The Girl Behind the Crown

Brianna Quarterman

Georgia Southern University sophomore Megan Johnson was crowned Miss Georgia Southern at the 67th annual scholarship pageant.
Johnson, a nursing major from Effingham County, was one of 18 contestants vying for the title of Miss GSU.
Johnson has been competing in pageants since she was two years old. Her family and friends have inspired her to compete in pageants ever since she was young.
Johnson credits her mother, Sara Johnson, as her biggest influence into the world of pageantry.
“My mom used to compete in pageants when she was younger, so I would definitely say it runs in the family,” said Johnson.
Her mother believes that Megan has always had a way of catching the attention of judges at competitions.missgsu (2)
“At first I was not sure if Megan would like doing pageants because that meant she would have to stay in one place longer than for a few seconds for the judges to see her!  She was a very active toddler but at her first pageant she realized the judge’s attention was only on her and she loved it. She ‘performed’ for them and they smiled and laughed and she was hooked,” said Mrs. Johnson.
Mrs. Johnson believes that the pageants have had a positive impact on Megan because it gave her the confidence and courage to show those who were willing to listen that her daughter had something to say.
“Hearing Megan’s named called as the new Miss GSU 2015 was so surreal. This was something she has talked about for the last five years when she realized she wanted to go to Georgia Southern. She had worked so hard to get ready for this pageant than to hear her name and know all her hard work paid off was just overwhelming,” said Mrs. Johnson.
Concerned about her age and maturity, Megan decided not to compete last year so she could better prepare herself for this year’s competition.
“I really wanted to compete last year, but I felt as though I wasn’t ready. This year I was very prepared and I am much more mature now. I feel as though I really held my own on the stage this year,” said Johnson.
As Miss Georgia Southern, Johnson will represent the University by attending events and making appearances. She will also have a hand in the Homecoming activities.
“I am very excited about the appearances I get to do for the school. I get to have a part in everything, which is like a dream come true because I have wanted this for so long,” said Johnson.
One of the categories in the competition was swimwear, something Megan knew she was going to have to stand-out in. Three months before the pageant, she began working out to get her body fit and in shape.
“The biggest thing about the swimwear competition for me was confidence. It’s so easy to get caught up in how you look, but I realized that the judges were really checking for confidence. For the most part I was relaxed and calm during that portion,” said Johnson.
Megan also prepared herself for the interview portion, which usually consists of in-depth questions regarding social issues and politics.
“For me, the interview session wasn’t hard at all. I made sure to study current events and I watched what was going on around me politically,” said Johnson.
In addition to her duties, she will be representing the University at the upcoming Miss Georgia Pageant in July in Columbus, Ga.
“I am literally so excited! I love Georgia Southern! To be able to represent my school and share my experience is a huge deal and an honor,” said Johnson.
As Miss Georgia Southern, Megan has received a $2,000 scholarship, which she plans to use to help further her education.
“I only participate in scholarship pageants. I like that they are education oriented and I am able to put the money to good use. I love that I can get scholarship money to do what I love,” said Johnson.
After college, Megan plans to become a nurse and make a difference by helping others.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity. I would encourage students to definitely get involved because there are so many untapped opportunities here at Georgia Southern.”