Nineteen-year-old Chicago native Grayson Pruett’s new podcast “Meant for Big Things” inspires others to make their dreams a reality by creating the best versions of themselves.
Having transferred from Franklin University Switzerland in the fall to attend Villanova, Pruett is currently involved in a cappella, Villanova Student Musical Theatre and various business groups on campus.
Pruett decided to create her podcast after being inspired by self-improvement workshops and other podcasts.
“Listening to a podcast is just like listening to music, you can do it anywhere, anytime you want, and I wanted to give my listeners that freedom,” Pruett said. “I also feel like podcasts are more intimate, like a phone call, where you can focus on the message at hand, versus being distracted by visuals that a typical YouTube or TikTok video has.”
Pruett’s first episode featured an introduction about herself and her experience studying abroad before coming to Villanova. Described as an internal battle of overcoming her doubts and hesitation, Pruett ultimately decided that she wanted to create excitement in her life and encouraged her listeners to find it in their own lives. Fear, as she describes it, is an infinite wall that must be broken through.
“Fear holds you back from being your best self, and you can create your life with the choices you make,” Pruett said. "Internal support not only generates confidence, but it generates courage to take on those fears and helps propel you to where you were meant to be.”
The name and slogan of Pruett’s podcast predated the start of her first recording.
“I was scrolling on Instagram and came across a graphic saying something along the lines of ‘you were meant for big things,’ and it totally caught me off guard,” Pruett said. “It made me feel really powerful and I wanted to share it, so I told my friends and family about it. One of them said ‘you should start a podcast,’ and so that day, I did!”
Pruett’s cover art stemmed from a weekend trip with her friends. After renting a boat and enjoying the lake, Pruett’s roommate took a photo of her in the water. The emotions of awe and inspiration that day were ones she felt encapsulated the theme of her podcast.
“Going to school in Switzerland was the most empowering thing I’ve ever done, and I wanted a picture to reflect that,” Pruett said. “I came across this photo of me in Lake Lugano, which was taken during my first weeks abroad. That moment was a culmination of me realizing the vastness of the world and feeling like I could do anything.”
Pruett’s podcast has received overwhelmingly positive reception, with over 200 downloads around the world.
“I have been blessed with an abundance of support and people’s willingness to share on their social media,” Pruett said. “I have only released one episode, so it is difficult to gauge numbers for loyal listeners. However, I am so happy to say that I’ve reached 4 different continents, pulling listeners from the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia and Jordan.”
Pruett uses her brother’s gaming microphone and headphones for streaming. She uses the Audacity software to edit and the Buzzsprout platform to distribute her podcast episodes.
Along with the podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, Pruett has an Instagram account, @meantforbigthings, where she posts motivational graphics and her ‘happy moments’ from each week.
“There are some exciting things coming up and all information will be posted there,” Pruett said. “I want people to feel like they have a friend during this lonely time, so, if anyone ever needs someone to talk to, my DMs are open and I would be honored to get to know you.”
For future episodes, Pruett plans to talk about whatever her listeners want to hear.
“We are all trying to navigate college and life in a difficult time, so chances are, we all face similar challenges,” Pruett said. “I am going through the same things you are and I hope that by sharing my experiences of highs, lows and moments of growth, you can feel understood and empowered.”