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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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What I wish I knew – Alisha Boerstler, Assistant Dean of Admission

Alisha Boerstler
Alisha Boerstler, Assistant Dean of Admission

I didn’t believe this 10 years ago, but there is, in fact, zero chance that you will wreck your life by choosing the “wrong” college. Or the “wrong” major. The wrong roommate? That might be more serious. I had one who slept during the day and worked on her assignments, lights on, from 1:00 – 5:00am. But that’s another story.

I was a giant ball of stress my senior year of high school, largely because I felt so much pressure to choose the perfect college so I could get the perfect degree so I could land the perfect job…etc. There are thousands of colleges in the US, as you have probably discovered, which can be overwhelming. Do I want a rock wall? Do I want to go to Vermont? Do I want a D-1 field hockey team? Do I even know how to play field hockey? (No.) I painstakingly narrowed down my search criteria to three things:

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What I wish I knew – Steven Simons, Senior Associate Dean of Admission and Marketing

Steven Simons
Steven Simons, Senior Associate Dean of Admission and Marketing

“College is the best four years of your life. You’ll make your best friends there!”

I remember when I came home from my first semester in college and it felt like it hadn’t even happened. It had gone by so unbelievably fast and yet so painfully slow. Everyone wanted to know: Was I having the time of my life? Had I made lots of friends?

But nobody seemed to be asking me the other important questions. Are you struggling? Are you managing the transition? Do you even want to go back?

I wish I had known how hard college would be, and that not every day, especially as a first-year student, was going to be perfect. I experienced a level of academic rigor that forced me to work harder than I had ever worked before. I remember earning a “D” on an exam and wondering if I was smart enough to succeed. Was I in over my head?

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What I wish I knew -Catherine Shea ’23

Catherine Shea
-Catherine Shea ’23

 

Growing up, I was a secret agent. As the youngest of three, I watched as all of my friends panicked with each new life change we faced. I smiled with confidence as they were frantic entering middle school, high school, and going to prom, knowing well that I had the inside scoop on it all. I took mental notes of my siblings’ experiences, preparing myself for when it was my turn. I learned all the ropes, what mistakes to avoid, what could help me along the way, and more.

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What I wish I knew – Taylor Hallabuk ’20

Taylor Hallabuk
Taylor Hallabuk ’20, Strategic Communication POE, Free spirit navigating life through Kesha songs and spontaneity

One of my favorite Juniata Communication professors, Grace Fala, always says, “Knowing what you don’t know is wisdom. Not knowing what you don’t know is ignorance.” So, I like to think that I was a pretty wise eighteen-year-old beginning my college career. I knew that I didn’t know how to study, I knew I had poor time management skills, and I most definitely knew that on my first day of freshman year at Arcadia University, that I had chosen the wrong college for me. Some might call that foolish, but ask Grace Fala – she’ll tell you it’s wisdom.

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