Finding a school with endless opportunity and the flavor of home
Heather, who grew up in Ozark, is the youngest of four kids, all of whom attended Missouri State University. “With that, I was kind of reluctant to come to Missouri State. I wanted to go against the grain. After coming here, I loved it so much that I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
She loved the familiarity of campus yet being on campus as a student rather than a visitor provided her with the “new” feel. “When I came here, I just felt so comfortable and familiar. I felt like I could walk around campus and know what I was doing. Even though I was familiar, everything was new at the same time. You’re looking at it from a different point of view.”
“I felt like Missouri State had a lot more opportunity for me personally.”
When making her final college decision, Heather considered not only her comfort level with campus but her opportunities to get involved. “I felt like Missouri State had a lot more opportunity for me personally,” she says.
“It was larger. I wanted to experience as much as I possibly could. Missouri State was able to offer different clubs that I could join. Of course academic wise, it had what I was looking for in a major,” she explains. Heather is pursuing a major in child and family development with plans to become a child life specialist in a hospital upon graduation.
“I have that home feeling in Springfield.”
Heather admits that it’s easy to think, as a local student, that you will still be at home if you attend Missouri State. But she found that living on campus helped her balance home and away: “Even though I don’t necessarily go home, I have that home feeling in Springfield. That’s definitely a benefit.”
She recommends on-campus living as a great means for also making friends and getting involved on campus. In fact, Heather discovered her love for Bears basketball by first attending athletic events to support her suitemate who was in the Pride Band. Soon, she connected with Maroon Madness and found herself painted up on the front row of basketball games.
“You have this wonderful school with a great educational program in your backyard.”
In the end, Heather saw Missouri State’s location as a benefit, allowing her to stay connected with her family, her church and her same babysitting jobs.
“People say, ‘I don’t want to go to Missouri State because I’ve lived in Springfield my entire life.’ That is one of the biggest benefits of Missouri State,” explains Heather. “College is such a culture shock in the first place. Why would you want to go to a different town and start over there too? You have this wonderful school with a great educational program in your backyard.”