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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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Someone asked me why I work at Juniata College

Kat Swantak
Kat Swantak, Assistant Dean of Admission

So, I thought that was kind of strange. It’s almost the kind of question you get in a job interview that forces you to spitball something about job satisfaction and professional development. But, the mother of a student that I’ve been working with since her junior year asked me this a while ago. They’re from NYC, and had their world completely flipped upside-down when they came to rural Pennsylvania. I get it, I grew up in a large town where you can get falafel, acupuncture, and Wegmans within a mile of each other.

“And then what did you do, Kat? We await your response with baited breath!” said no one. Well, I did as I was writing this. Internally though.

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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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JC Divers take on Florida!

Stephanie Letourneau
Stephanie Letourneau ’20 , Environmental Science POE, Dimpled, outdoor loving, MD girl, pursuing passions

Bubble, bubble…..swish…..bubble…..glub….glub…..swish….

Those my friends, are the sounds from under the sea.

During the fall, the scuba diving club provides an opportunity for students to get scuba diving certifications and it also helps offset the cost. In the spring, students can go on a spring break trip to go diving somewhere other than a lake or a quarry in Pennsylvania. I was not able to take advantage of getting scuba certified while on campus, but after getting certified during my study abroad experience in the Galapagos, I was able to join the trip this year!

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Here’s what I’ve learned in my first 100 days at Juniata

Matthew Connor
Matthew Connor, Admission Counselor

Now that I have completed 100 days as an admissions counselor, I wanted to share some of my story. Before telling you about my role, I think it is important that you understand through what lens I view things. After graduating from college with a degree in Secondary Math Education, I began substitute teaching in hopes of getting hired full time. Through these efforts, I was hired to teach a variety of different math classes to 8th grade students. I worked in this position for four years, along with sharing my love for baseball by coaching at the high school.

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