GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — It's been one year since 2017 Grand Canyon valedictorian Kyla Pearce bid a temporary farewell to the Grand Canyon to become an Arizona State University Sun Devil.
How are you doing now?
"I'm doing great! I just finished my first year of college and loved every minute of it so much more than I ever thought I would!"
Where did you decide to attend college and what is your major?
"I am attending Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University with a double major in Film Production and Journalism."
Are you participating in any clubs, extracurricular activities or Greek life?
I am part of several clubs and organizations on campus including the Ukulele Club, ASU Outdoor Club, ASU Film Association, START (Student Admissions Relations Team), and Devils' Advocates. Devils' Advocates is a student volunteer organization that provides campus tours to prospective ASU students and has definitely been a highlight of my time at ASU so far.
I chose ASU because of a campus tour, so it is extremely rewarding to know that, through giving tours and sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm for ASU, I am making such a positive impact on prospective students' lives. This organization is also where I have met some of my closest college friends and made some of my best memories.
Has leaving Grand Canyon changed your perception of Northern Arizona?
“Leaving Grand Canyon really helped me appreciate Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon National Park in particular. If you've spent the majority of your life in a certain place, it's often difficult to fully appreciate it in the same way that you would as a visitor.
Coming back to Grand Canyon after spending time in a different place has really helped me appreciate all of the unique experiences I was able to have growing up in one of the most visited National Parks in the nation.”
What tips can you give this year's graduates who plan to head to college?
“When you first get to college, you're going to feel alone, terrified and overwhelmed, especially coming from such a small school.
But I promise it gets better. Put yourself out there, go to events, join clubs, and talk to people. Once you start getting involved and going outside of your comfort zone a little more than you're used to, you'll meet so many amazing people and college will be awesome!
I know you hear this a lot, but you hear it for a reason. Stepping out of my comfort zone to join clubs on campus was terrifying, but definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made.”
Have your plans changed now that you've got a year of college under your belt?
“After meeting students from various majors and learning about the classes they take and the career goals they have, I decided to add a double major in journalism. Being exposed to such a diverse group of other students really opened my eyes to the wide variety of educational opportunities available to me. I also decided, after meeting with fellow students and my academic advisors, that I wanted to study abroad during college. This coming fall semester, I will be spending four months at the University of Roehampton in London on an exchange program, taking classes with local students and spending my weekends exploring Europe.”
Do you plan on staying here all summer?
“I am staying at Grand Canyon all summer, working at Bright Angel Bicycles until I leave for London in September.”