The Hastings College Chemistry Department is known for drawing a diverse group of students into the program with vastly different lives outside of the Morrison-Reeves Science Center, which is certainly the story for second year student Chris Sedmak. As a double major in chemistry and music, Sedmak chose to pursue both passions he found in high school as part of his college experience.
“In middle school I had to pick either choir, band or orchestra. I picked choir and kept doing it all through high school and then decided why not major in music in college? Also in high school I’d taken chemistry class, and really liked that, went on and did AP Chem, and also liked that. I figured I like these two things, and this will open up a lot of opportunities for me after college so I might as well just do both,” said Sedmak, who is from Fort Collins, Colorado.
During his time at Hastings, Sedmak has enjoyed getting involved in both areas of study. He stays busy taking private voice lessons and singing in both choirs — the Hastings College Choir and the HC Choral Union. Sedmak is also working on a research project with chemistry professor Dr. Neil Heckman. Though Sedmak currently is unsure what he will pursue as a career after graduation, he plans to gain more insight through summer internships and focus on graduating college first.
“I would like to do an internship over either this summer or next to try and get a better idea of what I want to do. But I also didn’t didn’t even really pick what I was going to major in for college until I was applying. My mindset is, I’ll figure it out when I get there, I just want to have options open,” Sedmak said.
Between classes and homework, Sedmak has to balance a busy schedule. This is one of the reasons the block schedule drew him to Hastings, as it lets him focus on a smaller number of classes at a time in order to really understand the material before exams. Sedmak said he also likes the flexibility the block schedule gives him.
“I liked how most of the activities are at different times. It didn’t actually happen, but if I wanted to, I could do music, theater and a research project and still have time to do homework,” Sedmak said.
In the future, Sedmak said he wants to travel through Europe after finding a passion for travel during a two week high school trip to Europe. He enjoyed visiting the Louvre and would like to re-visit, along with going to different countries in Europe, particularly Switzerland.
For now, Sedmak is staying put in Nebraska and enjoying pursuing his various interests in college without stressing too much about the future.
“If there is someone that’s not really sure what they want to do, maybe just take a bunch of different classes and see what you’re interested in. I hadn’t even really thought about chemistry as something other than “oh, I need to take a science class.” I just kept doing that, and it worked out for me,” he said. “Part of it is also not really stressing a whole lot about needing to have a solid plan for what I’m doing after college. I think it’s important to focus on what I need to do for college by what interests me. I’m focusing on the present and figuring things out as I go.”
By Landry Hinkson, a sophomore majoring in Communication Studies from Bazaar, Kansas.