My name is Hazel Davis and I am currently a senior Chemistry major at Furman. A lot of people think of Chemistry majors as a super obscure group of uber nerds who don’t have a lot of other friends and spend all their time studying. (Just think of all those Hollywood movies where the science majors are the scrawny little guys with erratic hair and glasses, who are constantly cooped up in a lab somewhere) To be fair, we do spend a lot of time studying, but in my time at Furman, being a chemistry major means having some of the best friends and support groups across campus. I might be biased, but I truly think we have one of the close-knits groups on campus, and that makes all the late nights of studying for bio-organic tests and writing analytical labs worth it.
My time in the department is a little different from some, because on top of being a chemistry major, I’ve also been president of the American Chemical Society Student Chapter for the past three years, and have worked in the chemistry department as a student office assistant since junior year. I’ve had the privilege of being able to organize a number of events for the whole department, which can be terrifying at times – trying to coordinate between officers and making sure that we have enough supplies and food, but it’s so great to see everyone in the department come together and enjoy a few laughs, good conversation, and maybe a couple of nerdy moments. We just had our fifth annual Pumpkin Somethin’, a cookoff between faculty and students, and last spring did our first joint Pi Day between the chemistry, math, and physics departments. And that’s not to say that ACS is the only sponsor of chemistry events, every summer the chemistry department hosts an Ironman competition, with all sorts of Olympic-style events that majors and faculty can participate in. It’s nice to know that at the end of the day, everyone can put a little time aside and come together to not worry about all the work that’s piled up.
As a senior, it’s getting to the point where I’m starting to look forward and wonder about all the things that are coming up in my future, but also take a really reflective look at all the things that have past. There are bad weeks and bad test scores, but there are also three and a half years of incredible events, time with friends, six hour bus rides to conferences with the Lego Movie, and conversations with professors that have nothing to do with electron pushing in organic chemistry, and everything to do with life.
For all of the prospective students reading this, be a chemistry major! And if you say no, you hate chemistry, just find a department that will give you all the support you need to succeed, but also challenge you to work hard, and grow as a person. Find that subject that brings you to tears because of how hard you have to try to master it, because when you finally do it’ll be worth it.