Not your typical college student

By Francis A. Wilson—

Things are not always what they seem. And, equally so, people are not always what they appear to be, just ask New Jersey City University Senior Class President Jennifer Melgar. Jennifer, while being your typical college student, is all but typical. Currently she is enjoying her college experience as a double major and double minor. She is studying Criminal Justice, Pre Law, Political Science, and Psychology. And will still graduate in four years.

“It didn’t start off like that. Obliviously I don’t think anybody starts off like that,” said Jennifer.

Upon entering NJCU as a freshman, she focused on Criminal Justice and Psychology. Somewhere around Jennifer’s second year, she chanced upon a meeting with William Candia, the current Student Government Organization VP of Public Info. It was at this point that Political Science came into the picture. Her passion for Criminal Justice ran deep enough that the option of giving it up wasn’t an option at all, and her interest in Political Science was great enough to pursue further, so why not double major, right?

“I didn’t want to stop studying Criminal Justice just because I all of a sudden starting liking Political Science so I figured, I could double major.”

It is strange to think of a decision like this, and the relative ease with which a conclusion was made about said decision. But that is just Jennifer. While she is not out “conquering the world” after her meetings for the National Society of Leadership and Success and talking so matter-of-factly about decisions that would have others frightened out of their minds and cowering in a dark corner from the mere thought of them, she is up at 5:30 in the morning preparing for the gym.

She maintains a regular schedule in which she attends the gym for roughly thirty minutes to an hour every day. Well, almost every day. Apparently, there are days in which she rests, appropriately named “rest days” which she later went into depth about along with the importance of vitamins, “the vitamins help you throughout the day. I am not the same without my vitamins.” Who else is thinking of switching from coffee in the morning to vitamins?

Vitamins and alter egos aside, the importance of time and stress management cannot be stressed enough. Jennifer’s week is full. When she is not at the gym, at work, at her classes, or meetings for the National Society of Leadership and Success or her duties as Senior Class President, she understands the need for downtime, “A weekend to myself is one of the best things ever.”

Just don’t ask Jennifer about the latest episode of this or that because she won’t catch it until it is either on Netflix or the internet months or even years later.

Jennifer is unlike your average college student. She is fearless. She isn’t afraid to try, to experience, or to fail. She is always in gear, never looking back, and always working towards something, “if I don’t have too much to do, I find myself doing nothing. And, I don’t like that. I enjoy having things to do, and accomplishing them. It just feels good.”

It is hard to imagine that someone can juggle so much while still making the Dean’s List, a professional career as legal assistant at a prominent law firm, a full course load despite a dislike for online courses, and a life outside of work and classes. But, it is possible. For whatever reason, people spend too much time focusing on the wrongs things, or doubting their own capabilities when in reality anything is possible. All that is required is enough of a work ethic to be able to get through the work load, dedication and commitment, and desire to try. Just follow the same credo as Jennifer, “what do I have to lose?” It couldn’t hurt.