Students Reflect on Their Decision to Attend the College in the Woods
One writer explores his decisions to choose Dartmouth and discusses this with students from each year.
Do you remember the moments leading up to when you opened a long-awaited college acceptance letter? Perhaps your heart beat fast enough to jump out of your chest and your family and friends shared words of affirmation. Maybe you then took a deep breath, gathered up your confidence and finally clicked the “open decision” button on the computer screen.
The moment I opened my Dartmouth decision came at a red light on a busy beach road in Hawaii, and my impatient and chaotic family begged me to open it right away. When the light turned green, my dad refused to continue driving until I opened the letter, and all I could hear was my siblings shrieking in excitement amidst the loud blaring of car horns. From the moment I saw “Congratulations” pop up on my screen, there was no real choice I had to make: Getting accepted to Dartmouth was a dream come true, and I was ready to spend my next four years at the College in the woods.
On March 30, Dartmouth released regular decision acceptances, rounding out the Class of 2027. As a new generation of prospective Dartmouth students weighs the pros and cons of choosing to come to Dartmouth, I asked students from various class years to reflect back on their own decision to spend the next four years here.
Michelle Sun ’23 said that when she made the decision to attend Dartmouth she was “excited but a little nervous” to make the journey from her home in California to New Hampshire. However, Sun said she felt at the time that there was no better place for her to learn, and now, four years later, she recognizes that her instincts were right.
“I have grown and learned a lot about myself here,” Sun said. “I have been exposed to so many different opportunities — like an FSP and internship in France — that I have been able to delve deeper into things I never dreamed were possible of doing in four years. Dartmouth has pushed me towards becoming a better person.”
Sun said she continued to meet new friends as late as her senior fall, adding that she has relationships with people “from a lot of different organizations” through her varied Dartmouth experiences.
Though I’ve only been at Dartmouth for less than a year, I have already found what Sun calls “a powerful sense of community, and a place where we invest in each other,” in groups such as the Dartmouth EMS, Outdoor Leadership Experience, and the Mirror section of The Dartmouth.
For Jivan Achar ’25 said he found community through what he describes as his “inclusive family” within his fraternity and his housing community, South House.
Rem Katyal ’24 said one thing he appreciates about Dartmouth that sets it apart from other universities is the D Plan, adding that the flexibility of the D Plan allowed him to find a government program internship at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. this summer.
Alongside the perks of the D Plan, Katyal, a government major, says he is looking forward to writing a thesis his senior year.
Following my conversations with various students, I feel more confident that my years at Dartmouth will be exactly what is best for me. I initially worried that my next three years would be set in stone, as I intend to pursue a STEM major and the pre-med track. However, the reality of Dartmouth quickly changed that perception.
Though I am still learning how to balance everything that comes with being a Dartmouth student, I am sure that this community has made me a better, more mature version of myself. I have not regretted my decision to come to The Woods for a minute.