Dartmouth’s history and traditions were among the first things we noticed when we visited this school. They then played a crucial part in why we chose to spend four years here. We couldn’t wait to run around the bonfire and plunge into Occom Pond in the dead of winter. We could picture ourselves sinking into the same Tower Room chairs on which Dr. Seuss may have sat while he wrote his essays. We wanted to become a part of something larger than ourselves, something with a history.
And yet, as the past few weeks have made so clear, there are some things about this school that need to change. There are some things about every school that need to change. History can only take us so far, and being here for three years has taught us that Dartmouth, and some of the traditions that brought us here, are in no way perfect.
There are very few things that we can say for certain about the future (terrifying) and having children (beyond terrifying). But we can say that no matter where they end up, we want our kids to have just as many positive experiences as we’ve had in college and far fewer negative ones. We want them to get passionate about their classes and professors and make the type of friends who stay up with them until 5 a.m. for no reason. We want them to feel safe always and be surrounded by others who feel the same way.
We know that Dartmouth is all about traditions, but sometimes change can be a good thing. We hope to see it by the age of hovercrafts and holograms, when our children will spend their college years being studious and drinking only juice.