Category Archives: Social Life

Things To Expect Your Freshman Year

Starting college is a very exciting time though it can be nerve-wracking not knowing what to expect, especially during such unprecedented times. While everyone’s college experience will be different, we’re here with a few things you can almost certainly expect. 

You’ll Make Friends Quickly

Even shy people make friends in college, even remotely! From SA activities to your classes, it won’t be hard to meet new people and make friends. Don’t be afraid to talk to people, especially during orientation. Everyone is just as nervous as you are. 

You’ll Have Flexibility 

College gives you freedom. You get to choose your classes (to an extent), when to eat, when to nap, when to have fun, and so on. Having more freedom is great but be sure to use good judgment! 

You Will Get Lost (once you’re on campus)

It’s a big campus so getting a little turned around is completely expected. We’ve all been there! If you need help finding your way to class, just ask! If you happen to find yourself lost with no one around, pull up the campus map!

Classes Might Get Hard 

College isn’t easy and you’re definitely going to have some tough classes. But there’s no need to get discouraged! PUC offers tons of resources from study groups to private tutoring! 

You’ll Figure Things Out

You’re bound to have questions as you start this new journey. Maybe you don’t know what major to declare or you’re trying to decide when if you can handle a campus job. The great thing about PUC is, you have tons of people and resources to help you figure things out, so use them! Check-in with your friends, your RA, or your advisor for some great advice. 

Remote learning isn’t ideal for anyone. We would much rather have you all on campus, hanging out and having a blast but your safety is the most important thing. Remember, we’re all in this together. Your first year of college goes by really fast so take chances, try new things, and make as many memories as you can. Have fun and stay positive!

 

 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

 

How To Thrive and Survive Freshman Year 

Starting college is a challenging transition; a new environment, new people, new classes. Even starting at home with remote learning, it can be very daunting. Here are some tips to making sure you thrive during your first year at PUC!

Take Classes That Interest You 

You’ve most likely already registered for your first quarter so don’t worry about that, but it’s never too soon to start planning ahead. The great thing about PUC is it’s a liberal arts college. That means along with your required courses for your chosen degree, you’ll be taking general education classes AND electives. This gives you a great opportunity to receive a very well rounded education and to take some really fun classes. Take the time to look for classes that interest you. Even if those classes don’t fulfill a requirement for your major, you can find some that fulfill GE and elective credits. 

Go To Class

You think this would be obvious, but some students just need a reminder. Sleeping in and skipping class may be tempting at times, but fight the temptation. Going to class and taking notes will help you understand and keep up with the material. You and your family are also paying for you to take these classes, so don’t waste your time and money.

Meet Your Professors 

It’s good to know your professors. Introduce yourself and take advantage of their office hours if you need help on an assignment, have questions, or just want to send an email to say hello. Not only will this benefit you from a learning aspect, but it will also benefit you in the long run. Building relationships with your professors can open a lot of networking doors. 

Know Your Academic Advisor 

Just like your professors, your academic advisor wants you to succeed. Get to know your adviser because they will help you with anything you need. From registering for classes, deciding on majors and minors, and giving you career advice, your adviser will be there for you.  

Get Organized

Staying organized in college is a must. Buy a planner, use an app, or get a calendar to stay on top of test dates, due dates, and meetings you might have during the school year. 

Find Your Study Spot

Your study environment plays a big role in the quality of your studying. Find a study spot that works for you and will help you stay motivated. While at home, try to avoid your bed or places you like to hang out and relax in. Once you’re on campus, try the library, a lounge, or the campus center to see which place works best for you to stay focused. Even your room could be your ideal study spot without being distracted. PUC has a lot of great study spots

Get Involved & Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

PUC offers many programs from student organizations, clubs, and various intramurals throughout the year. There are also on-campus job opportunities with flexible hours. Getting involved in school will help you learn new skills, meet new people, and have you feel more connected to your school. Consider joining a school club, intramural team, or getting a job on campus. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get involved! 

Take Advantage of Free Stuff 

There are many opportunities at PUC where students can receive free things, and we all love free things! From school events, like sports games, guest speakers, and food trucks to receiving scholarships throughout the year. You can even receive discounted items from stores using your college ID. Take advantage!  

Explore The Area

Eventually, we’re all going to be able to be together on campus. College is a great opportunity to get to know a place you’ve never lived in before. Even if you’re familiar with your chosen college, there is always something new to explore. Reward yourself from all the hard work you do during this week by discovering new places and things. College is stressful, so don’t forget to give yourself a break and have fun. The Napa Valley is known for great food, try a new place each quarter.

Seek A Balance 

College is filled with so many things from classes to social life. Know how much you can handle and don’t overwhelm yourself. Find that balance between productivity and downtime to help you stay focused and relax throughout the school year.  

Give A Warm Welcome To Your Roommate

Get to know your roommate! If you don’t know them already, take the time to learn about each other. Not only will you be living with them for the next nine months, but they can become an important confidant, so find some common interests! 

Relax 

You may feel you always have to be productive, but remind yourself to take a breather. It is important to stay focused in school, but it is also vital for your health to make time for yourself. It’s okay to watch a show or hang out with friends from time to time. Make sure you allow yourself to relax from working hard. You deserve it! 

Get Enough Sleep

All-nighters are no fun, so try and avoid them, (this means planning ahead). Getting enough hours of sleep throughout the night will help you in a big way. You’ll be well-rested, think more clearly, and be able to function throughout the day.  

Even though your first year of college can often be challenging, it’s also supposed to be fun! Don’t stress, remember you are not alone. There are tons of others feeling the same way. Utilize your network of new friends and professors and don’t forget to learn and have fun. You will thrive and survive your freshman year! 

Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.

 

Faces of PUC: Karina Saavedra 

Karina Saavedra is a nursing student from American Canyon. She is a driven student who aspires to have a career that will always challenge her and feels like nursing is a perfect choice. Karina also enjoys doing calligraphy and spending time with her friends during her free time. 

 What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to one day be a CRNA: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I love to challenge myself, and I have always aspired to have a career that will constantly challenge myself every day. I want to care for and save my patients’ lives. I want to be an advocate for them. I love working with people and giving them a reason to see another day! 

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

As silly as it may sound I wanted to work at Target. As a kid, I was obsessed with the idea of being a cashier at Target.  

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

The Pioneers family is naturally very welcoming and loving—I love this the most about being a part of the Pioneers family. From the moment I arrived on campus, I instantly felt at home with the numerous people that made me feel like I had a new family.  

 Where is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite place in the world is the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. I went island hopping on all six islands of Phi Phi, and it was the most beautiful site in the world. I love nature as well as being in the water. I was able to swim in the ocean and the lagoons of various islands.  

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I am currently bingeing on Avatar. I love the show so much, this is my second time watching the entire series! 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I love to do calligraphy in my free time, so writing is something I am personally passionate about. Writing/calligraphy is something that’s helped me cope with my stress in college.  

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

Growing up around San Francisco, I do have some personal favorite places to go to. If you love to walk around and enjoy the scenery, I recommend taking a walk around Bernal Heights Park, Fort Point, or walking around Sausalito. If you love sweets and coffee like me, I recommend Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. There are also many countless shopping areas and restaurants all over the Bay Area!  

 

Faces of PUC: Dannica Roberts 

Coming to PUC from Honolulu, HI, Dannica Roberts is studying physical education. As an older sibling, she’s always been a nurturer and is really passionate about helping people which makes her a great fit here at PUC where students are encouraged to join service projects. Dannica is well-known for being “super sweet” so when you see her on campus don’t hesitate to say hello! 

What is your dream job? 

My dream job would be to become a pilot and a dentist for children. 

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

When I was young, I wanted to become a teacher, so my dream jobs have not happened yet. Eventually, I would love to learn how to fly a plane and maybe get some experience in the dentistry field. 

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

I receive so much love and support from the Pioneers family. 

What is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite places in the world are either the beach where I would be surfing or in another country, like Taiwan or Peru where I would want to help with community service projects. 

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I have been binge-watching Criminal Minds and I am so close to finishing all 12 seasons of it. 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am passionate about going out into the community and helping with service projects. 

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

I would recommend buying a ticket to go riding on the cable car around San Francisco and of course, visiting Ghirardelli Square. 

 

Faces of PUC: April Medel 

April Medel is a senior from Stockton, Calif., majoring in psychology with an emphasis in Spanish and pre-medicine. She is passionate about helping others and is dedicated to making changes in how the medical field treats minorities. April was sweet enough to answer some questions for us. We are truly blessed to have students like April on our campus!

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a doctor. Personally, it does not really matter to me what kind of doctor I end up being as long as I am able to make a difference in someone’s life physically and emotionally and being able to use my knowledge and resources to try and fix parts of the system that are broken, like the prejudice many minorities face while seeking medical care. 

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

I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was in the first grade!  Having the ability to help others and using the resources I have to help those in need is something I wanted to do since I was a kid and I am glad that my priorities have not changed. 

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

My favorite thing about being part of the Pioneers family is that I am given the opportunity to worship God at the end of a stressful week. Many schools do not offer that opportunity, and I feel like it is great how PUC students can all get together, praise God, and give thanks for another successful week. 

Where is your favorite place in the world? 

My favorite place in the world is definitely Yosemite. Yosemite is basically my second home and I have been going there since I was born. It is a place where I can shut out the world and just thank God for all the blessings in my life. 

What show are you bingeing these days? 

I have been watching Space Force and 100 Humans on Netflix. Space Force is such a cute show and I just love Steve Carell. 100 Humans is extremely interesting so if you are interested in research and random human behaviors, then you should definitely check it out! 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am really passionate about standing up against racism and making sure everyone is treated equally and with respect. The Black Lives Matter movement, standing up for women and LGBTQ+ rights, and helping immigrants and DACA recipients are stuff that I am really passionate about. 

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

I recommend going to Napa or to Pier 39 in San Francisco with your friends. If you want a bit more adventure, definitely check out Alcatraz in San Francisco or the Manchester House in San Jose. 

 

Faces of PUC: Dylan Gray

Meet Dylan Gray, a marketing communication and emergency services major heading into his junior year at PUC. We asked Dylan what made him choose PUC, his answer made us proud to be Pioneers!

“I love PUC for many reasons but one of the biggest is the people. I love the friends I’ve made and memories we’ve created and I can say with full confidence I am where God wants me to be. I chose PUC mainly for financial reasons but once I got here I knew I really had no choice in the matter. God had already made the choice for me and I realized if it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill and he’s going to place me where I’m supposed to be.”

Dylan is a friendly guy and was happy to share a bit about himself. If you see him around campus, say hey!

What is your dream job?

To be honest I don’t really have one. One day I would like to work in fundraising and coordination with non-profits for disaster relief programs. There are a lot of things could do with my degrees but I just haven’t figured out a path I want to travel after college. I’m not worried about it though because ultimately it is not my decision, it’s all in God’s hands!

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

Quite a bit. When I was younger I wanted to go into Oceanography and marine biology. I love the ocean still but I can’t imagine myself in the field doing research all-day. I love the outdoors and I want to incorporate that into my work somehow as I move forward in life.

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

My favorite part of being in the Pioneers family is that I never feel excluded anywhere I go. No matter where I go on campus I am always running into people I know and finding different events to go to. It seems like no matter where I am on campus I am always greeted with a smile. I have made some of my best friends here. Not just the type of friends that you enjoy hanging out with then don’t talk to after you graduate, I mean the type of friends that I want at my wedding one day if I ever get that lucky. Truly good people.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

I grew up in the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Lake Tahoe in a little town called Cromberg. Living here for most of my life has left me with an affinity for the mountains and being out in the wilderness. one of my favorite places is a little lake up in the Plumas-Eureka National Forest called Wades lake. This lake is about twenty miles from any type of civilization along the Pacific Crest Trail. I love this place because when I go there it’s just super relaxing and offers a great time to reconnect with God through nature.

What show are you bingeing these days?

Well, I don’t have too much time to watch anything at the moment, but when I am not so busy you will definitely find me watching How I Met Your Mother. 

What is something you’re passionate about?

Worship and Ministry. The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God and I will take almost any chance to worship. I love worshiping with my friends and supporting them through the prayer group that we have started on campus. Click the link to read more about the group! https://blog.puc.edu/2020/02/13/prayer-in-numbers/ 

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

I am not much of a city guy but one of my favorite places is Coit Tower in SF. The views from the top are absolutely phenomenal! If you like the outdoors a little more, I recommend heading out to Point Reyes, it’s a gorgeous area and it’s right on the beach.   

 

Faces of PUC: Emily Smith 

This lovely lady is Emily Smith. Emily comes to us from Lake City, Florida, and just finished her freshman year studying biology and management for medical professionals while and next year will be taking on the role of event coordinator for the Pre-Med/Dent Club. After an unusual ending to the school year, Emily kindly answered some questions about herself. 

What is your dream job? 

I would love to be a doctor! Currently choosing between being an OBGYN, ER, or surgeon. 

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

I have always wanted to work in the medical field. I had a phase where I wanted to be a nurse because a lot of people in my family are nurses. Then I switched to wanting to be an esthetician because I love skincare! 

What is something you’re passionate about? 

I am really passionate about health and that includes skincare, fitness, diet, and overall wellness. God gave us our bodies and we owe it to him to keep it in the best shape we can! 

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

I love how inclusive the Pioneers family is. The campus is not very big, so it feels like one big family. Everyone is super friendly, and it feels like a second home. 

What is your favorite place in the world? 

Costa Rica! I lived there for 8 months when I was 7, and I loved it! It is such a beautiful place with loads of culture! 

What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. A very inspirational book! I highly recommend it! 

What is your favorite type of food? 

I love any type of food, as long as it is vegan and full of flavor! 

What is your favorite Bible verse? 

My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I love this verse because it comforts me when I have big decisions to make. It is comforting to know that God is in control and that he has my best interest at heart. 
Thank you, Emily, for sharing a bit about yourself with your Pioneers family! We can’t wait to see you soon!

PUC’s Newest Admissions Counselor​: Nicholas Borchik

Nicholas Borchik graduated from PUC in 2019 and has recently found his way back to our favorite College on the Mountain only this time, his role is a little different. After receiving a degree in social studies, Nic decided to join the Admissions team as a counselor. Now Nic spends his days sharing his love for PUC and higher Adventist education with future students, helping them make intelligent decisions about their college journey.

Note: If you’re interested in attending PUC or have any questions, you can reach out to Nic at Nic@puc.edu or any of our other counselors at admissions@puc.edu.

What brought you to PUC? Why did you decide to work here?

I initially came to PUC as a student because I had already built such a strong community here through my brother and some of my best friends who were a little bit older than me. I have chosen to stay in the area because I have grown to care so much for this school and what it can do for students looking to grow their education and their faith, and I am looking forward to seeing how God will use me in this position.

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

For me, it has always been the relationships that you can develop across pretty much every aspect of life, from education to food, fun, and faith.

Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why?

Gott’s Burgers will always be one of my favorites. Nothing beats a Gott’s burger and shake after a long day!

What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn?

I have always been really into DIY projects. One of my goals for the future is to build most of the furniture in my house!

What is one song or album you’re listening to a ton lately?

I have been listening to an album called Living Room by a band called Lawrence quite a bit recently. Musically it is a super rad album with genius lyrics, giving you something different to focus on each time you listen!

Who is someone you admire and why?

I have always admired Jon Foreman guitarist and singer for the band Switchfoot. First off as a musician and lyricist he influenced me greatly in the way I expressed myself through music when I was first learning to play music. More importantly, as a man of faith, he uses his art and his platform to advocate and stand for things he believes in.

What’s the last book you read for fun?

Recently I have been rereading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

Favorite movie to watch?

I love tons of different movies, but one that I am able to re-watch quite a bit and that has become one of my favorites is Knives Out. It is probably one of the best movies I have seen in a long time!

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Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me … 

Honestly probably sleeping in and trying to figure out something delicious to eat for lunch!

Make Time For Yourself

I don’t know about you but this past school year felt very long and it certainly didn’t end the way we imagined. But now that summer has hit, hopefully, you’re getting a chance to take a breather. Here are some of our favorite ways to relax, unwind, and make time for ourselves. 

Cook A Favorite Meal 

What’s more comforting than eating your favorite meal? Whether breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a late-night snack, whipping up your favorite meal can be therapeutic and obviously rewarding because, duh, you get to eat!

Listen To Music or A Podcast

Most people already know that music can be a powerful tool. Listening to music can calm us or lift us up, but have you considered Podcasts? They can also be great tools for self-care. Not only can they be informative, engaging, and relatable, but they can be a lot of fun. They can also be a great way to connect with others. 

Spend Time With Loved Ones (Digitally)

Even though most of us are trying to keep our distance from others, we can still have social lives. Thankfully, we live in a digital era where we have many options to talk and see our favorite people without having to be in the same room. 

Watch Your Favorite Movie or Show 

Who doesn’t want to lounge on a couch or bed and watch your favorite movie or show? 

Put Your Phone Down 

Yes, you read that correctly. Take care of yourself by escaping your phone for a bit. Social media can take up a lot of our time and almost become an obsession. Limit the endlessly scrolling and practice self-care by doing a little digital detox. 

Exercise 

Find exercising or stretching routines that are fun for you to do at home. If you can go outside, go for a walk or run while still keeping socially distant. By staying active, you can calm your mind and anxiety, plus you’re staying healthy which is always great. 

Chill Out

Don’t feel obligated to stay busy. Take care of yourself by resting and simply doing nothing. Just because a lot of us are finding ourselves with extra time at home, it doesn’t mean you have to somehow learn a new skill or create something groundbreaking (though if you do, you’re amazing!). It’s perfectly ok to take some time for yourself, to feel overwhelmed, to need a break. No one knows your body better than you do, so if you feel the need to relax, do it!

Spend Time With God

No matter how you like to do it, spend some time with God. Join a virtual Bible study or prayer group. Or if you prefer to worship in solitude, take a walk in nature or spend some time in quiet reflection.

You Are Not Alone 

Don’t bottle up your thoughts and feelings. If you’re feeling alone or uneasy, reach out to someone whether it’s a friend, family member, or counselor. 

Remember, good health doesn’t just mean good physical health. Your mental health is just as important. Make sure you treat yourself!

 

Incoming Pioneer Creates Community on Instagram

Midway through the spring quarter during some daily social media perusing, I came across an Instagram account I didn’t recognize. It was called PUC Class of 2024. It’s bio said “Welcome PUC class of 2024! Follow to find future pioneers💚💛 DM to be featured 🤩”. Intrigued by this I decided to DM the account assuming one of our great Admissions Counsels had started it. What I discovered was the account was run by a senior from Lodi Academy. Her name is Ashley Garner and she’s about to start her first year as a PUC Pioneer! She wanted a way to get to know her fellow classmates before arriving on campus. We loved the idea so much we decided to chat with Ashley to learn a little more about her! 

Where are you from?

I’m from Lodi, California

What are you planning to study?

I’m planning to study psychology.

What about college are you most excited to experience?

I’m most excited about meeting new people and having new experiences!

Are you planning on joining any campus clubs at PUC?

I would love to be involved in campus ministries and/or praise teams.

What made you decide to start the class of 2024 IG page?

I created the 2024 class because I wanted incoming freshmen, as well as current students, to have the opportunity to get to know each other and to start creating a community.

Who can join?

Anyone is welcome to join! Any incoming freshmen are welcome to be featured! 

What is your goal for the page?

My goal is to create a safe and fun family-like community for the class of 2024!

What’s been the most fun part about running it?

I’ve had many great interactions with other future PUC students, and I’ve even made new friends.

Favorite movie?

My favorite movie is 50 First Dates.

Last book you read for fun?

The last book I read for fun was Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens by Becky Albertalli.

Favorite meal?

My favorite meal is probably anything from Chick-fil-a.

Tortilla chips or Fritos for your haystacks?

Both, but probably Fritos.

Favorite place to shop?

My favorite place to shop is definitely Target and I also love going to thrift shops!

 

Are you about to join the PUC Pioneers family this fall quarter or are you a current student excited to get to know your new classmates? Head over to Instagram and follow @pucclassof24