Slay Making the Best of It

Mallory holds her degree from the University of Mississippi.

Photograph courtesy of The Warmth Around You (formerly Cassie Cook Photography)

What does it feel like to graduate from college? 2013 QHS graduate Mallory Slay shows us by providing a photo taken on the day she graduated from The University of Mississippi with her degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The day marked a four year journey into Oxford, dorm life, apartment living, house hunting, bill paying, learning to get better at studying, working, and taking challenging math and science courses. But it didn’t mean she was finished with college. Slay decided after graduating high school that she wanted to be a pharmacist, and that meant three more years in north Mississippi at the university’s School of Pharmacy.

Mallory sits in a local restaurant and talks about life after high school.

The second year pharmacy student takes time on a rare visit home to explain why she wants to pursue a doctorate degree in pharmacy.

“When I was in high school I wasn’t good at sports or English, but I was good at math and science. I thought the medical field would be something I would be interested in because I like to help people. After my first year of college I got a job at Wayne General Hospital to see if I would like it. Then I got a job at G&M Pharmacy in Oxford the summer between my sophomore and junior years. I was able to see both the hospital and retail sides of pharmacy. I’ve always leaned toward working in hospitals, and I’m really interested in clinical pharmacy where I will have more opportunity to be with patients and educate them about the medicines they are taking.”

Slay poses with the School of Pharmacy softball team.

Photograph courtesy of Wendy Zheng

In order to get to those patients and the job she wants, Slay has joined groups, rallied for causes, sought out leadership positions, and, as evidenced by the photos she has given us, enjoyed college. Strangely enough, the 2013 QHS salutatorian and self proclaimed perfectionist had to learn to overcome some harsh test anxiety while she attended school in Quitman. She explains to anyone who may feel the same,

“I had to learn that it is what it is. I can only do my best. Plus, your GPA is not the most crucial thing when applying for pharmacy school. They look at your participation in groups and the volunteering you do. One of my favorite things about high school was being involved in everything. If band is your thing, do band well. If soccer is your thing, do soccer well. Find one or two groups that work for you, and involve yourself in those. Enjoy the time you have and make the best of it.”

Slay poses for her family during the School of Pharmacy coating ceremony.

Photograph courtesy of Ole Miss School of Pharmacy