A Day in the Life of Physician Assistant Student Jackson Palmer

Jackson Palmer is a sophomore in the Physician Assistant (B.S./M.S.) Program at Seton Hill. As a student in this program, he’ll graduate with a bachelor of science degree and master of science degree in five years. We recently talked to Jackson about why he chose Seton Hill, and what a typical day looks like for him this semester. 

Why Seton Hill? 

Jackson started looking into Seton Hill his senior year of high school. He participated in a Griffin for a Day event in February 2020. During Griffin for a Day, prospective students stay overnight and shadow a current Seton Hill student, ideally in the same major, going to classes with them for a day. 

“What eventually helped me decide on Seton Hill was that it is a smaller school and fairly isolated from any substantially large urban areas,” Jackson said. “This limits one's options for distractions, and I found that appealing. So far, I've found my strategy to be working. The small school aspect also allows me to have a more intimate relationship with my professors. This was a worry I had when looking at bigger schools, and I think I made the right choice in that aspect too because I often need to contact my professors for assistance.” 

“Growing up I always enjoyed being someone who could help others.”

Jackson decided to study to be a physician assistant (PA) because of the job growth and opportunities in the field. It was also something he could actually see himself doing when he was shadowing current physician assistants. 

“Growing up I always enjoyed being someone who could help others,” Jackson said. “I have a very empathetic personality and enjoy interacting with people from many different walks of life. When looking at schools with accelerated programs, I knew that it would be difficult. Luckily, I grew up with a pretty rigid work ethic so I knew I could rise up to the challenge, and so far it's been going well.” 

A Typical Day (As Described by Jackson)

9:10 a.m. - Biochemistry Class (M/W/F)

10 a.m. - Break (M/W)

I do schoolwork, sometimes get breakfast, or even get some additional sleep if I feel so inclined.

11:10 a.m. - The Developing World Class (T/Th)

I’m taking this class for the liberal arts curriculum. It really helps with broadening one's worldview and also provides a nice change from all of the science-related content that a PA student consumes. 

Noon - Guitar & Piano Classes (M/W)

I have my guitar course on Mondays and a piano class on Wednesdays at the Performing Arts Center. I decided to take these classes because I had room in my schedule and I played trombone in high school, so I wanted to take a shot at some more traditional instruments. 

12:30 p.m. - Food Truck (T/Th)

I get lunch with friends either from Lowe-To-Go, the campus food truck -  which sometimes has better food than the actual cafeteria. 

1:00 p.m. - Videos & Pokémon (T/Th)

Between lunch and class I usually just relax. Personally, "relaxing" for me usually means watching videos or playing Pokémon Go.

2:15 p.m. - Neuroscience Class (M/W)

2:20 p.m. - History of Jazz Class (T/Th)

History of Jazz is probably one of my favorite classes that I've taken so far. I originally signed up for it just to get the "United States Culture" credit of the liberal arts curriculum out of the way, but I've really come to enjoy it thanks to my musical background and a great professor. 

3:30 p.m. - Free Time!

This is usually the time where I have to sit down and think about what to do next. I am a Griffin Guide this year, so sometimes I sign up for a thing we do called telecounseling, which involves calling current student inquiries and asking them about their interest in the school. Sometimes I just chill out or do some work depending on what I have going on that week. 

5 p.m. - Dinner

8 p.m. - Volleyball Club (Sun/W)

On Sundays and Wednesdays I have volleyball club from 8-10. Since I have more time on my hands, I've begun to attend it pretty regularly, and look forward to it a lot. It's a really fun way to get some exercise as well as see friends or make some new ones. Coming to college, I had no clue how to play volleyball, nor did I know anyone because I come from far away. Joining a club was a great way for me to make friends and also not go crazy.