I don't mean to make you alarmed, but you'll start feeling homesick for Newark on winter break. I know it sounds super corny, but even living 20 minutes away from campus and working there year-round at Morris Library, I miss the hustle and bustle of Main Street filled with students. I miss campus life and always feeling like there is someone to see, something to do, or somewhere to go.
I even sort of miss the drunk people every weekend going around the city.
Newark has a lot of chaos and a lot of food. Don't be surprised if you need to kick up your gym routine to account for all the trips to Klondike Kate's, Cheeburger Cheeburger, and coffee shops you'll likely have. Oh, and by the way, there are 6 coffee shops within walking distance (Starbucks, Little Goat, Central Perk, Brew Ha Ha, The Perfect Blend, Brewed Awakenings). And that doesn't even include the places to get food on campus.
Newark Community Day and the annual Halloween Parade are going to become a part of your campus life. Newark High School is nearby, and on occasion, you can hear their marching band practicing, or see it when you ride by.
City buses and UD Shuttles run constantly. The community will let you know it exists constantly, whether it is honking at a New Student Orientation leader dancing on the corner, participating in the farmer's market that happens every week of the fall in Mentors Circle, or, on occasion, trying to run you over in a crosswalk (by the way, do not jaywalk. I know it seems tempting because you have places to be, but the UDPD will ticket you for it, and you'll already be spending money on the abovementioned food).
There is something for everyone in Newark. Do you like parties and bar-hopping? There are TONS of bars (and while I am not old enough to drink yet, I'd recommend Santa Fe and Klondike Kate's; they seem fun and their food is good to begin with). If you're a little bit nerdy, there is a board game/nerdtopia of a store called Days of Knights that is AMAZING and a comic book store (Captain Blue Hen Comics) up past the Newark Shopping Center, and you'll likely find me there a couple times with my board game club.
And speaking of the Newark Shopping Center… there's a movie theater there. BEST TIME EVER. Tuesdays every ticket is $5.50, and by my not-so-scientific research, you get the best popcorn to price ratio of any of the movie theaters around the area. It's cozy, affordable, and lovely.
As you drive into Newark for the first time, I know it probably won't look that different from any other main street in any other town. But just know….Newark and the University of Delaware run in tandem, for better or for worse. We are involved in this city, and if you're nice, the community is nice back to you, too. I have made friends with waitresses and business owners, and my student organization has a much easier time getting events places because of it.
I know you're going to grow to love Newark. Have fun exploring.