I love you. I don’t say it enough, but I do. I love how unapologetically college you are. Sometimes in a pseudo-ironic chronically 2010s sort of way: “Tongue Tied” blasting, boys in cheap plastic sunglasses floating drunkenly up and down stairs, bare-minimum attempts at dressing on theme. And sometimes in a 1970s hold-my-typewriter sort of way: Rauner Library on a snowy February morning, draped velvet curtains and first edition folios.
I love Topliff’s gothic lanterns and Wilder’s climbing ivy. I love the lemon slices at Sanborn teatime. I love how nobody is too cool to commit to the bit, dancing in stupid synchronization to “I’m On a Roll” or chucking snowballs at strangers on the Green. I love vest Monday. I love how we listen to Dr. Seuss’s ominous internet alias when he tells us to pull up to the Green at midnight. I love the name “Butterfield Hall.” I love passing at least three people I adore every time I walk through Blobby. I love using made-up words like Blobby. I love Baker’s chiming bells, once an hour, every hour. I love Collis’s rotating selection of soups, especially curry cauliflower noodle. I love the piercing New Hampshire light. I love returning to a new campus every season: whimsical cherry blossoms in the spring, vibrant maple trees in the fall.
I love that The Dartmouth is the oldest college newspaper in the U.S. I love the trivial events our administration puts on to try and ward off seasonal depression — I, too, wish that holding a sedated bunny in five-minute intervals was enough to cure mental illness. I love the culty stuff. I love perching underneath a billowing tree on the Green. I love how no two strolls around Occom Pond are exactly the same, and how every full moon is a different shade of sublime. I love “Chicken Monday.” As a practicing vegetarian, I never participate in it, but I’m glad it exists.
I love the way leaves dance in the air as they fall off their branches during peak foliage. I love how I’m never the smartest person in the room. I love sunbathing by the river during that soft New England transition from summer to autumn. I love dousing Foco pancakes in maple syrup, even if it isn’t the real stuff. I love Professor Goldberg’s succinct and engaging lectures. I love the way snow sparkles on a sunny winter day. I love discovering free Thai food in Rocky. I love the Tower Room’s curated collection of esoteric books, like “The Culture of Make Believe” and “All Men are Enemies.” Every time I try to read one, I feel like I’m having a stroke, but the titles bring me joy nonetheless.
I love hammock culture. I love maple creamees. I love the free supply of feminine products in the Baker Library bathroom, even if the tampons are cardboard. I love how fast people are ready to rally. I love Robert Reich <3. I love how hard it is to permanently lose something here. I love the Dodecs’ cover of Breezeblocks. I love how Foco cookies are always warm and nut butter is in constant supply. I love that we have our own Skiway. I love our school colors. I love contemplating my current state of affairs on the golf course, in all its overgrown glory. I love how a warm afternoon at Dartmouth feels like the last day of summer camp. I love eating all the chocolate covered almonds out of the Hop bridge mix. I love Dartorialist’s film archives. I love how my memorable Dartmouth “firsts” (first flitz, bonfire, improv show, kiss, breakdown, river dip) lack a foreseeable “last,” and how hundreds of alumni flock to the middle of the woods each year to eat another Foco cookie and play one more game of pong.
Oh Dartmouth. I wish my love for you was as simple and tender as my love for all your moving parts. But for every “Chicken Monday” there’s an “I think we should see other people” Tuesday. Loving you is not alway easy. You’re a Sagittarius, I’m a Cancer — things were always off to a tumultuous start. Incompatible horoscopes aside, I think we can still make this work, because there’s too much good stuff to set aside.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Dartmouth. I love you.