Public to Private

Debbie Pinto

Union College is different than your ordinary college. There are less than 1,000 students enrolled, the campus fits perfectly on one block and haystacks are served for every Sabbath dinner at the Union Market.

Transitioning from a high school of more than 3,000 students or a university the size of a city may come as a shock, but you’re not alone. Here are some tips from fellow public schoolers that helped ease their transition into the Union spirit.

Get Involved

Transitioning into a school with unknown company can be intimidating. It will become apparent that many friend groups have been formed in academies.

Amilia Carlos, senior elementary education major, says, “One of the scariest parts of transitioning from public school to Union is meeting new people who have already been around each other from grades K-12. But it doesn’t have to be! As cliché as it sounds, the most important thing to do is just be yourself. I think it’s also important to get involved and try new things.”

What makes Union so unique is the variety of personalities and backgrounds you’ll encounter. The endless opportunities to get involved at Union will allow you to meet all types of people.

Join a club, go to ASB and Campus Ministries events, sign up for interesting classes, go to dorm events, or sit with new people at meal time--the possibilities are endless! While we may not have thousands of students attending our school, there are always opportunities to meet someone new.

What did you say?

If you’ve grown up in an Adventist household, you may be familiar with Adventist lingo (Ellen White, vespers and veja-links). Sometimes we throw out words and forget that not everyone knows what they mean.

Don’t worry, we got your back. You’ll get familiar with Adventist lingo. Here’s a list of words you may not be familiar with and their meanings.

Ellen White: In brief, she was a woman of remarkable spiritual gifts who lived most of her life during the nineteenth century (1827-1915). She lives on through her writings by making a revolutionary impact on millions of people around the world. Some of her best known works include “Steps to Christ,” “The Desire of Ages” and “The Great Controversy.”

Vespers: On Friday nights a school wide worship is held, typically at College View Church. For updates on times and event details, refer to the notifications from Pastor Rich Carlson in Campus Ministries.

Veja-Links and Big Franks: The standard vegetarian meat alternatives used in place of hot-dogs.

Haystacks: Take chips (fritos, doritos, corn), top them with protein (beans, cheese, meat alternatives), don’t forget the vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, olives) and finish this Adventist work of art with some condiments (guacamole, sour cream, dressings, salsa). Side note: Haystacks are NOT a taco salad.

Doug Bachelor: Famous Adventist evangelist, commonly known for his work with Amazing Facts in California.

NAD: The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists is a sub-entity of the General Conference who oversees the Adventist church's work in the United States and Canada.

ABC: Adventist Book Center; conveniently located across the street from Union. Here you can find an assortment of Adventist books and vegetarian products.

Become a leader

Take a good look around. Want to start a running club or a gospel choir? Union helps develop leaders by encouraging student led projects.

Take action by starting a bible group, hold a community service project–Union has your back! If you have school wide ideas, you can take these to your student senator (keep an eye out for their names) and they can help make it happen. Union gives you an opportunity to not only be a part of something bigger, but lead it as well.

These are only a few tips from student experiences, but it’s up to you to make Union the best experience possible. Welcome to Union. We’re glad you’re here!

Debbie is a senior studying elementary education.