TTLG: To the ’23s

by Rachel Matsumoto | 8/30/19 2:25am

It’s strange to think that for us, it’s over. We’ve felt the heat of the bonfire, witnessed the stars while lying on the grass of the golf course, studied through late nights into the early mornings, walked across the snow-covered Green — and now, we’ve walked across the graduation stage. It’s strange to think that, for you, Dartmouth is just beginning. You still haven’t picked your classes. You haven’t explored the steam tunnels or climbed Baker Tower. You haven’t struggled (and bonded) with friends through problem sets or stood in awe at the campus awash with fall colors. As you embark on this new journey, here are 15 hopes for the newest members of Dartmouth, from the newly departed ones. 

I hope they try their best at things they are passionate about so there is no room for regrets, regardless of the result. -Benjamin Lee ’19

I hope they have time for one another and never get so busy that they don’t have a moment to stop and listen to a friend. I hope they always have a friend who will stop and listen to them. One of the most valuable things you can gain here are good friendships and relationships. -India Perdue ’19

“I think that Dartmouth is a place that feels like it is built for one specific sort of person, but there are ways to find your place here and spaces that feel good to you.”

I hope they will take the time to think and reflect about what they really want out of their college experience. I hope they will not be afraid to commit themselves, try something new, and just run with it. -Jasmine Lee ’19

I hope they come into Dartmouth with an open mind and an open heart. I think coming into this place with an optimistic attitude makes a huge difference. I hope they are excited to learn and change. Being open to all that and not having any resistance makes for a better experience. -Michael Harteveldt ’19

I hope they can try new classes and new departments. I found out what I wanted to do with my life because of that — it is really valuable. -Dev Jhaveri ’19 

My hope for the ’23s is that they find time to learn about themselves and explore other things that they didn’t think they would find in college. I found the jewelry studio because I had free time and did not overschedule myself. I think it is very important to leave time for yourself and to enjoy the moment.  -Nelly Mendoza-Mendoza ’19

I hope the ’23s take advantage of the resources here. Some students may not realize the unique circumstances Dartmouth is willing to provide financial assistance for. In my case, they helped fly me to Miami for my citizenship interview, fly to Columbia to see my sick grandma, paid for my GRE test prep program and offset the cost of having my parents come for graduation. Some students may take these things for granted, but when you’re low income like me, you know these actions go a long way and really make you feel like the College actually cares about you.  -Daniela Garcia ’19

I hope they are able to stay true to themselves throughout Dartmouth. Dartmouth is a place that makes you reevaluate the things that are important to you. Some people come into this school and are bombarded with values that they have never experienced before — and come out with different priorities, for better or worse. It would be awesome to see more people staying true to their goals and their dreams throughout college and not just doing what they think they should be doing because other people are telling them to do so.  -Jared Solomon ’19

I think that Dartmouth is a place that feels like it is built for one specific sort of person, but there are ways to find your place here and spaces that feel good to you. There are so many opportunities here. I hope that the ’23s are able to learn a lot about who they are and grow in ways that are authentic to themselves.  -Neerja Thakkar ’19

I hope they will continue to foster safe and supportive communities for people on this campus. When I first came here, it wasn’t necessarily like that. Everyone felt like it was war all the time. Over the course of my four years, we’ve created a safer space on campus — an inclusive space. I hope the ’23s continue to carry that forward.  -Jovanay Carter ’19

I hope everyone finds joy in what they do on campus. I know a lot of people at Dartmouth do things out of obligation, and the things they do for joy seem to get lost. There is no reason that the things people need to do can’t be the same as the things they want to do.  -Sydney Zhou ’19

I hope they have an open mind and approach situations with nuance. For myself, I came in thinking that the issues were solvable with black and white solutions, but over the years, meeting so many different types of people, I’ve realized that being nuanced, open-minded, and trying to see the other person and where they are coming from has benefited me more than trying to solve a problem and arriving at a solution.  -Ijemma Onwuzulike ’19 

I hope they would be willing to shake things up a little bit and change what seems to be set in stone. I hope they get creative — more creative than the previous classes — in thinking outside the box in how to shape the institution, the world, and themselves.  -Isaiah Briggs ’19

I hope that, as they come, they will realize they belong here and not doubt their abilities. I think that every life is one of purpose and the fact that you are here means that you belong here. Even if things go badly and you have lows, it’s good to remind yourself that you are not an anomaly in what seems like a high-achieving society.  -Arthur Mensah ’19

“I think that every life is one of purpose and the fact that you are here means that you belong here.”

Finally, my hope for you is that you know the Dartmouth you will experience does not exist yet. You will help create it, shape it and experience it together. Be intentional with the Dartmouth you create. Here’s to you, Class of 2023. It’s your turn now. 

Interviews featured in this article were edited and condensed for clarity and length.

This article is a part of the 2019 Freshman Issue.

Correction appended (August 30, 2019): The print version of this article misspelled Jovanay Carter's first name and Nelly Mendoza-Mendoza and Sydney Zhou's last names.