Missouri State University

Alysha Grace

Student from Illinois saw MSU had her major, then fell in love with the campus

Alysha, who wants to help the homeless, said the public affairs mission of Missouri State means a lot to her.

During your college search, what led you to look at Missouri State?

I wanted to be far enough from home to gain independence, but still close to enough so that I could get home. I was on a college search website, and I typed in my major and Missouri State came up. I was attracted to MSU’s website — as I looked through it I saw “follow your passion and find your place” and that really stuck with me.

When did you choose Missouri State?

After my mom and I came down to tour. I loved the campus. Then we told my dad, and he came down for my orientation session and he absolutely fell in love with it. So my parents are pro-Missouri State too!

What did you see on your tour that sealed the deal?

I liked that it was small and compact… I only have to walk steps to get to classes, the rec center, the student union or the health and wellness center. And it was really beautiful when I came. The weather was nice, and I just think the campus is pretty altogether.

Did price and value play a role in choosing MSU?

Yes, because I got the Midwest Student Exchange scholarship, which gave me in-state tuition. My tuition here was quite lower than the schools I looked at in Illinois. My dad thinks it is affordable, even with housing. My parents like the financial burden that’s been taken off them a little bit by me coming here.

How do you keep in touch with friends and family in Illinois?

There’s no real homesickness. I call my parents like once a week or so. I keep in touch with friends usually through text messaging or social networking. I got to go back for Thanksgiving break, and I am going back for winter break.

You just finished the first semester of your first year. What has been your favorite thing about Missouri State?

Coming down here and not knowing anyone — because I have made so many friends. If you come to school with a lot of friends, you kind of stick with the group of friends you had. I tried to be open because everybody was a chance to be a friend. My roommates and I got really, really close!

Do you think Missouri State will help you get a great job?

Yes — all the student resources, like the Career Center and the Writing Center, scream: “We’re here to help you succeed!” My fear was I would leave college, then be spit out standing on the sidewalk, thinking, “Where do I go next?” But Missouri State has so many things that focus on you getting a job; for instance, we just had a hospitality job fair. I think after I graduate I’ll actually know where I’m going to go.

What is your dream job?

I want to own a hotel in Florida. I chose my major cause I’m outgoing and it’s a field where I will need a lot of communication skills. Hospitality really fits my personality and it’s something I will love to do. I want to build up my personal business well enough so that I can build a homeless shelter in the style of a hotel. I feel like a lot of shelters treat them as “homeless people,” not just people, so I want to make somewhere they feel people aren’t looking down on them.

That goal of helping people fits into Missouri State’s public affairs mission.

I think the public affairs mission is really big. It’s also a reason I came here. Since I want to help people, the mission is resonating with me — it talks about getting involved and giving back to your community. It rang as very important to me at Missouri State. There are a lot of students who volunteer.

Describe the student body of Missouri State.

Different but united. There are a lot of different ethnicities, races and personalities — but we still come together as a campus.