'06s already 'experts' on life at Dartmouth

by Kay Fukunaga | 10/9/02 5:00am

With almost three weeks at the College under their belts, members of the Class of 2006 said they already feel at home on campus -- and shared some of their newly-acquired opinions and expertise about life at Dartmouth.

This year's freshman class said that if they have learned one thing since arriving at Dartmouth, it is to take advantage of every opportunity offered -- free food or otherwise -- to help ease the transition from high school to college.

"I wish I had known that it's so easy to get involved. Everyone just invites you in," Harvey Carreras '06 said.

"Don't be shy. Go out and meet everyone you can possibly meet," Johnathan Cyr '06 said. "Don't be secluded by staying in your room.

But other freshmen said that it can be tempting to stay indoors, whether you are having qualms about the unpredictable weather or, like Moli Luo '06, are just too enamoured with your dorm to leave.

"These dorms are awesome!" Luo said. "My friend, on the other hand, who goes to Brandeis, has a single room triple and has to sleep in a loft."

According to freshmen, an aesthetically pleasing room not only invites that person down the hall to pay you a visit, but also can be accomplished at minimal or no cost thanks to special Orientation Week offers by local stores and businesses.

Although Dean of First-Year Students Gail Zimmerman and administrators in the Academic Skills Center said that some students struggle with managing their time once Orientation ends and classes begin, many '06s seemed nonchalant about the demands of their schedules.

"I guess it was kind of what I had been expecting, a lot of free time," Baker said.

Others were more vocal about the advantages of a college academic schedule.

"It's great! You have like two classes a day," said Luo, who added that he has found the time to set up a web page sporting photographs of the Dartmouth campus.

While classes alone don't seem to be daunting freshmen, adding extracurricular activities and sports to the equation can create some schedule conflicts.

"I think that the biggest problem for me was that I came here and from day one, there were just so many things going on at once. By the time you realized that something was going on, you had probably missed it," Michael Guzman '06 said.

"It's been hectic," Carreras agreed.

Besides mentioning the challenges of adjusting to dining hall food, schedules and dorm life, students complained about Hanover's unpredictable weather.

"The weather here is really messed up," Luo said. "My roommate was telling me how he has to change three times a day. We'll leave wearing shorts and slippers and come back freezing our toes off."

Strange weather phenomena aside, though, freshmen said they find the campus hospitable.

"Everyone is so welcoming to freshmen, especially the upperclassmen," Carreras said. "Personally, I don't have any major negatives. I guess I'm lucky."

"Best thing that ever happened to me!" Ben Waters '06 said of coming to Dartmouth. "The best thing that ever happened to me."