DUE WEST, S.C. (courtesy erskine.edu) — Erskine College junior Sharon George, from Spartanburg, S.C., knows how to stay busy. She also knows how to stay engaged, organized, and productive, and that’s a good thing, because she is completing three majors—history, psychology, and Bible and religion.
“I came in as a Bible major,” George says. She discovered her love for history after taking a Contemporary Global Issues class taught by McDonald-Boswell Assistant Professor of History Dr. John Harris.
“I then decided to declare my major as history with the intent to graduate a year early,” she explains. “When I decided to stay for the entire four years I had from the Presidential Scholarship, I made the decision to add psychology as another major. I was already pursuing a minor in psychology because I was so passionate about it, so it made sense.”
At that point in her college experience, George might have considered stopping at two majors. Instead, “It was last year when I felt God leading me to continue the degree program I came in under,” she says. “I wanted to pursue His word more deeply, which was why I decided to declare a Bible and religion major.”
Does a triple major hole up in her room studying 18 hours a day? Not if she’s Sharon George. She serves on the leadership team of Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM), is president of the Euphemian Women, plays violin in Sinfonia, and is a member of two honor societies, Alpha Chi and Phi Alpha Theta. Oh, and by the way, she’s a student worker in the Advancement Office; a Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader for two history professors, Dr. Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah and Dr. John Harris; editor-in-chief of the Mirror; and Intersociety Chair.
“I live by my planner,” George says. “I always have it out on my desk in my room so I can see everything going on for the week. I also use dry-erase boards and lots of lists and sticky notes. I joke that I’m the messiest Type A person you’ll ever meet, something I’m sure my roommate and suite mates can attest to!”
Joking aside, George admits, “I have to watch my mental health a lot with my schedule being so busy.” So, she carves out time to relax. “I usually take time on the weekends to catch up on my favorite TV shows or read, which has been beneficial.”
George also admits that she has “been on a lot of random adventures.” In her freshman year there were “late-night food runs with my roommate Logan,” who “taught me about all kinds of restaurants in Greenwood.” One of her adventures involved “saving a squirrel with a broken leg.” She believes Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Matthew Campbell might remember that story.
“Three kindhearted students—Sharon George, Logan Weatherford, and Carly Egan—came to my office and told me there was a squirrel on the Mall with a broken leg,” Campbell recalls. “We called wildlife rehab centers to find one that could help. The students placed the animal in a comfortable container and took it to receive medical care.”
Whether rescuing squirrels or spending time on her studies, George gives it her best. Her academic achievements were recognized recently when she was named a member of Garnet Circle. She also finds meaning and satisfaction in organized extracurricular activities.
For example, George has found participation in BCM “incredibly beneficial.” She has served as a worship leader, “which has really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” she says. Another benefit of BCM is the mentoring she has received from the group’s leaders, Craig and Allison Scott. “I can go to them with anything.”
George joined the Euphemian Women (then called Euphie Little Sisters) during her freshman year, and this membership has been “fundamental for my college experience,” she says. She believes the friendships she has formed in her literary society will be “lifelong.”
All her performances with Sinfonia have been memorable for her, George says, “especially the Halloween concerts where we could dress up.” She has played at The Renaissance, a retirement community in Due West. In September, she played at the installation service of Erskine President Dr. Steve Adamson. “It was great to be a part of such an historic event for the college.”
She highlights one more “extracurricular activity” which offers a hint about how she manages to keep up with everything: “Going to church regularly has been really memorable for me.”
George considers McDonald-Boswell Assistant Professor of History Dr. John Harris her “most influential professor.” Not only did his Contemporary Global Issues class help her discover a love for history, but she has conducted summer research under his guidance. “With him as my advisor, I’ve been able to get valuable advice when it comes to my future after Erskine.”
That future is still up in the air.
“I have a lot of ideas, but no concrete plans yet,” George says. “It’s crazy for me to see some of the ways my life and goals have changed since I came to college.” As a freshman, she envisioned eventually getting a Master of Divinity degree and going on for a doctoral degree in religion. “There’s no guarantee God won’t lead me there in the future, but it’s not where He’s leading me right now.”
One of George’s current projects is “some really interesting research” on religion in mill villages. She thinks she would like to teach history and is “pursuing a few avenues to do that,” she says.
“I’m hoping to stay near Erskine, because I love this area and it really feels like home.”