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The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Editor's Note

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On Monday, after a day spent conducting interviews for my design project, converting data on endangered species into a usable format and scrambling to fill out job applications before their deadline, I decided to put aside work for the night at 9:30 p.m. I listened to one friend tell us about her grandfather’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. I danced goofily to Rihanna’s Pon de Replay. I laughed at a character’s attempt to pass himself off as a son of Mitt Romney in the show “New Girl.” When 1 a.m. hit, I retreated to bed, content, fulfilled, grateful for the relationships in my life. I dozed off within minutes. 

I awoke to anxiety. In my carefree state the night before I had neglected work that now hung over my sleepy head and shook it awake. I faced doubt about how I would manage to complete it by the end of the day. Doubt turned to panic when I opened my phone to an email from a faculty member who informed me that he wouldn’t be able to meet with me about the assignment until Friday. The deadline for the assignment was Wednesday night. Leaping out of bed, I let out a string of expletives, cursing my decision to unwind the night before. 

“What were you thinking, Street?” 

Self-disparaging thoughts rang through my head — and then urgency coursed through me when I realized I had to rush to a meeting. Stumbling out of my apartment to face the bite of a chilly morning, I felt confused by how my state could have radically changed over a night’s sleep. 

My life at Dartmouth is a balancing act between doing the things that I know will matter to me in a week, month or year — like problem sets and job applications — and the things that I know will matter to me in 10, 20 or 30 years — like dancing with my friends to Rihanna. Relationships are the most important thing in one’s life, a lesson that my father has instilled in me over and over again, but I don’t have an answer for how to strike the right balance between assignments and those moments that define a relationship. Each decision made between them may bring regret in the short-term, but it may be consumed by contentment in the long-term. I don’t know how I’ll feel at the end of my life. In the end, I suppose all I can do is strive to stay in the moment — and take a step back to reflect when needed, although certainly not in the midst of swinging my hips while Rihanna tells me to “turn the music up right now.” 

This week at Mirror, our writers reflect on various aspects of their Dartmouth experience. One writer explores how students feel about the culture of the exercise-tracking app Strava, while another investigates what is on fraternity basement floors. A third writer asks students about taboo topics at Dartmouth and a fourth spotlights the Dartmouth Prison Justice Initiative. Another writer covers the ins and outs of the Dartmouth Machine Shop, and one more writer reflects on her expectation of perfection. 

However you may be feeling midway through Week 8, we at Mirror hope you find a healthy balance between problem sets and dancing — and maybe hear a little Pon de Replay along the way, too.