By Kaleb Zenk
So, you’re the type of person who is excited to finally graduate from high school and escape the tight-knit rule your parents have had over you since the dawning of time. You’re excited for the possibilities of beginning a new life abroad, forging new relationships and learning communities, and ready to adapt to that inner self-reliance. You’re ready to own the next four years and have fun!
You’re the opposite of excited for what lies beyond high school. Your parents have been your best friends your entire life, and living in a comfortable space, totally and completely content of the decisions made on your behalf, give you sense of consistency and routine. Inherently, you want to learn, have fun, and enjoy new relationships, but the steps to get to a place of comfortability in a new environment gives you anxiety!
Rest assured …
No matter how you react to the big leap from high school to college, the beauty of this transition lies not only in what you learn in the classroom, but what you can learn beyond it. No matter the style of personality you have when stepping onto campus for the first time, there is assuredly a place for you anywhere and anytime that you can feel comfortable in, making college a home away from home.
Although staying inside and playing League of Legends on your PC is a great community-building activity, playing sports is also a fantastic way to get outside and meet other people. Here at PUC, we have several intramural sports teams, ranging from badminton to flag football. We’re passionate about our small and diverse community, and it’s truly an amazing opportunity to learn from the multifaceted backgrounds you’ll encounter here. As such, sports can help anyone integrate. But the arena of physical activity and coordination may not be your thing, and that’s totally fine! There are other fantastic opportunities waiting for you once you arrive here.
Feel free to scroll past this next one if you’re pursuing a pre-professional program—or don’t!
Like myself and a few others here at PUC who happen to not be enrolled in a pre-professional program, landing an internship is quintessential for getting the ball rolling immediately after, or before your college experience ends. It’s also a fantastic way to develop your skills outside the classroom and meet thought leaders in your respective field of study.
If you haven’t perused Craigslist, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn in search of an internship opportunity, give it a try! LinkedIn in particular will become your best friend as you search for that perfect opportunity that aligns with your skill sets. You can follow thought leaders in your field, apply to job descriptions that are screaming your name, or just learn a bit more about the professional environment!
Explore places you’ve never been before!
PUC’s location is prime for several reasons—we’re nestled atop a mountain far, far away, sure … but we’re a short 1.5-hour drive to the beautiful and illustrious city of San Francisco. Pier 39, Mission Dolores Park, Market Street, eateries galore, etc. You’ll never run out of things to do in SF, as there are attractions for everyone!
A fun fact: As of recently, various startups in the Bay Area such as Lime or Bird have provided the city with electric scooters to those who want to adventure, but don’t want to spend their money on Uber or Lyft. Simply download the app, enter your payment information, and you’re good to go!
Scooters cost an initial $1 to unlock, and a subsequent .15 cents per mile thereafter. Ride down the Embarcadero to grab a coffee or latte at Blue Bottle and a delicious tacro— taco croissant— from Vive La Tarte at the Ferry Building!
No matter what …
There are so many opportunities at PUC to get involved, whether locally or right here on campus. Feel free to reach out to upperclassmen or anyone who knows the area, because they’d be glad to provide you with some hints and tips for making the most out of living in the Napa Valley. Most importantly, college is an extremely exciting time of your life, and the opportunities to stay busy and have fun are endless! It may take a bit of networking, researching, and putting your best foot forward, but you can truly make your time at PUC one of the best experiences of your life.