Welcome Back to PUC!

The summer months can be fun, relaxing, productive even; however, once September comes, we really start to miss having students running around campus. New Student Orientation was a blast and we have had so much fun spending the first week of the school year getting to know each other during classes and tons of fun activities.

The #RockDoc PUC president Dr. Bob Cushman and his rock. This is a fun new place to snap a quick pic and keep your eye out for new rock-designs throughout the year.

The Student Association team praying for the new school year during family orientation.

Off to the Alumni dinner!

The class of 2022 playing games and getting to know each other their first night at PUC.

Pancakes with your professors! A fun way to get to know the people who will teach your classes over a yummy breakfast.

PUC’s student-led praise team spreading God’s word through song.

The welcome back party was a great time to get to know each other and to find which clubs you want to be a part of!

We just want to say a huge WELCOME BACK to all our students and wish everyone a fantastic school year.

PUC in Pictures: Summer 2018 Edition

While there’s no question we prefer our campus during the school year, when it’s at its busiest with all of our students, faculty, and staff present, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at PUC during the summer! These past few months, we’ve welcomed middle and high school students to campus for PacificQuest and Publication Workshop; many of our students, faculty, and staff have traveled around the globe on mission trips to Belize and the Amazon; and over 50 classes were offered, one of which included a biology research trip to Alaska! All this in addition to just having fun in the Bay Area adds up to a pretty fun summer. Here are just a few of our favorite memories from Summer 2018.

Service: A Lifestyle

By Megan Weems

Editor’s note: In July, over 200 college students and recent graduates, including many from Pacific Union College, traveled to Brazil to participate in a new volunteer program from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency to help build the Adventist Technical School of Massauari (ETAM). Below, recent PUC graduate Megan Weems shares her experience on the life-changing trip.

This summer, I was fortunate to embark on a journey along the Amazon River to a small village called Nova Jerusalem. On this boat, in the midst of nowhere, I was reminded of the attributes of service. This was not a solo mission but one that included 200 plus other college students or recent graduates, like myself, who decided to use two weeks of their summer to do something out of the norm. We were on our way to help finish building a K-9 technical school that needed a little extra tender loving care. The work included: cutting and putting up siding, laying and grouting tiles, painting, varnishing, and cleaning up the classrooms, library, and student dormitories.

I have served as a long-term missionary as a fifth and sixth-grade teacher in Fiji and also volunteered on other mission trips. On this particular excursion, I came with a sense of urgency and persistence to get the building project done. Having witnessed on countless occasions that if the project was left incomplete, it may never get done, and the children would be the ones who suffered. It was quite reassuring knowing that ADRA Brazil and ADRA Connections, a new volunteer program operated by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, had produced a flawless plan keeping everyone involved and working through the entire trip. The huge group of North Americans and Brazilians worked effectively and cohesively to do exactly what we came to do in the Amazon: provide an infrastructure for education that would offer technical skills, and most importantly educating children with eternity in mind.

Every morning, volunteers greeted each other with the phrase, “bom dia,” or good morning in Portuguese, and yelled from boat to boat that worship was starting. We’d awake from our rested slumber in our hammocks, which swung in unison on the boat’s top deck during the cool, breezy nights. Our workdays began when the sun rose and set, and later that evening, we’d end the day with worship. The work was hard, sweat was plenty, there were a few complaints about the heat, but regardless, there was nothing but smiles, singing, and laughter.

What makes me nervous with mission trips is that people are coming from many different backgrounds, which sometimes means learning to adjust to a new work ethic and understanding of the work we are required to do. However, my worries were put at ease as each boat was assigned boat leaders and interpreters who stayed with their boats from start to finish of the mission. On our boat, we were blessed to be led by an amazing couple, Julianna and Diego, who had finished their missionary work from another village in the Amazon as a nurse and boat technician. Both spoke very little English yet the interpreters from the University of Sao Paulo were so helpful to explain what they said. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, Julianna and Diego set a clear example for our group that whatever the task is, whether big or small, we do it with the love of God.

What I saw in Julianna and Diego’s leadership is the type of leadership I pray that God instills within me. They were great at recognizing the strengths of the group, while they delegated, set expectations, and exemplified hard work. I didn’t need to speak the same language to recognize a person who gives 100 percent to every task, but I was very humbled and inspired by Julianna and Diego, and the service they showed.

Another couple left an indelible impression on my heart that I will remember forever, Don and Elaine Halenz. Don and Elaine actually accompanied my group from Pacific Union College, but it would be my first time meeting them. This couple, both age 83, and married for 60 years, decided to come on this trip, very aware of the trip’s extreme destination. They have been intermittent missionaries throughout their lives and here they were with all of us 20-somethings in the field again, working hard and never asking for any modifications. Never once did I hear them utter a complaint! I was incredibly humbled and inspired by Don and Elaine because they stand for everything I hope to be and live for when I am their age. Both of these couples, however, embodied what I believe true service is.

In essence, service to me is not a single action, but a lifestyle. It is a daily choice that leads up to multiple times making an intentional decision to be the best version of yourself in order to improve someone else’s existence. It is in everything we do, whether we are in the comforts of our homes or in a land far away from anything familiar. It is intentional modeling of Christ-like love continuously and consistently from moment to moment. I was incredibly blessed by my short-term experience on the ADRA Connections trip, and was reminded of the service I hope to exemplify all the days of my life.

Read more about the Amazon trip on Adventist Today.

16 Questions with Sierra Driver

Going from living with your family to living with a roommate you might not even know, in a residential hall, can be a big change. Luckily, your hall comes fully equipped with a resident assistant. Your RA is far more than just someone who checks you in every evening; they are there to offer advice, help you deal with homesickness, and become your friend. Each residential hall offers an array of activities from hall worships to movie nights which help foster the family feel that helps make PUC such a special place.

Meet Sierra Driver and learn a little bit about life in a residence hall!

Interested in learning more about being a resident assistant? Check out our “Meet the RAs of Andre Hall” blog post to get an idea of a day in the life of an RA.

16 Questions with Megan Weems

Who better to learn about life at PUC than PUC’s Student Association president! We caught up with last year’s SA president Megan Weems and asked her a few questions about the social life at our college.

For some reason, one of the things we hear from students is “there isn’t anything to do at PUC,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Browse through our Social Life category for just a glimpse into many of the things PUC students are involved in.

16 Questions with Floyd Hayes

Are you thinking about studying biology in college? Meet Dr. Floyd Hayes, professor of biology at PUC, and get the inside scoop to life in Clark Hall, home of PUC’s department of biology.

One of the largest departments on campus, the department of biology is home to several other exciting programs, including the Biology Club, one of the most active student-run clubs at PUC. For a behind-the-scenes look at biology at PUC, you can follow the department on Instagram at @pucbiology.

10 Tips for Your First Quarter at PUC

Help make sure this is you graduating in four years! (And yes, those are tortillas!)

If you’re getting ready for your first quarter at PUC, here are 10 suggestions to help make the transition from high school to college as smooth as possible.

Don’t stay in your dorm room

Try your best not to be a hermit and spend all your time in your dorm room. It can be intimidating to go to Student Association events or a Pioneers Athletics game, or just hang out in the Campus Center, but try to get out of your comfort zone a few times and put yourself in places where you might make new friends.

Find your ideal place to study

Research shows studying in different locations can help with your retention of what you’ve studied, so it’s a good idea to find several places you feel you can focus.

Need some ideas of where you can go? Check out our “Great Places to Study on PUC’s Campus” blog post!

Meet with your professors

Make a point of stopping by to visit with your professors during their office hours. Don’t feel as though you’re imposing on them—they’re literally required to have them! Talking with your professors regularly can help them get to know you too, which will also be helpful in a few years when you need a recommendation from them!

Take advantage of on-campus resources

There are some awesome resources available to students at PUC. The Teaching & Learning Center offers free tutoring for most General Education classes and also has a writing lab. The Counseling Center provides students with career counseling, personal counseling, and testing services. Our gymnasium, known officially as Pacific Auditorium but more endearingly called “The Covered Wagon,” also houses a fitness center, weight room, and pool, all of which are free for students to use.

Learn more by reading our “Five Departments Every Student Should Know” blog post!

Talk to people in your classes

It can be scary to walk into a classroom full of people you don’t know, so make an effort to talk to students seated near you. This can have two benefits: you can potentially make more friends, and you can have a buddy to rely on in case one of you misses class and share notes with.

Find ways to get involved

This isn’t to say you should force yourself to do something you aren’t truly interested in, but find your own way of getting involved on-campus. Participate in your weekly dorm worship. Join a small Bible study group. Start a praise band. Think about running for Student Association office or for Student Senate. Join one of the 25 student clubs!

Interested in joining a student club? Learn more by reading our “So Many Clubs, So Little Time!” blog post!

Balance your life

While it’s obviously very important, there’s more to college life than school and homework. A lot of being successful in college is learning how to manage your time and finding the right balance between studying, your social life, and activities to help you relax and destress.

Which leads to the next point …

Develop a routine

Try to develop a routine that works for you, and then do your best to stick to it. Start your morning by studying your Bible or reading a quick worship thought. If you have a break between classes, go for a walk at the track (and bring flashcards if you still need to cram for a quiz!). Make a deal with your friends to have dinner together at the Dining Commons every evening, or at least once a week.

Plan your class schedule wisely

Keep your past history in mind when planning your class schedule with your enrollment counselor. If you’re not a morning person, avoid 8 a.m. classes, if possible. If you struggle with staying focused for long periods of time, maybe don’t sign up for those four credit classes that meet twice a week for two hours! Being aware of what works for you and planning accordingly can only help set you up for future success.

Editor’s note: If you still need to register for classes, or have questions about your schedule, get in touch with your enrollment counselor! Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email enroll@puc.edu to get connected with a counselor.

Try something new

Lastly, don’t be afraid to try something new. Take an art class. Take a language class. Play an intramurals sport you’ve never played before. By stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to grow and perhaps discover something new that you enjoy.

Your first quarter of college is going to be full of new people and new experiences, but try not to worry or feel overwhelmed as New Student Orientation approaches. You will find your place here at PUC, and develop your own network of friends and support. Get ready for your best year yet!