Rosemary Driscoll had many options for college after graduating high school in 2016. But the former Brandsville resident decided that a smaller school like Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) was the best fit for her because of the opportunities it provided.
“Smaller class sizes taught me how to engage in the classroom and how to ask for help when I needed it,” she explained during a recent interview. “I think the challenge is really what makes you grow as a person.”
Like many students, Driscoll was unsure of what she wanted to do when she first enrolled at MSU-WP. Working as a Student Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and helping with events led her to realize she was passionate about teaching and helping others.
“Teaching is about the community you are in,” she said. “In West Plains, there are so many amazing teachers who create positive learning communities within their classrooms. Students who attend these classes learn to be positive and open minded, and they begin putting the same energy into their community. It starts with small ripples that consistently grow to build a stronger community.”
While at MSU-WP, Driscoll had the opportunity to travel to other countries. She served as an intern at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China, as part of the China Semester Study Away Program and visited Europe with a group of fellow students in the William and Virginia Darr Honors Program as part of a short-term study abroad experience.
In her two years as a student at MSU-WP, she visited seven different countries.
“This was such a challenging experience, but it was incredible at the same time,” she said. “I met so many new and different people while I was abroad who helped me gain a whole new perspective on life.
“Because I went abroad and met so many new people and my perspective changed so much, I was brought down off the cloud I was floating on and started learning how to channel my energy into things that I am genuinely passionate about,” she added.
“I actually know what I want and I know it’s possible to achieve my dreams. I have always wanted to travel, and that never would have been possible without attending MSU-WP,” she said.
In addition to the travel opportunity, the Darr Honors Program played another key role in her collegiate experience.
“I was presented with so many opportunities throughout my experience in honors to really challenge myself and what I was directing my energy into,” she explained. “I’m very proud of my academic achievements.”
After graduating from MSU-WP in May 2018, Driscoll transferred to Missouri State University in Springfield where she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education-English degree. She is on track to graduate in December 2020.
Driscoll offered this piece of advice to current and prospective students of MSU-WP: “Whatever it is that you want, go for it! Just remember that big dreams start from the ground up, and they take hard work.”