Name: Jessica Van Cleave
Major: Mass Communication
Minors: Spanish and Peace, Justice and Conflict Resolution Studies
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Positions: Peer Mentor, Videographer for Her Campus at Winthrop, member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and an intern for First Year Experience.
Could you give a brief description of each of your positions on campus?
As a Peer Mentor I help first-year students navigate their way through their freshman year by offering them advice, support and my own experiences. As the videographer for Her Campus I help make fun videos to promote HC as well as have fun with all of the girls. As a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee I attend the monthly meetings to help set up certain activities and community service projects. As an intern for the FYE (First Year Experience) I create promotional and fun videos for FYE events and other organizations on campus. I also often train people in photo and video editing software!
You are extremely involved on campus, what has motivated you to pursue these positions?
My entire freshman year I wasn’t apart of anything other than running. I took a class with Dr. Schulte and he asked me what I was involved in on campus, when I said nothing he said I needed to see what was out there in order to develop my professionalism. So I first started with Her Campus, then it slowly began to grow into me wanting to become more and more and more involved on campus! I caught the bug for leadership and helping others. I found something more to myself than just running. I used to define myself solely as a runner, but it’s cool getting to see myself evolve and grow into something more than just an athlete.
Like you said, you’re an athelete! You are also a cross country and track runner–so, how do you balance all of your extra-curricular activities with running and a full course load?
I’ve become a huge fan of my planner and schedules. Before, I used to just go with the flow. It had been hard for me to actually schedule free time and ‘me time’, but its helped me to become more organized and de-stressed for sure.
Do you ever find it challenging to juggle so many things at once?
HA! Yes, it is hard, really hard. But I love it. I find it so rewarding that I don’t even mind if I don’t get the recommended number of hours of sleep every night.
For some, time management can be difficult. Do you have any tips for successful time management?
One word: checklists. When you start the day and have a checklist you know exactly what you need to do. From there you can decide what exactly needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how long you can spend trying to complete the task at hand. At the end of the day, when you have a completed checklist it feels so nice to just sit down and enjoy knowing you had a successful day.
During your time as a student leader, what has been the most rewarding experience?
I would say being a Peer Mentor has been the most rewarding. I went into this thinking I would be teaching these students every week and helping them–but they have actually been teaching me. I had a very hard freshman year adjusting to the many stresses of college, and I like to help our students as much as possible so they can have someone they know they can rely on no matter what.
What is a fun fact about you?
Actually, I can balance four spoons on my face. I think that’s pretty cool. Also, I’m the biggest dork on the planet.