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What I miss about Juniata over break (and what I’ll miss for the rest of my life)

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

It took me a long time to get homesick during my first year of college. I missed my family (especially my dog), of course, but the intense homesickness we often hear so much about just didn’t set in. I believe this is because I’ve always felt like Juniata is my home just as much as my real home is my home. I’m reminded of this fact every time I leave Juniata for fall, winter, spring, or summer break. No matter how long I’m away from Juniata—whether it’s four days or three months (or eight months when I studied abroad)—I find myself homesick for the same things.

The first thing I always miss—obviously—are my friends and loved ones at Juniata. My roommate, my significant other, my favorite professor, my friend group… these are all people Juniata has led me to. But more than missing just these people and the wonder and excitement they add to my life, I miss the social aspects of campus that simply don’t exist in my hometown. Things like bingo on the quad or waving hello to someone from my window in Cloister’s arch. I miss having everything I need less than a city block away from me; friends and support system included.

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Reinventing yourself the Juniata way

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

“College is a time to reinvent yourself.”

If only I could count how many times I’ve heard that phrase. Honestly, I thought the idea of reinventing yourself just because you’re headed to a place where no one knows your name was silly

The more I think about this now, I realize that “reinventing myself” is exactly what I’ve done. Well, by “reinventing” I don’t mean in a way that I completely changed who I am because I didn’t like who I was in high school and I had this chance to switch it up completely. It was more like I started evolving into a more well rounded person when I started to settle in at Juniata.

At the start of my freshman year, I told myself, as I’m sure many do, that I would try to push myself socially. My head was filled with key phrases like, “Get involved!” and “Make the most of it!” I was determined to do both of those things.

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Three and a Half Years of Firsts

Julia Newman
Julia Newman ’20, Professional Writing POE

My impending graduation has had me reflecting back on a lot of things lately. Three and a half-ish years ago, I wrote my first blog for Juniata. Now as I write my last, I thought it would be a fun full circle moment to revisit my first ever blog, aptly named “A Year of Firsts.”

My first year of college was one of much adventure. I met my two best friends, lived with my first roommate, gained and then lost the freshman 15, discovered many new passions, tried a million new things, and started figuring out who I was.

Rereading my first blog, I see that so many parts of it were true and so much has changed since I wrote it. I pulled a few quotes that I think are especially relevant to the course of my reflection:

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The Five Types of Juniata College COVID-19 Student

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

After having the chance to observe my fellow Juniata students for the past three years, my key finding has been that we tend to be creatures of habit. We eat at the same tables in Baker meal-to-meal, we do the same activities day-to-day, and some of us even head to the gym or to the library at the same time each day.

This year, a global pandemic has forced many of us who are habitual beings into new territory; and we’re all coping differently. With that, I introduce to you the Juniata College COVID-19 student. While some of us may share coping mechanisms, I’ve noticed that many students have gravitated, either by choice or not, to one of these five categories.

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Cleats and Corona

Talia Bertrando
Talia Bertrando ’22, Business Communication and Spanish POE

“I can’t tell if I’m out of shape or this mask is making me think too hard about breathing.”

The same thought went through my head as my teammate spoke it. I had just gotten done doing sprints around the lacrosse field with pushups or sit-ups at each corner. I could feel my gator mask around my face and neck, semi-wet with my own sweat. I could taste my own mask whenever I took a breath through my mouth and smelling my own sweat when I took a breath through my nose. Neither option was ideal, and I felt as if I was breathing and sweating harder than ever. But really when I thought about it, I was having a great time.

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