Beyond the face: Meet Jessie
By Maia Odegaard, Marketing and Communications
You’ve seen them on the SkyTrain and walked past them at the mall. You’ve sat beside them in bus shelters and spotted them in newspapers… but just who are the people in our 50th Anniversary ad campaign? They’re not models; these are real Douglas students, working hard to achieve their educational and career goals – just like you.
By the time Jessie Weststrate was six, her passion for softball was already taking shape. When it came to deciding which post-secondary to attend after high school, Jessie chose Douglas for its renowned athletics program – including an active women’s softball team – and the chance to study Sport Science in a friendly, close-knit environment.
As for making friends as a first-year, Jessie found that being a part of the women’s softball team, as well as attending on-campus events, made it easy to meet other students. However, she did struggle somewhat with the adjustment to the academic expectations of college.
To get a handle on her study strategies, Jessie turned to the Royals’ Athletic Support Strategist, who advised her to join a study group specifically for student athletes. Not only was she able to learn how to write an academic essay, but she connected with other students just like her.
“As a freshman, getting myself out there and participating in the social events and academic support opportunities available at Douglas really made a difference. Now I’m more confident in my school work and I have a great group of friends that I’ll know for years to come,” says Jesse.
Once Jessie finishes her Sport Science Diploma, she wants to become a registered massage therapist (RMT). As a student athlete, she’s experienced the benefits of massage therapy firsthand, including regular visits from local massage therapy school students who offer free treatment to Douglas student athletes to earn their practicum hours.
“One day, while getting a massage, I started chatting with one of the interns and learning more about becoming an RMT,” says Jessie. “My dad also went to massage therapy school, so I’d heard a bit about his experiences, too. I think massage therapy will be a great fit for the skill set I hope to gain during my time at Douglas, and I look forward to helping other athletes feel healthy and strong.”
When asked what advice Jessie has for other first-year college students, she says it’s important to get involved, whether or not you’re an extrovert.
“No matter what personality you have, you have to do more than just attend classes and study. Joining a club, group or a sports team will definitely help with your adjustment to college life. You can make friends, form study groups and share information about all the support and resources available through the College, all of which will help you make the most of your education. And most importantly: it’s fun!”