Andrew Merical, 22

Senior, psychology
Petro Resident Assistant
Kalispell, MT


Feb. 23, 2015


Andrew at his desk in the residence hall


By Cassie Winter, University Relations and Communications Intern


AndrewWhat made you want to study psychology?

“I thought about counseling and then I realized I liked the flexibility of a psychology major because just for a general bachelor’s degree you can go in a lot different directions with it as long as it deals with people. If I wanted to go further in psychology I could either become a school counselor or be in human resources.”

How did you become interested in being a resident assistant
“When I transferred to MSU Billings I became friends with my RA, Ross, and I knew that I too wanted to help build MSUB a good environment for incoming residents. I try my best to make sure everyone has a good experience here.”

What are some of the challenges you face as an RA
“It’s a very tough but rewarding experience. What’s hard is being able to balance your school life, work life and personal life. But generally, the MSUB Housing is pretty cool and they take care of you.”

What are the rewards of being an RA?
“Working as an RA, you are taught skills that could help you in a future career. You really can develop as a leader and you learn how to deal with certain situations, whether it be good or bad.”

What do you look forward to in your everyday working as an RA?
“Being able to talk to people, but sometimes you’re tired working the desk. But, I always try to be approachable. The best part of working at the desk is that you get to see all kinds of residents that you wouldn’t otherwise see.”

What are the challenges of being in a wheelchair on campus some people may not realize?
“Places try to be handicapped accessible, but often things are really high up. Sometimes I have to climb and reach something. There are some bathrooms on campus that aren’t handicap accessible. Most are, but a few in the SUB aren’t. The most difficult thing is snow–getting to classes and having to push through the snow. There’s also a few times the SUB is closed and I have to push myself up the hill to get around to the Petro entrance.” ­

What are your goals?
“My most immediate goal is to graduate and I’m thinking about going to more school later. I want to make sure I know what I want to do before I go in that direction. It may not even be in psychology. There are other programs that I could get into. I was thinking of becoming a dental hygienist.”