First Person Student Feature: Senior Thaliya Martinez

April 26, 2024 Academics, Accolades, Campus Life, Communications

My name is Thaliya Martinez, I am a senior at Olivet Nazarene University, finishing up my last semester in Los Angeles as part of the LA Film Studies Program.

My major is Multimedia Communication with a concentration in film studies, and I have a double minor in Military Science and Military Affairs. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in cross country and track and field, as well as the Rolling Thunder Battalion Army ROTC program, and have participated in the ROTC varsity sport known as Ranger Challenge. I have also taken on multiple jobs that are aligned with my major to support my professional journey.

I chose to enroll at Olivet because of its positive and welcoming atmosphere and my desire to deepen my faith. As a freshman, I encountered various challenges, including financial difficulties, heartfelt family struggles, and multiple academic obstacles. I had doubts about the availability of finances, especially because I didn’t have any scholarships to assist with the payments. However, I didn’t let these setbacks define me. Instead, I sought support from my family and close friends, and I made use of the resources available at Olivet to overcome these hurdles and continue my education.

I firmly believe that struggles are opportunities for personal growth, and I used them as motivation to become the best version of myself. From a young age, I have been taught the importance of seeking help without fear. I couldn’t do this without Olivet and its ROTC program. I dedicated myself to excelling academically and being recognized as an intelligent individual and a winner. With the guidance of God, I discovered that having faith opens up the possibility for anything to be achieved.

Olivet has taught me the importance of seeing challenges as chances for growth rather than reasons to give up. I firmly believe that if this university wasn’t meant for you, God wouldn’t have placed you here at Olivet in the first place. The campus is truly remarkable, and it is worth fighting for alongside the incredible individuals who make it special.

At Olivet, I gained the understanding of the significance of living in the present moment. I realized that every aspect of my life will lead me to my purpose. I also learned to appreciate and express love to the people around me because I do not know when the last time is that I might see a friend.

A final lesson I learned during my time at Olivet that I will take with me is the importance of getting involved in events and networking with a diverse group of people. You never know if the classmate sitting next to you could potentially help you secure a future job or even be the one hiring you. It is crucial to treat everyone with respect as you never know who they might become in the future.

While I understand that not everyone will follow the exact path I took, I encourage everyone to seize every opportunity and make the most of their time at Olivet. No matter how tough things may get, never stop striving for success. As someone who almost dropped out as a freshman, I am now proud to say that I am graduating and will soon be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army.

My career aspirations include working my way up in the film industry to become a film director, writer, and producer. I have a desire to serve as a general in the United States Army and fly helicopters. I also plan to continue to work on my own film business that incorporates photography and pursue a career as an author. I have already made progress in each of these areas.

First Person testimony & photos submitted by Thaliya Martinez. 

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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