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When I came to Juniata College in 2019, my goal was clear—to complete every tradition on campus. Why? Well, as a transfer student who came to Juniata my junior year, I knew that I only had two years to try everything and to meet everyone. So, this is where my journey began
First, it was the fall semester in 2019 and I was living in Sherwood Hall with my freshman friends. We have a tradition at Juniata called Lobster Fest, where all of the clubs set up tables outside on the quad and students can sign up to be a part of them. We have over 100 clubs here at Juniata so our options are limitless. Me, being someone who wants to try everything, signed up for way too many clubs, so I received hundreds of emails welcoming me as a new member (oops)! For Lobster Fest, Juniata gets lobster all the way from Maine to feed all of the hungry new students. My friends and I sat on the grass on the quad and we dined on lobster, chicken, steak, and other delicious food! This was the first tradition on my bucket list to complete.
“I’m not superstitious…but I am a little sticious” – Michael Scott
If you’re one of my roommates coming into my room as I do work, you know that some show like The Office will be on my TV. I’m probably sitting on my bed, I may or may not be taking another “break” on social media, and, if it’s past 3 o’clock, I’ve almost certainly had a snack already. When I’m in the thick of a semester, I like fun, spontaneous weekends, but weekdays are for strict schedules and daily routines.
I wouldn’t call myself superstitious, but I could sometimes be called a creature of habit, maybe even a little sticious. Which is why, on March 20th, I had a little predicament when it came to me and my sticious-es. March 20th was my first real game in a long time. It had been exactly 372 days (yes, my team did the math) since my lacrosse team had played a real game that actually counted toward conference play. As I rode on the team bus to Scranton, PA for the game, one of my most important sticious-es was challenged.(more…)
Being an athlete has always been a key piece of my identity. Now I fully recognize that that might immediately cast me in a particular light, but in all honesty, it is completely true. Everyone has that thing about them that makes life feel a little fuller and the world feel a little brighter. Since I was three years old, the world of sports has been a comfort, a safe space away from the troubles always looming close by. Having the ability to make the decision to continue playing softball in college is one that I was incredibly thankful for, and even though my experience has been incredibly nontraditional in so many ways, the role of being an athlete for Juniata has already made such an impact on who I am as a person.
So, what do you do when that safe space is suddenly ripped away from you in a matter of hours? An injury is one thing – a rational explanation that albeit awful, it at least creates a smoother tear in the wounds of your life. But what do you do when a global pandemic shut everything down for six months? I, along with athletes all over the world, lost 210 innings of softball I will never again get the chance to play. I lost practice hours, time with my teammates, and the chance to play the sport that has meant so much in my life. And while I am incredibly lucky at the prospect of getting to play my sophomore year, I am still losing out on a traditional season once again.(more…)
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?(more…)