Every day as I walk to class I am struck by the number of people taking campus tours, blocking the sidewalks and doorways as I try to avoid being trampled by a backwards-walking guide. The snippets of explanation I hear as I pass by remind me of the tons of propaganda the unsuspecting high school senior has to sift through in an effort to pick the right course for the next four years of their life. And perhaps this is the dread I feel at the impending prospect of choosing a graduate school: I am reminded of the frustration I felt in trying to choose a school that would fit both my needs and my desires. So, in an effort to simplify the process for prospectives considering Dartmouth, I offer this summary of things the recruiters would and would not want you to know about life here on the Hanover Plain.
What they'll gladly tell you: If you want a school with small class sizes that guarantee a good amount of discussion and personal attention from professors, Dartmouth is for you.
If you want a school that offers a wide range of academic opportunities and resources specifically tailored for the undergraduate student, Dartmouth is for you.
If you want a school where you can participate in a wide variety of artistic, athletic, and many other extracurricular activities without regard, necessarily, to previous experience or future professional goals, Dartmouth is for you.
If you want to explore the great outdoors, that is, if you want to eat, breath, and live the great outdoors (granite in my brain??!!), Dartmouth is for you.
What they might not tell you, but is implied: If you want to pay $30,000 a year for the privilege to sleep in a small room with a total stranger, eat the same food every week, and, oh yeah, go to some classes, Dartmouth is for you (though you have plenty of other choices here).
If you want to be offered employment based simply on the name of the college listed on your resume, Dartmouth is for you.
If you want to not be challenged in your conservative political views by other students, indeed, if you don't want to be challenged in any of your views by other students, Dartmouth is for you.
If you do want to be challenged in the classroom, Dartmouth is for you.
What they certainly will not tell you: If you want the challenges and rewards offered by the diversity of opportunities and experiences in a big city, Dartmouth is not for you.
If your idea of fun isn't standing in a puddle of beer, urine, and who knows what else in a claustrophobic basement drinking tasteless (but free!) beer, Dartmouth is not for you.
If you are hoping to meet and learn from people with a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences, Dartmouth is not for you.
If you want to express views not necessarily accepted by the mainstream, especially if they are liberal in nature, and not feel as if you are a pariah but are tolerated for your contribution to a meaningful discussion and educational experience, Dartmouth is not for you.
There, I hope that helps! Now, instead of sitting through those boring information sessions, you can enjoy the beautiful campus and surrounding area.