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The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Essential Dartmouth Playlists

From studying to pong, we’ve got you covered.


As we reflect on our last night of production as the 178th Directorate’s Arts editors, we would like to share something meaningful and expressive. We have truly enjoyed writing and editing pieces about the arts on campus and beyond, as this creative sphere allows for special connections between peoples. Art, theater, music, movies and books serve to foster a shared humanity, and we hope that our articles over the past year have reflected this valuable sentiment to the Dartmouth and Upper Valley communities. So, in our last piece as Arts editors, we use music to highlight shared Dartmouth traditions. We hope you enjoy these playlists.

For study sessions in the library:

By Lucy

Although studying may be just a necessary evil, few Dartmouth students will disagree that your go-to study spot is extremely telling. Throughout COVID-19, Sherman Art Library, my personal favorite place, has been open only periodically, and I would love nothing more for my senior spring than to be able to commandeer a table in Sherman all day with my friends. With open windows to appease the library’s pandemic policies, listening to this playlist will make the studying bearable. As the mud season passes and weather improves, motivation wanes and a well-chosen queue always helps bolster inspiration. Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a playlist person, typically scrambling for my next song as the current one fades out, but with my last term approaching, it’s only fitting that I finally codify the soundtrack that has accompanied so many hours in the library over the past four years. 

For a hike on Holt’s Ledge:

By Lucy

A few days ago at dinner, someone remarked that they love how much Dartmouth students appreciate the performing arts on campus. At first, I was skeptical; the College doesn’t have a great reputation for supporting its students in the arts, especially in terms of services like career support. However, she explained that at no other school does she know of so many students attending dance performances, a cappella shows and mainstage productions on a regular basis when they themselves aren’t even involved in the arts. Although this is anecdotal, I think that it does hold true. Nearly all my friends saw “RENT” even though we only loosely knew a few students performing, campus bands crop up reliably each year and consistently clamor to play at social events and there is not a term that goes by when I don’t see at least two Sheba Dance Troupe shows — for which there are reliably lines out the door. Dartmouth definitely has a reputation for being crunchy, but I think we short shrift the student investment in the arts. With this playlist to hike the classic peak foliage trail of Holt’s Ledge, also known as the Dartmouth Skiway, I wanted to draw attention to not only the outdoorsy tendencies of Dartmouth students, but also the appreciation for the arts, including music. Giving a soundtrack to the stereotypical pilgrimage to a local hiking trail marries the student body’s engagement with the arts with their crunchy reputations.

For pong:

By Shera

When you’re not hitting the books, you’re probably hitting a pong ball. Whether you’re playing in the basement of a Greek house or a backyard somewhere, you need electric music that will have you energized and zoned in. I have been building on the playlist that this one is adapted from since freshman year, and have used it pretty much every weekend for pong and other social events. It’s the soundtrack for many of my favorite Dartmouth memories. From making friends freshman year to playing pong sophomore summer to enjoying the weekends now, this playlist has never failed to hype me up. I think it reflects the lively, outgoing side of the Dartmouth experience, as a complement to the studious, diligent side. The balance between these sides is perhaps my favorite aspect of college — that one can spend four hours studying in the Tower Room and the next four playing pong with friends. Inspired by the latter, this playlist features over 130 pop, rap, hip-hop and EDM songs and has you covered for any pong game.

For swimming in and tanning by the Connecticut River:

By Shera

It’s been a long 10 weeks of frigid, snowy New Hampshire winter, so let’s have something to look forward to in the spring: swimming in the Connecticut River. It is so lovely to lay out on Kendal Docks or Wilson’s Landing on a sunny, 70-degree day. Of course, sophomore summer is peak swim time. My friends and I would lay out on Kendal Docks for hours, chatting, swimming and tanning. I loved closing my eyes and enjoying the way the docks undulate with the waves. One of my favorite memories was swimming (admittedly arduously) across the river to the rope swing. Jumping off that tree branch filled me with absolute delight and gratitude to go to college in New Hampshire. Wilson’s Landing became a sacred place for us last spring, offering an outdoor sanctuary from the stresses of the pandemic. I brought my picnic blanket for us to lay out our smorgasbord of food, and we would talk, eat, drink rosé and savor the sunset over the water. These are the moments that inspired this playlist, which offers a range of indie, folk and alternative music. I hope it pairs with many blissful moments of sunshine and sunset.

Shera Bhala
Shera ('22) is an arts writer and editor for The Dartmouth. She is from Kansas City, Missouri, and has traveled in 34 countries. Shera is double majoring in government and French.