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What I miss about Juniata over break (and what I’ll miss for the rest of my life)

Jules Slater
Jules Slater ’21, Advocacy Communication POE, Future Mayor of Picklesburgh

It took me a long time to get homesick during my first year of college. I missed my family (especially my dog), of course, but the intense homesickness we often hear so much about just didn’t set in. I believe this is because I’ve always felt like Juniata is my home just as much as my real home is my home. I’m reminded of this fact every time I leave Juniata for fall, winter, spring, or summer break. No matter how long I’m away from Juniata—whether it’s four days or three months (or eight months when I studied abroad)—I find myself homesick for the same things.

The first thing I always miss—obviously—are my friends and loved ones at Juniata. My roommate, my significant other, my favorite professor, my friend group… these are all people Juniata has led me to. But more than missing just these people and the wonder and excitement they add to my life, I miss the social aspects of campus that simply don’t exist in my hometown. Things like bingo on the quad or waving hello to someone from my window in Cloister’s arch. I miss having everything I need less than a city block away from me; friends and support system included.

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Reinventing yourself the Juniata way

Jules Slater
Jules Slater ’21, Advocacy Communication POE, Future Mayor of Picklesburgh

“College is a time to reinvent yourself.”

If only I could count how many times I’ve heard that phrase. Honestly, I thought the idea of reinventing yourself just because you’re headed to a place where no one knows your name was silly

The more I think about this now, I realize that “reinventing myself” is exactly what I’ve done. Well, by “reinventing” I don’t mean in a way that I completely changed who I am because I didn’t like who I was in high school and I had this chance to switch it up completely. It was more like I started evolving into a more well rounded person when I started to settle in at Juniata.

At the start of my freshman year, I told myself, as I’m sure many do, that I would try to push myself socially. My head was filled with key phrases like, “Get involved!” and “Make the most of it!” I was determined to do both of those things.

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How I learned to ask for help early and often

Jules Slater
Jules Slater ’21, Advocacy Communication POE, Future Mayor of Picklesburgh

One of the best things about academics at Juniata, as many will attest to, is the two-adviser system. Assigned to you upon the start of your freshman year, you’ll have an academic adviser, someone who knows the ins and outs of your POE, as well as a mentor, someone who is there to guide you through your college experience. The pros of the two-adviser system are abundant if you know how to use it.

I believe that I began my first year at Juniata at a disadvantage to many of my peers, simply because I was unaccustomed to asking for help. In high school, I felt like there was a stigma associated with receiving help from teachers. When I began college, I tried to figure things out on my own instead of going to my advisers for help. So for my first two semesters, I relied on myself to schedule my courses, understand my POE requirements, and learn what each requirement meant and how to fulfill it.

It wasn’t until my second year at Juniata, when I decided to change my POE, that I finally admitted to myself that I would need help if I was going to be successful at Juniata.

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The 4 toughest questions I’m asked on a campus tour

Jules Slater
Jules Slater ’21, Advocacy Communication POE, Future Mayor of Picklesburgh

As a Campus Tour Guide, I am often asked questions that are tough to answer. Although many questions people ask are ones I can easily answer like, “How many students study abroad at Juniata?” Many of these questions can be answered by skimming our website. However, there are other questions I’m asked that are more subjective. I’ve picked the top 4 tricky questions I get asked on tours and break down my answers.

#1. How is the food?

I love having the opportunity to answer this question. Seniors at Juniata right now definitely have the advantage in answering this question because we got to experience both Sodexo’s (our previous food service provider) and Parkhurst’s (our current food service provider) dining styles. We’ve seen Juniata expand their dining services and offerings, which is cool. We’ve seen the implementation of the little allergen icons on menus, the debut of the Clean Plate station—both of which were game-changers for people with allergies and dietary restrictions. That’s my long-winded way of saying that Juniata students constantly push our dining services to reflect our wants and needs. Trust me, as far as the taste of the food goes, Parkhurst does a mean grilled cheese and tomato soup (and an amazing job with everything else, too).

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Debunked: 3 Myths about Individualized POEs

Jules Slater
Jules Slater ’21, Advocacy Communication POE, Future Mayor of Picklesburgh

If you know anything about Juniata, you know that we don’t have majors the way other colleges might. Sure, you can come in with a Designated Program of Emphasis (POE) like English or Business and have similar requirements to majors at other schools. But you could also write an Individualized POE of “Writing and Society” or “Marketing Strategies.”

There are many myths about the process of individualizing your POE and about graduating with an individualized POE. I’m going to debunk three of them and explain how I individualized my own POE.

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