Megan Ryan
Olney, Maryland

Hi, I'm Megan Ryan and I'm oneā€”one of Tennessee's Best!

I came to Middle Tennessee State University from Olney, Maryland. I really wanted to study recording industry and I knew MTSU has one of the best programs in the country. To me, the decision was easy. I really want to have a career in the music business. I spoke to a friend who was attending MTSU at that time. That conversation, along with some research I did, made me realize MTSU was the school I wanted to attend. It was, in fact, the only one I applied to and the only one I visited.

When I first arrived on campus that fall, it was a little bit scary. I didn't really know anyone here, but I was ready for a change. My parents were excited about me doing something I wanted and so was I. We all knew I had a passion for the music business and this was the one way to realize my dreams.

One way that I was able to afford my dreams was through scholarships. I received both the Presidential and James Buchanan Scholarships. I was really excited when I learned I would be receiving both awards. My best friend and I went to the mailbox together and I opened the envelope from MTSU. I asked, "What is this?"; Her mom was with us and I ended up calling my mom with the good news. It was really exciting!

Financially, the scholarships really helped. It meant not having to work while in school. I was able to enjoy college without having to worry about how I was going to pay for it. And with out-of-state costs, that means a great deal to my family. Finances are a huge issue for every college student, at least on some level. As part of one of my scholarships, I worked five hours a week on campus. I worked in the Recording Industry Department since I was a freshman and got to know all the professors. I also learned how the program works and was able to network with an assortment of people, which put me in good stead for when I graduated!

The scholarships also allowed me the opportunities to become involved on campus. I was president of Alpha Chi Omega sorority and a member of that organization since I was a freshman. I was on the MTSU homecoming committee for two years and ran for queen. I played both indoor and outdoor intramural soccer and was been a member of the Lamba Sigma sophomore honors society. I really enjoyed being active on campus and getting to know people that way.

While MTSU is a large university, it really feels smaller than one might think. You get that whole large school experience with a small school atmosphere. There are so many opportunities here that you just wouldn't get at a smaller school, but everyone still knows each other. There is definitely a comfort zone where campus really does become a home-away-from-home. You always see a familiar face when walking across campus, or just stopping in to somewhere. You never, ever feel like you don't know a soul.

Following my graduation from MTSU, I went on to receive a Master's degree in Sport & Entertainment Management from the University of South Carolina. I graduated from the program in December 2010. I will be moving to New York and pursuing a career in event operations.

The students, faculty, and staff at MTSU are really serious about academics. It is not just fun and games. Education is a priority. As a student, you are not going to miss out on the traditional college experience and you will still get a great education. People at MTSU are really passionate about school. Everyone really seems to want to give back and do things that will benefit the community as a whole. You don't find that just anywhere.

Come find it for yourself. Come be one of Tennessee's Best at Middle Tennessee State University. You'll be glad you did!