From Army to pageant to premed, new pursuits keep life ‘interesting’ for Miss Roy
ROY — Loryn Merrill was just finishing up her tour as a U.S. Army medic when she was scrolling through Instagram and noticed the Miss Roy pageant coming up.
So when she got home, she entered the contest — and won.
The quick transition from military duty to a scholarship pageant is a good example of the 23-year-old repeatedly tackling new pursuits.
“When I was in the Army, I realized a lot of things about myself, and one thing is that I like to be on my feet and I like to always try new and different things,” she said while making marshmallow fondant for a gingerbread house contest she recently entered.
Merrill has also taken award-winning photos of the stars she shot from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, plays the piano and flute, is learning the guitar and ukulele, and is a full-time premed student at Weber State University where she runs the social media page for her class. She also works at a group home helping adults with disabilities.
“I like to keep things interesting,” she said.
As Miss Roy, Merrill said she has worked at assisted living communities and spends time encouraging youth to meet and spend time with senior citizens, many of whom live alone and have nobody to visit.
Merrill grew up with a military father and a musical mother, both of whom influenced her decisions to pursue something in each field.
“My mom taught me how to play the piano when I was about 8 and then she encouraged me to join the band in school, so we decided to pick the flute for me to play and I got pretty serious about it through junior high and high school,” she said. “My dad was in the Army for 17 years, so I knew a lot about it and I wanted to go into the medical field and I knew they could help me.”
Merrill did her training in Oklahoma and Texas and became an emergency medical technician before becoming stationed in Hawaii for over three years and Indonesia for a few months.
“I was the only girl in my platoon and the youngest as well,” she said. “But I really loved it and I learned a lot as a medic.”
Because she likes to mix things up, Merrill decided she wants to become an emergency physician.
“With emergency medicine, no two days are the same, so it would be a perfect fit for me,” she said. “I also realized as a medic that I have a knack for keeping a level head. I don’t think anyone wants to look up at the person helping them only to see panic on their face.”
For now, Merrill will continue her education at WSU and get ready for the Miss Utah Pageant coming up this June.
“I hope to see myself in 10 years as a physician and a wife and mother,” she said. “For now, I just want to keep challenging myself and continue to learn as much as I can and to do things I never thought I could do.”