Making a Change with Arianna Jackson

Arianna Jackson is a second-year student here at Cal Lutheran and is originally from San Bernardino, CA. She is the oldest of three children- she has two younger brothers who are currently in high school. Arianna considers her brothers to be her best friends, she tells them everything. When Arianna first came to CLU, her original plan was to one day become the governor of California but things have changed for her since then. Read on to learn more about Arianna and her time at CLU so far!

When I asked Arianna why she picked CLU, she said “they gave me the most money, financial aid wise. I was stuck in between coming here or Mills College in Oakland. CLU gave me a free application waiver and so I ended up here. I’m glad that I ended up here, I’m far enough from home where I can just live my own life but also close enough where I can go home if I wanted to. If I had picked a further school, it would be hard to come home and such.” Arianna is majoring in Criminology & Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. When asked why she picked this major, she said “after I realized political science wasn’t for me, I took an intro to Criminal Justice class as well as taking Criminal and Procedural Law, and I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I almost switched into a Communications major, but I didn’t know what I would do with that degree.”

HCCLU: Are you involved on campus? AJ: I’m part of Sister Circle, Student Leader for SSS, I work on campus with DSS and at the President’s Office, and I have a radio show called the Ari and Kari Show which airs on Tuesdays from 8:00 PM-9:00 PM, you can listen to it on icluradio.com 

HCCLU: What has been your favorite memory at Cal Lutheran so far? AJ: Definitely SSS’s summer program, SOAR, this past summer. It was so much fun, being able to connect with people that have similar upbringings and knowing they can relate to your struggles. It’s great being able to work with other first generation students, it’s so awesome. And I love how everyone is so nice within SSS.

HCCLU: What do you intend to do in the future? AJ: I wanted to become a social worker, but that recently changed. I’m currently looking at marriage and family therapy right now. I can work hands on with people and eventually become a psychologist. I’m still deciding, but what I do know is that I want to help people.

HCCLU: Who inspires you the most at Cal Lutheran? AJ: Dr. Lucas. You don’t see too many women of color in higher education. Seeing a woman of color doing this job and having this role, it’s great having someone that looks like me doing it. She is also part of the reason why I picked criminal justice too, she inspires me.

HCCLU: Who would you say inspires you the most in life? AJ: My mom. Being a single mom raising three kids, she’s a superhero in my eyes. My mom has sacrificed a lot to make sure I can go to college, making sure both of my brothers have a roof over their heads and food on the table. She definitely inspires me, seeing how hard she works. She always pushes me to go further and sometimes I don’t see my own potential, but she definitely sees it. My mom shows me that I am not defined by my circumstances, even if I am low-income and first-generation, that doesn’t define me. And she emphasizes that to me all the time.

HCCLU: What’s a piece of advice that you’d give to a first-year student? AJ: Don’t worry about relationships. People need to focus on going to school and creating good memories, going to club meetings, and making friends. The main goal should be academics and then involvement. Don’t let relationships get in the way of that, don’t get stressed about it. The time will come.

HCCLU: Is there a saying or quote that you live by? AJ: It’s better to live life with 'oh wells,' than 'what if’s.' You can’t have things holding you back. I don’t want anyone, especially not myself, to live with regrets. I don’t want to be the person who looks ahead in ten years and wonders what would’ve happened.

All Photos Courtesy of Arianna Jackson