Category Archives: Social Life

Get Excited About PUC!

With the school year starting on September 26, we could go on and on about why you should be excited about going to PUC, but cut it down to 10 reasons:

Making New Friends 

The friends you make at PUC will last a lifetime. You won’t just make friends in your department, but from other classes, clubs, school events, and through your other friends. You will be surrounded by so many incredible people who will encourage, support, and uplift you throughout your college experience and beyond. 

Creating New Memories 

With new friends comes new memories. You’re having a whole new life at PUC and you will be creating unforgettable memories. Take pictures at events and when you and your friends hangout. It’s always nice looking back at pictures and being reminded of your fondest moments at PUC. 

Living In The Napa Valley 

Living in the Napa Valley gives you the ability to explore different cities and venture out into the trails of the back 40, breathtaking mountains and pretty beaches. From cute towns like St. Helena to venturing out into San Francisco, there are endless places to enjoy. It is truly one of the best things about attending PUC.

Joining Clubs 

PUC has over 30 clubs– from different cultures, interests to majors, there is something for everyone. If you want to start your own club, you can do that too! There is a club for everyone to dive into their interests and hobbies and share them with others. 

Participating in Intramurals 

Intramurals give you the opportunity to step away from your studies and join your friends in playing different sports. Throughout the year, you can choose to participate in football, basketball, volleyball, futsal, baseball, and other sports. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be able to hangout with your friends you don’t see much and make new ones as well. Check Rec Radio for intramural updates. 

Worshiping & Serving with Campus Ministries 

PUC offers a variety of worship services and outreaches. Our faculty and staff make it a priority to support your spiritual life and; provide you with opportunities to share your faith and learn more about Christianity. There are weekly dorm worships, Bible studies, and student-led vespers, church services, and outreaches on and off-campus. PUC also offers short to long-term mission trips to other countries. However you like to worship, you will be able to do so at PUC. 

Going to Games 

PUC has a lot of school spirit, and the energy during games is electrifying. Students make signs, wear their PUC gear, and are able to meet other students. Even if you aren’t big on sports, going with your friends and cheering our Pioneers is a fun experience to be a part of. 

Learning More About Yourself 

With the changes college brings, there is so much room for growth and learning more about yourself. You’ll find new interests, goals and; start making your way into the life you want to create while learning how to be the best version of yourself.

Embracing Your Independence 

Going to college is the first time for some students to be independent. If this will be your first time on your own, it can feel overwhelming, but the community you will have at PUC keeps you grounded and will be there for you each step of the way. 

Being A Part of the Pioneers Family

No other university will give you the care, support, and warmth like the Pioneers family does. From your professors, deans, RA’s, friends, and other faculty and staff, we will make sure you are comfortable and are on the right path to success. We welcome everyone and are happy to make our campus your home away from home. 

We hope you are just as excited as we are to have you at PUC! This is going to be one of the best times in your life! 

Five Ways To Make The Most Of Your Dorm Life 

Moving into a dorm can be a big adjustment for students. With some having it be their first time away from home and being in a new environment, moving into a dorm can be nerve-racking. Have no fear- because, at PUC, we make sure you settle in nicely and feel comfortable in your home away from home. 

Build A Relationship With Your Roommate 

It is so important that you build a good relationship with your roommate. It’s okay if you’re not best friends, as long as you have mutual respect. If something bothers you, try not to be scared or shy to talk about it. Your roommate might not even know there’s a problem, so bring it up with them. 

Get to Know Your RA and Dean 

Your RA is a source of help, comfort, and friendship. Some of their duties are to make sure you settle in well, do daily check-ins, and help resolve conflict. Just like your RA, your dean will always be there for you. They want you to feel at home, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them about anything.

Go To Dorm Events 

The RA’s and deans work so hard to make dorm life the best it can be for their residents. They host events, such as movie nights, holiday parties, and have weekly dorm worship. They also invite other dorms to certain events, so this is a chance for you to meet more people and make more friends. 

Know Your Neighbors 

Whether you have suitemates or not, it’s still good to know who your neighbors are. You never know what things you might have in common or could even be in the same class. What’s nice about dorming is that you get to live with your friends. You can easily meet to study together, get help on something, borrow each other’s clothes, or just hangout. 

Make Your Room Comfy

It’s essential to make your dorm room fit your comfort needs. Bring some of your personal items from home to make your room feel homey. Make your bed as cozy as you can and add decor to bring your room to life. With having new living spaces, make it the space that makes you feel more comfortable being away from home. 

Faces of PUC: Nyllah Safotu

Coming all the way from Kapolei, Hawaii, is Nyllah Safotu. She finished her first year of college majoring in biology pre-med and wants to work in secondary education or help endangered animals. Nyllah chose to attend PUC because she wanted to go to an Adventist institution where the environment could safely help her grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We’re very pleased to have Nyllah as a part of our Pioneers family. 

What is your dream job?

I don’t quite have a specific dream job, but I’m thinking about working in either secondary education or to help endangered animals.

How does that compare to what you wanted to be when you were young?

I’d say it’s a little different. My dream was to be a surgeon and find cures for diseases. I would still like a job that helps people but also the animals and the environment.  

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?

My favorite thing is how warm and kind people have been here. I’ve been able to make so many great connections and friends with people who I can call family. Everyone has been super helpful with adjusting to college life and I just appreciate being in such a loving community.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Singapore

If you had to be trapped in a movie for a day, what movie would you choose?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

What is something you’re passionate about?

I’m really passionate about music, specifically listening to it. I love all kinds of genres and always enjoy hearing unique styles from different artists.

Recommend a place to go in the Bay Area on a weekend

Golden Gate Park is such a beautiful place to enjoy nature, art, and the company of the people you’re with all in one place.

Come Join the Fun at PUC 

At PUC, students have many ways to get involved with campus life. Through clubs, worship services, outreaches, and other activities and programs, there is always something going on for students to take a break from their studies, de-stress, and have fun. Here are some ways you or your teenager can participate at PUC. 

Clubs 

Our students are passionate about their cultures, interests, and majors, which is why PUC has over 30 clubs. From the beginning of the school year- till the end, clubs host events, activities, and services students can attend and enjoy. You can also start your own club if you want to! 

Student Association 

The Student Association officers are dedicated to making student life the best it can possibly be. They throw a variety of events on campus and within Napa Valley, such as movie nights, food trucks, carnivals, and vespers. When you come to PUC, you can expect a lot of exciting things to happen.

Worship Services

One of the best things about coming to PUC is being a part of a faith-driven community. There are weekly vespers and student-led worships, small group Bible studies, and church services. We know everyone worships in different ways, which is why we encourage our students to gather their friends and worship together in the ways they prefer.  

Outreaches 

There are student-led outreaches during the week and weekend for students to help around the community. Our Campus Ministries team also takes students around the Bay Area during the weekends for a chance to minister to others. 

Mission Trips 

Every year our campus ministries team plans short and long-term mission trips for students to get the opportunity to serve in other countries. In the past, our students have gone to Fiji, Brazil, and most recently Kenya. Our students always come back having a great, life-changing experience.

Ensemble

Bring your musical gifts to PUC! Students can join the orchestra, wind ensemble, and touring choir. Our music instructors have directed and toured throughout Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world, and also performed in Carnegie Hall. We are blessed with skilled music teachers who adore all types of genres and enrich the lives of our students to grow as performers. 

Intramurals

Intramurals are one of the most popular ways students join in on the fun at PUC. More than half of our student body participates in intramural sports each quarter, like football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. 

Athletics

If you want to continue your athletic talents in college, join the PUC Pioneers! Our athletics department offers- basketball, cross country, soccer, and volleyball teams for women and men. The coaching staff takes pride in building a talented, supportive team on and off the court; in representing PUC throughout California and other states. They make sure that student-athletes put school first and show good character and leadership.

PUC students, faculty, and organizations are always finding ways to make student life more fun and enjoyable for all. We hope you come to PUC to join in on the fun!

PUC’s History Club: Mixing Learning & Fun

Isai J. Martinez recently finished his junior year majoring in History with European Emphasis and minoring in Film and Television, and was this year’s History Club president. The History Club used to be department-based and usually included history and pre-law majors- but Isai and the rest of the club officers wanted to change that by opening up the club more to be an event-based club with fun events throughout the year.

As president, his role was to network with others and brainstorm with his team to bring amazing events and projects to the club. To learn more about the history club, Isai answered some questions for us. 

What made you decide to become the president of the club? 

This year, I accepted the post to be the president of the history club because, during my freshman year, the president of that year wanted to expand the club more. However, due to Covid-19, we were forced to cease any idea of it. I was very lucky to be chosen to take over the club and be able to present new ideas.

What were your goals for the History Club this year? 

We want to expand alongside the Pre-Law Society in order to bring more recognition to the club and establish new traditions that the History Club can be leading for a long time.

What are some exciting activities or events you have planned? 

My favorite event that we have planned is Foreign Film Night. We will be choosing films from around the world like a Japanese Studio Ghibli film, a Zombie-Historical Korean film, a Nollywood film, or a Mexican film from the ’60s. We will pick two movies and the students will be able to decide over a vote on Instagram what movie they will like to watch that movie night. 

Other events include a surprise trip during spring quarter and a special project that everyone (in-club or no club) can be involved in and we will announce that more information later. 

What is your favorite part about being in the History Club?

Honestly, my favorite part has been getting to know the rest of the history majors and working really well with the History professors. They don’t bite! They are the most approachable and charismatic group of people I have met. 

Convince me to join the History Club in five sentences. 

This year, the History Club is opening up more to become a bigger and more diverse group of people. We want people to learn and appreciate history and what better way than watching movies from around the world with your friends. We have so many things planned for those who want to be super involved and for those who want to casually participate. The History Club is open to all. We want you to know that History Club is there to have fun and that’s all!! 

Follow them on Instagram and we hope you join the History Club next year!

Climb Into The World of PUC’s EMS Club

The EMS Club is a student-led organization with the goal of teaching students skills in emergency medical care while engaging in fun outdoor activities. Gil Fayard is the president of the club and organizes and leads all club activities with the help of his team. He also leads weekly meetings to brainstorm and plan their upcoming fundraisers and events with my fellow officers. Gil thoughtfully answered some questions for us to learn more about the EMS Club.

Tell us about the EMS Club. How did this club get started?

The EMS club is a student-led organization here at PUC with the goal of teaching students skills in emergency medical care while engaging in fun outdoor activities. During the fall quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, some friends and classmates of mine noticed that there was no club to represent the emergency services department. We felt our field of study and interests were not represented by the PUC student body at the time, so this motivated us to start our club! Our vision is to build community by doing fun outdoor activities and teaching emergency medical skills applicable to those activities.

Can anyone join the club? 

Yes! Anyone may join the club. Students of all majors and standings are welcome. 

What do you hope to accomplish with the club this year?

An important goal I have for this club is for us to stay active. I want to host a variety of events throughout the school year so that we can build a community of students with similar interests, values, and the desire to learn emergency medical skills. 

Can you share with us any upcoming activities or events?

We have some exciting events for the rest of the school year. Rock climbing trips, movie nights, a minimalist survival camping trip, a snowboard/ski trip, pre-vespers, and white water rafting are all activities we are wanting to do.

How does the club incorporate spiritual life? 

The spiritual life within our club is heavily based upon the combination of friendship and God’s creation. We strengthen our spiritual lives by embracing our club’s sense of community while enjoying the beauty and opportunity of the outdoors. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the EMS Club?

I love brainstorming with my team and seeing our ideas transform into real events. It reminds me of how capable we are, and I get satisfaction from events that are fun, educational, and constructive for students. 

Convince me to join the EMS Club in five sentences.

The EMS club here at PUC is a student led organization that invites all. We are passionate about teaching students new and exciting skills in engaging ways. From rock climbing and rafting to bleeding control, and CPR, we got it! To make things better, our events will have minimal to no cost due to our efficient fundraising efforts. College is all about learning new skills, getting out of your comfort zone, and making friends, so EMS club is for you!

Follow the EMS Club on Instagram to stay up-to-date on activities, events, and trips. 

Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse with PUC’s Green Club

The PUC Green Club was established last year (but restarted their club this past fall) and are on a mission to protect and better serve our beautiful planet earth. They have been working with the Napa County Resource Conservation District to help plant acorns and spreading awareness about sustainability and the environment through their Instagram @puc.green. They share tips and information about recycling, composting, and ways to reduce waste and single-use plastic. 

Sarah Franklin is the public relations officer of the Green Club. She coordinates events and connects with other organizations and individuals who can help with their mission. Sarah also runs the club’s Instagram account. She kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about the PUC Green Club.  

How did the Green Club get started?

At the beginning of the fall quarter, I was really interested in finding out if there was an environmental club or opportunities on campus because I wanted to get involved in an activity somehow. I found out that there was a Green Club that started last year but didn’t have much success. So the leaders, Kaylyn and Marriah, wanted to “restart” the club. As the head of Public Relations, I made a new Instagram account, and the three of us revamped our club. 

How did you get started in environmental issues? 

As a sophomore in high school, I took AP Environmental Science, which started my love for planet earth and grew my knowledge about issues our planet faces. In high school, I was a part of our school’s greenhouse, garden; Napa River cleanups; and acorn plantings at Alston Park in Napa. Doing these things to help the environment and our community made me feel so happy and grateful for our earth, and I want to spread those feelings to others through this club.

Have you been able to help the community during this time? 

We have helped educate the PUC community through our Instagram account about sustainability, zero-waste, and plastic-free tips. I have been wanting to plan a trash pickup day at the Napa River and/or the beach, and I have been trying to set up an acorn planting event with the City of Napa as well, but things have been on hold due to Covid. So hopefully, we will start becoming more active soon!

In previous school years, our main goals were to clean up the garden at PUC for the gardening class to use and basically spread awareness about what people can do to reduce their impact on planet Earth, like recycling, composting, reducing plastic waste, and reusing/repurposing food to avoid excess food waste!

What other activities do you have planned or hope to do this year? 

We are currently working with the Napa Valley Conservation District to plan acorn planting events in the valley. We also hope to coordinate some hikes and trash cleanups.  

 What is the most urgent issue, or issues, for the club to spread awareness about? 

Sustainability is a huge issue we care about. We want to encourage people to use what they have instead of buying new things, use sustainable materials instead of plastics or synthetics which harm the environment, and shop locally to reduce our carbon footprint. There are many simple things that you can do in your everyday life that can make a huge difference, and that is what we want to educate people about on our Instagram.

How will the Green Club help these issues? 

We will help these issues by educating people through our social media platforms. We are also working to organize more hands-on events such as trash cleanups, tree plantings, and hikes.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Green Club? 

My favorite thing about being a part of the Green Club is that it allows me to have a platform to reach out to people and students in order to educate them about serious environmental issues and actions that can be done to help solve these issues. 

What are the small steps we can take at home to become eco-friendly? 

Use what you have instead of buying new things; When buying new things, make sure it’s something that you can use for a lifetime, not just a few months (especially prevalent with clothing); SHOP LOCAL (this helps our economy and the environment); try to opt for plastic-free items (reusable bags and water bottles, bring your own utensils, reusable straw, reusable containers for food, use bar soap/shampoo bars instead of in the bottle, etc.)

Convince me to join the Green Club in five sentences. 

If you care about the environment, we would love to have you be a part of this amazing cause. Our goal is to spread awareness about how to practice sustainability and protect the environment. By joining the club, you can help spread that message to as many people as possible in order to make an important change. Even if you just want to know more about simple steps you can take to help our environment, the Green Club is for you. Check us out on Instagram to learn more, and follow us for updates on special club events for Winter Quarter. @puc.green

Follow the Green Club on Instagram to stay up-to-date on their events and to learn about environmental issues. Be a part of this great club and join them in helping make our world better one action at a time.

PUC’S Jujitsu Club: A Safe Space To Meet People & Better Yourself

PUC’s Jujitsu Club is more than learning martial arts. It’s a community that provides a safe space for everyone to be themselves, better their health, and have fun. Students and faculty meet on campus and travel to Albion once a year to get a change of scenery. Sarah West is president of the club and wants people to know that the Jujitsu Club is not as aggressive as they might think it is. She kindly answered some questions for us to learn more about the Jujitsu Club and why you should join. 

Tell us about the Jujitsu Club. 

Jujitsu club is not what you think it is. Yes, we are learning a martial art, yes, we do grabs, throws, and holds; but it is so much more. It’s a safe space to meet people and to get to better yourself. I feel the most balanced after time on the mat and have learned to respect my body. You also learn how to move in ways that help avoid injuries if one falls, and you have the chance to experience rolling and tumbling.

What made you decide to be a part of this club? What responsibilities does your role as president entail? 

I joined the jujitsu club because of PUC’s club fair. I had already been wanting to get back into martial arts and knew a little bit about jujitsu. My role is mostly to remind people when and where jujitsu is taking place and to help think of things to do as a club. It is a smaller club than most, which makes planning things a lot easier.

What are the goals for the Jujitsu Club this year? 

My main goal this year for the club is to make sure we can still meet safely. It’s hard to social distance when you, or your opponent, is in a chokehold, so making sure all members are being careful and taking precautions is important. 

Can you share any upcoming activities or events you have planned? 

The most exciting thing we have planned for the jujitsu club is the yearly trip to Albion with the biology club. Albion is a great change of scenery to the regular meetings of the jujitsu club, and we usually have a guest sensi join us. Last year we had our Sensi’s Sensi join us, and it was a fun experience for all. 

What is your favorite thing about being in the Jujitsu Club? 

My favorite thing about the jujitsu club is that the members can get to know each other better. Two-hour meetings twice a week is a lot of time to spend together, and with movie nights and Albion thrown in there, you get to know one another. I think this club does a great job at providing a safe space for everyone to be themselves and have fun. 

What do you want people to know about the Jujitsu Club?

The main thing I want people to know about the jujitsu club is that it’s not as aggressive as you might think. When I tell friends that I am in a jujitsu club, they make comments about not wanting to mess with me, for fear of my martial arts training. But jujitsu is not aggressive, it’s about learning to take what’s coming at you, and avoiding it/changing its course. 

Convince me to join the Jujitsu Club in five sentences. 

If you want to join the club so that you can defeat all your enemies, this is not the club for you. If you want to learn about balance, have a chance to increase your heart rate and decrease stress, and get to know fellow students and faculty here on the holy hill, this is for you. Jujitsu also gives you some skills on how to stay safe out in the real world. 

Pioneer Profile: Nathan Hiss 

Nathan Hiss is a junior biology student from Orinda, CA., and represents PUC’s Men’s Cross Country team. With a background in cross country in high school, he joined the team his sophomore year and enjoys every part of it. He answered a few questions for us to share a bit of what it’s like being a student-athlete and playing for PUC. 

What drew you to PUC athletics over another college? 

I didn’t attend PUC with the initial intention of joining the XC team but rather joined it my sophomore year! I ran XC in high school and thought it would be a good idea running again.

Walk us through a typical team practice. 

Usually, I would wake up at around 5:45 in the morning, throw on some shorts and head down to the track. Coach Muhic would then walk us through what our practice was going to look like, and we would either go on a long run or do a speed workout! Then in the evening after classes and labs, I would go on another run totaling 5-10 miles a day!

What is your favorite part about being part of your team? 

Team runs are my favorite part because my teammates always motivate me to go faster and longer!

How do you balance your time between school and sports? 

Since practice is in the morning it works out really well! After practice, I study before classes then attend those classes and labs, then study some more, and go on another run. I found a good balance from removing TV, YouTube, clash of clans from my day.  

What advice do you have for students who are interested in being a student-athlete? 

Do it! It’s a great way to make new friends and keep yourself healthy. 

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Pioneers family? 

Team dinners are my favorite.

Do you have a favorite athlete? If so, who and why? 

I looked up to Michael Phelps because in addition to running I was on the club and high school swimming for most of my life. 

What are other things you are passionate about? 

I am really passionate about hiking, tennis, gardening, volunteering, fishing, and Bobby, my gorilla figure!

What are you most looking forward to this school year? 

I am really looking forward to trying all the restaurants in Calistoga. I already got through St. Helena and decided Farmstead or Goose and Gander are the best there. So I am looking forward to seeing what Calistoga has to offer!

Creating the Perfect Fit: An Interview with a Double Major

By Becky St. Clair

Natalie Fode is a senior piano and nursing double major who grew up right here in St. Helena. With an Associate’s Degree in music (flute performance) and one in nursing already under her belt, she plans to graduate in June 2021 with her Bachelor’s Degrees in both. Natalie plays flute in the PUC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and when we’re on-campus in person, she works in the department office managing recordings. She currently lives in Yountville with her husband, Jordan.

Why music?
I’ve always been fascinated with music for as long as I can remember. I have a musical family; my grandfather taught choir at various academies, and my grandmothers were/are both very good pianists. My dad is a great musician too, and plays the bass guitar, and my mom also plays the flute. I think this combination made me interested in music from a young age because music was often in the home in some form or another. I ultimately decided to pursue a music degree because I couldn’t imagine my life without it and I wanted to be better able to share my love of it with others, as well as to grow my composition, piano, and flute performance skills. I hope to someday teach lessons and continue writing music throughout my life.

So it surrounded you for most of your life, but do you recall when you first started really noticing it and exploring it for yourself?
My grandma first taught me the basics of piano when I was about four years old, which first awakened my love and fascination for piano. I don’t know where I got the idea of composing, but I remember playing the lap harp when I was about five or six and creating my own music on it. I also remember going around and making up songs (if you could call them that) about everything that happened in my life when I was little. It turns out each of these early interests developed into something that I now know and love and are all a part of me to this day. 

I ended up becoming extremely interested in composition and songwriting as I got older, writing songs from the time I was about 11 and starting my first choral piece at age 14. I have continued to pursue flute, piano, and composition during my time at PUC. Each of these early musical experiences are still a part of my life today as a college student and they will forever be a part of my musical identity.

How has your experience been pursuing both music and nursing simultaneously?
I would say the biggest challenge for me has been finding the time to stay in a creative headspace while also pursuing nursing, which is a different-type-of-difficult degree. I adore composition and wish that I had the time and creative energy to do it more often. Though it hasn’t always been an easy balancing act, I would say that music has been an oasis for me during the difficult times of the nursing program, which, as much as I love nursing, certainly existed.

Nursing majors have crazy schedules; how did you manage that while also being in a music ensemble?
First of all, I would like to mention that I took the first year and a half of my time at PUC to focus primarily on music and attempting to get into the nursing program. That allowed me to finish a lot of my classes for the AS in music degree, but not all. Once the nursing program began for me, the music department professors worked with my crazy clinical schedules and helped me achieve my goals in both nursing and music; I couldn’t have gotten this far if it wasn’t for their graciousness. 

Nursing is, by necessity, a very structured program and so it speaks volumes that the music department has been willing to work around and with that to help me create the perfect fit during my time at PUC. Now, during my two bachelor degrees in nursing and music, the music professors are working with me more than ever due to “core weeks” (weeks one and six each quarter) which are a part of the BS in nursing when I have classes the majority of the day and can’t typically attend normal class periods. They’ve also worked with me through more crazy clinical schedules and have always been so understanding through it all.

I couldn’t be more blessed and grateful with the music department. It’s taken me five years to finish these two degrees, but the incredible experiences, connections, and future opportunities that I’ve gained along the way has made it all worthwhile.

You and Jordan have recorded a few videos performing together; do you have plans to do something more formal with your combined skills? 
Jordan and I both love music. He’s been playing guitar since he was 12 and saxophone since he was nine, and we’ve both been casually singing in choirs and on our own from a young age. We have just recently started exploring who we are as a musical twosome and it’s been a really fun journey. We hope to make it a “thing” in the near future. 

We have a YouTube channel and want to fill it with covers and original songs, and hope to utilize other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to share as well. We also want to do concerts both locally and across the U.S. as a ministry, once things are a little less “germy” of course. Ha! This is important to us because we both want to share God’s love and the message of righteousness by faith with as many people as possible. We’d love to combine that message with speaking and music in the form of concerts and social media.

What do you enjoy about being part of the music department?
One of my favorite things about the music department is sitting in the office, working and listening to all of the students and ensembles practicing. It’s so inspiring, makes me smile, and it’s fun to hear people progress in their pieces. I also love the family feel of the department. It’s not huge, and so everyone gets to know everyone and there’s a real sense of closeness there that is quite unique. It feels like a home away from home.

How do music and nursing intersect—at least for you?
Music is inherently therapeutic, and so I definitely feel that my knowledge of music can help me provide my future patients with better care in the hospital. I’ve heard stories of nurses singing or performing for patients per their request and I can see that being something I’d be open to since I’m interested in treating the whole person in their healing process. I see it as a connecting point, regardless of where I am located or what I’m doing; music is something that I’ll carry with me everywhere. 

Likewise, I think that the nursing mentality and my nursing skills are things that can benefit me in many different situations. Nursing has helped me to attack my instrument practicing more systematically which has been helpful for me. I also know that it will come in handy if anyone hurts themselves or has something go physically wrong during a rehearsal or lesson. Both music and nursing are focused on connecting with the whole person you are serving at that moment, and because of this they are interchangeable disciplines in many respects when they are done well.

What is your ultimate career goal?
Well…that’s rather ambiguous at the moment, if I’m honest. I am currently hoping to find a nursing job so that I can begin serving my community in whatever capacity is most needed. Eventually, I would love to work on a labor and delivery unit as I’ve always had a passion for obstetrics. This passion was likely spawned by being an aunt to eight kiddos and watching three of those births at various points throughout my childhood, as well as having a sister who worked as a labor and delivery and postpartum nurse for most of her career. It is possible that I would want to pursue a certified nurse midwife/nurse practitioner degree in the future, but that would be many years down the road, if ever; there are no concrete plans in place for that at this point. 

As far as music goes, from home jam-sessions with my husband and family, to writing my own compositions and songs, to teaching lessons or even potentially leading ensembles at the elementary or high-school level, I see myself using my music degree all the time. I would say that the knowledge I gained during my time in my AS and BS in music degrees is even more valuable to me than the degrees themselves in many respects. I’ve learned so much that I will carry with me throughout my life, and though the degree titles are inherently valuable, the information I gleaned while earning them is invaluable.

If you could offer one piece of advice to incoming first-years at PUC, what would it be?
Embrace the changes that inherently come along with your first year in college and to go for the thing that seems audaciously out-there if it’s something that you truly want to pursue. It’s not too late to switch your declared major, not too late to change your mind in pursuit of the desires of your heart. By all means, be smart about it, but whether it means adding, switching, or dropping a degree, if that’s what you think is best for you – do it! And go all-in. 

Also, don’t wait any longer than you have to, because the sooner you make the switch, the more time your professors and advisors will have to work with you. Have those conversations early on, and bounce ideas off people you trust. I switched at the end of my first year, but there’s no “right way” to do it. It’s never too late to make a change. Don’t let your life decide itself for you–you get to hold the reins. Ask questions. Don’t let things just “happen to you” academically. Take an active role in your course planning, picking a major, and the timing, difficulty, and pace of your quarters.

And then, I would say something that seems almost contrary to my previous advice, but it isn’t: Prioritize your health, both mental and physical. Don’t push yourself too hard, it’s not worth it. Don’t hesitate to reach out when something feels off, and take advantage of the resources that PUC has to offer because no amount of hustle is worth your well-being. I pushed myself so hard and I got through it, but looking back I would advise my younger self to prioritize my health more. You’re a human, not a machine, and it’s important to realize that–and the earlier on, the better. 

Most of all, I want to say: You’ve got this! It’s a long road ahead, but if you find a major and future career that you love, and prioritize your well-being so that you can enjoy the journey and the destination, it will all be worth it.