We talk a lot about the quintessential Dartmouth “rites of passage” throughout this issue, like staying up all night to eat Lou’s, swimming across the river naked or jumping in freezing water over Carnival. For us, our Dartmouth experience has been punctuated by a long string of smaller moments — moments that surprised us, made us cry, made us fall in love with this place and its people.
Ali: One Dartmouth moment that always makes me laugh was the infamous stripper fiasco of ‘13 fall. It was the second week of freshmen fall and my friends and I wanted to do something special for our friend’s 19th birthday. We wanted to embarrass our friend as much as possible, so we decided to bring in a stripper from Boston. We piled over 100 people into a Russell Sage dorm room and watched him dance for our friend. It was truly the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my entire life. Later that night, he told us he came out of stripper retirement for the night, so you can only imagine what his performance was like. Despite how cringeworthy the experience was, the next day, we felt like legends. Oh, and it was reported in the D a few days later. It was definitely our peak.
Mikey: My first Lou’s challenge was after staying up for three days writing papers for finals. I was about to leave campus for my first FSP, so I wanted to take in as much time with my friends as possible. We stayed up all night, watching movies and talking. I was about to collapse from exhaustion at 3:35 a.m., but knew that I would regret not going through with the challenge. To keep me awake, I made my friends ask me obscure trivia questions, as one does. Taking the first bite of my Big Green at Lou’s felt victorious and bittersweet because in that moment, I felt lucky to have such close friends, but also sad to leave them for the first time to embark on another adventure.
Lucy: This past Carnival weekend, after some consideration and more peer pressure, I decided to do the polar plunge. It seemed like something that I needed to do before graduating — and why not now? So I walked to Occom Pond, hesitantly took off my boots and my sweatpants and my jacket, stood on the edge of the frozen pond and jumped. I didn’t really feel the cold until I had gotten out of the water, but when I did, it was probably the coldest I had ever felt. In that way, the polar plunge could be considered a sort of a biological rite of passage, as well as a cultural one (shoutout to Anthro 50.17). Once I thawed out and drank some hot chocolate, I decided that the Polar Plunge was worth it — plus, I even got a little Winter Carnival pin as proof of my accomplishment.
Dartmouth gives you experiences you’ll remember long after you leave campus. Read on to hear about these unforgettable rites of passage, and maybe go give them a shot.