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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.

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A Transfer Student’s Goal to Complete Every Tradition at Juniata

Tessa Senel
Tessa Senel ’21, Professional Writing POE

When I came to Juniata College in 2019, my goal was clear—to complete every tradition on campus. Why? Well, as a transfer student who came to Juniata my junior year, I knew that I only had two years to try everything and to meet everyone. So, this is where my journey began

First, it was the fall semester in 2019 and I was living in Sherwood Hall with my freshman friends. We have a tradition at Juniata called Lobster Fest, where all of the clubs set up tables outside on the quad and students can sign up to be a part of them. We have over 100 clubs here at Juniata so our options are limitless. Me, being someone who wants to try everything, signed up for way too many clubs, so I received hundreds of emails welcoming me as a new member (oops)! For Lobster Fest, Juniata gets lobster all the way from Maine to feed all of the hungry new students. My friends and I sat on the grass on the quad and we dined on lobster, chicken, steak, and other delicious food! This was the first tradition on my bucket list to complete.

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Observations of a Residential Assistant during COVID-19

Tessa Senel
Tessa Senel ’21, Professional Writing POE

I won’t lie—this semester is different from the typical college experience that we are used to.

Here on campus, I am a Residential Assistant (RA). This means that I oversee an entire floor of students in Lesher Hall where I enforce rules, but also promote community engagement. This year, the rules regarding COVID-19 seem strange but they are important. Students have to wear masks everywhere they go—to class, to the bathroom, to the shower, or simply walking across campus. There are no guests allowed in any student’s room, unless the other person is their partner. On top of that, students cannot eat inside of public spaces so that germs do not spread while they eat without a mask on.

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Halfway through freshman year already?!

I can’t believe it’s already February. Time here at Juniata goes by so fast, and I have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that in a few short months, I will already be done with my freshman year of college. It has been an amazing experience so far, and as I begin tackling my second semester at Juniata, I can’t help but look back on the last six months and think about how wonderful they have been.

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Inside Washington Seminar in D.C.

This winter, I had the opportunity to live in Washington D.C. for two weeks and participate in a seminar called Inside Washington, through the Washington Center. I lived in a suit-style apartment with three other girls, one was from Juniata and the other two were from Suffolk University in Boston. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have had and one of the most mentally challenging. Not only was I immersed in the politics of D.C. by attending lectures each morning, by speakers like former Senator John Kerry. But I also visited embassies and think-tanks across D.C., while learning about the historic impeachment going on right now.

You might be wondering what life was like living with three strangers and going grocery shopping by ourselves each week…

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