Verbum Ultimum: It Will Love You Back

by The Dartmouth Editorial Board | 4/18/13 10:00pm

Welcome to Hanover, future '17s. With the best undergraduate education in the world, our passionate student body and profound sense of community, Dartmouth is much more than just another four years of school. It is an experience, an incredibly engrossing chapter of your life that will leave you forever connected to this campus.

Dartmouth is a small college, and many of us love it for this exact reason. With an undergraduate population of just over 4,000, we feel at home in the intimate environment of dormitories, classes and dining halls. Small class sizes grant you access to our faculty, who are some of the most accomplished scholars in their fields. There are opportunities to work on research projects in the arts and sciences that most undergraduates can only dream of. The College offers over 40 off-campus programs in 24 countries, and more than half of students study abroad at least once before they graduate.

The College's distinct enrollment system, called the Dartmouth Plan, has both upsides and downsides. It grants you maximum flexibility to pursue internships or study abroad during your sophomore and junior years, and during your sophomore summer, you will be on campus taking classes. This allows you to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and bond with the rest of your class. But the D-Plan also means many of your friends will come and go, and your schedule will be different from those you know from home.

In our intense 10-week quarters, students maximize both their time and their relationships with others. Herein lies Dartmouth's greatest strength the powerful communal bonds that you will form with your classmates and peers. This dynamic is borne out in our social scene, where Greek life dominates while other extracurriculars, like the Dartmouth Outing Club, performance groups and service organizations, foment equally enriching environments and connections with peers. There is no way to neatly define Dartmouth, or any college, from a social perspective. You will find involved, outgoing and enthusiastic people in every niche on this campus.

Each of us loves Dartmouth for a different reason. We are writers, musicians, scientists, athletes, outdoorsmen and volunteers. There is no one characteristic that defines a Dartmouth student apart from his or her respect for our community, nor is there one track that will guarantee your personal fulfillment.

Over the years, this editorial board has often been critical of various occurrences and organizations. But, in spite of its problems, Dartmouth is an extraordinary institution. The people here will care for you even as they challenge you to be smarter, more creative and better at pong. You will go on a DOC First-Year Trip, bond with your freshman floor, let the D-Plan take you in unexpected directions and then pull it all together for senior year, while being pushed out of your comfort zone at every step. You will love this school, and it will love you back.