Summertime and the Friendship's Easy

by Diana Ming | 6/28/12 10:00pm

Welcome to the best summer of our lives. That's right, sophomore summer is officially upon us. And even though this term is just getting started, we can already tell that it's noticeably different.

Dartmouth has become a little quieter. And it's not just because the '12s have graduated or that the Hop is closed, although we do miss both terribly right now. Why? It's mostly because our grade is the only one left on campus. Take away three-fourths of your usual Collis population and campus begins to feel strangely new. Yes, this is the term that Dartmouth has reserved exclusively for our class. (We'll just ignore the smattering of aggressive '15s in our Econ 26 and orgo classes. I mean, really guys?)

As a tour guide, I've gushed to countless students and their families about the joys of sophomore summer. It's the time where you get to bond with your class! Everyone grows closer! The sophomore class becomes one big family frolicking on the Green!

I reassure them that it is this emphasis on real friendship that makes the idea of taking classes in the summer seem a lot more appealing. And while the promises of class camaraderie and kinship can be warm and comforting, do we expect sophomore summer to really impact our relationships and friendships in any lasting way?

The general consensus is that there is indeed quite a lot to look forward to these next nine weeks. In fact, most agree that sophomore summer seems to present itself as a perfect time to hang out with each other and develop our friendships.

"Since the summer is definitely more relaxed, there will just be more chances to spend time with those that we want to, and naturally friendships will get stronger," Veronica Leonard '14 said.

Atul Vaidyanathan '14 said that sophomore summer marks an important social change in the Dartmouth experience.

"Given off-terms, rush and whatnot, some people's friendships are still hinged on their freshman experiences," he said. "Obviously some friendships are more than solidified, but this summer will be the time when we really begin to identify our closer friends."

Zach Kamin '14 agreed that the summer is a particularly great time to strengthen friendships.

"The summer weather is begging people to go out and do stuff together," he said.

Thanks to the already scorching Hanover weather, many sophomores have already embraced the lazy days of summer, enjoying the company of some close friends after classes. For Laura Moriarty '14, the term also evokes spontaneous bonding opportunities.

"Summertime is all about spending time outside and by the river," she said. "This term people are really making an effort to go out and socialize. We're not just huddled in the library."

While the summer seems synonymous with growing closer to old friends, many sophomores said it is also marked by plenty of new friendships.

"Because there are fewer people on campus, you have a lot more chances to meet '14s you don't already know," Leonard said. "Everywhere you go around campus there's just fewer people, so it's easier to mingle and you definitely expand your social circle."

Although these expectations are hopeful, we can only look to those who have already conquered sophomore summer for the real scoop.

Shianne Sebastian '13 said she was unsure about what her sophomore summer social experience would be like last year.

"I was previously friends with a bunch of upperclassmen girls, so I was really nervous about having to spend the entire term without any of them," she said. "But I ended up having an amazing term and most of the girls I became friends with are now my closest friends."

As Sebastian found, perhaps the best preconception about friendships during sophomore summer is not having one at all.

"I didn't think I would like being on campus with so few people, but in some ways it reminded me of Orientation all over again," she said. "It's an opportunity for you to meet even more people and lose all preconceived notions of certain [Greek houses] and stereotypes."

Happy Orientation again, '14s. Let the friendships begin (and continue)!