Graduates are ready to leave the College, but sad to go
While some seniors can barely stand the thought of leaving the College after this weekend, others can hardly wait to get out of Hanover and into the big, wide world.
But most '95s do admit to feeling pangs of sadness, even though they are happy to have survived four years of papers, early morning drill and roommates.
"On the one hand, I'm ready to leave and to move on with my life," Gina Vetere '95 said. "On the other hand, it's very hard to adjust to the fact that I will no longer be with the friends that I have made here on a daily basis as I am used to."
Most seniors said the hardest thing to leave this weekend will be their friends.
"Coming here and finding a group of friends who were constantly thinking about, sharing and processing their opinions of the world around them was the most invigorating and intense reward Dartmouth could ever have offered me," Erin Murphy '95 said.
Class of 1995 Vice President Hosea Harvey said of all the things he will miss about Dartmouth, his friendships mean the most.
"I'm saddened by the realization that some of the friendships I've made here will be tested by the space that's going to be created among all of us as we go out into the world," Harvey said.
Harvey said he will miss his Dartmouth experience.
"I'll miss the way that friends have reached out to get to know you, the way that professors have taken the time to say 'hello,' the adventure of a DOC trip and the memories of special weekends and exciting events," he said.
"I'll miss the trial of adversity that makes you grow as a human being. The fundamental challenge -- who are you and what do you stand for?" Harvey added.
Douglas Kirsch '95 said after four years at Dartmouth he finds it hard to imagine attending any other College.
Many other students said they will definitely miss the Dartmouth comforts they have grown used to over four years.
"I'll miss the easy familiarity I have with the campus and the people," Dan Richman '95 said. "I'll also miss the secluded lifestyle, away from the rigors of the real world."
For many seniors, the rigors of the real world have made them anxious about leaving the College.
Andrew Shih '95 said he feels ambivalent about graduating.
"I have ambivalent feelings about leaving Dartmouth, because nowadays in today's economy, a college degree doesn't mean what it used to," Shih said.
It will be hard for many seniors to leave the supportive atmoshphere the College has provided.
Kirsch said he will miss the familiar "camaraderie" and friendliness of the Dartmouth community.
"I'll also regret leaving a place where academics, athletics, community, leadership and fun are all intermingled into one experience," he said.
"I'll miss the whole college lifestyle -- being surrounded by people my own age, being both independent and dependent at the same time, the social life and the academics," Kirsch said.
Kirsch said his fondest memory of Dartmouth is "walking along the road to Occum Pond on a bright, clear winter's night with friends and looking up at the stars and just chatting."
Other seniors' fondest memories come from their participation in extracurricular activities.
"The whole experience of Dartmouth football provides me with the best memories," Benjamin Barber '95, a member of the Big Green football squad, said. "The road trips, the games and celebrating with the guys after a big win."
For other students, the best part of their Dartmouth experience did not occur in Hanover.
Murphy said her most memorable times at the College were actually being away from school.
"Most of my best memories of Dartmouth have actually been away from Dartmouth -- the Tucker fellowship I took to Costa Rica, the term I spent in Washington D.C.," Murphy said.
"My worst experiences have been generally personal nightmares, like studying two weeks for a government midterm, and then oversleeping, or pulling a 72-hour all-nighter at the end of sophomore fall and contracting mono," she said.
Memories aside, after four years at the College, many students said they are excited to embark upon a future they have been dreaming about for so long.
"I'm anxious and excited," Nicholas Bernstein '95 said. "I'm ready to start a new part of my life and meet new people."
But Bernstein said he will find it wrenching to leave behind "the best e-mail in the world" and the woodshop.
Others, like John Berry '95 are just simply ready to leave.
"I am ecstatic about leaving Dartmouth, and not because I am particularly happy about my plans for next year," Berry said. "Rather, I have come to dislike the place intensely."