“Initially, I was more focused on athletics. I attended Utah State University—Eastern in Price on a basketball scholarship and played one year for them. I didn’t really have a path yet. But after I met my wife and got married, I decided I needed to start thinking about a career. I transferred to the U in 2017.
I began studying Computer Science because I wanted to work in a field where I could make innovative contributions that relieve some of the stresses people experience every day. Life is hard for everyone, but the advances that are being made in technology can help lift the burdens that people are carrying. I want to make a career out of lightening the difficult loads of others.
Time has been the biggest challenge. I have had to wear many ‘hats’ during my time here at the U. I got married, had two children, worked several part-time jobs, and started my first full-time job. I did this all while also striving to maintain a 4.0 GPA at one of the top computer science programs in the country. It was difficult to assume such responsibilities and still care for my own physical, mental and emotional well-being. Even though this was a challenging time, all of my experiences have helped me grow as an individual.
Originally, we lived in the married student housing—University Village, right off Sunnyside Avenue. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with beautiful views. I could sit atop one of the many hills surrounding the Salt Lake Valley and stare for hours. I love looking at the frosted mountains, the airplanes taking off into the golden sunset, and the twinkling city lights. While I was living at University Village, I would make my way to the bench at the top of the walking path in the middle of the complex and gaze at these dazzling views. I would dream about what it would feel like when I was finally graduated and started on the path to a successful career.
When I look back at the years I spent here at the U, I can recall a variety of other views that fill me with emotion. Some overwhelm me with a wave of excitement and adrenaline, like looking down at the bright green turf of Rice Eccles Stadium from the MUSS and seeing our nationally ranked football team dominate its opponents. Others bring to mind warm feelings of joy and belonging, like walking down the stairs to the underground, dimly lit Pie Pizzeria to grab a late-night slice with friends.
However, not all the views evoke such pleasant emotions. I can still picture the pattern of the wood on my usual library table where I spent hours combing through lines of code. I remember the effort it took to program web applications, debug errors, and master new languages. I can also picture the first time I walked to class through hordes of students wearing masks of various colors that covered every facial feature but their eyes. So foreign and strange at first, this view has now become commonplace to me. Our class had to deal with a frightening, uncertain time in the world. And we had to do it all while continuing the difficult task of gaining an education at what I believe to be one of the best, and toughest, schools in the nation.
All these views and emotions, the fond and beautiful as well as the uncomfortable and tired, were an important part of my student experience. They remind me of the fun I had, the relationships I built, the personal growth I went through, and the resilience that I didn’t know was in me.
The graduating Class of 2022 has that will to prepare that is going to make us successful in whatever path we choose to pursue. We now know that it is the learning we do every day that prepares us to problem-solve our way through each new obstacle we encounter. This invaluable knowledge is going to be the key to our success. We may be graduating, but we will forever be students, preparing to reach our goals and make the world a better place.”
—Jantzen Allphin, Class of 2022, B.S. in Computer Science, College of Engineering