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Where in the West? Student Spotlight on Martin Lammers

2,494 miles. With the technological assistance of Google Maps, that is the exact mileage (taking I-94 E and I-90 E in case you want double check) that senior Marketing Management major Martin Lammers must somehow conquer to attend Grove City College each year.

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From where  you might ask?

Martin hails from a town called Sammamish, Washington, just  half an hour east of downtown Seattle. So I decided to ask him (mostly to verify my own sanity since I’m also from the Seattle area), why in the world would you travel all that way to attend a small, liberal arts college in the middle of Western PA?

Having first heard about Grove City College from his high-school English teacher, Martin was intrigued enough to venture forth to visit in the Spring of his senior year. Two students from his high school were currently attending Grove City as well, with another contemplating checking “yes” on her acceptance letter. Stepping on to the campus for the first time, Martin describes it as the first school he could genuinely see himself at, which ultimately sealed the deal.  During his campus tour Martin also, in all seriousness, heard there was a lot to do on campus: from children’s theater to a broadcasting radio station, there were a variety of unique organizations and activities that appealed to him.

Entering GCC as a freshman Fall of 2012,  one of Martin’s biggest tips for starting college doesn’t have to do with travel (though he does have some), studying, balancing a social life and school, or even how to find a successful internship (he interned with Amazon), but expectations. To sum up it up, don’t have any. That’s it. Starting college on the opposite coast with a whole batch of new people and classes, it’s easy to have expectations about how you’re going to spend that time and what you’re going to do afterwards. The best thing to do is try and have an open mind going in, and enjoy where the next four years take you.

But won’t you miss the PNW?


Martin on the shores of the Puget Sound

For those unfamiliar with the acronym PNW, it stands for Pacific Northwest, one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the United States (in my completely unbiased opinion).  Truthfully, Martin does miss the Northwest, especially the water. It’s strange to go from an area with a plethora of lakes and coastline to an especially landlocked part of Pennsylvania.  Washington’s terrain is unique, and the longer you stay the more you realize how much that phrase rings true.

Just because the scenery is nice to look at, however, is no reason to remain stationary the rest of one’s life. Coming to Grove City, though the ratio of corn to mountains varied a bit from his native state, Martin did not anticipate how much the people would affect him as they have.  Martin describes a version of himself now that is better, different, and more empathetic than who he was upon his arrival at Grove City.

Martin’s experiences at Grove City have ranged from participating in Children’s theater and OB (Orientation Board) to travels to Raleigh, Washington DC,  Philadelphia, and even a whirlwind twenty-four hour NYC trip his sophomore year during Fall Break.  A relatively unknown perk of going far away to school, these travels (for the most part) were courtesy of friends inviting him home for various breaks.

On campus Martin currently serves as the Senior Senator of Social Affairs for SGA (Student Government Association), is a member of the Crimson and White Society and the Faculty Review Committee, Social Chair fro the Tri-Rho housing group, and was formerly involved in One Act plays and a few main stage theater productions.


Martin and his OB connection group

But Grove City’s so far away, isn’t it?

As someone who also comes from Seattle I hear that all the time, and so does Martin. One thing Martin suggests: yes the distance does seem daunting, but whether you drive for five hours or fly for five hours, in the end neither student is going to decide to go home for the weekend on a whim. The only major difference is how expensive your form of transportation is, but even then by taking advantage of an airline’s mileage plan, spending boatloads of money on airfare is avoidable.

Pro travel tip: don’t forget your wallet.

An easily avoidable travel faux pas for the frequently fearful flier, however for Martin it is the first tip that comes to mind. Why? Just this past spring break, Martin was eagerly awaiting his flight home to Seattle,  however upon arriving at the Pittsburgh airport and placing his suitcase on the check-in scale his wallet was nowhere to be found. After a battery draining amount of phone calls, Martin eventually realized his wallet was in another pair of pants hanging over a chair in his dorm, an hour and a half away, with his flight departing in under an hour.  Fortunately for him a good friend was willing to drive his wallet all the way down from Grove City to the airport in time for him to make another flight back home. Other than that Martin recommends shipping as much as you can to lighten the load, getting a storage unit with other students over the summer, and that overall “less is more.”

Martin and co. at the Homecoming Dance 2k15

Martin and co. at the Homecoming Dance 2k15

In the (somewhat near) future after graduating from Grove City, Martin actually would prefer to stay closer to the East Coast and consequently people he has met and formed friendships with at Grove City. He sums it up nicely: at this time in his life he has a greater affinity for the people here than the simple draws of a location.  Indeed,  people really do make the place.

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