Re’naijah Purvis ‘24PBHS calls herself a “crystal nerd.” She doesn’t just make crystal bracelets as a side gig, she draws energy from them.
“Ultimately when you wear crystal jewelry, the purpose of it is to stabilize the energy you want bring into your life,” said Purvis, who received her undergraduate degree from Penn State Abington in biology with a focus on vertebrate physiology. “A big one, for example, is Tiger’s Eye. People know that Tiger’s Eye is used for focus. If you want to be more focused in your life, the property of those types of crystals bring that type of energy into your life and stabilize everything, if that’s something that you’re looking for.”
Her fascination with crystals started in high school. Originally from Niagara Falls, New York, Purvis had a conversation with an aunt and uncle about spirituality and religious beliefs at a time when she was trying to figure out what life was about. That encouraged her to study different religions and through that research, she discovered crystals.
“The purity and the more raw the crystal is, the more you can feel the effects,” said Purvis. “The first thing is that you have to believe these crystals have the properties. So, if you don’t believe in that, then chances are you’re not going to experience the effects of it.”
She initially started making the genuine crystal bracelets as a hobby for herself and to give to family and friends.
They were so popular within her inner circle that friends encouraged her to make and sell them to others. Including the thought process that she puts into creating each piece, it takes Purvis about 30 minutes to make each bracelet. She gets the crystals from a vendor and they come from places all over the world.
Admittedly, Purvis said, some people don’t consider the spirituality associated with the crystals and see the bracelets only as fashion statements.
“People like the way they look, they don’t necessarily focus on the meaning of it, they just like it because it’s visually appealing to a lot of people,” she said. “They just like the colors, the way it shines in the light.”
Now that she’s in the Post-baccalaureate in Health Sciences program at Salus, she has to juggle her bracelet-making time with her studies. Purvis chose Salus to continue her education after attending a grad fair at Penn State Abington. There, she met Candida Mulligan, assistant director of Admissions at Salus, and she said that conversation “captivated” her.
“I thought if there’s somebody like Candida who is representing the university, I’m sure that the staff and faculty at this school are just as amazing as she is,” said Purvis.
Because she needed a grade point average-enhancer after having to work full-time while going to undergraduate school, the Post-bacc program was perfect for her.
“A lot of students that come here are in Optometry and Physician Assistant Studies, but my goal is medical school,” she said. “That’s what I was looking for, that preparation phase and process before I get into medical school and I thought this program at this university was going to be a great way for me to do that. But I’m keeping my eye on going into the PA program.”
Purvis believes it’s important for graduate students to remain creative and not get completely lost in their studies. Making crystal bracelets helps her maintain that balance.
“I want to make sure that I’m doing the things that I love outside of medicine. And, creativity is the biggest way to keep ourselves grounded and keep ourselves feeling good about life,” she said. “Everything is expression to me, and I think creativity is a part of expression, whether you’re painting or drawing or making jewelry. You should always have a creative aspect in your life no matter what you’re doing. It keeps me motivated to keep going.”