About Sarah: My hometown of Zion, IL is just an hour north of Chicago, which is where I started my undergraduate education. I attended Loyola University Chicago for a year, then spent a year at the College of Lake County, until I stayed put long enough to earn a B.S. in Sociology from Illinois State University. Currently, I am in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Master’s degree program here at MSU. I work in the Office of Admissions alongside Dixie Williams, our lovely Transfer Coordinator. As a two-time transfer student, it is very exciting to work with students going through the same situations I did, and I hope I can help make the transition to MSU as stress-free and easy as possible!
Favorite thing about Missouri State: MSU has such an amazing bookstore. I went to schools where the bookstore was run by a corporation and gave nothing back to the students. Our bookstore is somewhere I can find things I need and get excellent service, knowing they will give profits back to the students. It was also the place I asked those embarrassing “new guy” questions when I first got to campus.
Most fun thing to do on the weekends: The best place to be on any given weekend is “the square” downtown. When it’s warm out, there is music playing and people everywhere. There are also some unique restaurants and stores in that area that offer a Springfield-specific experience that you can’t get from a mall. The best part is that most of the time I don’t even spend money because of the free events scheduled by the city!
Why Missouri State?: Honestly, I’m a huge nerd and fell in love with the Meyer Library as soon as I stepped inside of it. After that, I started looking more seriously at the SAHE program. I was accepted and offered a position at a school much closer to my house, but I chose to come to Missouri State because it felt like my home. Even though I’m from 9 hours away, I felt like I was in my own neighborhood when I walked around campus. Now I get to be a forever member of this community.
Something you wish you knew before going to college: College does NOT have to put you into an endless pit of debt. Even if you aren’t awarded scholarships when you first enter college, there are national and local scholarships available to all students, regardless of when you entered. There are also grants available to students who are willing to take academic risks. The hardest part is filling out all of the applications. When I used to get discouraged by the mounting applications, I would gather some friends who were also filling them out and we would make a pizza party of it!
Best advice for future students: To incoming students, freshman or transfer, I would say to hit the ground running. Get involved in a club, pledge a sorority/fraternity, explore the Springfield area, and open yourself up to every opportunity available, especially if you’re far from home. Every school has internships and programs they are proud of, but you chose MSU for a reason, so why not make it the best experience possible? For returning students, I would say to look into internships, assistantships, volunteer positions, or job shadowing opportunities to bulk up your resume. Those experiences are going to get you farther in a job interview than anything else. Plus, they are usually a great way to meet new people and have a good time.