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When Dartmouth first announced it would allow students to live on campus this fall, many ’24s were overjoyed. With some universities transitioning fully online, students were grateful that the College had granted them at least one remnant of a normal college experience.
The following piece is a letter composed of responses to an anonymous survey shared with the Class of 2024, which asked freshmen to reflect on their first term at Dartmouth in a message to their pre-fall selves. While responses have been edited for clarity, the content comes directly from the freshman class. I hope that by reading this letter, ’24s, upperclassmen and the rest of the Dartmouth community may gain a better understanding of how freshmen experienced their unconventional first term.
Each day’s early sunset is a reminder that winter is coming. The intensity of the cold and the scarcity of the daylight hours strengthen the appeal of the indoors. But as COVID-19 cases rise and many students plan to return to campus in the winter, the announcement of the Dartmouth Skiway’s reopening was a bright point in a dreary-looking flurry of information.
Food is an inescapable part of our campus culture. We find it everywhere: in dinner picnics on the Green, as fuel for late-night work sessions in Novack and as an oddly popular topic of conversation. But not everyone’s relationship with food is straightforward. Many students with eating disorders struggle to navigate Dartmouth’s dining halls and food-dominated social scene, and their difficulties are only compounded by COVID-19 restrictions.
“I almost made it the whole term without being interviewed by The Dartmouth for being a transfer,” said Sevie Browne ’24, a transfer student from Tufts University. Alas, no such luck. Dartmouth saw 45 new transfers this fall, about three times as many as usual.
Dartmouth students have great affection for our libraries — take our interactions with the Dartmouth Library Instagram account. When I was a freshman, my First-Year Trip leaders showed me which parts of Baker-Berry were social and which were designated for intense studying. Although different spaces within the library function in different ways, the library as a whole feels like home to many students. This time last year, I remember stacking my belongings — essay drafts, extra pens, flaming hot cheetos and caffeinated yellow vitamin water — in the shelves of the periodicals, preparing to practically live there until finals were over.
Whether gathering with extended family around dishes of turkey and pie during Thanksgiving, piling on a couch with friends to watch “Home Alone” or excitedly embarking on a New Year’s vacation, many people eagerly anticipate the joys of the holiday season. The winter months are usually an ideal time to reunite with friends and family and reflect on the past year.
At the end of week five, I hit a breaking point studying for my upcoming microeconomics exam. In a stressed-out frenzy, I sent an email to the Tutor Clearinghouse, politely asking if my individual tutoring request for ECON 21 had been processed. I added that I “would be really grateful if my requested pairing could be made!”
Now that the fall term — a critical time for freshmen and other students to join clubs — has wound down, leaders and new members of student organizations across campus have had an opportunity to look back on the successes, challenges and outlooks for their respective clubs as winter term quickly approaches.
Well, we did it — we finished 20F. Whether that means completing your first term in Hanover or managing to stay sane while taking online classes in your childhood home, we all have something to celebrate. This fall was not without its obstacles and difficult moments, but we can all take pride in knowing that despite all that the world has thrown at us — a pandemic, a divisive election, remote learning — we managed to persevere.
On Thursday, the Ivy League announced the cancellation of all winter athletic competition. For the sports affected — basketball, ice hockey, indoor track and field, skiing and squash — there is currently no timeline for resuming competition prior to the 2022 season.
This past term was an unusual one for Dartmouth. As the first term to welcome students back to campus since March nears its close, there is much to reflect on. In your opinion, was this term successful? What worked and what didn't?
Victoria Blodgett, assistant dean of postdoctoral affairs at the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, was known for her warmth, humor and positivity. Blodgett died on Nov. 4 after a two-year battle with uterine cancer. She was 59.
Even as positive COVID-19 cases at the College remain in the single digits, 56 students are currently in quarantine and five are in isolation, according to Dartmouth’s COVID-19 dashboard. The current total is a spike from the dashboard’s totals on Saturday, when 29 students and 7 staff members were in quarantine, and a total of 25 students and staff were in isolation.
Since the world shut down back in March, most of us, myself included, have been anticipating the end of the pandemic and hoping to get back to our regular lives. And with recent news of the apparently successful Pfizer vaccine, many of us have grown even more fixated on ending this crisis. However, with so much time devoted to predicting the end of the pandemic, its causes are often overlooked. Our society made choices that allowed this pandemic to occur, and we need to evaluate them so that we can avoid similar disasters in the future.
From beginning to (almost) end, 2020 has been the most unconventional year in recent memory. And naturally, the music released this year has been strange. While those who released music at the beginning of the year largely finished recording before the pandemic began, many artists releasing albums at the tail-end have had to work around stay-at-home orders and general shutdowns. As always, art has found a way to overcome, and these 10 albums represent some of the best music released in this otherwise difficult year.
Over the years, the idea of “Friendsgiving” — a Thanksgiving meal with friends — has become wildly popular, especially among college students. It’s a great excuse to host a dinner party, catch up with friends and share good food and drink. I have fond memories from my first two years at Dartmouth of gathering at a friend’s house at the end of fall term and feeling the stress dissipate as winter break began.
A new bubble tea store — 4U Bubble Tea — will make its debut in Hanover in January 2021, becoming the only bubble tea business in town after the closure of The Swirl & Pearl in March. The store, which will open at the underground location on Main Street previously occupied by My Brigadeiro, will feature different flavors of bubble tea and Asian snacks.
This past Saturday, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and other religious groups around the world celebrated the holiday of Diwali. On campus, Dartmouth’s Hindu student organization Shanti celebrated with a prayer and a celebration, though the event was notably smaller this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
On Thursday evening, the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy hosted a post-election analysis event with CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper ’91. The event drew more than 500 viewers, a record live audience for a virtual Rockefeller Center event.