Tips for Managing Stress in College

By Carissa Paw

All too often, students find themselves in stressful situations. Whether it’s from overloading on credits, taking on too many jobs at once, or having multiple deadlines to meet in one week, college can be stressful. These times are when it’s most important to remember putting too much stress on yourself isn’t beneficial to your studies. If you have found yourself in these types of situations, here are some tips to prevent and deal with stress.

Utilize the syllabus
From week one, check the syllabus given to you on the first day of class and write down important dates, such as tests and quizzes. By checking your syllabus on a weekly basis, you can to look at what’s due ahead of time and won’t be surprised by that one report worth 15 percent of your grade.

Prioritize your week
If you know you have two tests, three quizzes, and a reading report due in one week, make sure to divide the work. Try to study ahead of time instead of cramming the night before. As arduous as it sounds, try to get bigger projects done as soon as you can—trust me, you’ll thank yourself later. This will eliminate stress during the week, allowing yourself those additional blissful hours of sleep.

Take a minute to breathe
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to sit back and breathe. Use those sixty seconds to focus on breathing and not on the assignment due on Canvas at 11:59 p.m. After a minute, write out all the things you need to do. List them in the order they’re due and prioritize the things on top of the list first.

Find sources of help
As a class progresses, the material slowly builds upon the prior week. If you realize the material is too much to manage, don’t be afraid to talk to the professor. As a senior here at PUC, I’ve found the professors to be extremely helpful. Each professor is more than willing to meet with you and ensure you understand the material.

Take a break
Honestly, this step may seem ludicrous when facing multiple deadlines, but this tip has been the most beneficial to me. Removing yourself from a stressful situation for 5-10 minutes (or however long you prefer) can be extremely helpful in eliminating stress. You can take this break to listen to music, watch a YouTube video, or catch up on social media. By allowing yourself time to not be engrossed in studies, you can alleviate stress and improve your focus when going back to a certain task.

My Summer Working in PUC’s Nelson Memorial Library Archives

By Sierra McMillan

One dilemma for many college students is where they will work over the summer. I am a senior English major, so I wanted to have some sort of job that would be applicable to my future career plans. I asked Katy Van Arsdale, the special collections librarian here at PUC, if she needed help in the archives during the summer months and lucky for me, she did.

My main project over the duration of the summer was cleaning, digitizing, and curating an exhibit of early 20th century PUC magic lantern slides. Magic lantern slides were used to display photographs and other images from the 18th-mid-20th centuries. The PUC slides I worked with displayed a wide range of images from early PUC history—like groups of students, classroom scenes, and views of campus. At the beginning of the summer, Katy gave me a large box of these lantern slides in disintegrating wooden boxes, and it was my job to clean them and transfer the slides to proper archival storage. It took quite a bit of time to go through every slide; each which needed the dirt brushed off, excess grime cleaned with deionized water, and then they were placed in individual paper enclosures.

PUC students visit Bodega Bay sand dunes as part of Dr. Clark’s Field Nature School, summer 1934.

The next step in the process was to digitize the collection. Lantern slides are difficult to scan; the different portions—the transparent interior image and the exterior slide frame—have to be scanned separately in order for both to be viewable. On the scanned images, I used Photoshop to make both portions of the digitized version of the slides simultaneously viewable. In total, I cleaned and digitized around 450 slides. After all of the slides were scanned, I curated a small exhibit of these lantern slides for display in the library. Soon the entire digitized collection will be viewable on the Adventist Digital Library.

Landscaping and pools between Clark Hall and Irwin Hall, where the greenhouse now stands. Probably photographed in the 1930s.

Working with this collection of lantern slides and in the library archives in general over the summer was such a great experience. It gave me a taste of the type of work that archivists do and information about historical artifacts I wouldn’t have learned about in such a hands-on manner otherwise. Research for my senior thesis project has lead me to look into some online archive collections and it’s fascinating to know how these collections might have been produced and that I had a hand in putting together a similar collection for the PUC archive.

PUC student poses at the base of the Graf Hall steps, probably in the 1930s.

Get Ready for Fall 2018!

The fall is prime college application time for high school seniors. These days, the average student applies to at least nine colleges, and if you haven’t already started looking at potential schools for next fall, now’s the time–and why not start with PUC! Our online application is free and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

We’ve created a handy high school senior checklist to help you stay on track all year long. On it, you will find a breakdown of what you can be working on each month. Hopefully it will help you get things taken care of!

So, what else can you be working on? Plenty! Here’s just a few things to get you started; download the checklist for a complete inventory on what you need to do to be ready for college next fall.

Visit all the colleges you can

There’s no better way to see if a college is right for you than by visiting! We would love for you to join us on our campus. Take a tour with a student ambassador, meet with a professor in the major of your interest, and pick up some great financial tips.

Take the ACT and SAT—and leave yourself time to retake them

PUC accepts both the ACT and SAT. While they aren’t required for admission (except for admission on academic probation), tour test scores will be used for placement into math and English classes, and also for certain scholarship qualifications.

It’s a good idea to take the test several times, rather than just once, particularly if your score is close to the qualifications for a scholarship. 

Get ready to submit the FAFSA in October

Starting October 1, 2017, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible since some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Remember to include PUC’s school code (001258) to have your results sent to PUC, as well as to list at least one in-state college, otherwise you may be ineligible to apply for Cal Grant.

Visit puc.edu/enrollmentforms to download your copy of PUC’s high school senior checklist today!

If you have any questions about applying to PUC, contact the Enrollment Services office at enroll@puc.edu or (800) 862-7080, option 2. We’re here to help throughout the entire admission process, and we can’t wait to have you on campus next fall!

PUC. The Holy Hill. Home.

By Juan Hidalgo 3rd

On Sept 18, 2010, I left my sunny SoCal home and began the 8-hour trek to Pacific Union College. On June 18, 2017, I will be walking across the stage as an official graduate of this college! My time at PUC has been a compilation of the best and most challenging years of my life. As I complete my undergraduate career, here is some advice I would like to leave you as a student, prospective student, interested person, or the fourth person reading this, my mom.

Be a “Yes” Man/Woman
In my time at PUC I have had the great opportunity of getting to know a variety of different people as well as hold a variety of different student leadership positions. This school presented me with an abundance of opportunities to get involved with student life and develop my leadership skills. When I first came here, I didn’t know how to get involved or if I really wanted to. Little by little, professors and fellow students began to ask me if I wanted to help with different events and/or hold different leadership positions. Hesitantly, I said yes and have never looked back. Each opportunity pushed me to get out of my introvert shell to the point where anyone reading this who has come to know me in my time at PUC will be surprised to know I classify myself as an introvert. Say “Yes.” Go and get involved. Whether becoming an officer for one of the many clubs we have on campus, getting a job in a department, or even running for an elected position in Student Association or Senate, you will thank yourself later.

Break Bread with Friends
The fact we are located in one of the culinary capitals of the world means there are plenty of great places, besides the Dining Commons, to ease your “hAngriness” or your “hAttitude”. You can build your own sandwich at Guigni’s Deli, slurp a delicious milk shake from Gott’s Roadside, or share a bomb.com margherita pizza from Tra Vigne. BUT, being that most of us are on a college student budget, this means you also get to make trips to Safeway and cook your own meals with friends once in awhile. Sometimes this means ramen in your room at 3 a.m., on the floor, while your roommate is up playing WOW (World of Warcraft) and sometimes you channel your inner Gordon Ramsey and make a whole potluck for your friends on Sabbath afternoon. Whatever it may be, I know some of the best memories I have at PUC are mixing ingredients, over a stove and around a table, sharing a meal with my friends.

Family is the Most Important Thing
If college is your first time away from home, you may experience one of two things. First, this may be the happiest time of your life as you are now a full-fledged adult and have finally realized you never needed your mom and dad anyway and they were only holding you back from your true potential as an independent, self-sufficient human being. OR, and this is the category I fell into, you may feel a little sad, maybe even a little alone. This is probably not due to the fact you are actually alone, but more so that you miss your parents or whomever you left back home. Let me assure you, there is nothing wrong with this, and yes, you can still be an adult and be homesick.

Hands down my favorite part of my experience here at PUC has been what I discovered when I felt most alone on this hill. You see, up here we have something I can’t fully explain to you, you simply have to experience it on your own. We call it “The PUC Family.” This family took me from Grainger Hall 209, crying on my first birthday away from home, to countless occasions of laughing until I cried. During my time here, the family has been through a lot of great times and a few very difficult times. We have laughed together, struggled through finals together, and mourned the loss of dear family members together. People often say we are kind of “stuck” up here on this hill, but let me tell you, being “stuck” has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. At PUC I have made family members who will last me a lifetime. I have met people who I can be real with, people I can cry with, people whom I love. So if you are nervous about leaving home, don’t worry, you’re coming to another one.

Juan will be graduating with degrees in psychology, Spanish, and nursing.

Trust God’s Timing and His Plan
There are times in your academic career, and in life in general, when you are going to be unsure. You are going to doubt yourself, you are going to stress, and you might want to switch your major from biology and pre-med to basket weaving with an emphasis in Ultimate Frisbee. That’s OK. You probably also will experience some form of failure. That’s OK too. I have found PUC has given me a good balance of success and “gut checks.” What I mean by that is, for all the good times I have had, there were less desirable times I also thank God for. I thank God because though things didn’t always go my way, though I didn’t always get the grade I wanted, and though I doubted myself and Him many times, I am stronger because of it.

There you have it, my “two cents” on a world-class experience at Pacific Union College. If you are a current student, enjoy it while it lasts, the end comes faster than expected. If you are a potential student, get ready for a life-changing experience academically and to be part of a new family. If you are neither, but simply an interested reader, I say “cheerio” and I hope you enjoyed. If you are my mom and are crying while reading this, I say “I love you and thank you and Dad for giving me the experience of a lifetime.”

Juan Hidalgo 3rd  
At-Large Senator     
Chief Student Ambassador
Senior Class President

It’s tradition at PUC for seniors to ring the historic Healdsburg Bell when they’ve finished their last final. Congratulations Juan!

My Experience Applying to Law School

By Andrew Mahinay

Editor’s note: This fall, Andrew is headed to the University of the Pacific to study law. We asked him to share how applying to law school was for him to provide insight for any student considering attending law school or another graduate school.

The application process starts the day you step foot, as a student, on your college campus. Obtaining a high GPA and participating in activities differentiating you from other applicants is the first step to a successful application.

The most important time for me was the summer of my junior year. I had to study for the LSAT, the admissions test for law school. After hours of preparation for months, I took the test, and to my excitement, received the score I needed. With the biggest component of the application out of the way, I began working on other parts of the application that took a lot of time and persistence.

Prospective law school students are typically required to obtain two recommendation letters from professors or employers. Thank God I went to PUC because the professors are easily accessible. I had the privilege of asking one of my English professors, from whom I had taken several classes, as well as my current boss at Newton Hall, to write my letters of recommendation. Whether you are applying to a grad program or a future job, make sure you ask your recommenders early on in the application process because they are busy working individuals with responsibilities of their own, and it may take some time for them to write their letter, and you don’t want to cut it too close or miss the deadline.

Other then studying for the LSAT, writing my personal statement for my application took up most of my time. Writing a response to each different law school prompt was tedious. However, I stayed focused and completed this task with the help of fellow students, professors, and the staff at PUC’s Teaching Learning Center, who helped me by peer reviewing grammatical errors and made my personal statement more compelling.

Creating a resume was another requirement I needed to fulfill. In college, get involved early on so you have activities to put on your resume. Keep in mind, your high school experiences are irrelevant. Graduate schools want to see your college experiences, not your high school ones. My resume was composed of years of activities from my first job, to managing and leading out in my first campus club.

The last item on the list I needed to obtain was my most recent transcript. PUC makes this process simple. Simply go on the Record’s Office page of the PUC website and fill out the Transcript Request Form. The process is straightforward and the college does all the work for you, sending your transcript straight to the graduate program you are applying for. PUC doesn’t charge any transcript fees for the first 25 copies of your transcript.

Once I had all the requirements completed (LSAT score, personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts), I began to submit online applications to each school I was considering attending. After that, the real fun beganwaiting. Waiting can be stressful, but take it easy. At this point, you have done everything in your power. Patience is key! After a month of waiting, I received notification I had been accepted into one of my top law school choices.

During a special visitation day for admitted students to UoP, I had the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a law student at the school I decided to attend. I had the privilege of sitting in on a mock class taught by the honorable dean of the law school, which gave me firsthand experience of what to expect for law school. The feelings were so real as I sat and listened while taking notes. I left that day even more excited to begin!

The application process for law school, or any graduate program, is no joke. It takes time, persistence, and planning to get it done. However, the rewards are well worth it. It’s your future! Getting an acceptance letter from one of your top schools is one of the best feelings you will ever experience in your life. It’s also important to remember you aren’t alone through this process. Professors, your family, and friends will be there along the way to support you. For those of you who will be applying to law school or other graduate schools in the future, best of luck to you!

Find Where You Belong

By Andrew Mahinay

PUC is an environment where friendly faces can be found. A majority of the student body come from Adventist academies and have likely met each other countless times over their four years in high school. However, there are also many students who come from public schools or even different states and might not know anyone, which can be intimidating. Don’t worry, if you are one of those studentsPUC has created effective solutions to this.

PUC is an amazing place and the social life is lively. Student Association officers planned events where students can interact with each other on a weekly basis, such as the Poor Man’s banquet and movie nights. You can find many groups with diverse interests here on campus: Rock climbers, moviegoers, lovers of food, worship bands, intramural competitors, and the list goes on.

From the start of their PUC experience, freshmen go on the Fusion Retreat, where they spend several days at a camp together. It’s an excellent place to build relationships. Students get to zip line, swim, worship together, and act in talent shows.

Even with all this, you may find a new best friend in a place you least expect.

The funny thing is, I did not meet my best friends at any of these events. My first day on campus, I met one of my best friends in a Newton Hall community bathroom, an awkward place to meet someone. Later that day, we talked and realized we had the same appreciation for things like sports, fitness, and Southern California, where both of us are originally from. He told me he attended a public school near Long Beach, Calif., and he was the only student from his school to attend PUC, meaning he knew absolutely no one.

We talked some more and he told me about his plans of working as a firefighter, then later in life as a fire chief. I told him about my goals of attending law school and practicing the law. We were both eager and motivated to succeed in college. I truly believe our similar mindsets of wanting to achieve great things was the significant factor that established such a strong friendship between us.

In no way are college responsibilities easy. Of course, you are going to have your high points in life, like going on your first date, exploring hiking trails, and (hopefully) getting accepted into a graduate program. But you will experience low points, and stressful and mind numbing times. It is important you choose friends who will be there for you during your highs and your lows, who will support and encourage you to be a better person, push you to exceed your expectations, and inspire you to reach your full potential.

PUC can be one of the best experiences of your life as long as you have the right friends alongside you every step of the way. It is my hope you find long-lasting friendships here.

Reflecting on My College Years at PUC

By Andrew Mahinay

College could be described as a roller coaster of emotions.

On one hand, looking at college in the perspective of a freshman can feel daunting like the hundred foot drop of Goliath: A gigantic 720 school days until graduation.

On the other hand, Looking at life in the perspective of a senior can feel exhilarating like the butterflies you feel after a speedy drop: Just around 180 days until graduation.

Currently, I am a senior. As I sit in a small room with yellow painted walls, I think of things I wish I had done more of in my earlier years of college. There are three specific activities I wish I had participated in more often.

  1. Intramurals – I wish I had done more intramurals because this is likely to be the last chance to strike a volleyball or shoot a basketball with my best of friends. Although I could still manage to participate in this these sports after college, it is the college atmosphere and playing with your closest of friends makes these experiences so amusing. One’s smile seems to never fade away when playing with friends.
  2. Dinner dates with friends – Notice I say friends? Dinner dates are not restricted to someone you have a crush on. Dinner dates refers to asking a friend to dinner to converse and catch up, to talk about events happening in each other’s lives. Grabbing dinner is a great way to strengthen the bond you have with your friends.
  3. Involvement in Student Senate – You ever want to make a change in your dormitory or even on campus as a whole? Senate gives you the opportunity to make your vision of change come to life. Having a say in what goes on in your dorm is amazing. Not only does it give you a voice, it gives you a chance to represent and advocate for your fellow residents, to hear their concerns, and make their needs known.

While there are opportunities I wish I had taken advantage of, I am extremely glad I did the following:

  1. Candidate for SA – During my junior year in college, I ran for president of the Student Association. This process was not easy. During the campaign process, I found myself wishing I had more time to study. Looking back now, I am glad I decided to run for SA President because the experience taught me how to campaign but also balance academics with extracurricular activities.
  2. Seeking out job opportunities – Earning your own money is such a great feeling. I still remember the time I received my first check. I feel independent and more responsible knowing I no longer have to ask my parents for money. Getting a job and making your own money also allows you to experience the tasty food Napa Valley has to offer!  
  3. Service projectsBerkeley Homeless Ministry, a student ran service project, has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Joy and meaning arise from helping others who have limited opportunities or cannot help themselves. I have met some of the most genuine people through this ministry. Service project opportunities are something you’re not going to want to miss out on when you’re at PUC.

Overall, college has been a collage of memories and great times. The likelihood of enjoying or dreading college all depends on what you choose to do with your time. Are you going to look for ways to connect with others? Or are you going to sit in your room? The choice is yours. Just like a roller coaster, you never know what direction college life will take you. Be proactive and participate in different activities. I can wholeheartedly call PUC my second home and I am forever thankful for everything this institution has provided me. Best of luck as you explore the different opportunities college has to offer!  

andrew-mahinay

Here’s Andrew hard at work at the public relations office at PUC!