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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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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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Heads or Tails? Did I Let a Coin Make My College Decision for Me?

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

As a Juniata campus tour guide, I’ve often been asked to reflect on my own admissions process.

“What made Juniata stand out?”
“What made me choose Juniata?”

I’ve been indecisive my whole life. Questions like “What should we have for dinner tonight?” always stressed me out. It’s not that I think questions like this are particularly difficult to answer, but without enough information to make a distinct pro/con list—or worse, when the pros and cons are evenly balanced—I’d rather not make the final decision.

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Reflecting on changes from COVID-19

Juliana Shugar
-Juliana Shugar ’23, Spanish and Secondary Education POE, Disney-loving ice cream connoisseur

The day we got the email I was incredibly upset. I wouldn’t be returning to the new place I called home. I wouldn’t be able to go to my classes. I wouldn’t be able see my friends. This pandemic has impact all of us, and the biggest way that it has changed my life has been in regards to how it has affected school.

Juniata, along with pretty much every other college in the country, has shut down its campus and moved to online learning. Not being able to physically be in a classroom has not been easy. I find myself getting far more distracted during class at home, but perhaps the hardest part has been not being able to see my friends. I have met so many wonderful people at Juniata who I have become so close to, and it was definitely an adjustment to get used to not seeing them every day. Thankfully, we live in the age of Snapchat and Facebook and my friends are never more than a text or Zoom call away.

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