Student Spotlight: Jashua “Alli” Garza

thumbnailAustin Lampky, Staff Writer

 

“Say what you want, and do what you want, because regrets are often full of ‘I wish I would have…’”

These are the words that motivate Jashua Garza, or “Alli.” They have not only carried her through her educational journey but have also paved the way for Garza to achieve her desired goals. 

Garza came to Saint Martin’s University from Pierce College in Pierce County. Her goal was to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology, while also achieving a minor in Criminal Justice. To that end, she transferred, and after two years of hard work and study, she is now in her senior year and set to graduate.

Following graduation, Garza has her sights set on a career working as a Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy. However, recognizing that life does not always work out the way one intends, she has also made plans to serve the community as a counselor,  referring to this as her “back up plan.”

Of all the classes Garza has taken at Saint Martin’s, there is one that she considers her favorite by a long shot. In the fall semester of 2019, Garza took an “Introduction to Creative Writing” class. The course was instructed by writer and former Saint Martin’s University instructor, Tristan Beach. In the class, Garza was able to create a portfolio of writings, from a memoir to a collection of poems, and even a short story. 

Though each of the projects was unique, the foundation and intention behind them was consistent — to assist the writer in, as the class syllabus put it, “becoming more human.” 

The syllabus clarified the idea behind this, as Beach elaborated on his philosophy within the syllabus: “Perhaps when we get right down to it, writing, as some would characterize it, is the soul speaking. And sharing, or publication, is the soul speaking to other souls. And reading is the soul receiving the words of other souls…if you believe in a soul.”

Garza felt these experiences of intrinsic expression and revelation came to life in Beach’s class better than anywhere else. 

“I really enjoyed his class because unlike others, he encouraged us to find our own voice and creativity to create authentic work,” she explained. 

In a setting where judgment “on criteria” was not prioritized, Garza felt that her thoughts, inscribed on paper were truly “free.” 

Though highly focused on her education, Garza has found the time and opportunities to enjoy the path to her future. Once a month, Saint Martin’s University recognizes its students that commute to campus with a special lunch. The commuter lunch – which is free and provided by Campus Life –  is intended solely for students who do not live on campus. Garza loved the experience. “They made me feel more welcome to the university and helped me meet other commuters,” she said.

In addition, Garza has plenty of hobbies that occupy her time when she is not studying. Some of those hobbies include going on long drives with her friends, trying new cuisine, and spending time with her fiancé and dogs.

Garza has taken many steps through school and life to achieve the future she desires. She does not allow herself time for doubt or regrets, because she is devoted to living her life not in the mindset of “what could have been,” but “what will be.”

 

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