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Why I chose Juniata

Tessa Senel
Tessa Senel ’21, Professional Writing POE

Growing up in New Jersey, I had never heard of Juniata before. While I was in high school, students were always talking about big state schools and other public universities—but small schools were never mentioned. It wasn’t until my high school hosted a “college and career fair” back in 2015, that Juniata College became a name that I would never forget.

As I was walking around my high school’s “college and career fair” I noticed that the tables with Admissions Counselors from state schools were overcrowded with students trying to talk to them. As I was walking, I noticed one table that had nobody standing around it—and that table had a banner hanging from it that read, “Juniata College.” I decided to give this school a try. As I approached, the Admissions Counselor from Juniata greeted me with the biggest smile that I had seen that day and they enthusiastically welcomed me to their table. They told me about Juniata’s “Program of Emphasis (POE)” system, which allows you to individualize your degree and make it your own. Then, the Admissions Counselor told me about Juniata’s immersive learning environment. Immediately I was awestruck by Juniata—the Admissions Counselor was enthusiastically helping me, the curriculum seemed personal, and the community appeared to be extremely friendly.

I’ll always wear my Juniata swag proudly!

That day, during the “college and career fair,” I gave the Juniata Admissions Counselor my contact information. Every single year after that, I received a birthday card, hand-written by the Admissions Counselor that I met that day. This is what made me realize that Juniata is different from other colleges. Juniata and the people that work here really take the time to get to know students, and they really care about making the experience the best it can be for us. My biggest fear about going to college was that I would simply be a “number.” Juniata stripped away that fear and made me realize that they actually care about me as a person, as an individual.

In the end, that “college and career fair” back in 2015 changed my life for the better. I am a person with multiple interests and a natural curiosity, so Juniata has allowed me to explore all of those interests and make a degree/POE that represents who I am. I ultimately chose Juniata for those reasons and for the welcoming community that I was introduced to when I visited campus for a tour and an overnight visit. As a senior, I can look back and truly say that picking Juniata was the best decision I ever made (and I still have all of the birthday cards they gave me)!