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It’s the last Mirror issue of the term, and we decided to do something different. Something unconventional. Something alternative. Millenials have a tendency to romanticize individuality. Hipsters, tattoos, alternative bands, indie movies, pink hair, latte art — the list goes on. But are hipsters really “hip” anymore? Isn’t getting a tattoo of an infinity sign more a sign of your infinite basic-ness? And let’s not even get started on trite Instagram captions. We get it, you have many #wcw, at least you’re not posting #tbts — the horror.
At Dartmouth, students often face a significant amount of pressure to leave this place with a finished product. This product must show your peers, professors, family and local community that your education was worth it. With that product, you can now point to something that will validate your time and investment into your schooling. Just graduating is no longer something most people believe is “good enough.” Not only do students need to graduate on time, they also have to do so with a two-year plan for afterward. The pressure to have your “next big step” outlined and secured is intensified, as that is what people use as a measure of success. The question college students hear, possibly as early as junior spring is, “So what’s next?” Not having an answer to that question can feel like you have not done enough. Often, this pressure reduces the time spent struggling and working to achieve the entity that validates one’s time at college: the diploma.
If the sun and the moon and the stars were all to align themselves differently, what would we find? In this alternate universe, how many roads would Robert Frost take? Instead of just two, five roads would diverge in a blue wood. He would travel down all five and be five travelers as once. He would stand and look down one road as far as he could to see where it bent in the undergrowth. One day, somewhere ages and ages hence, he would tell with a sigh of how his step trod black the leaves that covered the five roads. He would recount how the travel stretched him right weary, and how as he traveled on, he wished he could have chosen to be one instead of five. But knowing how time turns into time, he doubted he should ever return. Five roads diverged in a blue wood, and he — he took all the five, and that has made all the difference.
Social spaces are integral to a well-functioning college. If you think about the places that we frequent on campus, more often than not they are social spaces. In classrooms, we have meaningful conversations and discuss new ideas with our professors and classmates. In dorms, we reflect on our days and imagine our futures with our roommates and floor-mates. In study areas, we reinforce class material and expand our knowledge base with our friends and peers. Every day, people interact with others in a number of different locations.
Evan Muscatel ’21 and Garrett Muscatel ’20
Humans have come a long way to arrive at this point of history, in which human expansion and activity has altered the course of the world’s climate. For the first time, we are aware of the profound impact we have on the environment. Rising temperature, rising sea levels, intensified storms, increased irregularity of precipitation and other alarming effects of climate change present with us a multitude of challenges and problems regarding sustainability. Temperatures are rising at an abnormally high pace, and it seems that humans are at least partially responsible for this worsening trend.
For those of you who haven’t heard of “duck syndrome,” it is a concept often applied to college students who appear calm on the surface but are frantically suffering underneath. At Dartmouth, students can struggle to juggle numerous commitments and expectations. So many seem to do it all and still have their life together. Dartmouth students pride themselves on the ability to “work hard, play hard,” but are we happy?
While well-known traditions such as running around the bonfire during Homecoming or participating in the polar bear plunge during Winter Carnival contribute significantly to Dartmouth’s legacy, smaller traditions such as bequests help shape the College’s legacy on a more personal level.
Dartmouth is a college with a long history and strong traditions, known for building even longer and stronger bonds between the ones that call it home. As students we come to understand that this place, no matter how hard, how intense or how busy it has been, has shaped us in some way — know that green shutters, pine trees and pink New Hampshire skies mean something different now then they did before. Dartmouth imprints values, knowledge and memories on our young, barely adult souls. We understand that Dartmouth’s legacy on our lives will be important, even if we aren’t quite sure what that legacy is just yet. What is the legacy of the people before us who learned, loved and lived in this place? Amid the history, the traditions and the ever-lasting pride, what is our personal legacy to Dartmouth?
Dartmouth, small and isolated as it is, has a rich abundance of different cultures, and students celebrate a multitude of different holidays. Holidays are representative of different heritages, and different groups and organizations on campus help to facilitate the celebration of these respective holidays. The celebration of holidays on campus as opposed to at home will be inevitably different, and a few students have offered their thoughts on the differences and challenges of celebrating their respective holidays at Dartmouth.
We all know the pain of leaving a close friend. In fact, I daresay that most of us were embroiled in a ruthless game of tug-of-war before coming to Dartmouth, torn between the excitement of reinvention and the sorrow of shedding our old self, complete with its crushes, its follies and foibles and, more importantly, all those people who reified if not constructed the person we once were. We vowed to keep in touch, sure, to honor “Snapstreaks,” to call on a daily, weekly or perhaps monthly basis, but no words could assuage that sinking feeling in our stomach, that squeezing pressure in our chests. Because deep down we knew that we would all change despite ourselves, that physical distance was the first step to emotional distance and that emotional distance marked the end of a close bond. Of course, some of our friendships may have managed to defy the passage of time, but the temporality of “best friendship” is a fact of life, objective and indisputable. So why the pain? Ironically, the answer may lie not in the absence of another person but in an absence within ourselves, because to lose a best friend is to lose a cultural identity.
Valentine’s Day is officially upon us. As the one day entirely dedicated to love, the 14th of February is highly anticipated around the world, and Dartmouth’s campus is no exception. Conveniently situated in the lull following midterm stress, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated in various ways around campus by single students and couples alike. As the means of confessing feelings have evolved from messages in the newspaper to serenades by the marching band, students’ perceptions and celebrations of the holiday have evolved over time as well. Nonetheless, Valentine’s Day has been and always will be an exciting time on campus.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Dartmouth’s Sexual Health Peer Educators, more commonly known as Sexperts, have been busy. Not only are the Sexperts currently working alongside staff members at Dick’s House to host a series of testing sessions for sexually transmitted infections at different locations around campus, but they are also planning and hosting the Pluralities of Sexualities Fair in Collis Common Ground on Feb. 14 from 12 to 4 p.m.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
When you attend a college in the middle of nowhere, it might be difficult to maintain a romantic relationship with someone back home. Countless high school romances are broken up not by personal differences, but by physical distances. However, with technology that allows us to contact nearly anyone, anywhere, at any time, the barriers to making a long-distance relationship work have drastically decreased. Even at a remote school like Dartmouth, these relationships are exceedingly common.
Dear Old Dartmouth,
February 14th, more famously known as “Singles Awareness Day.” Two days ago, you were probably frantically searching online for overnight flower delivery or wandering the aisles of CVS for chocolate fancier than Kit Kat bars. And today is the big day: you’ve called ahead to Pine to only hear that the ealiest dinner reservation possible is 9:30 p.m. You’re cursing your unrelenting professors for assigning loads of projects and tests — week 7 doesn’t stop for anything, even love. However, on this Valentine’s Day the Mirror urges you to stop and let love in. Look around. It is around you. It’s in the long KAF line, deep in the stacks of Baker Berry, maybe even in fraternity basements. This Valentine’s Day, the Mirror explores the many facets of love: the physical versus the spiritual, the familial versus the romantic and the serious versus the casual. Explore how much love can withstand, how it’s celebrated and where it hides in our daily lives.
This article was featured in the 2018 Winter Carnival Issue.
This article was featured in the 2018 Winter Carnival Issue.