Graduates’ Advice to Incoming Students

As staff, faculty and undergraduate students say goodbye to the senior class, they also look ahead to welcome a new group of first-year students at PLNU. Six graduating seniors offer wisdom as they reflect on their years here.

Sierra Ullrich, environmental science major

This school is special, don’t take it for granted. Here, the faculty and staff genuinely care about you and want to help you do well. Take advantage of all the opportunities here; study abroad, serve with LoveWorks or other ministries and meet people outside your normal circles. Ask questions, work hard and remember you are here for a reason. Use this time to find where you fit into God’s story, not where He fits into yours. 

Kylie Miller, multimedia journalism major

First, allow yourself one class period to take off for a mental health period. Take yourself out on a date, take a nap or hang with friends during that time. Second, you need to make one friend in each class and get their contact information. This is because when you decide to take a day off for either mental health, you’re sick or you weren’t paying attention in class then you have someone to fall back on with notes about what happened in class to keep you updated. Lastly, do everything with confidence. There is nothing anyone can’t do with a positive attitude.

Annabeth Hartley, applied health science major

One of the best things I ever could have done in my four years at PLNU was finding a solid community. As a freshman, you will probably hear the word “community” a lot. It might take a year, two years, or even all four years to find “your people.” Persevere and know the people you end up choosing to put in your corner will greatly impact who you become. I know my community has. 

Abby Wagner, biology major

First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and teachers are there to help you; they want to see you become the best and most content version of yourself. Second, enjoy the beautiful ocean in front of you. Lastly, plan ahead. Manage your time well by scheduling blocks of study and blocks to have fun so you can take care of your mental health.

Jen Pfeiler, multimedia journalism majorRemember to set aside time for yourself, especially if you live on campus. There are so many opportunities to be involved at PLNU, but at the end of the day setting some quiet time to journal and reflect on what you want out of your time at PLNU — and life in general — is just as important as making friends and participating in extracurriculars. College is a time where people can grow and discover their identities apart from their families. So, in the hustle of college life and trying new things, don’t forget to ask yourself, How does this (class, activity, friend group, etc.) make me feel? Am I connected to myself when I participate in…? Asking yourself these questions will help you have balance and not spread yourself too thin because you will know which things bring you life and excite passion, and which things do not. We know our friends by talking to them and asking them questions, and we can get to know ourselves in a similar fashion.

By: Elaine Alfaro