent away from campus – whether it be from weekend trips to Boston or month-long vacations back home – were met with a longing desire to return to Durham. It has that effect on people, we’ve noticed.
This is our final post of the year, and my final post as a Junior at UNH. It’s been a pleasure working for the University this past year (Thanks Jason, you rock!) Co-managing the @UNHStudents Twitter and Instagram accounts has been exciting and fun, with bouts of stress and confusion in the middle, and writing and editing for this blog has kept me very well versed in the campus-wide happenings. However, time has flown by once more. The seasons have come and gone, as have my semesters in academia. I’m looking forward to the summer, obviously. Beers, barbecues, watering holes, and all sorts of leisurely outdoors-ey activities of that ilk. I’m excited for work, too, believe it or not. Maybe I just want this summer to last as long as possible – after all, I’ll be graduating next Spring, so long as I avoid any disasters of epic proportions. It’s a brave new world out there, and I want to milk as much goodness out of this youthful stage of my life as possible. But I’m rambling now, and I need to leave some room for my fellow bloggers. So, without further ado, here’s the UNH Year In Review:
Katie Duffy (UNH Social Media Associate, UNHTales writer, and co-tweeter of @UNHStudents): I don’t know where this year has gone—my first year of graduate school flew by! I went from not knowing a single person at UNH to having one of the most amazing years of my life. I cannot wait to return in the Fall semester and to begin my full year of student teaching. Aside from the numerous campus activities, fun, and acquainting myself with beautiful New Hampshire, the internship process for the Education Department has been one of the most influential aspects of my academic year. For someone who has already experienced four years in a University, this year was purely dedicated to my goal of becoming an educator. I’m excited to say that after many hours scouring elementary schools for a cooperating teacher to work with, next year I will be acting as a first grade teacher! When one attends graduate school they are generally looking for an experience like the one I received this year: fulfilling, and inspiring. Although graduate school requires a lot of work, it is the most rewarding and motivating experience. I cannot wait to teach next year and start the next chapter of my experience at UNH!
Meghan Orencole (Contributing Writer): My favorite day at UNH is University Day! This day involves the shutting down of Main Street for a giant BBQ as well as over 200 UNH clubs set up with tables all over T-Hall lawn. U-Day is one of the few days in early September where the T-Hall lawn is still in its prime. Occurring usually on a perfectly sunny day U-Day is the perfect opportunity to sit outside with everyone and celebrate the beginning of the semester. The giant BBQ has unlimited burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and most importantly ice cream!! After you fill up on the yummy BBQ my favorite part is to walk around to all the club tables and see what they are giving away. Typically U-Day is better than any trip you may make to Staples especially if you visit the SHARPP table who gives out free half highlighter / half pen’s, these will get you through any exam. Some clubs give out free T-shirts and almost all give out free candy and stickers. All the clubs are eager for you to come and join them through the rest of the school year and use the free items as a reason as to why you must join them. U-Day is an opportunity to reinvent yourself: try the lumberjack club, join a club team, drama club, A Capella group, or even just the amazing and always wonderful hug club. All of this and more is why my favorite day at UNH is U-Day!
Amy Riley (Contributing Writer): Although it has yet to actually happen, I’d have to say my highlight for this year would be UNH commencement. It is a day I, as well as my family, have been anticipating for quite some time. All my life, I’ve always viewed graduation as one of the last steps towards reaching my ultimate goal of becoming a teacher. It’s something I’ve wanted for so long, and throughout my childhood, as dreams of owning a horse and meeting all the members of ‘NSYNC faded away, it was my one dream that remained constant. But now that commencement is almost here, I find myself thinking more about what I’ve accomplished rather than what lies ahead of me. I’m reminded of all the wonderful opportunities I’ve had as a result of being a student here and how much I’ve been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I think of all the friends I have made over the last four years, and about how much I have grown as a person. While I’m tremendously excited to begin my teaching internship next year, I’ll never forget the journey that took me to this place. I’m so thankful for all of the support I’ve received from my friends and family, as well as the teachers and professors I’ve had throughout my education. I hope all of the graduating seniors take a moment to reflect on what brought them to this place when we step up to receive that awkward blank frame that isn’t actually a diploma and take a moment to thank whoever encouraged them along the way. As Christian Larson once said, “Take pride in how far you have come, and have Faith in how far you can go.”
Jacob Lehoux (Contributing Writer): During freshman move-in weekend there are various activities all concluding with a pep rally ending with every freshman touching the nose of the wildcat statue. It was this moment that ended the freshman move in weekend and it was one that I will always remember. For me move in day was the most memorable of my freshman year. It was the start of my college career and of course with most first day’s come fears. Will I like my roommate? Will I make friends? Will I like my room? How will school go? As the move-in day started these fears soon evaporated. The day, and in fact the entire weekend was a fun-filled social gathering in my dorm and all around. There were things to do, to eat, and people to meet. Awkward first meetings turned into friendships and those friendships brought great memories. I learned that by keeping my room door open people would walk in and soon enough it was my triple that everyone was hanging out in shortly after I established a large group of friends. It is these friends that I will never forget and they have made this year memorable. After going through this weekend my one word of advice is to be open to new things and new people — never be afraid of what’s to come! The friends I made that day and indeed this entire year will probably be the group I have for the next three years. When looking back now, I remember the experience as a positive one and I will always remember that day.
Sophie White (Contributing Writer): PAWs, the Pre-Orientation Adventure for Wildcats, has jump-started my past two years of college. Before my freshman year, PAWs served as a transition from high school to college. I was a student from Maine, and therefore out of state and having no friends at UNH prior to my arrival. The close-knit community encouraged by PAWs, as well as the fun games and activities, served to make me excited about college and introduced me to best friends that I still have today. I loved the experience so much that I decided to become a leader the next year. Although the experience was different as a leader, I almost enjoyed it more – I was less worried before the start of PAWs, and it allowed me to become closer to my fellow leaders but also to meet new freshmen friends. Becoming a leader showed me the progress I had made in the past year; where before I was a scared, naïve freshman, I was now teaching incoming freshmen about UNH and reinforcing friendships with a confidence I never possessed before. After both years of PAWs, I have noticed in myself an increased confidence and ability to meet new people during the school year. This was essential for my study abroad experience in London. I spent my past semester at Regent’s College in London, a school filled with other American students from various schools. I did not know anyone before my trip to London, yet I came back with great friends and memories. I can attribute my success partly to my relatively outgoing personality, but also to the fact that PAWs has made me comfortable with meeting new people and reaching out to others. This success allowed me to have an incredible semester filled with adventures both in London and around Europe!
Rachel Afrow (Contributing Writer): Ending my freshman year at UNH, I would have to say participating in the PrOVES (Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience in Service) program five days prior to freshman move-in day really affected me positively. I made so many friends that week, many of which I am still close with, and I was able to continue my love of community service by volunteering locally. Our nightly reflections allowed for everyone to get to know one another on a more personal level and helped us realize that college helps us realize our role in life and we can further identify ourselves as we grow and develop on this campus. The staff members did a great job of being leaders, role models, and helping all of us adapt to college life before classes began. By starting off my college experience in this particular manner, I knew this school would be perfect for me and I highly recommend the program to any incoming freshman.
Kelsey Matheson (Contributing Writer) “UNH Homecoming was amazing. Everyone was there (students, staff, faculty, alums) and we all had a great time, enjoyed the sunshine and tailgating, a great atmosphere.”
Denise Barstow (Contributing Writer) “I helped put the CAB MayDay Carnival together and it was a great success, very fun and great to see students enjoying the great weather, rides, and games.”
A big congratulations to everyone at UNH, for completing yet another fantastic year of academics, friendships, and personal growth. And even bigger congratulations to the Class of 2013. Best of luck in all your future endeavors, and may the forces of evil forever be confused on their way to your house.
Mahalo, and have a happy summer, folks!
– Aidan King