Nsomma Alilonu '21 | MD | Dartmouth

Pursuing an MD at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, entering class of 2022

Undergraduate major: Computer Science (B.S.E.)

Significant college activities: Volunteer and mentor for CONTACT Princeton and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, eLab Summer Accelerator

Words of wisdom about being prehealth at Princeton: Something I learned about being a pre-med at Princeton is that you can be pretty flexible with what you do (medical schools actually like to have some diversity in the student body), but planning is important, too. It's a good idea to have some understanding of the med school requirements going in, both in terms of classes (planning pre-med with computer science classes was pretty difficult) and in terms of service, research, and clinical experience. Make sure your plan isn't impossibly hard, too. Ask different students which classes will be hard to take together (Clear your schedule for Orgo I, my friends!). This is definitely easier with a less difficult degree (computer science and premed is one of the more complex combinations), but if you're not sure about pre-med or can really see the benefits of having a different degree, try to integrate it with medicine. I ended up doing my first research opportunity in the eLab Summer Accelerator as a computer scientist, so you never know!

At the same time, be flexible. Things won't always work out as planned, but that doesn't mean it's all over for you. Focus on what you can do when circumstances change, and just do your best!

Also, reach out to people you trust for advice, especially the HPA office. This isn't something you can do alone!

Finally, every activity you do doesn't have to be about pre-med. It can just be for fun! You can only do college once, so do things that are important to you. I joined a student-run orchestra and the school's Catholic choir because I really enjoyed music! Pursue your passion, too! Moreover, don't do your pre-med activities just because they look impressive. Try to find things you enjoy, and stick to them. It's better to spend a lot of time in one good activity than very short periods of time in a lot of different ones.