2016: Jennifer Edgar
The Red Ledger: What college are you attending?
Jennifer Edgar: I’m currently attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
TRL: What are you studying in college?
JE: I’ll be a double major in a science and music. I haven’t officially declared a science because I’m in between biology and chemistry.
TRL: What made you choose this field of study?
JE: I chose to pursue science because I want to go into the medical field. I’m not quite sure what specific field of medicine I want to go into, but I find medicine to be incredibly interesting– I’m particularly interested in the way our brains function, including everything from the development of neural pathways to research into mental illnesses. I’m also pursuing music because it has been a passion of mine for so long that I can’t imagine just letting it go. A major might seem extreme, but learning more behind the music I perform is intriguing, and I believe it makes me a better musician. I’ve played flute for a bit over seven years now. I was highly involved in band in high school and loved being part of an ensemble because I could contribute to something far greater than myself to create something very powerful (aka music).
TRL: Were there any classes at Lovejoy that propelled you into what you are doing in college right now?
JE: AP classes. Honestly, they aren’t the best for showing you what a college class is like. The whole structure and environment is incredibly different. However, my AP classes helped me in a couple of ways. I got a lot of credit coming into college and didn’t have to take a lot of the basics most people have to take. More importantly, I came into college knowing how to manage my own time and study/learn material on my own. That’s something that causes a lot of problems for most people in their first year of college, but after taking up to six AP classes in a single semester in high school and balancing band on top of that, college has been a relative breeze (at least from a time standpoint). I don’t necessarily recommend taking as many AP classes as you can fit in your schedule because it can take both a physical and emotional toll, but taking at least one moderately difficult AP class could be beneficial in learning how to manage your own time and take initiative in your learning.
TRL: What are you doing in college right now?
JE: Because I’m a double-major in two very different majors, I’ve been taking 18+ hours each semester. Outside of my normal classes, I spend a lot of time in Meadows School of the Arts to practice. This semester, I’m also rehearsing with SYZYGY, the contemporary music ensemble at SMU. The extracurricular I hold most dear, however, is an on-campus Christian ministry called The Hill. I joined The Hill soon into my first semester of college, and that group quickly became family. I was actually appointed Vice President of The Hill at the beginning of my second semester and still hold the position. The Hill is a place I can be myself, receive support, provide support to others, and grow in my relationship with God, and that is something that is incredibly important to me. One of the things that attracted me to the group was that they were willing to talk about tough questions that are hard for Christians to answer. Those discussions are incredibly interesting and insightful.
TRL: Outside of classes, what have you been doing during college?
JE: College has pretty much been the center of activity in my life. I have done some volunteering– over the summer, I volunteered for VBS and for hospice. The hospice volunteering experience is one that I think will help me in a future medical career when interacting with patients. I also currently volunteer with Crisis Text Line (CTL) as a crisis counselor, which can be hard to do at times, simply from the standpoint of talking about difficult issues, but it’s ultimately been very rewarding, and I plan to keep volunteering with CTL for a long time to come.
TRL: In what ways do you think going to Lovejoy prepared you for college and beyond?
JE: From a purely fundamental standpoint, high school taught me the basics that are used in courses in college. From another perspective, I learned time management in high school that has helped me a ton in college. I am hesitant to say that Lovejoy High School taught me time management, though. I think the conditions allowed for the opportunity to practice time management while in high school. I do want to mention that my involvement in the band has helped me in very different ways. Yes, band helps teach time management. But I also had leadership positions within the band that taught me how to be a better leader. I learned how to work with a team, encourage others, teach others, take and give constructive feedback with grace, among other things. Band helped shape the person I am today more than any class could, and I think sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in academics that we forget that academics aren’t everything. Developing your character, your personality, your values– that’s critical. If I had to choose between growing academically and growing as an individual, I personally would choose individual because who I am is more important to me than what I know.
TRL: After college, what are your plans?
JE: After SMU, I plan on attending medical school. I’m not entirely sure what my future looks like beyond that, other than doing something in the medical field.
TRL: Why is this your goal?
JE: There are several reasons I want to work in the medical field. Of course there’s always the answer of wanting to “help people,” but that’s so general and cliche. There are always, and will always be, jobs in the medical field. So job security is definitely a plus. I am academically gifted, so contributing my strength in academics and my attention to detail to a field like medicine allows me to give back to the community in the best way, I believe. The science aspect of medicine is incredibly interesting to me and there’s always things to learn, so I don’t think I could ever get bored with medicine. And a combination of my interest in the science behind medicine and my strong desire to help others in any and every way I can would make me the kind of doctor I would want to be my own physician.