Vanessa Nelson

Vanessa Nelson

Vanessa Nelson


Where are you from?

I was born in Ohio but moved to San Diego with my family when I was about 1. I have really great memories from my time in Ohio, lots of journal entries made by infant-me, and lots of stories I will one day pass on to my great-grandchildren. Other memories I have include my 23 years living in San Diego, but who wants to hear about that?

What did you study in college?

When I got to college, I knew that because I liked to do arts and crafts in my spare time, I would be THE NEXT BIG THING in the art world. So I was an art major and I loved it. Until I realized I was bad at it and I didn't love it. I ended up switching my major to psychology and I immediately felt like I was home. 

What were some of your favorite on and off campus activities as a PLNU student?

Some of my favorite PLNU activities include '70s Skate Night, Superhero Bowling, Musoffee (music and coffee!), and the musicals put on by students. I lived on campus all four years without a car (no regrets) so I got to be part of the spontaneous and creative activities that students threw together in the middle of the night. We made music videos to "Independent Woman Part l" and "Golden Years," on the soccer field and our Greek Amphitheater, respectively, watched some cute boys create their own skate park in the middle of the Fermanian parking garage (maaaybe don't tell Public Safety that), and biked through Balboa park at 1am, eating ice cream and telling stories.

What one piece of advice do you wish you'd have heard before starting your freshman year?

Do not be limited by expectations (from yourself, your parents, or people you just met). Be free to sign up for things that don't make a lick of sense in your life-goal-timeline. Get involved in things when you don't know anyone else, join something even when you know you're going to be bad at it, and show up to something even when you never in your life saw yourself participating in it. Join a completely random club, sign up for intramurals with people you've never heard of, and travel as much as you can, on a small or large scale. Take a road trip last minute during fall break with people in your hall ... or sign up to go to India with Loveworks even though it makes your mom nervous.