Could You Look Happier Please?

By Katie Hake and Elizabeth McNally | 11/17/15 7:14am

By the time you’re reading this, we will have surprised our roommate, Maggie, by holding an early celebration at our house for her always-over-winter-break birthday.

By this time next week, Katie will be throwing things into her suitcase last-minute while Elizabeth studies for her last exam, and two days later we’ll be stuffing our faces and sleeping a lot.

By this time a month from now, we will be happily chafing from the wrapping up of our hiking trip in Texas and hopping on another plane.
By this time two months from now, it will already be winter midterms and this fall’s ‘17s will be swapped out for some new ones (Welcome back to campus, guys - meet the ‘19s.)

By this time six months, three weeks and a handful of days from now we will be putting on our caps and gowns to go walk, sit and listen for awhile, walk some more, high-five a well-known mustachioed man and go sit amongst the ‘16s for the last time.

But right now, there are finals to study for, DBA to spend, papers to write, break trips to plan, skiing trips over New Year’s to get excited for. And KAF is open late!

Katie: Back at the beginning of 15S, we hiked Mount Cardigan with our friend Kara. There was still a ton of snow on the ground, and we spent a lot of time slipping and sliding and sinking. Before this endeavor to get to the top, however, Elizabeth stopped us at the trailhead and made us promise that we wouldn’t be sad about next year — we were all just going to embrace our last year at Dartmouth and enjoy it while it lasted.

I made her that promise then, and honestly, it’s been hard (all these 15FinalFall Facebook albums — what are you, masochists??). But there are so many wonderful things I’ve experienced during my time here and so many things I’m excited for, and I’m going to do my best to focus on those for the next two terms.

Elizabeth: OK, this is adorable.

But also, having the calendar laid out like that is kind of stressful!

When I was waiting for my college decisions to come out back in my youth, I naively told my dad: “I just want it to be April,” and he told me not to ever wish time flew by faster, that there’s always something you can be doing while you wait to make time worthwhile.

Mine was kind of an offhand-not-serious comment, and maybe my father’s words are redundant advice for people out there better than me, but they really stuck with me. And so this calendar for the next few months scares me — but thinking about all that stuff isn’t going to make me enjoy Maggie’s cake any more in half an hour nor do any better on my finals next week. And I’ve got so much DBA left to spend at KAF, yo.

The other day my friend and I were walking back from FoCo discussing things ending, namely Dartmouth ending. Weirdly, we kind of started that conversation in a rewound version of Katie’s calendar above, discussing what we were doing a year ago today, two years ago today, three years ago today, etc.

Basically, we were talking about if it made leaving Dartmouth soon-ish any less sad because the universe doesn’t care that Dartmouth is ending for us. Whatever happens doesn’t matter from that perspective, and that that perspective is infinitely larger than my own individual perspective, so why do my opinions, thoughts or problems matter, and why do they make me feel things?

But I’m not sad my last favorite term at Dartmouth is over. And it’s not because of the universe, and it’s also not because I didn’t love this fall — I loved it.

What matters to me is what matters to me — sorry, universe. What I mean by that is I don’t care what the universe is doing up there if it’s not impacting us, and I don’t care that the universe doesn’t care about me. Dartmouth matters to me. The people in my life matter to me. The issues happening in the world around us matter to me. I’m not sad the fall is ending — it’s not exactly a surprise, after all. We’ve had college graduation penned into those long-term calendars since we got accepted here.

So, why am I happy the fall is ending? I’m happy because I didn’t know how much I was going to LOVE the fall when I came here. I’m happy because I’ve gotten (almost) my full time here, and I’ve gotten the opportunity to grow up here with so many amazing people and to see them grow and see myself grow. And now, I can’t wait to see the amazing things they’re all going to do next.

I’m also happy because we have Snapchat now, and it’s so easy to see everyone’s lives in the 21st century.

See you in the winter!


Katie Hake and Elizabeth McNally