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.
“Do I dare disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot)
For the past three years I’ve been studying English literature working towards my bachelor’s degree. Now, I am just about done, preparing to graduate from my undergraduate career and move to New York City to pursue an MFA in creative writing.
Senior year has passed quickly, and it’s strange to think about how it’s already over. I’ve loved being at GCU and meeting so many wonderful people that have helped me and supported me throughout my journey. The two most important aspects of my years here include being on the StartleBloom editorial board and finding life at GCU’s Ethington Theatre.
I have been with StartleBloom since my first year at GCU, and it has been something I have benefited from and enjoyed being part of. Being on the board of this literary review and helping create it for three years has been a joy, and I’m thrilled to be able to take the three books we have made with me as a reminder of where I started. Being part of this journal has allowed me to grow as a writer and develop editorial skills that might be useful to me in the future, along with professional relationships that I have been and continue to be grateful for.
My second year I became part of the theatre fraternity (Alpha Psi Omega) and was lucky enough to be cast in two productions, “Our Town” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” The majority of my closest friends I met because I chose to be a part of this community, and through it I gained countless memories I couldn’t imagine living without.
The past and final two semesters have been crazy, as I spent the majority of 2017 preparing my graduate school applications for submission. I wanted to get into a creative writing MFA program, and I spent months writing and rewriting and editing every part of my application so that I might have a chance. Most MFA programs are extremely competitive, so I was worried I wouldn’t be accepted for many different reasons. A few months ago, I got an acceptance letter from a school in New York, and I am elated to know that not only am I graduating with a bachelor’s degree at the age of 20, but two years from now I will have a master’s degree as well.
College has certainly come with its challenges, but I know that the university and my experience attending school here has shaped who I am as a person and the future I have ahead of me. As I wrap up the semester, I am attempting to keep up with everything, making sure I have time to write all my research papers while also having to say goodbye to the friends that I spend time with every single day. It’s been a hard road, and I know it will continue to be difficult, but the things I have accomplished and the relationships I have formed will always push me forward and keep me going. I may not know what is beyond the horizon, but soon enough I will move forward, and soon enough I will have it, whatever it is.
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