People of St. Olaf: Grace Reynders '20

Year: Sophomore!

Major: Political Science and Chinese double major

Go-to line: “Don’t worry about it” or “It’s only as awkward as you make it”

What are the top three movies you’ve seen in the past two years?

The Big Sick, Zootopia, Amélie

Do you have a favorite Disney character? If so, who?

Honestly, I’m a sucker for the Disney Princesses. I think one of my favorites is Elsa, probably because we are pretty similar in terms of personality. Another one of my favorite Disney characters is Simba. The Lion King gives me the feels. Also, baby Simba is literally the cutest thing ever.

How would you describe college in five words or less: Work, good friends, and naps

Are you involved in any clubs at St. Olaf?

Yes I am! I am involved in Her Campus. I am also a member of St. Olaf’s Mock Trial team.

Do you prefer mental (card games) or physical exercise (ex: running)?

I guess it depends on who I’m playing! I like to play Uno but I tend to get too competitive. So, physical exercise it is!

What is the best thing to do at a bonfire get-together?

Getting a group of good friends together and roasting marshmallows around a campfire.

Where is the best vacation you’ve been on?

The summer before I started college, my family and I traveled to Seattle, Washington. Going to Seattle was the first time I had ever been to the West Coast. As someone from the Midwest, seeing mountains is pretty exciting. Hiking Mount Rainier was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

What is your favorite thing about the 4th of July? The fireworks, the classic food, warm weather, etc?

Watching the fireworks with my family and our dog, Chance. 

What is your favorite way to stream a movie? Netflix, Hulu, at a movie theater, etc.?

Netflix! But if it is an action movie, I do think it is more fun to see in theaters on the big screen. 

Favorite smell/scent/fragrance: There is this really good-smelling candle at Anthropologie called Volcano that I love. I also like the smell of a good campfire.

Favorite class taken at St. Olaf so far: Introduction to International Relations with KTP has been one of my favorite classes so far. In that class, I got to learn about different international relations theories, humanitarian law, just war theory, and how different nations and other international bodies interact. The class was one of the most challenging class I’ve ever had here, but I loved every second of it. Everyday blew my mind. And now, I’m a political science major.

If you could talk to anyone in this moment who would it be?

I wish I could talk to and reconnect with some of my childhood friends from back home.

Is there anything at St. Olaf that you look forward to pursuing more?

Getting more involved in volunteer organizations. I volunteered a lot in high school as a homework tutor at a local elementary school and enjoyed my work as a volunteer immensely. So, in the future, I really want to get more involved in the volunteering opportunities.  

How has St. Olaf helped you develop your future plans?

I think the people here have definitely helped me plan my future, wherever it may take me. I’ve met so many inspiring, hardworking, and intelligent people at this school. I’ve also met a few professors who I admire a lot. So, overall, I believe that the people here at St. Olaf have really helped me develop my future plans.

What was your favorite childhood snack: Cocoa puffs.

What is your go-to procrastination activity?: Browsing Ulta and Sephora. I love what I can’t have, or afford. Sometimes I also read up on the news, just so I’m not doing something completely unproductive. Walking around campus and hanging with friends is also one of my go-to procrastination activities.

What’s the best thing about Minnesota to you?

The fall foliage and spring flowers. I love how, in the fall, all the leaves on campus turn these beautiful shades of gold, orange, and yellow. I also love how, in the spring, the campus turns green, the trees regain their leaves after a long winter’s sleep, and flowers begin to bloom. I’m not too big a fan of Minnesota winter, but the spring and fall sure seem to make up for it.

If you could have one superpower what would it be? 

I wish I could have the ability to transport myself, other people, and objects. After coming back from an interim abroad, the travel-bug has definitely got me. There are so many places I want to go to and I feel that having the superpower of teleportation would really come in handy. Also, it is helpful when moving out of your dorm and lifting heavy things.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family?

I love to go camping with my family. Every summer, we try to drive up to Door County, Wisconsin. We sleep in tents, bring the dog, and sometimes cheat by using a Duraflame to start our campfires. It’s fun to go on hikes because it allows us to have conversations without the distractions of technology. Also, the dog is in absolute heaven and it makes him happy too.

Do your prefer group studying inside or outside on a nice day?

Studying inside, just because I get too distracted when studying outside. And if it’s super warm outside, I usually end up napping.

What is your favorite extracurricular event to attend at St. Olaf?

I know it’s not really an official extracurricular event per say, but I really enjoy Christmas Fest time. I love how there are Christmas trees everywhere on campus and seeing families come together to enjoy Christmas Fest is super fun and makes me feel happy.

Cookies or cupcakes? 

Cupcakes! It’s hard to turn down a freshly made red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

What is a style, activity, etc that is “out of style,” but you still enjoy?

Wearing a jean jacket while wearing jeans? Sometimes, people make this seem like such a fashion faux pas. I honestly don’t see what’s wrong with it and I think it looks cute!

Is there a word that you can never get the spelling write without googling/using a dictionary for?

While there probably isn’t enough space for all of them, some of these commonly misspelled words include calendar, Connecticut, and embarrass. However, these are only a small sample of words. Tears.

What two foods are better eaten together rather than separately?

Syrup and pancakes.

What song best describes you?

I’m not sure if this song can describe me, but I really love the song “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap

Would you rather surf the web or the ocean?

Surf the ocean

Photo courtesy of Grace Reynders (pictured above)