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The Dartmouth
February 24, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Mirror Asks: Back to School

Mirror writers share their back-to-school advice, backpack essentials, fall bucket list items and more!

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Are you on campus this term?

Anne Johnakin ’23: Yes.

Caris White ’23: Yes!

Caroline Kramer ’24: Yes. 

Arielle Feuerstein ’24: Yes!

Claire Callahan ’22: Yes. 

Brian Zheng ’24: Yes. 

What do you keep in your backpack?

AJ: Two notebooks, my computer, loose apple.

CW: Several kinds of chargers, a water bottle  — often unfortunately empty — and reusable bamboo silverware for when I remember to use it at Collis. 

CK: Laptop, iPad, chargers, snacks, water bottle and gum.

AF: I usually have my laptop, tablet, chargers, water bottle and a sweater in case I get cold.

CC: 5-section notebook, planner, journal, laptop, chargers, AirPods, water bottle, coffee thermos, light sweatshirt and lip gloss.

BZ: Laptop, folders, pens and pencils, water bottle and charger.

What is your note-taking style? On paper or computer? Organized or messy?

AJ: I take all my notes in these reporter notebooks that are made for practicing spelling. Collis Market has them and they are very cheap: Would recommend. 

CW: I just switched to using an iPad, and I’m never going back. 

CK: On my iPad, but suuuuuper messy.

AF: I just started using a tablet to take notes. My notes are usually pretty messy while I’m writing in class, but I try to organize them after class. They tend to get messier as the term goes on, though… 

CC: All of my class notes are handwritten in one notebook that has different sections for each class. They are somewhat organized, but get messier the more interested I am in the class.

BZ: On computer, organized in an outline/bullet point style.

Any activities on your bucket list for fall in Hanover? 

AJ: Go to VINS Nature Center and see the birds. 

CW: Going on hikes and getting maple creamies at Mac’s Maple.

CK: I want to go on a lot more hikes and overall try things this term that weren't available during freshman year.

AF: Definitely hiking Gile!

CC: Apple picking is the most basic and most correct answer.

BZ: Go to a football game or two.

What is one piece of advice you have for the '25s beginning their first term at Dartmouth?

AJ: Take a second to breathe and reflect on everything that's happening. I recommend woccoms [walks around Occom Pond] by yourself or going into town and window shopping.

CW: Take a class just for fun! I didn’t know that I like either of the subjects I am now majoring in before coming to Dartmouth. 

CK: Set aside time to relax and do what makes you happy. Mental health >>>

AF: Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if you have no experience! Lots of people find new hobbies or interests in college that they have never done before, so if something piques your interest, go for it.

CC: Don't put pressure on yourself to join every single club you're interested in! There are always going to be way too many things to join, and if you expect yourself to do it all, it’ll just stress you out. Choose a few things, and then just really enjoy them. You have so many terms to explore!

BZ: Make a schedule for your week and try your best to stick to it! Work can pile up quickly if you’re caught off guard.

What has been your favorite class at Dartmouth so far and why?

AJ: ENGL 52.03, “Dave The Potter.” It's a super interesting deep dive into an enslaved potter and poet. You get to make pottery and work at the Letterpress Studio, and it's super beginner friendly.

CW: ARTH 63.13, “Bad Art!” It was my first ever art history class and taught me to think about culture, art and popularity in completely new ways. Also, the professor is awesome. 

CK: My GOVT 3, “The American Political System” class took place at the same time as the 2020 presidential election, so we got to discuss real-world, real-time examples of the material we were learning.

AF: I really loved my first-year seminar. I took ENGL 7.54, “The Future of the Book” with English professor Jessica Beckman, and it was a really fascinating glimpse into the effects that digitization and the physical form of a book have on the delivery of a text. 

CC: My favorite class has been CRWT 21, “Intermediate Creative Nonfiction.” We were tasked to go out and find something in the Upper Valley to write about. The range and quality of my peers’ stories was incredible.

BZ: WRIT 07.27, “Philosophy of Science” — my first year seminar forced me to question things like “What is knowledge?” and “How do we know what we know?” and asked us to tackle open questions in the field. I loved that level of academic depth and exploration.