University Begins – 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 weeks. I am totally lost 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 chemistry to have any hope of being accepted into the school of nursing next fall. Last year, 800 freshmen applied for the 200 openings. Stiff competition. She advised me to drop pre-med chemistry and sign up for the pre-nursing chemistry winter quarter 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 liked all my classes and learned my way around the gigantic Ohio State University campus with 52,000 other students after a couple weeks. With only 12 minutes between classes, I rode my bike to save time. I loved to hear the melodic bells chime from the tower at noon as I crossed campus, especially when they played beautiful hymns.

God blessed me richly through the weekly campus Bible class. A few of the guys who had cars gave us rides on Sundays to a delightful Bible Church for worship services. 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 sharing His precious gospel. Sometimes the students were receptive, and other times they slammed the door in our faces or argued with us. 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 to Ohio State, a huge mission field with students from every state and many countries around the world. I never dreamed college could be so exciting.

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

During my career, I used chemistry daily to 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, 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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