Nicku Keshavarz: Biology, Sustainability Studies, Class of 2019

Unlike many students, I wanted to stay close to home when I was in the process of choosing a college, and ultimately, it was the Integrated Life Sciences program that made me choose Maryland. What appealed to me was the structure of living with and taking science classes with a bunch of other students who are just as passionate as I am about the life sciences. I could easily envision myself just walking down the dormitory hall if I ever needed help with school, and I was enthusiastic about the friendships I would form out of a love for science. So far, ILS has been exactly what I had hoped for and so much more.

When I entered college last year, meeting my new ILS family immediately made me feel at home. From socializing at the family dinners, to climbing the obstacle course behind Eppley, to studying for classes together, I always feel supported. Most people think ILS is just a bunch of pre-med students, but I have discovered an incredible amount of diversity of interests within the program, and there are people at every turn willing to cheer on anyone’s interests and ideas. Thanks to the students and the faculty, I always have someone to talk to about my passion for dentistry, my position as a Director for the campus’s Student Entertainment Events, my experiences going on Alternative Breaks trips, or just my life in general.

ILS has not only supported me and strengthened me by offering countless educational opportunities, but it has also given me the priceless experience of meeting unique, driven students with impressive motivation. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know others for their other passions excluding science, their talents, their aspirations, and their accomplishments- what they are made of. Working together and sharing ideas in different classes has also given me a deeper understanding of what true productive teamwork is.

Now that I am confidently moving down the path towards becoming a dentist, I know that ILS was the right choice for me. The program’s values, people, and opportunities are everything I would want during my undergraduate years to prepare me for dental school and beyond. Meantime, I am looking forward to getting more valuable clinical and research experience, as well as going on a medical and dental brigade abroad. ILS has surely inspired me to aim high.