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How Juniata is thriving during the pandemic

Theo Weinberger
Theo Weinberger ’21, Multi-Sport Athlete

How is it possible that at Juniata, despite CoVID restrictions, I’m allowed to compete in the annual Bailey Oratorical speech contest in person? I get to eat food at Baker celebrating Mardi Gras at a table with four of my friends?  Juniata students are in the fortunate position of having found a new normal during the CoVid19 public health crisis while keeping our on-campus students’ test positivity rate– our rate of infection –just around 1%. Through the extraordinary performance by our school, faculty, and most importantly, our students, we’ve been able to enjoy what many other colleges cannot at this time.

Of course, if your school is like most high schools or colleges across the U.S., these privileges may seem unbelievable for you.  Dining, sports, being with friends? The option for in-person classes that maintain the quality of education that has been more familiar and effective than SOME online classes have been for many? How is it possible?

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Juniata Esports: We Work Hard and Game Hard

Theo Weinberger
Theo Weinberger ’21, Multi-Sport Athlete

Just like there is no one “right way” for a person to go about finding their place in the Juniata community, I didn’t join the JC Eagles Esports team the “right way.” I didn’t have any knowledge of who or what would be waiting for me when I followed the flyer leading me to the Super Smash Bros Ultimate Team tryouts. As I meandered through the front door of the ESports Lounge neighboring the Tussey and Terrace Dorms, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be on the team yet. This doubt disappeared when the team captain invited me to take part in the tryouts.

The Juniata College ESports Lounge
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Surprised? College Online brings the best out of JC Athletics!

Theo Weinberger
-Theo Weinberger ’21, Communication POE, California Skater Dude

It’s been over a month since spring break ended, and the reality for Juniata athletes became classes in pajamas as they co-enrolled at in Zoom University. Parents’ home cooked meals have replaced our sweet Baker and Eagles Landing meals. Lovable pets and our cute siblings may be replacing our team bonding and connections for now, but we shall not forget the Oak shaped holes in our hearts that our early departure from Juniata left us with. Maybe this sounds like an ideal college experience for you? Studying from home may sound like paradise for some, but for others it quickly became clear that not all aspects of life at Juniata College are as fruitful when recreated at home. Being at home has made me miss the appeal of living at college. Part of what makes us Juniatians is that we are adaptable and we press on, and that’s exactly what the Juniata Athletics program is at the forefront doing.

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The Dreaded First Year 15

I’m proud to admit that I have lost my First Year 15. Much of the hearsay about college has made it seem almost inevitable that parents will foot the bill, but also by the student in the form of baggy eyes and a little extra “chub” around the edges. In my first year of college, I gained over 30 pounds. In my second year of college, I made it a goal to get back the “pep in my step” so I can continue to compete at the varsity level. Now as a junior, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life. In college, having a healthy lifestyle can be tough because living alone is a first for many undergrads. Balancing a healthy lifestyle and enjoying your newfound independence can be a struggle for any new college student!

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From the West Coast to a Winter Campus – Snow what?

There’s one aspect of returning to Juniata after a long Winter break which never fails to catch me by surprise. It seems a lot of my more localized peers here at Juniata take this winter phenomena for granted, but coming from the dry West Coast, it’s part of what makes Juniata a special place to me. Getting to walk in, look at, and even getting covered by snow when some falls out of a tree are just a few reasons of why it’s so wonderful to be back here at school.

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