Dear Dartie: When Should I “Send it” With my Crush?

Readers ask Dartie about when to shoot their shots romantically, how to speak up in class, what to do over sophomore summer and more.

by Dartie | 4/7/21 2:20am

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Thank you to all who submitted questions this week! Submit your questions here for upcoming columns. Remember, your submissions are anonymous. 

Dear Dartie,

When is the appropriate time to “send it” with a crush you think could be endgame, but things have always been weird between you two? Sophomore summer, junior spring, senior fall? 

Thanks,

Collis Crushes

Collis Crushes,

Thanks for raising this question, one that so many of us have asked at one point or another. With the D-Plan, the short terms and the “everyone knows everyone” environment, Dartmouth can be a tough place for crushing! It seems like you’re in a good spot, though; if you’ve interacted with your crush before — even if it’s been a little weird — and think you guys could really work together, it's great that you're considering reaching out. I would advise you to make your move during sophomore summer, and here's why:

During sophomore summer, there's a sort of campus-wide feeling that everyone is on a similar footing. Few have junior internships lined up, and nearly no one has a full-time job offer. Many of the social events are "super tails" or other larger parties involving members of many Greek houses and even unaffiliated students. Classes are made up of sophomores almost exclusively, and everyone is meeting new people. In my experience, everything just seems a little less stratified. All of this makes sophomore summer the perfect time to approach your crush before anything new — jobs in different cities, new friend groups, etc. — can bring you further apart.

Additionally, your offering of three specific terms makes me think that you or your crush (or both) are going to be off junior fall and winter. Off terms and study abroad programs are the perfect place to meet new people and start relationships, so if you don't make your move sophomore summer, your crush could find a new boo by the time you see them again next spring. Shoot your shot this summer before it’s too late!

Love,

Dartie

Dear Dartie,

I haven't spoken in any of my classes in two years. I'm not even exaggerating — I have extreme anxiety about speaking up in front of people I don't know well, and it's only gotten worse during remote classes. One time, I got cold-called by a professor, and instead of answering I closed out of the Zoom class. I also just leave class whenever I'm put in a breakout room. I consider myself a good student otherwise, but my grades have taken a hit because my professors have never heard me speak. What should I do in order to overcome my fear of talking in class?

Best,

Muted in Morton

Muted in Morton,

Class participation can be so difficult, especially for those of us who already struggle with public speaking or talking to new people. And yes, Zoom has amplified this fear for so many. I remember last spring that, during my first-ever Zoom class, I legitimately thought I might throw up as my professor moved across his Zoom grid and asked each member of the class for an introduction. In my head, I was being forced to complete a televised oral exam. In reality, of course, I was just stating my name and hometown to a group of my peers.

This is not at all to minimize your concern; I completely understand the continued struggle. But the first piece of good news I’ll offer you is that we’re at the beginning of a brand new term, so none of your professors are aware of your aversion to speaking unless you’ve taken their classes before or notified them in advance. So while in past terms it may have seemed like a daunting task to craft the momentous first comment after weeks of silence, none of that pressure exists this term. You’re starting fresh, and you can be anyone you want to be! Try to remind yourself of that this week.

Even with this knowledge, it can be hard to speak up. To minimize this challenge, try thinking of two or three comments that you will feel confident making in class prior to each course meeting. These could be comments about readings, questions about assignments or anything else. You can practice them beforehand, and even if you only say one each class, you can feel proud that you’ve accomplished something challenging.

Of course, if these issues persist, I wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your professors, especially if they tend to cold-call. Making them aware of the issue will likely prompt them to be more compassionate, and it will also hopefully take some of the pressure off of you.

You can do this!

Love,

Dartie

Dear Dartie,

How do I do senior spring if I’m back at home?

Cheers,

Fun Without FOMO

Fun Without FOMO,

This is such a great question, and we have all had to ask some version of it over the last year. Dartmouth is known for its quirky traditions, yearly events and cheeky bucket lists, and while these rituals are far from the most important casualty of the pandemic, losing them has felt for many of us like a little bit of salt in the wound of this whole situation. I imagine that during your senior spring, especially, these lost traditions might be top of mind.

Thus, Fun Without FOMO, my advice for you lies in trying to recreate some of these traditions — or at least some of the associated feelings — at home. While you can’t do the Lou’s challenge this spring, you could stay up all night with friends or family and make pancakes at 7 a.m., Lou’s opening time this term. Though you won’t be going to Green Key (actually, none of us will), you could pack a picnic lunch and some beverages and enjoy them outside on a nice day while listening to Quinn XCII or Waka Flocka Flame, homages to the two Green Keys you may have experienced your freshman and sophomore years. While you can’t complete the Dartmouth Seven … well, I’ll let you make those plans yourself.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! That is an accomplishment to be proud of, especially amid all of this.

Love,

Dartie

Dear Dartie,

I’m a ’23, and after a whole year away from Dartmouth, I’m super excited for the upcoming summer on campus. I know sophomore summer is supposed to be this amazing term, but because I’ve really only had two normal terms on campus, I feel like I’m not aware of many of the sophomore summer staples. What are some of the typical bucket list items? Are there any hidden gems I can’t miss?

Thanks!

Summer Lovin’

Summer Lovin,

Oh, sophomore summer. The quintessentially “Dartmouth” term, always the subject of much anticipation and — dare I say it — sometimes the subject of over-hype. That’s not to say it isn’t amazing; for many of us, it is. Just don’t worry if it isn’t perfect — if you don’t or can’t do everything I’m about to suggest or if your interests lie outside of these recommendations. That being said, here are my sophomore summer must-dos and hidden gems:

Must do: swimming, boating and paddle boarding on the Connecticut River (rentals out of the Ledyard boathouse); hiking Mount Cardigan; watching masters (if COVID-19 protocols allow); joining a summer dance group; taking a layup; stargazing on the golf course. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend darties, or parties in the daytime. If COVID-19 allows, Hit. Them. All.

A potentially less common recommendation is to get a Zipcar subscription if you won’t have access to a car on campus. There is so much to be seen in the area that’s just too far to walk to, and having a car will really transform your summer.

But my number one “hidden gem” suggestion for sophomore summer is to ask your professors for restaurant recommendations. Especially these days, when outdoor dining is the name of the game, you need to get out and try some new spots. You can ask students, too, but the recommendations I have gotten from professors have truly been on another level. Many of them have lived in the area for years and frequent restaurants that students often don’t hear about. From my professors over the years, I’ve learned of Cloudland Farm (farm-to-table three-course dining), Samurai Soul Food (Asian fusion and more), Stella’s (Italian) and so many more. With these recommendations and your aforementioned car, you will be introduced to a whole new Upper Valley during 21X. Have a great summer!

Love,

Dartie