I have been at Pacific Union College for five years. I knew I would graduate at some point, but I never really realized what graduating truly entailed. Graduating means not waking up in a residence hall every morning and going to class. It means not standing in lines at the cafeteria or bookstore. It means actually finding a real living space (I have multiple cardboard boxes saved), buying real groceries and getting a real job. There is a lot of “real” in reality, and graduation catapults one into the midst of the fray, ready or not.

However, every year, during Alumni/Homecoming Weekend, I am reminded that PUC graduates do survive the transition. They have for almost 100 years, and will continue to do so after I am gone. When the alumni do return to campus, more often than not, they return with only the fondest memories. They swap stories, some humorous, others poignant, and relive the glory days.

While I have a captive audience, I have decided to share a few of my favorite moments here at PUC as practice for when I come “home” many years down the road. They are in no particular order and I hope you enjoy them. I will try to embellish them as little as possible.

Boxer/Bikini caroling: Need I say more? As a bright-eyed freshman, ready for whatever experiences college had to offer, this PUC tradition had a certain allure. I am sad to say residents of the dorms no longer brave freezing temperatures in next to nothing to spread holiday cheer. I remember the night the Newton boys—led by a certain Luke Thornburgh— jogged out into the darkness, the temperature was 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Gleeful carols resounded from building to building as we zoomed across campus, teeth chattering loudly. Still, we sung our voices hoarse and I will never forget how important PUC’s clanging heaters were to me that night.

Sunrise hike: I will never admit this to JJ Reynolds, so please do not tell him. I enjoyed the sunrise hike we went on during the first few weeks of the 2016–2017 school year. The hike entailed waking up at 4:30 a.m., driving to Mt. Saint Helena, and hiking an hour uphill (both ways) to a gorgeous view of the Napa Valley and a mesmerizing experience watching the sun rise as a fiery orange torch, illuminating the landscape. It was pretty rad...but do not tell JJ. Get outside, people, live a little.

RA retreats: For those who do not know, I was an RA in Newton Hall for two years. Some of my fondest memories from PUC are the times spent at Albion Field Station near Mendocino. Many, many laughs and conversations were had. Prank calls, busted bed frames, games and hours of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fanboying are moments I will never forget. If you have not, I highly encourage everyone to take a trip to Albion when a club offers a weekend opportunity. You will not be disappointed.

RA retreats: For those who do not know, I was an RA in Newton Hall for two years. Some of my fondest memories from PUC are the times spent at Albion Field Station near Mendocino. Many, many laughs and conversations were had. Prank calls, busted bed frames, games and hours of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fanboying are moments I will never forget. If you have not, I highly encourage everyone to take a trip to Albion when a club offers a weekend opportunity. You will not be disappointed.

My Lifegroup leader: Probably the most influential experience I have had at PUC. Tevita, if you ever read this, thank you for the late night chats in the shower (yay—community showers), the advice, the impromptu Bible studies and everything else. If you, the reader, feels moved to be a Lifegroup leader, it can change a person’s life. Do not balk at the opportunity to talk to a freshman who needs a friend. College is big and scary sometimes. The wisdom you have gained from your own life can help someone else in unknown ways.

I want to give a shout out to all those other memories (most of which include Ryan Goldring, but those have to be told in person and with joint narration). My time at PUC is defined by people and interactions with them. Make some friends so that when you come back for a reunion, you will have plenty of stories to tell.

As always, thanks for reading,
Daniel Grigore, Editor-in-Chief