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!

A Farewell to PUC

After four years of living in one of America’s most beautiful locations, I am leaving with a college degree, great memories, and lifelong friends. PUC has done wonders to my life. From the scrawny, neon-color wearing freshman that showed up in late 2011, I now finish up my time as a scrawnier student leader and pleased PUC student.

There are four areas regarding PUC that I want to attribute my enjoyable undergraduate career towards:

1) Location
If being able to jog from your dorm room to a lush forest in less than five minutes is ideal, then PUC is the place for you. Whenever academic stress peaked, I could always grab a friend and go for a quick trail run, mountain bike ride or an afternoon of reading in a field. PUC’s famous “Back 40” provided me with countless hours of thinking-filled solitude and helped solidify who I am today.

David O'Hair 1

2)  Opportunities
The only factor that limits your opportunities at PUC is there only being 24-hours in a day. PUC is the place for proactive people. Over the past two years, PUC has allowed me to serve on the following teams and roles: Student Senate, Student Association, multiple department teaching assistants, pre-law club president and TLC tutor. That is just me; you can do much more. The amount that PUC enables involvement, you will be graduating with only one problem — how do I fit all of this on my résumé?

3)  Professors
Being away from family and trusted council is tough. However, the professors at PUC showed me countless times they care about you as a person, not just a student. When I tell my friends from other universities I go to breakfast with my professors on weekends or that professors host dinner and movie nights, I am always met with a blank stare. That is what the stare of envy looks like. The professors care, plain and simple. They care about you, your ambitions and even your personal life, as “Mama Douglas” reminds me she is a required guest at my future wedding.

David O'Hair 2

Lynne Thew, David O’Hair, Brittnie Sigamoney, Mark Soderblom, and Milbert Mariano celebrate the College Media Association awards in New York City.

4)  The “Fail Factor”
Most importantly, PUC allows for self-exploration. The supportive environment lets you try things, fail at them and then move on with your life. Don’t believe me? Remember my month as an art major? Neither does the history department faculty. It’s that simple, PUC lets you take chances and then helps you recover from the less fortunate ones. The support network I have found at PUC through faculty, friends and mentors is absolutely unprecedented.

Those are four aspects of PUC I will cherish my entire life. While the college experience is different for everyone, I can promise if you give PUC a shot, you will not regret it.

David O'Hair 3

It’s PUC tradition to ring the Healdsburg Bell after your last final. It’s been great to hear seniors like David ring the bell all week long!

Have a good summer!

David O’Hair
Editor-in-chief
Campus Chronicle

Melissa’s Advice – Do Something New!

Name: Melissa SetterlundMelissa Setterlund
From: Nampa, Idaho
Major: Nursing
Graduation: AS in June 2014, BSN in June 2015

Why did I choose Nursing?
I’ve always wanted to help people, especially those who are unable to help themselves. I also find human anatomy to be fascinating. Add to that the excitement of how different medications work on the body and BAM! You have the trifecta for a desire to be a nurse. There are always a million reasons to do each job, and if those don’t appeal to you, that doesn’t mean that nursing isn’t for you. It’s okay for you to have your own reasons.

A Normal Week
Usually I have class 2-3 days a week. The other days are filled with clinical hours, one or two shifts at the hospital a week. During my free days, I try to put in as many work hours as I can and then, of course, I spent time studying and doing homework. It’s definitely a busy schedule, but if you’re able to manage your time well and motivate yourself to complete assignments and study, you’ll be just fine.

Favorite Class at PUC 
I have two favorites: Pharmacology and Maternal-Newborn. Pharmacology appeals to my interest in the body and how medications work. It helps that the professor, Susan Bussell, keeps things interesting by using different candies to compare to the different medications. Maternal-Newborn, taught by Gladys Muir, interested me because of how the body changes to accommodate another human life. Again with the whole anatomy kick, the idea of creating life and your body adapting to it is fascinating.

Most Exciting Experience
Probably the most exciting experience I’ve had relating to nursing was during my clinical rotation to the Labor & Delivery Unit. I was able to see a baby being born. It was special to see how happy the mom and the dad were when they were able to hold their baby for the first time. It was probably even cooler for me since Maternal-Newborn was one of my favorite classes. It showed me the things I learn at PUC are applicable to real life and happen in the real world.

Tips
You’ve probably heard a million times that you should study hard, use good time management, and take advantage of tutoring, so I won’t go that route. Instead, I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity for doing or learning something new in the hospital. Tell your nurse that you want to do something new and ask if there is a procedure or treatment being done that day that you could be a part of and don’t be afraid to get in there and participate. You are there to learn and become a nurse so take every opportunity you can.

Alex’s Advice – Explore!

Alex Dunbar7297A65C-1BC6-4497-B122-C0EDCF91A8CE
BS in Exercise Science Health and Nutrition, 2014
AS in Health Science, 2014
From Redding, CA

Things I love about PUC: The people! Everyone is super nice and friendly. The professors are always willing to go above and beyond to help you, and your fellow students are more than just classmates – they are friends you will have forever.

Things I’ll miss about PUC: I will miss the PUC atmosphere – everyone I have had the privilege of getting to know here on campus (they are truly some of the most amazing people I have ever met), as well as the spiritual and upbeat vibe you get on campus. I will also miss running on the trails in PUC’s beautiful Back 40!

What I wish I had known: I wish I had known about the Napa area more. There are so many fun places to eat and explore! From restaurants and shops to beaches and hiking trails, there is so much to do! Plus, I always see familiar PUC faces when I’m out and about, which is great.

Tips for freshmen: 1. Get to know your professors! This will make your classes more enjoyable and open the door to unexpected friendships. 2. Get a job! Working on campus allows you to meet a variety of people, and make some extra cash for those lovely textbooks. 3. Get involved! Don’t be cooped up in your room too much – get out and discover more of what PUC has to offer.

My Life With 25.2 Credits

Everyone calls me crazy and… they’re right
By Suwanna Vatananan Suwanna

(Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in a recent issue of The Campus Chronicle.)

You would think that when I took 21 credits last quarter, I would’ve learned my lesson. But, here I am, in the last quarter of my undergraduate career, wanting to pull all my hair out with a whopping 25.2 credits. I mention the .2 because, for the first time in all four years of college, I actually paid more attention to school when I was overloading than when I was doing the average 12-17 credits, so every little ugly detail has begun to count for me. I’m really hoping that after reading this, you will learn from my mistakes and make the most out of your time at PUC. So, here are a few pointers to make your life significantly easier than mine:

1. Plan out your class schedule ahead of time. If you can do it as far as a year in advance; even better. There’s nothing worse than having to stay an extra quarter or having to double up on your school load.

2. Believe it or not; sleep is super important. All those adults grilling you all these years were right when they said you need eight hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep builds up and when you don’t get a sufficient amount, it ruins everything. The video games, Skype sessions, binge TV watching, or whatever you do at night can seriously wait. Trust me, your health will thank you later.

3. Make time for yourself. I learned this one the hard way. It’s all fun and games until you’re suffering from pure exhaustion. Learning how to say “no” goes along with this as well. It’s not easy, I know. I’m still learning how to do that myself. If you have to think twice about whether or not you can help a friend with something or when you can pencil them in, it’s probably something you shouldn’t be doing in the first place. With six billion other people on this planet — and 1,677 other people in this school — there’s bound to be someone else that can lend a helping hand.

4. It’s okay to not be okay. I’m someone who gets overwhelmed easily, but would rather hold it in and act like nothing is wrong. I have learned there is nothing wrong with struggling. Learn different ways to help yourself de-stress. I’ll share a couple of things I do when I’m stressed. Bear with me; they are the most random combination of things in the world! I’ll either go get an espresso shake with Oreos from Gott’s; you might find me going for a run around campus; or I’m probably in my room watching something on Netflix. It all depends on your mood and who you are, but having plenty of options is what will help you get through the rough times.

5. Lastly, keep your friends and family close. I’m not talking about proximity either. I mean talk to them daily, tell them what is going on in your life, or go and do something spontaneous and fun. At the end of a long a day, it is that group of people who will drop everything just to check in with you and put a smile on your face.

College is rough, and anyone who told you otherwise wasn’t telling the truth. But you wouldn’t be here if you were incapable of getting through it. Keep your head up! If I can survive through 25.2 credits when senioritis is supposed to be in full gear, then you are going rock at anything you do.

Kristen’s Advice – Get Involved!

Hi! I’m Kristen Beall and I have a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.

Kristen Beall

I am just about to wrap up my Pacific Union College career in just a few short weeks. I could not be more excited to start this next step in life but that means leaving behind my beloved school. Over the past four years I have fallen in love with not only our beautiful campus but the beautiful people as well. When I say “beautiful” I am not talking about outward appearances, but inward. PUC has attracted some of the most genuine and loving people I have ever met. As one of the student chaplains on campus I have come into contact with multiple students/faculty from all different
backgrounds and I have learned something from each one of them. PUC has provided me with a lot of opportunities to get involved such as being a student chaplain, student ambassador, desk worker, tutor at the TLC tutor, and as a Life Group leader. All of these “jobs” have been such a blessing to me. I was able to help students with their homework, life problems, and even their decision on coming to PUC.

If you are reading this then you must be either planning on joining the PUC family or
at least interested in what this school has to offer; I hope I can help reassure you
that PUC is where you need to be. You see I was not planning on coming to PUC. In
fact, I was enrolled at a community college for five weeks before deciding 5 days
before school started to make PUC my home. It took some adjusting, as any
relocation would, but after settling in I fell in love with the school. There are so
many opportunities to get involved and if you take advantage of these then I
guarantee your experience will be just as amazing as mine was. If you like sports
you can join a collegiate team or intramurals for some friendly competition. If sports
are not your cup of tea we have multiple music opportunities such as wind
ensemble, orchestra, gospel choir, and many other groups to join including a jazz
band! PUC also has many clubs on campus such as the Mabuhay Club, Math Club,
Chess Club, and more.

There are so many opportunities PUC has to offer but the last one I’d like to focus on
is campus ministries. Getting involved with the campus ministries team was the
best decision I have made at PUC. The group that I have worked with is an amazing
group and I couldn’t be more proud of the spiritual leaders they have become.
Whatever your passion is, whatever you enjoy doing, we will help you make it into a
ministry. Yes, there are specific jobs that need to be filled but more importantly we
want to accommodate to you and the needs of the campus. There are multiple
chaplains around campus that are always willing to talk and help in any way they
can. There are no prerequisites, just stop in the office and we’ll get you plugged in!

If you would like more information about campus ministries and other ways you can get involved at PUC, take a look at the Campus Culture page on our Admissions site. You can also check out the Student Association Facebook page for upcoming events such as banquets, vespers speakers, and more.