My last days at Pacific can be counted on one hand these days. Classes are ending, work is ending, but the next chapter of life is beginning. I can’t help but feel reflective of my last four years at the University, and it literally seems like yesterday that I first walked on to campus at Profile Day.
I had a whole laundry list of things to do before graduation and deadlines to meet, now those have come and gone and suddenly I’m faced with the idea that in a little less than two weeks, I’ll be a college graduate.
Pacific has been more than my school for the past four years; Pacific is truly my home. I can’t help but think of one of my favorite quotes for these last days on campus:
“From the outside looking in you could never understand it. From the inside looking out you could never explain it.”
This is certainly the sentiment I feel about saying goodbye to college here at Pacific. In four short years, I have learned new and exciting information, I have met so many fabulous people, I’ve built strong relationships, and learned valuable life lessons. And above all, I have matured as a young adult and professional. I don’t think any other school in any other town than Pacific could have afforded me this opportunity.
I’m fortunate for the education I have received, and I am blessed to have gotten it at a school like Pacific, where I am not simply a number; I have been a vital member of my school community.
My advice for all current students and future Tigers is to take full advantage of all the opportunities and experiences Pacific has to offer you. Build strong relationships with your peers and professors because these people can help shape your future. Pacific has provided you with a platform for success, don’t let it go to waste.
To my fellow Class of 2012, I leave you with this message:
You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!
Thank you for everything Pacific, from the bottom of my heart.
WELCOME BACK TIGERS!
This week being back at school was rather bittersweet. I was beyond thrilled to see my friends and classmates after what seemed like a million years of missing them (aka- just a week haha). But with the good comes the not too good, aka- PILES OF HOMEWORK!
It definitely took some getting used to being back in the madness of classes and work. It’s amazing how disoriented you get from just a week off! Plus, there was the added challenge of adjusting to Daylights Savings Time. My sleeping schedule was definitely thrown off this week.
My Spring Break wasn’t the most dazzling. I mostly just did homework and read for class while catching up with all the tv programs and sleep I have missed since Winter Break. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to lounge around the house and do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Come Monday morning, I was suddenly thrust back into the routine of schedules and deadlines.
The other part of the bittersweetness of coming back from Spring Break was that there is only eight weeks left until graduation. INSANE, I know. Nonetheless, I will encourage every student who is suffering from this not-yet-medically-recognized disease of PSBB (post spring break blues) to remedy their symptoms with a positive attitude and going out and enjoying what Pacific has to offer!
There are some great events coming up today and this month that I highly encourage people to check out. For a list of all our amazing events, check out the Pacific website: https://calendar.pacific.edu/ Do not miss out on all this crazy goodness!
Last Thursday, I was able to attend a multicultural reception on behalf of Pacific in Los Angeles. It was an amazing experience for me to be able to talk to prospective students/admitted students and their families about my Pacific Experience. I have done these types of events for the past two years, and every time I get to meet students in person, I am always taken right back to when I was deciding which college to attend. It is crazy that just four or five years ago I was in their spot, and now I’m literally t-minus 3 months until graduation!!!
Picking which school is the best fit for you is a very difficult decision. It is an important decision too! And sometimes, you may not know that the school you chose is the right fit until you try it out. That is certainly the case for me when I chose Pacific. I always reminisce about my experience at Profile Day. To start, Profile Day is an Admissions event for admitted students to come and learn about the schools and majors. Even though I had lived in Stockton nearly my whole life, I had never even taken a tour of campus. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that now! As soon as I got off the car, it seriously was like stepping into a movie- the sky was blue, the birds were chirping; it was pure magic- that’s how awestruck I was by the campus’ beauty. Throughout that whole day, I met tons of students and faculty from my major and non-majors who were just genuinely excited to meet me.
One professor, in particular, had a significant impact on my perception of Pacific and college, and who would end up shaping my career at the University. My mom and I were at the open house for College of the Pacific- the arts and sciences school of the University- and a professor came up to chat with us. He asked me about what I was interested in studying, what I wanted to do in life, and what other colleges I was applying to. Throughout our whole 20 minute conversation, not once did he try to convince me to come to Pacific; he was merely assuring me that the college I chose needed to be the “best fit” for me. And then he said something that I’ll never forget: “When you pick a school, you have to pick somewhere that for four years you can call it your home, but even after four years you can still call it your home because it’s that much a part of who you are.” I was 17 at the time, and no one, much less a college professor, had ever really impacted me with words quite the way he did. That day, it was clear to me that if this professor and the reception I received at Profile Day was just a mere drop in the bucket of what I could get from a college experience and what Pacific could offer me, it was a no brainer that this school IS the best fit for me. Of course, I let my mom sweat out my choice of college for another two weeks after that, just for fun! =)
Now, as a senior in high school, you too need to find the school that is right for you. If you would like to meet college representatives and get information about public and private colleges and Universities, come to the Western Association for College Admission Counseling’s College Fair. It will take place:
April 18, 2012
10am-12pm & 6pm-8pm
@Alex G. Spanos Center
University of the Pacific
1178 Larry Heller Drive
Stockton, CA 95211
There will be info about the college search process, financial aid, and information from over 100 different colleges and Universities!
Definitely, if you are still unsure about Pacific, or any other of your colleges choices, COME TO THIS EVENT!
Pacific is my home; I hope you can call it yours too!
I hope your Holidays were grand, and you are ready for the final stretch of the Spring semester. I know I am! There are a little more than three months until the big GRADUATION, and this semester can’t go by fast enough. Getting back into the groove of classes and work was kind of weird for me this time around. I, like many of my peers, was sad that winter break had come to an end, and there would be four months standing in between my relaxing summer vacation. However, my mixed emotions sprang from knowing I would not be returning to Pacific after those months off for summer, and that’s when things started getting real: this is the final stretch of college, and life as I currently know it!
It is an incredible feeling to know that graduation is so close; that I’ll be saying goodbye to friends I’ve made over the last four years, and will be embarking on a new chapter of my life. That is why I’m so happy to be back on campus and in the classroom, but I know how momentary this environment will be for me and that is a bit sad. All I could think about last Monday, the first day of classes, was “this is my last ‘First Day of School’ ever!”Or, at least for right now. That is why I’ve adopting the outlook that I will enjoy everything this campus has to offer in these next three and a half months!
I’m soo stoked for all the amazing events happening on campus this semester. Formal Recruitment for the social Greek Fraternities and Sororities is coming up. “Going Greek” was a fabulous way for me to get involved on campus and really grow as a leader and young woman. The University Concert band will have a performance this Friday, January 20th at 7:30pm in Faye Spanos Concert Hall. Many of my friends will be showcasing their musical talents there. Later this month there will be a ski trip to Bear Valley Mountain, students only pay $35 which includes meals, lift ticket, and transportation. Now that’s an incredible deal, and it is going to be soo awesome!!!
That is just a few things I’m looking forward to enjoying for this month. Stay tuned for more updates about events, and other Pacific happenings as I enjoy my last semester of college!!!
It is the Thursday before Thanksgiving, and I am 100% ready for the 3-days off we get for the holiday. This semester has been jammed packed with tests, quizzes, readings, outrages papers written about every topic under the sun, and to top it all off I have the dark cloud of applying to grad school and life after college looming large over my head!
But in the lyrics of the greatest band to exist, the Foo Fighters:
It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these time and time again
In other words, these sorts of feelings of lethargy and apathy towards school, work, or whatever else you have going on must not overwhelm you or make you want to give up. I have a healthy guess that many high school students (and even this lady typing this blog) are dealing with SENIORITIS! You’ve made it to your senior year, and now comes the hardest task yet: not succumbing to this dreaded (and not recognized as a legit syndrome, yet) known as senioritis.
I remember being a senior in high school around this time of the year. I was done filling out college apps, I knew all the ins and outs of classes and the routine of teachers and tests, and I was just genuinely tired of the same ol’ song and dance that is high school. I get it. And let me tell you, as a senior in college now, I’m certainly boarding the senioritis bus every now and then. However, you and I must fight this sickness. It’s tough, but by planning ahead and taking the proper amount of time to work AND play, you too can sail through your senior year with ease, syndrome-free!
THREE SIMPLE RULES ON HOW TO COMBAT SENIORITIS:
1. Create a timeline. Schedule when all of your assignments and tests are due to get a better feel of the workload ahead of you.
2. Enlist a partner. Motivate your partner to get their work done, and vice versa, and set up check-ups to make sure each other has met their deadlines. Part of senioritis is having a severe lack of motivation, so you’ll need someone to pitch in when yours fails.
3. Focus. Concentrate during the week and play on the weekend. Your temptation to take the day off will grow stronger as the end of the year approaches (believe me!) You mustn’t let it! If you can concentrate during the week, especially the beginning of the week, you’ll be able to keep up with all your assignments. If you also stick to your timeline, you’ll be able to reward yourself by taking Fridays or maybe even Thursdays off, and have your weekends totally free to hang out with friends and SLEEP!
Stay tuned for more Pacific happenings and my tricks of the trade!
I just have to start off by saying the weather in Stockton is B-E-A-UTIFUL! Autumn is already my favorite season, but here in the valley it’s like stepping into a picture book. I’m sitting here in the Office of Admissions and I can see the front of the campus and Burns Tower, and I kid you not, there’s the perfect beam of sunshine cascading between the trees and birds singing. Okay…. There are no birds singing, but still! I believe you catch my drift. =D
In other news, I submitted my Teach for America application last night! I am so very excited and incredibly nervous about the process. Teach for America is a program that places college graduates into inner-city schools in hopes of promoting higher test scores and cultivating a culture of avid learning. It hopes to establish a firm platform for academic and professional success for students who may not have the same opportunities as other students, across the nation. It is a wonderful program I heard about last year when some of my friends were applying for it. I really really really want to get in the program. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to promote learning and education for youth who most definitely deserve it. It is a super competitive process, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get a call-back!
What I am also tackling at the moment is grad school applications, particularly letter of intents and personal statements. I can certainly empathize with high school seniors going through the same process as me, only they are applying for undergrad school. Believe me, it’s not an easy task to describe yourself in about 2,000 words, plus your educational background AND not to mention what you want to do in life! No big deal. Half the time, I can’t even decide what I want to wear for the day, let alone map out at least the next 5-10 years of my life. It’s a scary thought; nonetheless, it must be done. Writing these grad school essays has really probed me to look long and hard at what I want to do with my life, but it has also helped me to see what I’ve accomplished. In four short years, I have done so much. I was just saying the other day how I feel like I’ve lived so many lives at Pacific. And it’s true.
I want to provide each of you going through the college application process some advice, especially in writing the college admissions essays. First, be proud of what you have accomplished. High school is not an easy jungle to maneuver through. I think, in a lot of ways, it’s tougher to handle than college because for the first real time, you are asked to think about who you are as a person. You are put into situations that require you to think critically and act responsibly as an adult, even though you aren’t one. And you’re building the foundation that will start your future success. That is a feat unto itself. And being a senior in high school is the pinnacle of this initial foundation that you have strived and worked toward building. Show that in your essays.
Secondly, be yourself! Don’t write about or try to come off as the “persona” you think the admission committee wants to hear. Because to be perfectly honest, the over bravado and pretending to be someone you aren’t will not get you through the four years of college, and certainly not in the real world.
All in all, don’t sell yourself short. You’ve worked very hard, be proud of that! And be yourself! Colleges want to know who you are, the real you, not some phony-baloney!
Stay tuned to my saga of applying for grad school, and other Pacific happenings!
This past week has literally been the rollercoaster week of my life! So much has been going on with school, and grad school options, and life in general.
Last week, I registered for classes for my LAST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE. Can we just talk about how crazy that is for a minute? I can’t believe I’m almost done. It’s already November. In two days, it will officially be 6 months until graduation. That is surreal. College has flown by super fast; nonetheless, it has been exciting. I’ve done so much at Pacific, and I was thinking about it the other day how I’ve really been able to touch bases with a lot of avenues at the University: Student Life, Greek Life, clubs, Admissions, and everything else in between. It wasn’t always easy balancing my load these past years, but it was certainly worth it to come away with all the experiences and memories I have now. I mean c’mon, what normal college student gets the opportunity to fly out-of-state just to talk about how awesome their college experience has been? Only at Pacific!
Then last Friday, I got to participate in a student panel for the University’s Diversity Retreat. It was totally amazing, and I was so honored to be nominated for the panel, and get to have an active voice about things happening for the University. President Eibeck was in attendance, the Provost, Dr. Elizabeth Griego (the VP for Student Life), our own Rob Alexander (the Associate Provost for Enrollment), academic Deans, various faculty and staff, and of course a number of interested students made up the audience. It took place in the brand new Alex and Jeri Vereschagin Alumni House. I had yet to visit the new building, but it is simply gorgeous!
My busy week just kept getting busier this week, particularly Tuesday. On Tuesday, as I was getting my grad school applications ready, I decided that I was going to register to take the GREs (Graduate Record Examination). If you’re not familiar with them, the GREs are kind of like the SATs that high school students take for undergraduate admission, only this exam is for graduate school admissions. It’s a 4 and ½ hours long test that measures the analytical, logic, math, and writing skills and abilities you’ve acquired in your undergraduate education.
The GREs and I have a love-hate relationship. Mostly hate, on my part. I spent this past summer “studying” for the exams, but somewhere early July my interest dwindled. Then, with the whirlwind of working New Student Orientation in the summer, school starting, and my hectic schedule, the GREs took a backseat. But now that it’s November, the deadlines for the exams and for the applications to be due kind of looms large over my head these days, and I knew that I just needed to buck up and do work! Which brings me to December 28th, 2011 at 12:30pm— the day and time of my exam. I’m going to be on ninja-mode studying for these babies like no one’s business until then! I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and I’m sure there will be a few meltdowns along the way (which you’ll for sure be posted on!)
P.s- On Tuesday night, I also got to see the Foo Fighters in concert in Sacramento. FRONT ROW!!! NBD =D
Wednesday was Pacific’s annual Safe Trick or Treat. It is an event that has been hosted for the past 13 years. And it is absolutely one of my favorite events in Fall. School students, babies, and families from all over Stockton are shuttled up and down the Pacific campus, showing off their best costumes and Halloween spirit. And the Pacific campus is just as excited to put on the event. There are several “tour stops” around the campus and each is decorated by a different theme. My favorite stop is always at our Benerd School of Education. Those folks really get into the Halloween spirit. In previous years, their themes have included Toy Story, Candy Land, and Alice in Wonderland. This year’s theme was an homage to Disney movies, particularly Disney princes and princesses.
My other favorite stops from this year included John Ballantyne, an Honors student residence hall. Their theme was Wizard of Oz, complete with a Dorothy and Toto there to greet guests as they entered. My organization, the Pacific Ambassadors, also hosted a tour stop in Pacific’s landmark, Burns Tower. It was aptly named “the Tiger’s Den”, equipt with a jungle theme and a real Tiger! (Well, it was a papier-mâché tiger, but it looked super real!). Later that night at Safe Trick or Trick, the hall government of Grace Covell, a freshmen and sophomore residence hall, hosted their very own “haunted house”. A true scare fest, there wasn’t a time when people weren’t jumping out from behind corners, scary and creepy props, and of course lots of screams!
Suffice to say, Pacific knows how to celebrate Halloween right. How could we not? Our colors are Orange and Black! =)
I don’t know what it is about University events like Preview Day in the Fall, or Profile Day in the Spring, that make me so enthusiastic, but they truly do. Whenever events like these come up, I am like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, so excited and thrilled to see what the day will offer. I believe what makes days like these so amazing is the amount of school pride that swells up inside me, and motivates my initiatives to speak to prospective students and their families about how much I love my school. It is such a pleasure to be able to share my Pacific experience with others because I have truly gotten an experience like no other. Something I like to compare Pacific to would be that old sitcom show “Cheers”. The Cheers theme song is one of my favorites because there is a verse that has really resonated with me over the years: You want to go where everybody knows your name…
My experience at Pacific is kind of like that verse. Because the University is small and intimate, I am afforded the opportunity to be greeted by faces that are familiar wherever I go. Students whom I was their Orientation leader, I have them in classes and some are even my neighbors! Going to the University Center for a meal is always a treat for the simple fact of seeing friends that I can catch up with and have a good time. Study sessions in the library always turn into a group study session every time, which makes the burden of homework and tests a lot more endurable! Moments like these only enhance my Pacific experience. Sharing sweet moments of bliss with students is my absolute favorite part because you just can’t capture that honest experience in a brochure. Being able to talk to students just one-on-one, giving real life experiences and speaking from the heart is something I believe they appreciate. And that is something you just can’t duplicate at many other places than Pacific.
I can’t wait for the second Preview Day in November!
I just wanted to take a moment to share a bit about myself. My name is Celia Castro. I’m a Senior English major, with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Art History. I actually grew up in Stockton, CA, particularly the area surrounding the University. In addition for working for Pacific’s Office of Admissions, I am a tour guide and New Student Orientation Leader on campus with the Pacific Ambassadors; I am the English Department Student Representative; I’ve had various on-campus jobs, as well as had involvement in Greek Life in both a social sorority, and a professional fraternity.
The past three years at the University have come and gone so fast! I still remember driving up to Pacific during Profile Day in the spring and thinking I was at a school on the east coast. It is crazy to think that come May, I will be graduating and moving onto a new chapter in my life. No matter what I do, Pacific will always be my home. Over the years, I’ve had the great opportunity to meet and talk with several prospective students and their families, and it makes me so happy to see those same students around campus and in my classes.
I am so excited to share what my Pacific experience has been these past few years, and hopefully help shape prospective students impressions of Pacific as well.
Definitely stay tuned to my blog posts! I’ll be exploring all the fabulous nooks and crannies around campus, and spotlighting our great student resources and student life. Get excited!!!