Jessalyn Johnson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, completing the final year of her BA in English Literature. Originally from Melbourne, FL, Jessalyn has come to enjoy living in the desert of Arizona. Since freshman year she has occupied several different positions on the editorial board of GCU’s literary review, StartleBloom, which is approaching its third volume. In her free time, Jessalyn enjoys creative writing, photography, writing music and participating in the plays and musicals put on by GCU’s Ethington Theatre.
I am a writer before I am anything else, hoping to write creative work professionally in the future. I love all forms of art and was looking for a small school on the West Coast that had good programs in the arts to work towards my bachelor’s degree in English. What drew me to GCU was the kindness of the students and faculty upon my initial visit and the close-knit community. Of course, being from Florida, Arizona was a long way to travel for college and a huge risk to take being so far from home. I previously lived in San Diego for a short period of time, where I grew to love the West and all it had to offer. I knew I was making the right choice by coming back out West, and I stand by my decision today.
As a first year student, it was a huge change in my life adjusting to GCU. Everything was new, my life in Florida seemed to be only a shadow. The change has been excellent, as I am enjoying my classes and extracurricular activities and have made wonderful new friends who make the experience that much greater. I have enjoyed being able to take part in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences literary review and having an impact on it over the past two years. The experience thus far has been wonderful, and I look forward to the continued support and guidance from my professors as I ready myself for the last volume I will be part of.
My advice to future GCU students is to stay persistent and always put your best foot forward when it comes to working towards your future. Although my college experience has gone by faster than most, as I am completing my degree in three years instead of four, the time passes quicker than you would expect. Going the extra mile, especially when it comes to your career and passion, is crucial – if you wait to do something, the opportunities might pass you by before you get the chance to notice.