College of Nursing, General Nursing

Overwhelmed in Chemistry Class

College Freshman – September 1973

” When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 ” …and that Rock was Christ.” I Corinthians 10:4 (KJV)

I entered my nursing adviser’s office and sat down. “Mrs. M, I signed up for pre-medicine chemistry rather than pre-nursing chemistry this quarter because I liked chemistry in high school. But the professor covered everything I learned in high school in the first two lectures! I am totally lost in the lectures and feel like I’m in over my head. Do you have any suggestions?”

Chemistry Lab
Chemistry Lab
-photo by S. Rao-used with permission.

Mrs. M reviewed how I needed to get an A or B in pre-nursing chemistry to have any hope of being accepted into the school of nursing next fall. Last year, 800 freshmen applied for the two hundred openings, so it is very competitive. She advised me to drop pre-med chemistry and sign up for pre-nursing chemistry winter quarter instead which was taught at a slower pace. She said I could still register for sociology this quarter so I wouldn’t fall behind in my prerequisite courses.

December 1973

I followed Mrs. M’s advice and had a fairly easy first quarter of 18 hours credit: Psychology – 5 hours, Sociology – 5 hours, Music History – 5 hours, Introduction to Nursing – 2 hours, and Horseback Riding – 1 hour. I really enjoyed all my classes and learned my way around the gigantic campus after a couple weeks. We had 12 minutes between classes, so I rode my bike sometimes so I wasn’t late. I loved to hear the melodic bells chime from the tower at noon as I crossed campus, especially when they played beautiful hymns!

I was richly blessed by attending the weekly campus Bible class and traveling one hour to the Bible Church  for worship services on Sundays with the other students. On Wednesday nights, we handed out gospel tracts outdoors in nice weather, or inside the dormitories during cold or rainy weather. I always asked the Lord for boldness, love, and wisdom in giving out His precious gospel. Sometimes the students were receptive, and other times they slammed the door in our faces or argued with us. It was quite the learning experience! Afterward we met together to share our experiences and pray for the people to receive Christ as their personal Savior.

I also started a Bible class for the girls in my dormitory. Only a few attended, but I was blessed in studying the gospel of John to prepare for it. How I thank God for bringing me here to this University, a huge mission field with students from every state and many countries around the world. This has been the most exciting time in my life!


The Lord graciously gave me an easy first quarter academically. It was quite the culture shock for this country girl to adjust to a big city of over one million people which surrounded the University of 50,000+ students. By God’s grace, I received an A the next quarter in chemistry and was accepted into the school of nursing!

I still use chemistry daily when I interpret my patients’ laboratory results, prescribe medications, and develop their plan of care. I understand now why the school of nursing emphasized the chemistry grade because it indicated if a person had critical thinking skills which are essential for a nurse. When I contemplate all the delicate chemical balances within our human bodies, I praise God, the Chief Chemist, that He created us so marvelously!

“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knows right well.” Psalm 139:14 (KJV)

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