It is officially week 2 of my final year at Juniata College, and let me tell you, I’m already feeling pretty nostalgic. I spent the entirety of last year studying abroad, first in Russia and then in India, and though it was an incredible year full of adventures and new experiences, I am so happy to be back at Juniata. Everyone tells you about being homesick, but no one really warns you about being campus-sick. You really do start to miss your college once you’re gone for a while, but thankfully I still have one year left! Here, I have created a bucket list of things I will endeavor to complete during my final year here.
- Attend every single tradition. At which other college are classes canceled on a random day and everyone picnics at a lake in the mountains? And only at Juniata is there an event where freshmen risk bodily harm by charging at the rest of the student body, trying to fight their way past them. Juniata College has many unique and fun traditions, and I was insanely jealous every time I saw pictures of my friends participating in fun activities, such as eating lobsters at Lobsterfest and pitching tents on the lawn for Madrigal. This year, I am not going to miss out on any of the events and activities at JC.
- Find the secret spots. Because Juniata is located in the mountains, there are many different places to explore around campus. One of my favorite spots is the Cliffs, only a 10-minute walk away. The views are incredible, but another little known fact is that there is a rope swing at the bottom (how cool is that?!). No one really knows where exactly it is, but it can’t be too hard to find. In addition, there are great hiking trails not too far from campus, including 7 Geocaches within a mile (a Geocache is a container filled with an unknown object that you find using GPS coordinates). I have never been Geocaching but who doesn’t love a huge treasure hunt?! Before I graduate, I will leave no stone unturned.
- Make lasting relationships. This may sound cheesy, but one of my goals is to make sure I leave Juniata having made enduring friendships. Juniata is a small community, and I know everyone here has my back and wants the best for my future. I know I can rely on my professors and advisors to guide me both in my final year and after I graduate. In addition to becoming closer to my mentors, I am also looking forward to meeting new people and getting re-involved in my favorite clubs, like Circle K and PAX-O (a Peace Studies club). It’s my last year to really make an impact, so I hope to be as involved as I can! Finally, I know I’m going to miss all of the friendly faces on campus, from Laura who works in Baker to President Troha. These sorts of people make Juniata a happier, brighter place, and ultimately a college that is unique and irreplaceable.
As much as I don’t want it to, senior year is going to fly by. No matter what I’m doing, whether I’m canoeing on Raystown Lake during Mountain Day or debating the meaning of life with a professor, I’m happy to be back home at Juniata. I can’t wait to start checking things off my bucket list!