What PUC Means to Me

By Andrea James

I have a confession to make: I was wrong about PUC.

For years, I was vehement in my desire to never attend an Adventist school, especially PUC. I had grown up in a sheltered bubble where almost everyone was rich, white, and Adventist. This bothered me a lot.

My mother immigrated to the U.S. with her mostly Colombian family when she was a child, while my dad’s family come from the Midwest and their ancestors come from a German colony in the Ukraine. My mother’s family raised me for all but a few years of my childhoodthough my upbringing was still mostly white, culturally speaking; I probably learned to make arepas before I learned to make pancakes, but I still can’t speak fluent Spanish and I never had a quinceañera (though that was more because of how incredibly expensive they are).

This relates to my feelings about PUC in that I was desperate to meet mixed-race people like myself and I didn’t think that would happen here. I had grown up in the Adventist world and all I had seen were white people, with occasional exceptions. I thought I would have to go to a secular school to get any kind of real diversity. I am so glad to be wrong!

Once I was finally convinced/decided to attend PUC, I was shocked to see and experience what the PUC community was actually like. PUC has been an immense blessing to me. For the first time, I’ve gotten to meet to people from all sorts of socioeconomic levels, cultures, backgrounds, etc. Having grown up going to schools full of rich white kids with whom I could only ever half-identify, I have immensely enjoyed being able to relate to other mixed-race people and listen to their experiences and stories. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I started college.

Of course, I wanted not only to interact with people like me but also with people nothing like me at all. I will never get bored learning about all the things I share and don’t share with the various people I meet, and I doubt I will ever stop being surprised by what I discover. I have immensely enjoyed expanding my understanding of others and correcting my significant ignorance about many subjects and issues. I hope to constantly grow and learn more with the help of my professors, classes, and friends here at PUC. And, of course, through my life once I graduate.

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