Homecoming: Thoughts from an ’18

By Caroline Berens | 10/15/14 4:00am

In case you have been living under a rock and/or you haven’t looked up from your notes because you’ve been studying for midterms, Dartmouth Homecoming is this Friday, October 17!!!!!

Coming to Dartmouth, I knew two things about Homecoming – first-years run around a huge bonfire, and it’s one of the few times a year when you have to lock your door. My knowledge of Homecoming remained frighteningly scant until this past weekend, when people finally started talking about it and my UGA gave us the lowdown at our floor meeting. Here are a few thoughts/questions I have as it approaches.

1) How am I supposed to dress for the bonfire? My UGA casually mentioned that things have been known to melt or burn at the bonfire (as it is after all, a massive fire). I know enough to not touch it (not trying to get arrested) but what if I accidentally get too close and my eyebrows are singed off? And it’s going to be cold, but also really hot near the fire, and I’ll get even warmer running those 118 laps (just kidding). I guess I should bring layers? But where will I put them?! #struggles. Regardless, I need to buy my 2018 shirt ASAP.

2) Why does everyone tell me to watch out for “creepy alums”? Do they just mean older people? What makes them creepy?

3) How will I stay with my friends during the bonfire? How will I not lose them in the crazy haze of people and fire and running?!?!

4) What if I forget to lock my door and I run into a less-than-ideal situation with some alums? How does one even start that conversation?

5) How could someone possibly run 118 laps?

Other than a few minor concerns, I have high hopes for this weekend. I have been told that the bonfire will be one of the best nights of freshman fall, and possibly even my entire Dartmouth career. I hope that as I run around the fire with my class, as the wooden “18” burns into the cold New Hampshire night, I feel that surge of Dartmouth pride and unity that people so often talk about.

And if not, at least there will be lots of free food.


Caroline Berens

caroline@berens.com