Quad Cities, Iowa
Cecilia Grove is the first to admit that she wants to know everything about everything, which led to her initial interest in studying physics here at Carthage.
“This place has always felt right to me, like it was where I was supposed to be for these few years,” she said. She attributes the great Physics Department to its talented and motivated faculty and students, along with strong resources and facilities.
“The professors are all entertaining. The physics professors expect a lot from students, but they will help, too, if you make sure to ask.”
Her senior year, Cecilia plans on attending a physics-related trip to Arizona. When asked about the opportunities she has received at Carthage, she said, “There are so many interesting things, from political theory to religion to art and drawing, and of course all the cool physics classes. I also have met a lot of cool students both inside of physics and throughout the multitude of majors. Getting to really know people and oneself, though, is the biggest opportunity — and one of the most important that exists here.”
“I also love some of the friendships I’ve gained through activities and clubs like the physics and fencing clubs.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“Each has their areas of expertise, and each has a very different personality. So my favorite would depend on what I’m trying to learn at the time, whether that be relating to the climate, waves, some biology or astronomy, or different combinations and systems.”
“I would say my favorite classes have been the Science of Music, Climate Change (both J-Term classes), and Asian History because it is an area I’ve heard so little of the history in.”
“Physics 203 is a real challenge. It is meant to be, but we made it through.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Well, I loved the Christmas spirit freshman year as those of us from Intervarsity [Christian Fellowship] helped out getting presents for kids who wouldn’t get many, and helping with the Christmas Festival. I also love some of the friendships I’ve gained through activities and clubs like the physics and fencing clubs.”
Favorite spot on campus
“If I said that, it would stop being such a nice quiet spot! I will suggest taking lots of walks. It is gorgeous out there and the lake can be a great place to think out things.” She also recommends Hedberg Library when it isn’t crowded with students. “Really look through what is there,” she said. “We have some really amazing books and old periodicals that people never know are there and miss out on.”
Biggest surprise so far
“How much I have learned — not just in the academic fields, but about people in general – and how much I have grown and become better able to see and think about things. In hindsight, I would never have believed all the lasting friendships I’ve made, and kind, true-to-themselves types of people I’ve met.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Physics is not for people who want an easy ticket; it is hard. You are told you will fail many tests, and you do, no matter how much you study or work for it. But persevere. You do not have to be brilliant, just persistent. You’ll learn a whole new way of thinking about things that lets you analyze things in a unique way and solve problems that come up outside of the field as well.
“I would also say, though, that you have to find your own place and own college and what feels right for you. For me, that has been Carthage. … Follow where you want to go and what you want to do. This may be your only opportunity to truly decide your own fate and where you will go with your life.”