Finals week can be the best or worst week of the year. It can be the best because somehow the gods blessed you with not having any finals. The other poor souls, including myself, have exams or a project due for almost every class. Luckily, the Office of Student Activities provides a week of stress busters that usually come with free food.
Even if you are stressed beyond the point of remembering to take a shower, going to the stress busters are a requirement. One of the best stress busters is called Finals Blowout. At this one, there are free t-shirts, create your own stuffed animal, board games, a giant inflatable obstacle course, and tons of free food. This one is the best one because it’s later at night, allowing students to study all day.
One of the best stress busters is when the humane society brings puppies or kittens into Ellis Ballroom. A room full of adorable puppies and kittens is the perfect cure for an overly stressed college students. Another bonus is that there are also cookies and donuts.
These stress busters really do help Juniata College students relax. Not having these stress busters would result in students over exhausting themselves and believing that not sleeping is a good thing. If you are one of the lucky students who had hardly anything to do, my only advice to you is that you shouldn’t expect that kind of luck every year.
A lot of people say that you change when you go to college. I expected myself to change; Juniata College was listed in Loren Pope’s Colleges That Change Lives. I just didn’t know how I would change. A graduating high school senior hears so much about college that he or she has no idea what is true, what is an exaggeration, or what does not apply to that specific school. While I haven’t finished my college career yet, I have finished one year and I can already see a difference in myself and how I view the world.
Juniata’s environment encourages healthy change. The professors are available and willing to talk to students about their academic interests to help them find a direction to head in or their personal problems to help them make the transition to the college lifestyle. Additionally, there are plenty of students who have great consciousness of issues and plenty of students with open minds who are willing to learn more. Juniata is a great place to have a casual and intellectual conversation. It’s a friendly place to get used to living away from home and to get a taste of the “real world.”
The most major change that I see within myself is my new awareness of the world. There are global issues that I’ve never heard of or discussed before, problems that individuals face in other countries and in our own, and a lifetime worth of literature to read from non-English speaking countries. I never thought that reading literature in translation would be this rewarding until I took World Literatures last semester. You could say that I had a fairly sheltered life. I never watched the news. I never picked up a newspaper. Now, when I hear about something I read news articles myself and I talk to people who are always on top of the latest news. The friendliness of Juniata’s students is really helpful in these situations, since other students are often happy that you are willing to try to understand these issues and will help you out as much as they can. I’ve made friends from all over the United States and also from other countries, and I’ve come to realize that every one of these people has had different life experiences up to this point and that I can learn something from every person I come in contact with. Most importantly, I’ve learned that the standard advice of acting friendly toward everyone is very true and very important and that you should approach every situation and opportunity with an open mind.
Well. This is it: my final blog post. Seems like my life is full of endings lately; the last day of internship, a final choir concert, and last house dinners. My parents took a lot of my furniture home with them after convocation, yesterday. However, I had a friend tell me when I was feeling down about all these great things coming to an end, that my life is still in its beginning chapters. And that really made sense and comforted the book nerd in me.
So in those terms, these past four years at Juniata College were just the beginning of my life story. But, what an amazing start! If you would have told me four years ago that college would be this fantastic experience, I probably would have agreed with you; but I don’t know if I would have said that I expected college to change me.
I know that is has though; I started to fully realize this during this past semester in probably one of the strangest ways. I re-watched early episodes of “Glee” on Netflix with my housemate, who had never seen the show before. I was obsessed with the show in high school and while I kept up with the show when I could in college, I haven’t seen the early season since they aired. As I was watching them this past semester, I could easily remember the first time I saw them. And I realized what a different person I was back then.
In high school, I just wanted to blend in. Despite my love for vintage clothes, I wore jeans and Hollister tees to fit in; I didn’t want to cause a stir. I also didn’t stand up for myself, which resulted in me getting emotionally hurt. Juniata, however, changed all that. I found amazing friends who didn’t care what I wore – in fact, liked the unique clothes I started to collect. I took classes and talked with professors who gave my thoughts validity. Without realizing it, I became a much stronger person; someone who could say what she believed, wear the clothes she loved, and have a goal of helping women and girls in harmful relationships. Juniata and this community made all of those things possible.
Sure, Juniata isn’t perfect, but what school is? Really, what home is? Because that is what Juniata has become to me: my home. I know that it is going to be hard to leave (I mean, I’m tearing up writing this – graduation day, I will probably be an emotional wreck), but I know that I will always have the memories of my time here, the strength and knowledge that I learned, and the support of my Juniata friends and community for the rest of my life. I know that my life is going to keep on changing, but I know that because of Juniata, it is going to keep on changing for the better.