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Changes – Dane N. Jessen

There I was at a University of Jamestown tour, listening to these college students talk about how they found themselves and all the things that changed when they got to college. I had heard that same speech at countless college tours and always thought, what a load of crap. I’ll still be the same; nothing’s going to change for me… I could not have been more wrong.

Change 1:

Small town: I came from a town of 20,000 and a school of 2,500 so coming to a small town and a small school was huge.

Change 2:

Sports: I played lacrosse year round since middle school and never thought of playing anything else; I actually turned down the opportunity to compete on the track team here. A year later, I was running, jumping and throwing for the track team. Then, my sophomore year, I joined the cheer and dance team and had a blast competing with those girls.

Change 3:

Fitness: Before I came to college, I was in karate for 15 years and only weight trained for exercise. Then came Zumba at UJ – I was this 18 year old shaking my butt with these amazing ladies and having a blast. And then dance attack – another amazing dance fitness class.

Change 4:

The Musical: Out of the dance attack class, I had two students at the time tell me, “Hey you can dance! You should join the musical!”… Nah, I thought, I’m not any good at that stuff; there’s no way!

One audition later, and I’m involved in one of the most impactful activities I’ve ever been a part of. The people and the acting, the singing and dancing all made me so happy, and it was something I never thought I would have ever done in my life. Now my junior year, I was just in the musical as a small lead and it was an incredible experience that I will cherish forever.

Change 5:

Non-Athlete: Now in my junior year, I went from the guy who thought he would always be in sports to becoming a non-participant and non-athlete for one reason or another.

Change 6:

People: I came to college knowing no one. New town, new environment, new sport, new fitness, new activities, and the most important change of all, new people.

After the first few months, I was getting to know people and forming friends I never thought I would meet – through things like the musical, from living across the hall from my soon-to-be best friend freshman year, and from the love and friendship the new people in my life showed me and that they and other newcomers showed me. It was incredible.

In conclusion, I was so very wrong thinking I wouldn’t change coming to college!

If I were to give advice to people entering college or entering a similar situation…open yourself up to the changes for they can be some of the best things to happen to you, just like they were for me.

So, I want to say thank you for the opportunities provided to me and thank you to the people involved in making these changes in my life. Jamestown, the people in it, and especially those in my life, I will love and remember forever.

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Posted:November 16, 2018

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University of Jamestown at a glance

Financial Aid

  • Academic Scholarships
  • Athletic Scholarships
  • Fine Arts Performance Awards
  • Journey Awards

Campus Demographics

Placement Rate

1,100 students from 30 states and 20 countries
(Undergraduate 2017)

Student to Faculty Ratio - 12:1