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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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Special Olympics of Pennsylvania at Juniata College

Every year Juniata College hosts the Special Olympics Central Pennsylvania Fall Sectional, which was on October 6th, 2019. On this day, our campus becomes the stage for athletic excellence and perseverance. Athletes from over 20 central Pennsylvania counties come together to show off their abilities. These athletes work extremely hard for this day, and are full of excitement upon arrival.

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Another Amazing Homecoming and Family Weekend!

As students have finally begun to settle into the workload and pace of the school year, Homecoming Weekend is finally here to give us a much needed jolt of energy and school spirit. The chance to see alumni and families, have special events on campus, and go to energetic sports games simply can’t be passed up! Every year has me counting down the days until this weekend. There are so many appealing aspects of having a homecoming weekend on a small yet exciting campus such as Juniata!

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Being a Juniata Athlete

Juniata is the perfect place to be a student-athlete! I have been on the cross country, indoor, and outdoor track teams here for all four of my years in college. Being an athlete here has helped me develop as a learner and as a runner. At JC, around 35% of the student body participates in a DIII Varsity sport. We have so many different teams from basketball to volleyball to track and cross country, which is what I do! There are lots of cool activities here to celebrate student-athletes and our accomplishments like DIII week and our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Additionally, each individual teams have their own silly traditions.

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Do You Even Lax Bro?

I was first exposed to lacrosse as a freshman in high school when I was applying to Fountain Valley School of Colorado.  I knew nothing about the sport, but from the moment I saw the few pictures of what looked to be combination football-hockey players striding through the trees of Fountain Valley’s Victory Road, I knew I wanted to play.  These hopes were soon dashed by an aside comment from one of my Track and Field teammates who, when I told him that I wanted to play lacrosse because it looked fun, said, “Dude you’re so tiny those guys would kill you.”  And that was the end of that.

At the beginning of this spring semester, Juniata Women’s Lacrosse made their NCAA D3 debut.  I can’t say that I was all that excited about watching the sport because I didn’t understand the rules (and even after watching two games I still don’t understand what half the fouls were called for) and my initial infatuation with the sport had faded.  But I was excited to watch my friends play a sport they loved and had practiced hard to do well in.

Figure 1: Our Juniata Women's Lacrosse team, warpainted up for their first game!  Their record is now 3 wins to 0 losses.  Is it too early to say "undefeated?"
Figure 1: Our Juniata Women’s Lacrosse team, warpainted up for their first game! Their record is now 3 wins to 0 losses. Is it too early to say “undefeated?”

The day of the first lacrosse game was cloudy but uncharacteristically warm for mid-March in central Pennsylvania.  The stands were not as full as they could be for the inaugural game of our lacrosse program, but those of us who were there were all there to support our friends and family and we were excited!

To be honest I’m not sure how many of us thought we were going to win that first game.  Of course, we were all hoping and praying that our team would win but it was their first game and we assumed the girls they would be playing would be hardened Lax athletes.  But from the moment Kat scored the first goal, I knew it was going to be a good game.  The moment the crowd saw the ball hit the back of the net, it exploded to its feet cheering and screaming in the elation of an early success.  Then Britt scored, then Natalie then Kat again and Britt again and before I knew it the game was over and we had managed to win by a decent margin and we had made it into the double digits.

Before this year I never attended Juniata sporting events.  I just never found the time to.  But the energy of that first lacrosse game, the support that the crowd gave to the team was infectious and next year, when I will be a Senior you will hopefully find me at every single home game, supporting my team.