Today, we speak with Jeraca Marsh, a senior psychology and sociology major from Burlington City (Burlington County), NJ, who resides on campus in Holly Pointe Commons. Jeraca will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.
Name: Jeraca Alane Marsh
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Concentrations: Africana Studies & Specialization in Applied Sociology
Year: Third year, graduating in three years instead of four
Hometown and County: Burlington City (Burlington County)
Resident: Yes, in Holly Pointe Commons
Academic Clubs: I’m in 20 clubs in total, but I’m on 4 executive boards. I’m the President for both To Write Love On Her Arms and Sociology Club, Vice President for Rowan Homeless Outreach, and Event Coordinator for Women’s Physique. I’m also a member of several honor societies, including National Residence Hall Honorary, Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, and Rho Alpha Sigma Honor Society.
Do you work on campus? I am an Assistant Resident Director at Holly Pointe Commons.
Do you have an off campus job? I have an internship at the nearby nonprofit Robins’ Nest, specifically their Functional Family Therapy program.
Why did you chose your major? Besides the cliché, “I want to help people,” line or the, “I want to figure out what’s wrong with me/my family,” I truly want to leave this world better than where I found it, and I also want to dismantle our corrupt systems of education, incarceration, and healthcare.
One reason why you chose Rowan? I chose Rowan because of the Educational Opportunity Fund program, and I felt like I could actually make a difference on this campus.
My typical day as a Rowan student
There is no such thing as a typical day for me. Typical seems to be the opposite of how I would describe most of my life. This year I decided to finally go digital with my calendar, and I’m so grateful that I did. I have a digital calendar of my classes, club meetings, internship hours, office hours, and I’ve gotten to the point where I need to schedule eating, exercising, and socializing. I have a physical calendar of when my assignments are due, and having that distinction between the digital and virtual calendars helps keep me significantly more organized. It’s also common to see me with writing on my hand, which is the list of things, both events and assignments, that need attention as soon as possible.
Mondays through Wednesdays are my 15 hour days, Fridays are my 12 hour days, and Thursdays are my shortest days that are only 5 hours. Sometimes my days are even longer if I’m on duty. Mondays through Wednesdays I like to convince myself that I’ll definitely get up early enough to go work out, and then I snooze my alarm until I have 7 minutes to get ready. So, I realistically start my days at the Robins’ Nest, which is my internship.
There, I specifically work with Functional Family Therapy, which is one of their 60 programs. They do therapy in the clients’ homes, which is helpful for a myriad of reasons. If my schedule allows me, I’m able to shadow specific therapists or their Mobile Response team. From there, I’m in turbo mode to get to class. Robins’ Nest is only a half mile from Holly Pointe Commons, but that gets stretched to a mile when I need to go to the Business building, and is even worse if I have awful shoes (my feet are beautifully calloused now).
I have some awesome classes this semester, and my Fridays are my favorite. My Friday 8 a.m. is a Psychology of Human Sexuality course with my best friend, and then I go to the Sociology of Race and Crime with one of my favorite professors. After class, I usually have my Assistant Resident Director office hours in Holly Pointe Commons. I am beyond grateful that I became an RA, and now, an ARD. Being an RA made me feel like I truly belonged on Rowan’s campus, and was able to make a lasting positive impact. As an ARD, I still get to experience that, and get more experience in administrative/behind the scenes tasks. I’m also extremely lucky with my amazing staff, floors 1 and 2, or as we call ourselves, 1,2 Step (yes, the song by Ciara.)
After office hours, I get to work out, which is one of my favorite parts of my day. I’m finally getting to a point in my life where I’m becoming mentally and physically healthy, and I now have a positive relationship with eating and exercising. My new favorite word is gain, because I’m finally letting myself gain instead of lose! I’m gaining help, knowledge, love, and experience. And of course, I’m getting mad gainz, bro.
My evenings are always stuffed with club meetings. Unfortunately, with all of my time restraints, going to all the meetings I want to isn’t possible, but I do my best to make it to most of them. Tuesdays are my nights for Sociology Club and To Write Love On Her Arms. I am proudly the president of both clubs, and I’m even prouder of the teams I get to work with. Both clubs are still relatively new, TWLOHA being created on Rowan’s Campus four years ago, and Sociology Club being revitalized two years ago.
Sociology Club promotes discussions based on current events, and how we can become the change we want to see in the world, regardless of what people believe these changes should be! TWLOHA is a national organization created to support those struggling with mental illness by proving help and hope, and as a Rowan organization, we focus on being a resource for students to find help and hope through each other and on campus. Wednesdays are my Association of White Anti-Racists for Equity, and Rowan Homeless Outreach meetings. AWARE is for white identifying individuals to discuss and practice ways of becoming more educated individuals and overall allies. Rowan Homeless Outreach is an awesome club that is able to extend Rowan’s students opportunity to volunteer and make a difference on and off campus.
I obviously can’t make all of the meetings I want to, such as Woman’s Physique, Psych Alliance, Out and Ally, or EOF events, but I do what I can! My days are obviously long and jam-packed, but I love it. I will always argue that you make time for the things that are important to you. Obviously, you won’t make every event, at least, until we invent a clone machine that works on people. I call my family at least once a week, get to see my significant other almost daily, eat meals with my staff when I can, and Snapchat my bffs to keep our streaks up. On the weekends, I make time to study with my best friends, and if I get enough work done, play Dungeons and Dragons as well. And of course, I do the best I can to not be the stereotypical college student and get as much sleep as possible. It’s arguable who sleeping is more beneficial for, me or everyone else! It’s so important that you feel as fulfilled as possible.
I’m beyond grateful for my time here at Rowan University, even if I cut it short. I will never regret graduating in 3 years instead of 4, especially since I’ll be moving on to my doctoral degree after this May, but I will always be thankful for the time, experiences, and individuals I got to enjoy while I was here.
Story organized and photography by:
Vanessa Vause, junior public relations major and advertising minor
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