Why did you choose to study your particular major?
I believe telling someone's story is the most important thing you can do as a person. Stories are the primary reason we have survived in a world that was once largely illiterate, and they connect us in empathy, history, and experience more than anything else has the power to. I obtained degrees in both acting and journalism because I wanted to acquire a vast toolbox full of ways in which I could tell stories through multiple mediums. APU has given me just that.
Describe your APU experience thus far and how it has helped shape you into the person you are today.
I've met some of the most incredible people at APU, both students and faculty who I know will be in my life far after I leave. The community of people I have gotten close with who support, guide, and grow alongside me is one of the things in my life I am absolutely most grateful for, and I have APU to thank for that.
Share a time where you felt alive in your field of study:
As an Acting for the Stage & Screen major, basically every challenging scene and audition I did (and there were many) made me feel SO alive, even if it's because I was unbelievably nervous! In my journalism studies, I always feel alive writing opinion pieces about things I'm passionate about. I recently wrote an article about the unethical practices existing in the fashion world and I haven't felt that on fire about an article in a while!
If you could give advice to an incoming freshman, or to your younger self, what would it be?
The pressure you may feel to know exactly what you want to do and where you're going in life is very valid, however, don't give it the power to overwhelm you. If you get too attached to one vision of how you want your life to turn out, you may miss an opportunity to grow in ways that help you become the best you possible. Always give yourself grace, work hard in everything you do, and be open to every experience, and you'll no doubt end up in a place where you're making your past self proud. (Also, do all the fun things! Letting school work take a temporary backseat to go on a spontaneous adventure will be worth it, I promise).
Where is your favorite spot on APU's campus? Why?
Since freshman year I have loved hanging out by the cacti near the Wynn Amphitheater on East Campus. It always feels so serene and like a little hidden gem, so I love to go there to work, write, or just think.
What has been your favorite APU completed project so far? Why?
This is a tough one! I was able to play Miss Stephanie in the West Coast Premiere of Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird that was playing on Broadway, at the same time we did it at APU in February of 2020, which was definitely a highlight. However, being able to create ZU Magazine along with so many other talented, devoted students and see [our] ideas manifest into a physical object has also been an incomparable experience.
What was the last kind thing you said to yourself? To another? What was the last kind thing someone said to you?
I've always had a bad habit of feeling guilty when not seeing things as an optimist, so recently if I've ever been experiencing negative emotions I've been trying to comfort and understand myself as opposed to feeling worse about myself. With others, I've just been attempting to share how important people are to me in moments they may not expect. It's so easy to forget how much you could be impacting someone's life just by listening to them or giving some advice. In terms of what others have said to me, I'm in the interviewing process right now for two jobs I've always considered "dream jobs", and my family and friends have been consistently reassuring me of my capabilities and their confidence in me which has been so helpful amongst so many nerves!
Kaitlyn was ZU Magazine’s Co-Editor in Chief (2021), Summa Cum Laude (2021), a member of the Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honor Society (2018 to Present), Dean's Scholarship Holder (2017 to Present), President of ZuKeepers Improv Team (2019 to 2021), and did volunteer work with Fort Bend Hope and PALS Peer Assistance Leadership Program.