Lauren Mellott

For this week’s profile I wanted to interview one of the most involved students on our campus. So, I interviewed my friend Lauren Mellott. Lauren is a junior pre-med studies major from Chambersburg, PA. She is the president of Jefferson Singers, the Spirit and Traditions Chair of the Campus Activities Board, the Co-Captain of the Jefferson Club Field Hockey team, a Rambassador in Admissions, an FYS peer mentor, and is an RA in Independence Plaza (Jefferson). She is a member of the Honors Student Association, Asclepius Society (a Pre-Med organization), National Society of Leadership and Success, and Alpha Lambda Delta.

Ever wonder what it is like to start a club or activity on campus? During my freshman year, I remember Lauren started the PhilaU Club Field Hockey Team on campus. Then during our sophomore year, she was elected as the President of the Jefferson Singers. Interested in how she does it all, I asked her a few questions:

What was it like starting the Club Field Hockey team? For those who are interested, is it too late to join?

My roommate from first-year and I always went over to the Ronson field to play when it was nice out, always commenting on how much we missed playing. So, we decided to pursue making a team, and last fall (Fall of ’16) was our first season! We are always looking for players, so for those who are interested, it is not too late to join. You don’t even have to have any experience; we just like getting together to play. We practice Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-7:30, and our first game was on September 24th at Villanova.

What is it like being the President of the Jefferson Singers? For those who are interested in joining the club, is it too late?

As the President of the Jefferson Singers, I do a little bit of everything. When I was elected president my sophomore year, I really tried to develop the choir into a known organization because for a long time, people did not even know we existed. I expanded the board, started social events, and tried really hard to get us more involved on campus. I take so much pride in this organization because singing is such a passion of mine, and it’s my reprieve from all the science that I immerse myself in. We rehearse every Sunday from 7 to 9 PM, and for those who are interested in joining, it’s not too late yet! Because we do work towards a big performance at the end of the semester, it’s important to get involved sooner rather than later and to be at every rehearsal.

What is the hardest thing about being involved in so many extracurriculars? What are some tips for how to manage it?    

Finding a balance between my workload for classes and my workload for extracurriculars is probably the most difficult part about being so involved. Just like assignments for class, there are due dates for tasks that need to be completed within the organizations of which I am a part. I think the thing that is most helpful though is having an agenda and using it to literally plan my entire day every day. I write everything down because that’s how I remember best. There are other ways to keep track of tasks, such as a digital system, so you just have to find what works best for you to time-manage.

I also have the mindset that my extracurriculars serve as breaks from schoolwork. I really enjoy the things I’m involved with, so they never really feel like work even if I have deadlines to meet. It makes getting things done for my clubs and organizations easier if I complete something in between assignments for class.

What is the best thing about being involved in so many extracurriculars?

Being involved in so many different organizations has offered me to opportunity to meet so many people, which I really enjoy. I appreciate that vast differences in people because it reminds me of how unique we really are. The fact that no two people are alike is fascinating to me, and I get to experience that every time I am in a meeting or at an event. Because I have the opportunity to meet so many different people, I feel as though my awareness of others and myself has increased dramatically, which will be so valuable for my future career.

What suggestions do you have for someone who is interested in getting involved but is a little hesitant?

At least try it. There’s nothing wrong with saying that you can’t handle something once you’ve tried it. Until you do though, you won’t be able to make that call. If there is something you really want to do, but you need help managing it, there are people who are so willing to help you! You have to be willing to ask though. Trying to find a balance is difficult, but it is okay to say that you are struggling. It is also okay to say “no” to something if you really cannot fit it in. You are a student first, but you can’t be a student all the time and stay sane. You will appreciate the time that you’re not holed up in studio or in the library studying because it will give your mind, body, and soul time to relax—time to release the dopamine that makes you feel happy!

Lastly, what advice do you have for students that are new to Jefferson?

Most importantly, take chances. It’s better to realize that you can’t handle something and be honest about it than to sit out and regret it. Additionally, be true to yourself and to others. Fitting in with a particular crowd may seem cool at first, but if you aren’t comfortable, you won’t be enjoying your university experience. You deserve to have the time of your life being a student here, so I encourage you to find those people who you enjoy being around and who accept you for who you are. Finally, practice self-care regularly. Take a few moments to take a break from classes and other things you’re involved in. Color, read, listen to music, take a nap, go to the gym. Whatever you need to do to unplug, do it every day. You’ll be further behind if you burn out than if you take time each day to do what you enjoy doing. I encourage you to pursue your interests. If there’s something you want to do, find a way to do it. You’ll thank yourself later when you have something to do to de-stress.

PC: Lauren Mellott