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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Editor's Note

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Hello, Mirror readers, and welcome to Green Key week!

Last Tuesday, I spent a long time sitting, practically motionless outside Collis, for so long that my arms were actually sunburned — which anyone in Hanover knows is no easy feat. I found myself paralyzed, trying to fight off the stress brought on by the wicked combination of an upcoming government midterm, a coding project and my general despondency at (still) fighting for summer employment. 

In a spring term that has generally been filled with the joy and excitement of being back on campus, last Tuesday was certainly a low. I was overwhelmed with obligations and assignments that didn’t seem to be panning out the way I wanted. While I slouched there in a Collis Adirondack chair, I idly spooned an açai bowl into my mouth and listened to Jack Johnson in the hopes that the warm weather would be able to perk me up (it didn’t). 

As I fought through the week, I conquered my challenges one by one, leaving midterms and projects in the rearview mirror. But I still felt like I was in the movie “Groundhog Day,” endlessly living the same day. A change was in order, and fast. 

So, as usual when the term becomes too much to bear, I followed my escape plan, hopped on a bus down to Boston and fled to my aunt and uncle’s home in their small town south of the city. Even after arriving, however, I was immediately dragged back underwater. My English thesis proposal was not due at midnight as I had thought, but in fact at 4 p.m. The weekend of peace thus unfortunately began with a frantic jog to my uncle’s office building, where I sat down and hurriedly finished my proposal.   

Despite its hectic beginning, my weekend away was nothing short of restorative. My German aunt fattened me up like a child in a fairytale with split pea soup, schnitzel and sausages. The three of us celebrated champagne hour both nights at 6 p.m. sharp, gathering around the dinner table to talk about our family, call my cousins and swap jokes. My uncle even spontaneously took me along to his stretching yoga class, where I promptly fell asleep on the mat. It was all a welcome reprieve from Hanover’s series of psychological five-alarm fires. 

When thinking back on my weekend, though, there’s one moment in particular that I treasure. 

My aunt and uncle have a beautiful backyard, a grassy soundscape framed perfectly with towering trees and the echoes of bird calls. On Saturday evening, my uncle lit a bonfire, and we sat on the back patio quietly. We listened to the evening songbirds and attempted to pick out their calls — the crooning mourning dove, the staccato chirps of the chickadee. 

After seven weeks of hopping from deadline to deadline, it was serene to just sit there, listening to the natural world around us. My uncle jokingly said living at their house during the pandemic could have turned him into a Buddhist — and I think he’s probably right. 

That evening summarized why the weekend was so rejuvenating. We took some time to slow down and simply reflect. Slower meals and conversations and slower movements and meditation. Away from the frenzy of Dartmouth, I no longer felt like my life was speeding away at a breakneck pace.

So in light of my weekend, perhaps I can offer some advice to my beloved readers: don’t be afraid to take some down time to recenter yourself this week. Maybe it’s a home-cooked meal, a walk around the pond or a dip in the river. Whatever form your relaxation might take, embrace it — especially ahead of what is sure to be a chaotic, albeit enjoyable, Green Key. 

This week at the Mirror, one writer spotlights GOVT 86.54: Congressional Investigations, and another talks to students about their favorite fall term classes. Another writer reflects on admissions essays and her own admissions process, and a former Mirror editor says goodbye to her time at Dartmouth. 

The trees around campus are in bloom, the sun is finally out and Green Key is just around the corner. So take a minute, or maybe a few, to enjoy some time outside with this week’s issue of the Mirror.