Hello there, friend! My name is Love and I am a '23. Aside from being on the pre-med track, I'm currently interested in studying math and public policy. I have a penchant for old things, learning languages, and the arts. I also love personality tests, irrespective of their actual validity—in case you're curious, I'm an INFJ, Scorpio, dragon, and type 2w1.
BIOL 11.07 (Major Events in the History of Life and the Human Genome) is a very unique class. We learn topics such as oxidative phosphorylation in conjunction with evolution and paleontology. In other words, where and when did ETC come from, and how can we support our hypothesis? Though not an easy class by far, every day the material I learn amazes me with the wonder of life, which is how biology should be!
MES 7.03 (Jerusalem: Vision and Reality) was my First-Year Seminar and such an interesting class to take! We explored Jerusalem through three main viewpoints (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The class had a bit of religion, literature, anthropology, sociology, and even geography—all things I love to study but don't necessarily have the space for with our three-class quarters. I often found myself going to office hours just to talk with my professor about questions I had outside of the reading!
COSC 10 (Problem Solving with Object-Oriented Programming) is a data structures course and the last pre-requisite for the computer science major. Though I added it as a fourth class on a whim because of COVID-19 and remote learning, it quickly became my favorite class this term because I loved the problem solving that CS has to offer. It is a difficult class but the emotional and academic rewards make it all worth it!
This was one of four classes I took during fall term and it was super interesting! We learned about healthcare systems and innovations from around 4 guest lecturers per week, and were able to do research on our own and propose a new system at the end of the term. Students came from all over campus and the course was very enlightening for me in terms of understanding how care is dispensed in the U.S. and how we can improve it.
Though this was my first "foundation" course in the Biology department and I still found it challenging, I really enjoyed learning the material and found it all super exciting! We learned about DNA replication, mRNA transcription and protein translation, genetics, and had the opportunity to do a literature review at the end of the term.
The dreaded Organic Chemistry sequence of my pre-med track came upon me faster than I thought it would, but it surprised me by being one of my favorite classes to date! I found it intellectually interesting (even though it was time-consuming), probably because I treated it like a STEM-and-logic puzzle instead of pure STEM or pure memorization. Am I great at it? Not necessarily. Do I remember everything I've learned? I'm not too sure! Am I mentally ready for Organic Chemistry 2 next term? Not at all! But I had a lot of fun doing this class and surprised even myself with how I tackled it.
I love dancing, story-telling, and learning about different cultures so I knew going into this course that I would enjoy it. Cross-listed in the theater and AAAS departments, this course let students have the privilege of working with Dance Theatre of Harlem members who were in Hanover for a summer residency. As a group, we analyzed a play ("The Purple Flower" by Marita Bonner) and transformed the text into a physical movement piece. Each student also had complete ownership of a personal final project, and I opted to do a self-choreographed dance. Overall, I loved getting the chance to work creatively in my academics this term and I also was able to broaden my perspective and knowledge of the African-American story in the process!
As a pre-med, I am constantly trying to learn more about the U.S medical system. This course was extremely engaging in all aspects, taking students through all of American history through the lens of healthcare within the span of 10 weeks. I particularly liked having a discussion session that replaced a lecture, since we were able to talk about the issues with the professor and think out loud about our readings. The course was definitely challenging and required a lot of synthesis across different time periods and topics, but I feel like I came out of it with a deeper and more profound understanding of our healthcare system and why it functions the way it does today.
For my junior winter, I did an internship in clinical research! With COVID affecting so much of my college experience, this practical, in-person work internship was very important for me to not only hone my employable skills but also see what having a 8am - 5pm job looks like and how it could fit into my future.
Much like my other pre-med courses here at Dartmouth, Biochemistry was quite rigorous and fast-paced. It was certainly challenging, but I found the work extremely rewarding and I enjoyed learning about all the different mechanisms that happen inside of our bodies. Additionally, many of my friends were also in this class as well, rounding out final prerequisites for graduate school, and this fact made it all the more fun.
For my junior summer, I had a research internship in Eastern Germany, working at the intersection between math, computer science, and biology! The learning curve was very steep since my project focus changed once I arrived in Europe, but I had a lot of fun and learned a lot about the content and myself. I am extremely thankful for all the support that Dartmouth has given me throughout my time here, without which I wouldn't have been able to do a 12-week European adventure!
Which religious services are offered at Dartmouth? Is there a church or chapel or any other social group to feel connected to your faith?
Students can choose to partake in school-organized services, events, or gatherings as well as external ministeries and Upper Valley communities.
The Tucker Center for Spiritual Life is where you can find virtually anything related to spirituality. The center itself offers pastoral counseling, programming, and other on-campus experiential learning opportunities for you to explore and question the role of faith in your life. I've gone to a bunch of events myself and always enjoy my time there! I've even written a post about the Tucker Center before, which you can check out here. The website itself is also a fantastic resource to see what and how various religions are represented at Dartmouth—each of the 5 major spiritual traditions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Judaism) has a page for student/ school-connected groups and external places/events of worship. For example, looking through the Judaism page will give you links to Dartmouth College Hillel and Chabad at Dartmouth, as well as three external communities that co-exist with the Upper Valley. Going to the Islamic student page will direct you to the site for Dartmouth College's Muslim Student Association (Al-Nur), where you can find when Jummah takes place and how to get involved with the Dartmouth community. Another page can give you resources on how to find UV places of worship.
Since I'm a Christian, I've done a lot of digging on churches and know that there are a number of Christian churches in the area that students can attend on top of student groups and even intercollege ministries like Christian Union, Intervarsity, or Alabaster Group. In my freshman year, I've gone to a lot of Agape and Christian Union events and have made a ton of friends in the Christian community here at Dartmouth. Additionally, I've made so many friends and met so many people at the Tucker Center who have different religious worldviews and who willingly engage in humble, thoughtful, and even vulnerable conversation with me, a newcomer freshman! All in all, I've found great support groups, both in and outside of my religious network, that keep me accountable, help further me in my faith, and give me the space and time to think about spirituality in a busy lifestyle that doesn't necessarily seem conducive for spiritual inquiry.
So for all my '24s and future prospective students who are wondering how religion can fit into their life at Dartmouth, my advice is to not worry! There will be many opportunities during orientation week and beyond for you to get plugged in and to learn about everything. And if you find that there is something that isn't represented, you can also start that initative! Our religious landscape is always changing and there are funds and spaces for our campus to continually grow with our future classes. College is a great time for you to branch out and discover what you truly value in life, and there are definitely ways for you to explore that here at Dartmouth.