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!
For those who work-study, how do you balance it? Is it manageable?
That is a great question!
For me, work-study is something that Dartmouth uses to cover incidental fees not included in basic tuition and room and board. Though it is part of my financial aid package, most of the time the money goes towards things like airfare or textbooks and not directly to the school. I hold several jobs on-campus, such as blogging for the Admissions Office and being an usher at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Other common jobs include being a TA, notetaker, or lab assistant (if you aren't doing it through the UGAR office or for credit).
I find work-study to be quite manageable at Dartmouth. There are enough jobs that you can always find one that suits your schedule. Additionally, most supervisors I've met are very accommodating in terms of balancing your work with academics—they understand that your first priority is still school and are happy to help you find a way to do both.
Obviously, there can be a bit of a disparity in student populations between those who must dedicate a good number of hours each week to supporting themselves vs. those who don't. Sometimes, it can be isolating to hold jobs on-campus. While everyone else has all this extra time to socialize or study, there is yet another thing that you have to do. Additionally, the pay isn't very high for most jobs, which can be somewhat demoralizing considering the average Dartmouth student's skill set.
The system here isn't perfect, but most low-income students I've met are able to use it for what it's worth. Additionally, many of the problems you find here will be present everywhere, simply because that is how federal work-study is operated. I've personally always held a job throughout my time at Dartmouth and am grateful for the opportunity to support myself and make some extra money. For example, I've been able to surprise my parents with gifts, provide for my own airfare, and relish in some Han Fusion from time-to-time because of it.
If you are wondering about work-study once you get here, I highly suggest going to the job fair that happens at the beginning of every single term. Browsing JobNet can also be very helpful! There are endless possibilities here at Dartmouth and all it takes is a little bit of digging to find what you're looking for.
One of the coolest things about Dartmouth is the D-Plan! It is an amazing and flexible system that allows your academic life to flow seamlessly around your future plans. Here is an international student's perspective on it.