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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Editors’ Note

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Happy Week One, Mirror, and happy 24S! Gretchen here.  

Time at Dartmouth always seems to move at a peculiar speed compared to time anywhere else, but this term I’ve felt the discontinuity even more acutely. This is my third year at Dartmouth, but only my second spring on campus. One year ago, I was preparing to move to New York City for my off term. Combine that with the strangeness of going to school during sophomore summer — followed by a junior fall spent abroad — and a part of me feels like sophomore year never really ended. Yet somehow, here I am, staring down at the last 10 weeks of junior year. 

Even harder to comprehend is that this spring marks the transition of leadership in many campus clubs, so now the class of 2025 — our class — is in charge of many organizations on campus. On the one hand, I’ve wanted to be a Mirror editor since I joined my freshman fall. But on the other, I can’t believe that three directorates of The Dartmouth have now come and gone since I joined the paper. Though I’m still wrapping my head around how much time has passed, one of my goals for this term is to embrace the changes that come with this passage rather than bemoan — or worse, willfully ignore — how old I’ve somehow become. After all, before we know it, the Class of 2026 will take the reins. 

Are you there, Mirror? It’s me, Tess.

Well, it’s spring. I can tell from the constant kaboom of roof avalanches falling outside my classrooms, and by the fact I have to wriggle through the massive crowds at Collis to order my breakfast bagel each morning. But the most obvious clue is the reappearance of all the faces that I haven’t seen in months because of off-terms and study abroad programs. It makes me indescribably happy, bringing back the novelty of Dartmouth once more. 

This past winter felt weird in a way I hadn’t anticipated. After spending my off-term cloistered on Capitol Hill, I thought it would be strange coming back to campus, that people would forget I existed and cliques formed abroad would alter my friendships. And my return did feel unnatural, just in a different way. Every public space I walked into, I was accosted by groups of people who were completely foreign to me — presumably all of the freshmen and sophomores that remained out of sight and out of mind for my previous two terms. As my friend Adrienne once said, “Sophomores run this campus.” Her statement had never felt more true than last winter, as I watched the Class of 2026 huddle with their friends at sorority meetings and invade Foco darkside — all waiting in anticipation of their one great, true and beautiful sophomore summer, which has already passed me by. 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to throw myself a pity party, but that’s just how it was. On the other hand, this term already feels happily familiar — sort of like a callback to freshman year — as most of the juniors are reunited on campus once again. Sure, we’re different. Maybe we dyed our hair platinum blonde, deleted our social media or spent our off term in the middle of nowhere. But it is novel, great and nostalgia-inducing to see the people I started my time at Dartmouth with once more. Here’s looking at you, kid(s)!

Hey Mirror, it’s Marius. Long time no see. 

It’s my first term back on campus since last summer, and “surreal” doesn’t even begin to cover it. After a term abroad and one term off, it feels strange but also comfortable to slide back into the “Dartmouth bubble.” Last Saturday, my bus drove up from Boston in the midst of a huge snowstorm — a fitting welcome back to New Hampshire — but when I woke up the next morning, the snowfall had left campus pristine: a clean slate for spring term. I’ll admit I was worried about returning after being away for so long. Foco now seems like an alien planet, with hordes of eager freshmen that I don’t recognize. I, too, have changed. Not to toot my own horn, but I’d like to say that I grew a little experiencing the wide world beyond Dartmouth, and it feels odd to slip back into that old mold.

But it’s also a term of reunion — and while trudging through feet of fresh powder with friends I haven’t seen in months, I’ve realized that this spring is a blank canvas waiting to be smeared with color. Here at Mirror, Tess, Gretchen and I are ready to begin.

This week at Mirror, we talk to students about having a car on campus and explore the Hanover laws around biking. One writer investigates smaller-scale traditions within friend groups, while another looks at Dartmouth students’ attitudes toward intellectualism. Finally, one writer reflects on this past winter and its seemingly insignificant moments. 

So rather than trudging through the snow and sludge still blanketing the streets of Hanover, head inside where it’s warm — and where Week One’s Mirror issue awaits.