Written by Theresa Lydon-Lorson, career counseling graduate assistant, Career Center
My name is Theresa Lydon-Lorson, and I am a 2014 graduate of Missouri State University. I have my Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies, and I am currently pursuing my Master of Science degree in secondary school counseling.
I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis and graduated from Eureka High School in 2010. I was involved in band for most of my educational experience, and I seriously considered pursuing a career in music education. I played bass clarinet from sixth grade until my sophomore year of college. I loved marching band in high school, and I was the drum major during my junior and senior year. My love of band continued through college, and I marched tenor saxophone in MSU’s Pride Band my freshman through junior year.
The time I have spent at Missouri State has been fantastic. In August 2010, I began as an undeclared major, but by the beginning of my sophomore year I had decided on a degree in religious studies. I was drawn to the department because of the professors and their intense knowledge and interest in the field. Whether I was taking a course on Apocalypses, Buddhism, New Religious Movements, or Suffering and Meaning, the professors made it clear that they cared very deeply about what they were teaching. They fostered my interest in world religions, cultural consciousness, and meaning construction/existential thought. This environment made the religious studies department so engaging, and I was very fortunate to have been able to get my bachelor’s degree studying a subject that was so fun, intriguing, and important.
After my time spent in the religious studies department, I knew that I would have to work toward a master’s degree that would aid in my employability. I knew several of my classmates in religious studies had gone on to pursue master’s degrees in counseling, so I looked into the counseling program at MSU and thought that it could be a good fit. What really drew me into counseling was the fact that I never had a great connection with any of my school counselors; for me, many of my teachers during my K-12 experience filled the role of a counselor and were able to help me through the difficulties that young adulthood provides. It is my goal to be a school counselor who is approachable, understanding, and empathic. I am looking forward to doing my school counseling internships next fall and spring and hopefully finding employment in the St. Louis area soon after graduation!
My career experience, up to this point, has included work in data entry, retail, and fast food. Working as a graduate assistant has been a dramatic shift from food service, but I love being able to work with students and not constantly smell like French fries. Doing career counseling at the Career Center is such an amazing experience in which I am becoming incredibly prepared for my future as a high school counselor. I am very excited for all of the things I will learn during my time here, and I know that they will be invaluable in my preparation to become a professional school counselor.