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A Beginner’s Guide to Adulting on Campus in the Summer

I never understood adulthood until I had to buy my own silverware. While I was excited to start my new independent life (and first full summer out of my parents’ house), I was nervous to take on the responsibility of taking full care of myself. I couldn’t rely on late night burritos from Baker if I was hungry or the complimentary toilet paper in the residence hall bathrooms if I decided to eat the burritos.

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Why I chose Juniata

Tessa Senel
Tessa Senel ’21, Professional Writing POE

Growing up in New Jersey, I had never heard of Juniata before. While I was in high school, students were always talking about big state schools and other public universities—but small schools were never mentioned. It wasn’t until my high school hosted a “college and career fair” back in 2015, that Juniata College became a name that I would never forget.

As I was walking around my high school’s “college and career fair” I noticed that the tables with Admissions Counselors from state schools were overcrowded with students trying to talk to them. As I was walking, I noticed one table that had nobody standing around it—and that table had a banner hanging from it that read, “Juniata College.” I decided to give this school a try. As I approached, the Admissions Counselor from Juniata greeted me with the biggest smile that I had seen that day and they enthusiastically welcomed me to their table. They told me about Juniata’s “Program of Emphasis (POE)” system, which allows you to individualize your degree and make it your own. Then, the Admissions Counselor told me about Juniata’s immersive learning environment. Immediately I was awestruck by Juniata—the Admissions Counselor was enthusiastically helping me, the curriculum seemed personal, and the community appeared to be extremely friendly.

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Life as a Juniata Student Interviewer

Caroline Benfer
Caroline Benfer ’21

I interviewed with Terri Bollman-Dalansky for the student assistant admissions counselor position in the middle of the Summer over zoom in 2020. I had a nice shirt on and tried to find a relatively blank wall to set up my laptop in front of. I think in my head I had hoped that “normal life” would resume in time to get back on campus and meet perspective students.

After learning that the pandemic was far from over, I realized that being a student interviewer would look different compared to friends who had the job in previous years. When I found out that I had the Juniata Associate position I was still planning on spending my Fall semester at Raystown Field Station. Being remote from campus and with the limited number of prospective students coming to Juniata, myself and the two other student interviewers were not able to conduct any interviews during the Fall semester.

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How Juniata Helped Me Get into Dental School

Maggie Peck
Maggie Peck ’21 Biology/ Pre-Dentistry POE

When I was in high school, I realized that I wanted to be a dentist. However, I did not have the slightest clue how I was going to get there. The journey to become a dentist involves a variety of steps. Dental schools are competitive, looking for well-rounded, compassionate, insightful candidates. Before you plan to matriculate into dental school, you must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT), score in the competitive range, and apply to schools of interest. If a school likes your application and feels that you are qualified, they will offer you an interview to determine if you are the right ‘fit’ for that particular school. Once admitted, you must complete another 4+ years of schooling in order to become a dentist. Daunting, right? As a high schooler, I was overwhelmed.

At Juniata College, I was fortunate to receive ample guidance which made this process simpler. In my first semester, I met with Dr. Jim Borgardt who was assigned as my academic advisor.  Dr. Borgardt advises all of the pre-dentistry students at Juniata, which means that he knows a lot about the admissions process for dental school. We meet every semester, helping to track my progress and keep me on pace for my goals. He also is an awesome guy who has made my overall experience at Juniata a great one.

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What I wish I knew – Jules Slater ’21

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

This blog post started as a “What I wish I had known before starting college,” but after staring at my screen for longer than I’d like to admit with no ideas popping forward, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nothing I really and truly wish I had known.

Some may say that they wish they had known who their friends were going to be, or how to study for a college exam, or how to pay their taxes, but I truly believe that everything I’ve learned between my senior year of high school and my senior year of college have shaped me into who I am. I would not be the person I am today without these formative learning experiences. Sure, it would have been so much easier on my GPA had I known how to study for a college exam, but learning through actually doing  is what taught me things about myself that I didn’t know before and taught me how to deal with failure.

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