Missouri State University

Arianna Johnson

  • Major: Psychology
  • Second Major: Gerontology
  • High School: Park Hill South High School
  • Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.

Arianna says the campus feels like home to her "because it’s a warm atmosphere and people just look like they really enjoy being here."

'As soon as I visited Missouri State, I knew this was where I needed to be'

Activities: Resident assistant in Hammons House; Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration (SOAR) leader; campus judicial board associate justice

What is your favorite part of being a student here?

All the opportunities to get involved. My sophomore year, I decided to try for some things that interested me. I applied to be a resident assistant, and I got that job. I applied to be a SOAR leader, and got that opportunity as well. I just kept trying for more and meeting more people, and now there isn’t a place I go on campus where I don’t know at least one person.

What words would you use to describe the student body?

• Spirited. I don’t talk to anyone who says they wish they had picked another school. The students are all about Missouri State.

• Close, like a family. We pull together. When the tornado happened in Joplin, students got together even over the summer and went there to help. We are all about helping others and each other.

• Awesome! The people I have met have been great. And when I go through campus, I think how nice it is.

So you think it’s easy to get involved on campus?

It’s very easy! If there’s something you have seen people doing that looks interesting, just go after it — you will be surprised how easy it is.

What is it like to be a resident assistant in Hammons House?

Being an RA is a great way to automatically get to know 40 other people! I lived in Wells House my freshman year, and have lived in Hammons for the last two years. Hammons is classy and calm, and it has an athletic feeling because lots of football players, swimmers and golfers live here.

What’s your favorite thing to do on campus?

I love going to the free football and basketball games because of the feeling I get from being there. There’s nothing like the atmosphere of the student section. Everyone gets really excited at games.

What do you like about Springfield?

It’s a good size. To some people Springfield is big, to some people it is small — it has a bunch of stuff but it’s easy to get around. It’s a great place to start out on your own as a college student or young professional. I love all the local shops, such as the cupcake places and great flea markets.

Missouri State has a public affairs mission. How would you describe this mission?

It’s a link to the world outside college. It teaches us that once we leave we have to be ethical and make decisions that are good for everyone and not just be selfish. I feel like our school is very much about volunteering; we can even take service-learning classes that do service in the community, so you get hands-on experience in a field while helping people.

Do you think Missouri State is a good value?

I definitely do. I am getting two majors for the price most people pay for one. We’re fairly inexpensive when it comes to tuition and other charges.

You’re pursuing a double major. How did you choose your majors?

I chose psychology first. I wanted to be a psychologist who works with children. But after a summer working in a preschool, I decided that was not for me. I heard a presentation in one of my classes about gerontology as a double major. It sounded great because I like working with senior citizens — I have volunteered at nursing homes and the Alzheimer’s Association. Now I want to specialize in obsessive-compulsive disorders — especially hoarding, because of how it affects the older population. I plan to get my PhD.

Do you think the faculty and staff at Missouri State care if you succeed?

I definitely do. I have gone to many of my teachers during their office hours asking questions and they are more than willing to take the extra time and explain something to me, even if they explained it 5 million times in class. I have even gone to my advisor upset because I was having a hard time figuring out whether I wanted to drop a class or not. He gave me good advice that made me feel so much better.

How does Missouri State set you up for success after college?

You walk into college one person, and you leave as a completely different person who is ready for whatever the world has to offer you. In my classes, what I am learning will be used in my career. It’s crazy to think about, but I know what I am doing now are things I am going to use in my real life.

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