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How Jen Lilley Got an Accidental Degree in Environmental Science 

Photo from Jen Lilley’s Instagram

How Jen Lilley Got an Accidental Degree in Environmental Science 

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actress Jen Lilley is sharing “5 random facts” with her Instagram followers, from her feelings on social media to how she ended up with an “accidental” degree in environmental science. 

“I haven’t done a 5 things you didn’t know about me post in 3 years! So here’s 5 random facts,” the actress wrote

First, Lilley revealed that she usually thinks of social media as “pointless and vapid…but then I remember that the last time I felt this way, I dug deep and reframed social media as a way to find my tribe and my people. I have met, known, and grown to love so many of you, and I promise I’m going to try to stop being such a hermit and post more personal posts.”

The actress also shared that she doesn’t like journaling (“I always wonder who you’re writing them for”) and that she makes a lot of lists (“Right now I have 574 notes in my iPhone”). 

Lilley continued, “In the ‘marshmallow experiment’ conducted on kids, I think I would have lasted a few days vs the 15 mins. I am ridiculously grateful for every thoughtful gift I’ve ever received, but I have a TERRIBLE habit of not opening gifts I get for MONTHS! and it’s not because I’m not excited, it’s because I’m weirdly reward based and I feel I need to earn the right moment to open it.”

Lastly, Lilley shared how she ended up with “an accidental minor degree in Environmental Science.”

“I love love love LOVE LOVE LOVE plate tectonics and earth science! So I took so many classes at the University of Virginia out of sheer curiosity and wonder that my professor said, aren’t you a drama student? Why are you taking these classes? (y’all sometimes we’d work on ONE mathematical equation for a week!) but I LOVE it!” she wrote. 

College is where Lilley discovered her love of acting, telling UVA Today, “I found acting by happenstance at UVA because there were posters all over for an open audition for an independent film called ‘The Loss of Life.’ I ended up booking the female lead opposite Alexis Ohanian.”

And the rest is history! 

Today, Lilley is known for her memorable turn on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, as well as her many popular Hallmark and Great American Family Christmas movies. 

Lilley called one of her recent GAF movies, A PARIS CHRISTMAS WALTZ, “epic,” adding, “I just hope that this movie becomes a movie that people go to every single holiday.”

In addition to spreading Christmas cheer through her acting work, Lilley also helps families through her Christmas is Not Canceled organization. Movieguide® previously reported:

Actress Jen Lilley, star of the recent Great American Family movie A PARIS CHRISTMAS WALTZ, encouraged fans to give this Christmas.

Since 2020, Lilley has led the charge for her organization called Christmas is Not Canceled, which seeks to help families in need.

“Christmas is Not Canceled is an action-oriented company with a mission to save the world by raising awareness and funding incredible organizations focused on the well-being of vulnerable children,” their website reads.

Whether through her organization Christmas Is Not Canceled or her movies, Lilley hopes to uplift people during difficult times.

“I think people need uplifting content,” she explained. “I think 2023 has felt a lot like 2020. I think it feels very disheartening, all the things that are going on in the world, and divisive. And I think people really need uplifting content. I’m really proud to be part of something that’s healing for people.”

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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