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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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Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s my why?”

Jason Moran
Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing

What I really mean is, have you ever asked yourself, “What’s my purpose?”

Recently, I was on Forbes.com and saw an article titled Do You Know Your “Why?” 4 Questions To Find Your Purpose. In the article, I was immediately drawn to a tweet posted that stated – a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risk and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles. Why am I sharing this? Because this tweet defines a Juniata College lived experience.

After reading both the tweet and the article, I found myself reflecting back on my past eight months at Juniata College serving as Vice President of Enrollment; my move to Huntingdon, PA to join the Juniata community; and my many interactions with Juniata College students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Why did I find myself reflecting?  Because I instantly made the connection between the article and Juniata College where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and yours truly land to find purpose… or their WHY.

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What I wish I knew – Fernando Gomes, Assistant Dean of Admission

Fernando Gomes
Fernando Gomes, Assistant Dean of Admission

By the time we reach the end of the school year, I will have spent an entire decade in college admissions. Ten years, three different schools in three different states, and I really wonder how time passes by so quickly! (And if that sounds like something an older person would say, don’t worry, you’ll find yourself saying it in due time.)

If there’s one thing I’m appreciative of it is how much I’ve learned over the years. Who I am now is definitely not who I was 14 years ago when I was deciding on what college to attend. There are many times when I want to go back to my high school self and just somehow impart all this new knowledge and do my [college selection?] process all over again! But what’s done is done- I can’t go back in time, and so here I am now working as an admissions counselor, doing my best to give students the knowledge they need, the knowledge I wished I had, to make the best decision for which college to attend.

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The Water Bearer

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

One of the things that I knew I wanted to do coming to Juniata was to get involved with the theatre department. Looking back on my freshman year, I am so happy to say that I was able to accomplish that goal, and was lucky enough to perform in several shows, the most recent one being The Water Bearer.

This show was student written by Juniata seniors Cosimo Sciortino, Lana Boyd, and Peter Rankin. It brings the zodiac signs to life and follows the story of a young Aquarius on their journey to discover themselves. [HMP1]  In The Water Bearer, I got to play Gemini, and I must say it is one of my favorite roles I have ever done. It was so much fun to explore the depth of the character and interact with all the different zodiac signs throughout the show. Our seniors did an absolutely incredible job writing this show and directing us through it. It was a really unique experience to be part of a brand-new play that had never before been performed. It allowed us so much freedom and creativity, and it was an experience I will never forget.

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Dear Alfie – Answering all your Juniata questions – Round 2!

Caroline Benfer ’21

Hi Future Eagles!

Welcome to the Dear Alfie blog! For those not familiar, Dear Alfie is an opportunity for prospective students to ask a current Juniata student questions about life here. Consider it a way to get Juniata info straight from the source.

My name is Caroline, I’m a rising senior at Juniata and my POE is environmental science. I have several jobs in the admissions offices, and I love just about any outdoor activities with hiking, camping, kayaking and cycling being my favorites. I’m also an avid gardener, music enthusiast and novice baker. Due to quarantine, I’ve recently discovered my wine making abilities and I have acquired two fluffy friends, khaki campbell ducklings Flora and Fauna. 

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