Meet VALLEY’s Fall 2019 Beauty and Health Section Opener: Julia Nevel

Photo by Shannon Soboslay

If you were to come across Julia Nevel walking through campus, you’d likely notice that from head to toe, she’s more often than not dressed in all Under Armour, and while to the average person, this might seem like she’s just your average gym enthusiast, but that’s far from the case. For Nevel, Under Armour isn’t just a brand, but a transformative chapter in her life story.

Growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, Nevel, a senior supply chain major, played countless sports and spent most of her free time being active in some regard. 

“I’ve been dancing since I was two, and I started playing lacrosse in middle school up until I graduated high school. Both were such a huge part of my life,” Nevel says. 

Growing up, she often felt pressure to look a certain way to be at her best as an athlete. Even from a young age, athletes everywhere more often than not feel pressured to look a certain way in order to supposedly perform better, and this can make stress levels in an already sometimes intense environment skyrocket.

As a dancer and a lacrosse player, Nevel often found conflict with body image and outside pressures, because dancers are typically aiming to be smaller, while the average athlete might want to pack on more muscle. During lacrosse season, she was actively lifting and gaining muscle quickly, but that wasn’t necessarily the case during off-seasons. This off and on nature of her physical shape was stressful to say the least, making the transition to Penn State even more of a challenge.

Photo by Shannon Soboslay

Coming into college, and no longer playing a sport, Nevel noticed she became smaller and smaller while just focusing on dance and adjusting to her new college lifestyle.

“I ended up losing a lot of weight coming into college and a lot of people were noticing I was smaller. It started freshman year just with all of the stress from school and being overwhelmed. I lost all of my muscles and I wasn’t feeling great about myself,” Nevel says. 

Soon after arriving at Penn State she joined Volé, Penn State’s only all-inclusive dance company as a freshman, and over the years has performed in countless routines and now, as the Vice President, plans and organizes all of the club’s showcases. This dance organization is just one way that Nevel maintains an active lifestyle as a college student.

“In Volé, going to practice is a good stress relief. It’s helpful to have those friends who will be there for me and have the same goals as me, physically and mentally,” she says.

Volé was one of the first transformative environments Nevel encountered while in college, and it certainly wouldn’t be her last. She has given her heart and soul to the club, and even got to dance in THON on behalf of Volé in 2018. And while this club and the relationships she’s made through it have been a huge part of her college experience, little did Nevel know what would be ahead of her after finishing her sophomore year.

The summer before her junior year, Julia Nevel landed the opportunity to work at Under Armour Global Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland through their Rookie Internship Program

To Nevel, this was so much more than just a summer job, but an opportunity for self-discovery and to realize her full potential. It was a new city, a new group of people and an incredible opportunity for both her professional and personal growth.

“When I got the internship at Under Armour, I was really excited to be able to be able to go back into a routine of working out, and I really saw a huge transformation last summer, the summer of 2018. I was really able to go back into that constant working out routine and really rebuild myself after going to college. And that was huge for me,”  she says. 

Her internship afforded not only a unique work experience, but a community of like-minded individuals who helped her reach her full potential. By the end of that first summer, Nevel had truly found herself and found opportunity to reestablish her goals and mindset. 

“Everyone around me could tell I had such a more positive attitude about everything. I really built on myself and took the time to focus on myself. It was really helpful for not even just my body, but my soul,” Nevel says. 

The experience was so incredible, that Nevel was granted the opportunity to work there for a second summer before her senior year at Penn State. 

“At Under Armour, everybody works out, so it’s just a part of the environment. It helps to hold you accountable,” Nevel says. 

Since leaving Under Armour in August, Nevel has found a new way to establish a fitness-centered community at Penn State.

“I work at the gym on campus, so I have that community, which makes me feel more comfortable working out,” Nevel says.

While so much has occurred in her life over the past four years, she credits Under Armour for allowing her to transform and become the person that she is now.

“Under Armour made me realize the importance of just focusing yourself even if you’re not working out. Just taking the time to have self care,” Nevel says.

In the future, Julia Nevel hopes to become the Chief Supply Chain Officer for a large sports company, and thanks not only the positive environment at Under Armour, but her supportive roommates and friends as well as Volé for inspiring her to reach her full potential.

“Environment is everything and I’m so thankful to have found such a positive one.”

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