Perhaps it’s a bit of a morbid exercise, but I often find myself wondering — if today were my last day on earth, how would people describe me when I’m gone? A few words come to mind, but I’m not quite sure one of them would be “sentimental.” You have, however, caught me in one of my more reflective moods. As I sit typing this, spending my 21st birthday on a Greyhound bus to visit a high school friend, I can’t help but remember where I was three years ago. I turned 18 on one of my first days back from Trips, only the second or third day I had ever spent in Hanover. I’m not going to lie and say that each and every one of you freshmen are about to have the time of your lives this coming week, but rest assured, Orientation will be an unforgettable experience if nothing else.
Before I go further, I must be upfront. I’m not overly acquainted with writing an editor’s note, and it’s not generally my photo that graces page two of The Mirror. Rather, I work behind the scenes and let my editors have their names and photos in lights. I’m giving it a try, though, in hopes that The Mirror can give you a little insight, if a bit of a snarky insight, into what your first year will be like.
This is the part of the note, I guess, where I offer you young’uns some sage word of advice from the jaded upperclassmen who’s been there, done that. Frankly, I’ve never been one to give — or heed for that matter — advice, but I’ll give it a go. First, write down 15 things you want to do during your freshman year. Do it now, I mean like right now, as in pick up a piece of paper and write 15 things. Now, cross off 10 of them at random. Accept that you won’t, and can’t, do everything you want to do. Enjoy what you can do, lament what you didn’t and accept what you cannot change.
Next, don’t listen to most of the advice people give you. They’re giving you advice that works for them, but your college experience is going to be a lot different than theirs. Take the classes you want, join the clubs you think sound great and live the life you want. You’re going to mess up — a lot. Again, another cliché, but that’s the only way you’re ever going to learn what works for you.
Love every second that you’re here, and know it’s okay when you don’t. Shoot to be the best at every single thing, learn that you won’t be. Make thousands of friends, lose a lot of them in the process. Laugh, cry, fail, succeed, streak, eat, dance, hike, love, study, pull all-nighters, sleep all day, regret everything and nothing. You’ve got a lot to do, and not a lot of time to do it. These are going to be the longest days and the shortest four years of your life. Welcome to Dartmouth, ’19s, you’ve got a lot to see and the clock is ticking.