People often talk about New Year’s resolutions as if Jan. 1 marks a logical date to start eating clean and hitting the gym. For students, however, the new year starts in September. As the trees begin to repaint themselves in flaming colors, Dartmouth students can remake themselves by trying out new classes, activities or ways of living.
This year, the urge for change feels stronger than ever. For the last six months, life was on pause for many students. The pandemic disrupted travel plans and internships, learning moved online and experiences like Green Key and sophomore summer didn’t happen, leaving disappointing gaps in many students’ Dartmouth careers. But this fall, many Dartmouth students are determined to turn over a new leaf.
In this issue of Mirror, we talk to students who decided to take gap years, seizing opportunities for growth as the pandemic continues. We discuss what “routine” looks like while following Dartmouth’s quarantine plan and preparing for remote classes. The ritual of unpacking feels bittersweet on a half-empty campus, and for many students living off campus, moving in means learning how to live independently for the first time.
Whether taking classes from home, planning a gap year or tentatively exploring campus for the first time, we are all building a new Dartmouth this year. Here at Mirror, we hope that by reflecting on the changes within our community, we will be able to turn the narrative from loss to renewal. Although this quarter at Dartmouth may not be what we planned, with a little creativity and open-mindedness, we can make the term our own. And as the saying goes: Home is where the heart is. Cheesy, but we’ll take it.