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Making College during Covid the New Normal

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

“I figured even though it wasn’t what I was used to, at least I could be on campus when so many other colleges were forced to shut their doors.”

I’m two days into my last semester at Juniata. Wow. If you’ve been reading my other blog posts, you know that I tend to get sappy about my time at Juniata ending, so I’ll try to avoid that as much as possible in this one. Since the first blog post I wrote, I’ve focused mostly on aspects of campus or opinions I hold that have been unaffected by COVID. However, after living through a semester unlike any other, I think it’s necessary to commemorate it in writing.

This semester was, as everything else in the world seems to be these days, unprecedented. Coping with the effects of a pandemic on campus was stress inducing at times but I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to create a new normal on-site instead of from my childhood bedroom in Pittsburgh.

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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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What I wish I knew – Madison Wrightstone ’23

Madison Wrightstone
Madison Wrightstone ’23

I wish I knew what I needed to say.

I wish I knew how to start a paper about myself.

I wish I knew how to write without being cheesy.

I wish I knew what kind of person I would become.

I wish I knew how my identity would shift into something entirely new.

I wish I knew that I would become a better friend, daughter, sister. 

I wish I knew that I would meet some of the people that would change me the most.

I wish I knew that it was okay to mess up and not be 100% certain in everything.

I wish I knew myself in high school to tell her everything will be okay.

I wish I knew that Juniata would make me who I wanted to be all along.

There are so many things that I wish I knew when I began my college search. Being the first kid in my family to go to college on top of being an intense over-thinker made these years filled with lots of crying, spreadsheets, and trying to rationalize a million different factors I didn’t even know how to begin to comprehend everything. You always dream about going to college, but you never realize that those same dreams lead to some of the most intense headaches. Getting sucked into the tornado that is choosing the “perfect college for you” is a force that leaves your head spinning and you craving the solace of solid ground and certainty once again.

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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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Questions on the Quad with Claire: Why Juniata? | Student Vlog |

Juniata Admission
Juniata Admission

In her final vlog for the Fall 2020 semester, watch Claire Alfree ’22 ask Juniata students why they chose to come to Juniata College. Claire’s vlogs focus on asking current Juniata students and community members an array of trivia and questions on the Campus Quad.