Reflecting on My College Years at PUC

By Andrew Mahinay

College could be described as a roller coaster of emotions.

On one hand, looking at college in the perspective of a freshman can feel daunting like the hundred foot drop of Goliath: A gigantic 720 school days until graduation.

On the other hand, Looking at life in the perspective of a senior can feel exhilarating like the butterflies you feel after a speedy drop: Just around 180 days until graduation.

Currently, I am a senior. As I sit in a small room with yellow painted walls, I think of things I wish I had done more of in my earlier years of college. There are three specific activities I wish I had participated in more often.

  1. Intramurals – I wish I had done more intramurals because this is likely to be the last chance to strike a volleyball or shoot a basketball with my best of friends. Although I could still manage to participate in this these sports after college, it is the college atmosphere and playing with your closest of friends makes these experiences so amusing. One’s smile seems to never fade away when playing with friends.
  2. Dinner dates with friends – Notice I say friends? Dinner dates are not restricted to someone you have a crush on. Dinner dates refers to asking a friend to dinner to converse and catch up, to talk about events happening in each other’s lives. Grabbing dinner is a great way to strengthen the bond you have with your friends.
  3. Involvement in Student Senate – You ever want to make a change in your dormitory or even on campus as a whole? Senate gives you the opportunity to make your vision of change come to life. Having a say in what goes on in your dorm is amazing. Not only does it give you a voice, it gives you a chance to represent and advocate for your fellow residents, to hear their concerns, and make their needs known.

While there are opportunities I wish I had taken advantage of, I am extremely glad I did the following:

  1. Candidate for SA – During my junior year in college, I ran for president of the Student Association. This process was not easy. During the campaign process, I found myself wishing I had more time to study. Looking back now, I am glad I decided to run for SA President because the experience taught me how to campaign but also balance academics with extracurricular activities.
  2. Seeking out job opportunities – Earning your own money is such a great feeling. I still remember the time I received my first check. I feel independent and more responsible knowing I no longer have to ask my parents for money. Getting a job and making your own money also allows you to experience the tasty food Napa Valley has to offer!  
  3. Service projectsBerkeley Homeless Ministry, a student ran service project, has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Joy and meaning arise from helping others who have limited opportunities or cannot help themselves. I have met some of the most genuine people through this ministry. Service project opportunities are something you’re not going to want to miss out on when you’re at PUC.

Overall, college has been a collage of memories and great times. The likelihood of enjoying or dreading college all depends on what you choose to do with your time. Are you going to look for ways to connect with others? Or are you going to sit in your room? The choice is yours. Just like a roller coaster, you never know what direction college life will take you. Be proactive and participate in different activities. I can wholeheartedly call PUC my second home and I am forever thankful for everything this institution has provided me. Best of luck as you explore the different opportunities college has to offer!  


Here’s Andrew hard at work at the public relations office at PUC!

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