Jessica Baral is a senior at Grand Canyon University. She is majoring in communications in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She was born and raised in a small country town in Pennsylvania, but recently moved to Phoenix in order to continue her undergraduate education at GCU. Not only is Jessica enjoying all that Arizona has to offer, but she has also absolutely fallen in love with GCU and its ever-evolving campus, so much so that she is hoping to continue working for GCU’s marketing department after graduation. When Jessica is not working or attending classes, she can be found spending time with family, writing, cooking and coming up with bad puns.
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and was the first in my family to show interest in attending college. While visiting my aunt and uncle in Phoenix during high school, I took a tour of GCU and was immediately drawn to the university’s programs, spiritual life and community. After a collective three years of community and private college in Pennsylvania, I moved to Phoenix in order to complete my undergraduate program in communications. Although there were concerns about moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, I knew that GCU was not only a place to earn my college degree, but also find my purpose. I have since fallen in love with the campus, and am thankful every day for being able to be a part of such a large and welcoming community.
I enjoy my classes immensely, especially ones involving philosophy and relational communication. GCU faculty not only teach material that can be applied to our career, but also to our everyday life. I have also had the pleasure of working for the university’s marketing department, which has given me skills I can use throughout my career. I also enjoy being a part of such a large and growing community. In the two years I have been here, the campus has grown in student numbers and buildings. However, the university has kept the small campus feel. I am thankful to have made friendships and connections that I know will last even after graduation.
My advice for GCU students is to keep an eye out for new opportunities. Whether it is an opportunity for an internship, joining a club or even going on a mission trip, take advantage of it now. As a senior in my final semester, I have seen the many opportunities that I have taken and the ones that I have missed. Four years may seem to be a long time, but that last semester sneaks up on you rather quickly. So when an opportunity comes along to travel or make a new friend, jump in with both feet. What is the worst that can happen?