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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Editors' Note

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Over break, I saw a ’28 after she opened her acceptance letter to Dartmouth. I stood in an adjacent room — not knowing her well enough to feel as though I could be there for the actual opening of the letter — and waited to hear a reaction to the seemingly fate-deciding laptop click.

I heard a yelp. Then some crying. The sound of my breath subsided while I attempted to hear an indication of the outcome. Then, I heard footsteps approaching, and a voice tinged with tearful exuberance called out: “Street, she got in.” 

My entrance into the room felt like I had walked into a scene reserved for a modern day “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Tears glistened in the eyes of the parents who couldn’t quite believe that another one of their children would be attending the school of their dreams. While we sipped champagne and reveled in smiles that refused to leave our faces, I felt lucky to bear witness to this intimate family setting. I thought back to my own moment in which I read “Congratulations!” on my laptop screen. 

Then too, a yelp rang out. There may have been tears, too. I don’t remember reading the rest of the letter besides that first word. Hugs followed, as well as head shakes of disbelief and expletives that produced a look of surprise from my mother. But even her momentary disapproval was quickly subsumed by the joy bouncing around the walls and ceiling of that room. After the initial shock subsided, and the pop of the champagne bottle had long passed, I remembered feeling excited. And nervous. I had one semester left of high school, but I had no idea what to expect from my Dartmouth experience. How could I? 

Now, a senior in my last two terms, I feel that same uneasy anticipation again. I have yet to secure a job for post-graduation, “adult” life, and I keep stumbling upon reminders of the finite time I have left to spend in this place: the last first day of winter term, my last chance to use the college discount for the Skiway, the last term of writing these editors’ notes. But this time feels a little different. Like the ’28 with euphoric disbelief on her face, I know that I can’t always predict what the next click on my laptop will bring. But even it results in something different from what I expect — I know starting Dartmouth during COVID did not lie within the realm of possibilities I conjured in my mind — it may end up even better than I hoped. I still wonder how I  know all of these incredible people that also decided to venture to this town in the woods. 

This week at Mirror, our writers discuss the other parts of Dartmouth that may challenge expectations. One writer explores preconceived notions of dating apps and their role at Dartmouth, another writer interviews a postdoctoral student who recently won a L’Oreal USA grant and a columnist gives advice to a student worrying about the winter months, 

No matter what your expectations for this winter term and beyond may be, we at Mirror hope you find a way to enjoy the unexpected. Happy Week 1!