updated 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/09/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Aiken's attitude bolsters her altruism. Says she: "I've never let anybody get me down about anything." With her current travels taking her far from her parents (owners of a home health care business) and college beau Louis Barber, 19, Aiken stays pageant-perfect by swearing off junk food. "I don't want to have breakouts," she says. "I face the public every day." Still, Aiken, who'll start her sophomore year studying accounting at the University of South Carolina this fall, looks forward to returning to civilian life. "I'm a people person," she says, "but this year I've really learned the value of being by myself."