On Their Final Lap
As their time at Dartmouth comes to a close, members of the Class of 2023 share their intentions for their last term and advice for younger years.
The Class of 2023 hasn’t exactly had it easy — the COVID-19 pandemic radically impacted their first-year spring, and since then, their college careers have been anything but typical. Following the trials they’ve faced, the ’23s shared how they plan to make the most of their final term at Dartmouth.
Stephanie Racker ’23 said that while she is excited to eventually “move on to the next chapter,” her goal is to stay present and enjoy this term.
“I feel like some people put too much pressure on their last term,” Racker said. “I want to treat it like every other term and just enjoy it, but put more emphasis on those little moments with friends … I want to sit on the green more often, have picnics or go to the river more.”
Max Montrose ’23 also said he looks forward to the spontaneous, day-to-day adventures he’ll share with friends this term.
“I’m obviously looking forward to Green Key, but what interests me more are the [smaller] get-togethers with friends, like the Sunday dinners and Foco meals,” Montrose said. “At the end of the day, this term will be an average of all of its days, and making each of them really awesome by doing the stuff that I love is going to be crucial.”
Some members of the Class of 2023, such as Jordan Koehler ’23, shared that they’re hoping to try new things that they haven’t experienced before at Dartmouth.
“My friends and I decided that we’re going to try and go into every building on campus, because there’s some I’ve never stepped foot in,” he said.
Racker said she will take classes in areas she hasn’t explored before for fun.
“I finished my major and minor in the winter, so I’m just taking random courses I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to [take],” Racker said. “I’m taking a class called Philosophy of Time and Time Travel … It’s nice — my classes are kind of random, and I don’t feel the pressure of ‘I need this [class] to graduate.’”
Racker added that she also looks forward to experiencing senior week for the first time. Senior week is the week between the end of spring term and graduation, when seniors attend commemorative events, rehearse the graduation ceremony and celebrate with friends and family.
“I am very excited for senior week with just our class. It will be a nice, bittersweet moment for us all to share together,” Racker said.
Montrose said that he wants to “leave no stone unturned” by the time he has graduated.
“I just want to make sure that the quality of my friendships, and of my relationships with professors, is something that I can be proud of when I leave,” he said. “I want to be able to look back at the end of the term and say, ‘Wow, we really enjoyed ourselves.’”
In addition to sharing their bucket list items for the spring term, the ’23s provided advice for younger classes following in their footsteps on topics ranging from academics to friendships.
Koehler advised students to prioritize academics as well as social activities.
“It can be really easy to say, ‘No, I can’t go do this tonight because of work,’” she said. “But I feel like I missed out on a lot of fun and crucial things.”
Montrose, who left the pre-med track and then returned later, emphasized that students should not be afraid to change their mind.
“I know I want to be a doctor, but…if I find some other great passion, or get that little itch that this isn’t for me, I would listen to that voice or at least explore it,” he said. “I looked into consulting, I looked into finance recruiting, and those also gave me more confidence in my current path.”
Racker advised students to follow their passions, regardless of outside influences or anxieties about grades.
“My advice is to go with classes in the department that you’re genuinely interested in, whether you [did well in] them or not,” she said.
It’s a bittersweet time for the ’23s as they do their best to make the most of the days they have left in Hanover. As Montrose put it, one day many of us will probably fondly reminisce on our memories at Dartmouth. He advised current students not to wish their college years away.
“Just do everything you can so that you’re actually making the most of this time,” Montrose said. “When I’m older, [I don’t want to] wish I had been more present. I want to look back on [college] with happiness and joy.”