Meet Jen Grasmeder; she's a responsible, hardworking student at La Salle University in Philadelphia studying Speech Pathology. She stays motivated and works hard in leading for causes she cares passionately about. Read more on her favorite spots in Philly and her advice she has for college students. Thanks for sharing Jen, you've inspired us so much!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW? ARE YOU IN SCHOOL, WORK?
Right now I am in the second semester of my junior year at La Salle University in Philadelphia. I am enrolled in a 5-year program to get my undergraduate and graduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I also work part-time as an associate at Eddie Bauer.
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE LIKE? ANY MORNING RITUALS OR TIPS ON HOW TO GET READY?
My daily routine changes every day depending on if I have work, class, volunteering, meetings, etc. I try my best to go to the gym in the morning because I know if I don’t go in the morning, it is almost impossible to motivate myself to go in the evening. When I am getting ready in the morning, I try to get a feel for the mood I am in and let my whole look embody my mood. Some days I spend all day with my hair in a ponytail and wear head to toe athletic clothes. Some days I do a full face of makeup, but on a lot of accessories, and look really girly. My biggest tip for getting ready is to own whatever look you are going for that day. Confidence is always the key.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED IN SCHOOL, OR LIFE IN GENERAL? ANY TIPS?
I have been motivated in school to get good grades for as long as I can remember. My mom is a teacher so I think school is just in my blood. I feel very grateful for every opportunity I come across in life and especially at college so that sense of feeling grateful definitely helps me stay motivated and make the most out of every opportunity La Salle has to offer me. I try to remember that not everyone is as fortunate as I am and I should try to make the most out of what I have. I really work to never take anything for granted and I feel as though a lot of people can benefit from thinking that way also.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A SPEECH PATHOLOGY MAJOR?
I love absolutely everything about being a Speech Pathology major. I love how open the field is. For example, at some point I could be working with 0-3 year-olds on the most basic forms of communication or working with a 90-year-old who just had a stroke and everything in between. The possibilities in this field are endless! I have no idea what I want to do in this field specifically yet but it is exciting trying to figure it out.
SO WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT PHILLY? ANY SPOTS WORTH MENTIONING?
I love Philadelphia because everything is just a subway ride away. The opportunities for fun around Philly are endless! I love going to shows at the Walnut Street Theater when I get the chance. They put on incredible musicals. I also love to eat! Two of my favorite Italian restaurants are Spasso Italian Grill and Barra Rosa. There is also a little place in Manayunk called Lucky’s Last Chance which has the best tater tots I have ever had!
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS AND WHY?
I chose loyal, hardworking, leader, and responsible as my top four personality traits. I came up with these traits by asking a few of my friends what they thought and took the most popular responses. I think having traits that represent how the people who I surround myself with view me makes this a little more interesting than picking them myself. I think my friends picked loyal and responsible because I tend to be the “mom” of the group. I usually am the first to go to sleep at night, and get nervous about getting all of my homework done before having fun, etc. My friends also know that I am the type of person that keeps friends forever. I have had the same two best friends since kindergarten and I would do absolutely anything for them and any of my other friends. Once I make a friend, I am incredibly loyal to them.
Hardworking was picked for me probably because I am focused on my studies and I also get involved in a lot of activities where I work hard to make everything go smoothly. This also goes along with why leader was chosen for me. I am the type of person who not only likes to get involved with a lot of activities, I also tend to take on leadership positions in a lot of what I do. I was previously vice president of my sorority, gamma phi beta, and I worked hard to make sure our chapter could grow and learn as much as possible. Now that I am no longer vice president I still have two other positions! I also became a coordinator of a service trip my sophomore year of college which went to Browning, Montana where we worked at a middle school on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Because I loved that experience so much, I am now in the process of coordinating another service trip to Jamaica to work at a high school there. Leading is something that has always come naturally to me especially when I am passionate about the cause.
HOW DOES BEING RESPONSIBLE MAKE LIFE EASIER, OR HARDER?
Being responsible is more of a blessing than a curse. I like being able to rely on myself instead of others and having confidence I can problem solve and figure things out for myself. I have learned while in college that being responsible goes hand in hand with being independent. An independent college student is definitely more prepared for the real world after college than someone who may not be as responsible and/or independent.
ARE THERE ANY OBSTACLES YOU'VE FACED RECENTLY THAT CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
One of the biggest obstacles I have experienced recently is coordinating my trip to Browning, Montana. My co-coordinator and I had to work incredibly hard to keep the peace and make everyone happy during the trip. Planning a successful trip start to finish was one of the biggest tests of my character that I have ever experienced. I was pushed to the limits in a lot of ways I was not expecting. I broke down on one of the first days of the trip because I felt I was not doing a sufficient job. Luckily one of my best friends who came along on the trip helped me realize there was no way I could please everyone. I had to let that process a little bit but her advice to stop caring about the individuals and look more at the big picture of the whole group has helped me become a better leader since.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
5 years from now I will have graduated from graduate school and hopefully have started my career as a speech-language pathologist. I will hopefully still be living in an urban area (maybe Philly or maybe another one depending on where life takes me). Whatever hospital, school, or private practice that I may be working for, I hope that I am really helping people and have passion for the work I am doing. I want to continue volunteering and finding a way to do immersion programs after I graduate so I hope I really end up doing so. I also plan to have rescued at least two dogs five years from now. Dogs are a must for me!
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED AND HAVE YOU USED IT? OR DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE IN SCHOOL PURSUING WHAT YOU'RE DOING?
My advice for any college student would be to get involved with as many activities, clubs, and groups that you can. College offers so many experiences and some students are crazy not to take advantage of them. Your time in college is what you make it. No one is going to be telling you what to do or what not to do. By trying new things, you might meet some of your best friends. Every college experience is different but by getting involved on and off campus and by surrounding yourself with people you genuinely like to be around, you can make such wonderful memories.
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