A day in the life of one of the most involved students on campus

Jessica Roster

With such an abundance of activities on campus, it’s easy for students to get involved. You can join a Greek society, give tours to potential students, go skiing in Colorado and play basketball on a team with your friends.

But one student in particular has gone above and beyond when it comes to extracurriculars. Senior Jackie Olsen, a third-floor RA in Stanford Hall, may just top the list of “most-involved people” on campus. Besides residing with the freshmen as an RA, she is also a Villanova Lifeguard, Chemistry Department research assistant and chairperson of Blue Key Society Development and the Villanova Ambassadors Candidates’ Day, just to name a few.

Olsen is no stranger to having a busy schedule. In high school, she participated in a wide variety of activities, including Student Council, National Honor Society, Science and Math Leagues and the varsity swim team and was the vice president of the Communications Club and co-editor of the school’s literary magazine and newspaper.

“I think it’s safe to say I was just as involved in high school as I am at Villanova,” Olsen says.

Aspiring to be a pediatrician, Olsen volunteers in the Pediatric Emergency and Trauma Center at a hospital in her hometown in New Jersey. She says she loves spending time with the children there, helping in any way she can.

Within her parish, she serves as a lector and Eucharistic minister.

When she first came to Villanova, she knew that she definitely wanted to maintain a high level of involvement in extracurricular activities.

“After attending the Activities Forum during the first week of freshman year, I wanted to join every club,” Olsen says.

Although the intensity of her chemistry and honors majors leaves her little free time, she has become involved in the activities offered within her major. She was elected secretary of both the Villanova Chemical Society and Villanova’s chapter of the National Chemistry Honor Society.

She also became a chemistry teaching assistant and tutor so that she could “utilize [her] chemistry background to help other students understand chemistry better.”

Her involvement with service organizations on campus is a big part of her life at Villanova. As a member of the Blue Key Society, Villanova Ambassadors, Residence Life and Student to Alumni Relations Team, she can share her intense love for Villanova with prospective and current students, as well as alumni.

Her days are hectic because of all the activities she dedicates her time to, but she says Mondays and Wednesdays are definitely the busiest. On those days, she eats her favorite breakfast Lucky Charms while walking to her 8:30 a.m. class. She has lunch after her 10:30 a.m. class and then sits for a three-hour biochemistry lab, followed by another class at 4:30 p.m.

But her day doesn’t end when classes are over.

“I usually have one or two club meetings, eat dinner and do my homework while on RA duty,” Olsen says.

The day is finally over around 1 a.m., after she showers and plans her outfit for the next day (because she can never decide the morning of).

Her planner is filled with meetings, homework and projects, but she says she really enjoys having a busy schedule.

“I’m the type of person who needs to constantly have something to do or somewhere to go,” Olsen says.

When asked whether there are ever days when she wants to slow down, she says there’s never enough time to think about slowing down. But she does make time in her schedule for some downtime when she can relax. Being involved in such a myriad of activities has given her the opportunity to meet many amazing and different people.

“I love walking through the Quad and being able to wave to at least one person I know,” Olsen says.

Even though Olsen is far more involved than most students, she feels all Villanovans share her experience with extracurriculars because of the active and dynamic student body on campus. She encourages everyone to get involved in activities associated with his or her interests. But most important to Olsen is to have fun with whatever you choose to focus your passion on.