19 Reasons You Should Come to Dartmouth

By Grace Miller, The Dartmouth Staff | 4/28/15 8:20am

Dimensions is over, and the May 1 deadline is fast approaching. I am sure that many a '19 are debating the question of to come, or not to come. I hate decisions — they make me want to take a nap. That’s why I have created this comprehensive list of 19 reasons why '19s should come to Dartmouth.

1. We are a family (more like a cult, but a family is a nicer way to put it)

Colleges will drone on about the “tight-knit community” at their school, and their “strong alumni network,” but Dartmouth doesn’t just talk a big talk. No matter the situation, Dartmouth people will go out of their way to help each other. This became very clear to me during my off-term when I had not found a place to live. and at least three students offered me a place to crash in their homes, their sister’s apartment or even a random family friend’s place. Dartmouth people love to meet other Dartmouth people, and the bond of cold New Hampshire winters binds us together. We look out for our own — coming to Dartmouth is not just for four years, it is for life.


Apple picking, pumpkin carving, cider donuts and leaves changing in the fall. Midnight snowball fights, skiing, ice sculptures and hot cocoa in the winter. The glorious renewal of life, the Green becoming green again and first jumps in the river in the spring. Actually getting to enjoy Hanover summer sophomore year: hiking, swimming, working outside, ice cream runs, dinner at the Lodge and beautiful sun.

3.The DOC(Dartmouth Outing Club)

If it has to do with the outdoors, the DOC (the oldest outing club in the country) has it covered — from canoeing, hiking, chopping wood and axe throwing all the way to organic farming. Not into outdoorsy things? The DOC still has amazing infrastructure to enjoy, with 11 cabins throughout New Hampshire that students can rent for $5, a massive Lodge with bunkhouses at the base of Mt. Moosilauke (where you can enjoy a home-cooked five course meal for $8) and the Dartmouth Skiway, a college-owned skiing destination.


Before you come to Dartmouth, please fully wrap your head around quarters and the 10-week term. Yes, terms are intense and can feel quick, but you only take three classes, you don’t forget things too terribly after only 10 weeks and you get more chances to take prerequisites for other courses. Also, we get six weeks off between Thanksgiving and the New Year, which means you can actually do something interesting with your break (or lie in bed the whole time recovering from the insanity that is a 10-week term).

5.The D-Plan

Yes, you get to spend sophomore summer on campus and look for internships in the winter when there is less competition, but what makes the D-Plan great is that it forces you out of your comfort zone. Students take gap years their junior year to travel the world, farm, work at a tech company or simply take a break. If you see an opportunity, you can take it. It also forces you out of your comfort zone of friendships. It’s impossible to rely on the same group of people every term because your friends may be off. While this can be scary, it also encourages branching out and meeting new people rather than getting in a rut.

6.The Greek System

This point needs to be qualified: you do not need to be a part of the Greek system to enjoy Dartmouth. What I will say is so great about our Greek system, though, is that it’s constantly being challenged. Most parties are open to everyone, and there’s no policy against first-year guys or only letting in “pretty girls.” Would I want to hang out in every fraternity on campus? No. Would I be able to hang out in every fraternity on campus? Yes. Many sororities (and fraternities) are also local, which allows them to have open parties and basements for campus, creating more female-dominated social spaces on campus. Our system isn’t perfect — no Greek system is. We mostly have Greek houses so we can play pong, hang out with our friends, talk about our week and meet other people.

7.Our Scandals

I’m sure every accepted student has had about a million people ask them, “How could you think about going to Dartmouth? What about *insert scandal here*?!” Yes, Dartmouth has had been in the media a lot lately, but mostly that is because people are actually watching us. Our problems on campus are not unique to Dartmouth — they are issues facing colleges all around the country. What’s different at Dartmouth is that since our dirty laundry is being aired, we have been forced to start discussions that have continued on. Every college has issues, but at least we are working toward solving them.


Homecoming, the bonfire, trips, Sanborn tea, the 50, midnight snowball fight, polar plunge, Winter Carnival, snow sculptures, the Ledyard Challenge, Green Key and so many more. Don’t you want to be a part of something bigger?

9.The People

Wicked smart, super humble, involved in absolutely everything, sexy; ), athletic, a little crunchy, a little weird but always enthusiastic. These people will inspire you.


It may seem scary, but when else will you live in this crazy, beautiful, rural town?


What better way to get to know your class than by battling through the wilderness and weird bodily odors together?

12.Sophomore Summer

I mean, how can you complain about this?

13.Phil Hanlon’s Mustache

It’s full of secrets!

14.Our Instagram

It’s pretty here.

15.FoCo cookies

Freshman 15 is worth it.

16.Dartmouth Lingo

You can feel better knowing what flitz, facetime, blobby and Parkhursted mean.


We call email “blitz,” and we use it for everything. You will learn how to deal with 200 emails a day (a life skill), and you’ll be able to contact anyone — so long as you know their name — thanks to the Dartmouth Directory.

18.Our Belltower

Our Belltower is wonderfully terrible. It plays the alma mater every day, yet never seems to improve. It is a comforting sign of home. Also, you can email Quasimodo with song requests.

19.Her Spell

Our alma mater says “around the girdled earth they roam, her spell on them remains,” and that is damn true. Once you come, you never want to leave.

Grace Miller, The Dartmouth Staff