There’s lots to know about getting ready for the first semester of college—what to leave at home, what to pack, how to develop successful study habits, how to choose a major. But have you ever wondered how college prepares for you? A college has to do its homework in order for you to have the best year possible. Here are just a few of the many areas that Pensacola Christian College prepares for you!
A Spiritual Atmosphere
Four days a week, students hit pause in their busy schedules to attend chapel, where Bible faculty, Campus Church pastoral staff, and guest speakers from around the country provide spiritual encouragement. Many students look forward to this time where they can set aside the cares of the day and focus on God.
But none of this happens by accident. Before the semester begins, the College lines up a variety of speakers for the school year. Also planned are ways for students to actively participate in chapel through leading the singing, leading prayer, providing special music, and taking part in “chapel challenges” as they are presented. Previous year’s challenges have included “God’s Love Is…” and Scripture for Life challenges.
In addition to chapel, prayer groups held in the residence halls several nights a week and Christian Service opportunities give students ways to develop their personal walk with God as well as give back to others. Church Ministries Coordinator Dr. Dale Adkins said, “As a truly Christian college, the Bible is the center of everything we do. From church and chapel services to the classroom, social activities, and outreach opportunities, everything is planned with the idea of helping young people develop spiritually.”
Fun Fact: Chapel seats are assigned to students and change a few times during the semester. Some students have reported meeting their best friend (or future spouse!) right next to them in chapel.
A Little Something to Eat
After a day of classes, who wants to spend time scrounging up something to eat? Fortunately, the dining staff has you covered—they’ve been preparing for your arrival weeks in advance. Director of Dining Services Scott Cochran said, “We order 6–10 truckloads of food prior to the start of each semester and develop a schedule for over 600 students to staff all positions, which include cooking, serving, baking, and cleaning. We spend weeks writing and developing diverse recipes and menus to include foods that accommodate nearly every student’s dietary needs.”
So before you rush out to stock up on a semester’s worth of Ramen, go on down to one of the two dining halls on campus. You’ll discover meals prepared with you in mind—from home-style meals like chicken n’ dumplings and beef stew to Asian, Italian, and Mexican cuisine to fresh fruits and vegetables to desserts like coconut cake and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Fun Fact: During a fall semester, the College serves around 1.1 million meals—that’s an average of 10,000 meals per day!
A Challenging Learning Environment
Believe it or not, your teacher doesn’t just show up to class on the first day and wing it. Hours are spent collaborating with other faculty members, making lesson plans, and, of course, writing those tests and quizzes that will eventually show up on your desk. PCC’s faculty are dedicated to seeing their students succeed.
In fact, long before you meet, your teachers are praying for you! Visual arts faculty Greg Hewitt said, “The faculty meets collectively several times before each semester to start off on the same page. Then we also meet within our academic departments and programs to go over plans for making the year the best it can be and to pray for our students.” Showing up to class that first day is just the culmination of weeks of prayer, planning, and preparation by your teachers.
Fun Fact: Forums held on campus during the semester bring in speakers from a variety of professional backgrounds to offer practical advice. In addition, alumni and other guests make special appearances in certain classes to speak with students and share insights from their experience.
A Vibrant Social Life
We all know that all work and no play makes for a very dull existence. Without a little (okay, a lot!) of planning beforehand, all the exciting events going on around campus during the semester would never take place. Students kick off the fall semester with a New Student Connection where freshmen are able to connect with each other and upperclassmen. Then during Greek Rush, freshmen get to meet the entire collegiate family while choosing their very own collegian.
Later in the year, students will bond together on Collegian and Student Outings; share team spirit cheering for their Eagles teams at Eagle Mania and intercollegiate games; attend events like the Turkey Bowl, Fine Arts, and the Eagle Pride Tailgate. For all of these events, and the many others going on during the semester, the entire PCC family of students, staff, and faculty comes together, each one playing an important part. Of last year’s student hosted 5K mission run, senior Jeff Dempsey (MI) said, “The run was fun and very exciting; it unifies the student body, and afterwards, we have a better vibe. We are a lot closer.”
Fun Fact: PCC begins planning major events like the annual Christmas Lights Celebration a year in advance.