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For all intents and purposes, the word “sophomore” refers to a second-year high school or college student. However, a quick google search reveals that the word has a more meaningful etymology. “Sophomore” is a hybrid of the Greek words sophos (meaning wise) and moros (meaning foolish). So, where exactly does that leave us sophomores? We are stuck somewhere between cleverness and senselessness. Misguided by the illusion of maturity, we are left to navigate our second year of college.
Climate change has made sustainability an increasingly important topic in our daily lives. And with the 2020 election approaching, environmental issues have been at the forefront of many political debates, in addition to taking on a greater presence in Dartmouth students’ lives. Whether you’re using a to-go container from Foco, recyling paper in the library or participating in conversations about emissions and green living on campus, it has become impossible to ignore the ways in which the world is preparing to conserve resources and be more mindful of how our actions affect our planet.
A paper plate award hanging on the kitchen wall of Dartmouth’s Sustainable Living Center reads “SLC — Most Likely to … Make a House a Home!” The Sustainable Living Center, founded in 2008, is designed for students interested in learning about sustainability as it relates to social justice, innovation, and environmental stewardship. However, it is the sense of community fostered by the SLC that truly defines the experience of living there, according to Anna Matusewicz ’20, current house manager of the SLC, who described the kitchen as the “unwavering heart” of the SLC community.
From the first meeting on Trips to the Commencement ceremony many terms later, Dartmouth holds a myriad of opportunities for creating relationships with peers. Within the individual pathways at the College lies the shared student experience of navigating the beginning of adult life. Dartmouth students work to fulfill their academic requirements but also to maintain the fire that sparked their relationships with others on campus.
Many students at Dartmouth are aware of the concept of the “Dartmouth bubble,” or the fact that Dartmouth is a relatively isolated college community that inhabits an area that is more affluent than many of the areas around it. However, there are programs at Dartmouth, like the Center for Social Impact, that work to break down barriers between Dartmouth and the area surrounding it. One way that the center does this is through the Youth Education and Mentoring programs.
The concepts of health and wellness have become buzz terms lately. From lifestyle blogs to mindfulness apps, it seems like everyone has something to say about improving our quality of life. Blogs like goop advocate practices based in pseudo-science, and Instagram influencers advertise “diet tea.” It is important to acknowledge that self-care is often a privileged activity, with many people lacking the time or resources to prioritize their health. However, our society’s recent focus on wellness has helped destigmatize mental health and shed light on the value of self-care.
When you think of global health, you likely think something along the lines of aiding with emerging diseases and health issues abroad. While these tasks are a part of global health, the field extends much farther beyond that. At Dartmouth, global health encompasses domestic health concerns, as well as looking at the intersections of health equity, human rights and cultural implications in health.
College and alcohol are invariably connected: preparing for midterms and preparing for tailgates, finishing your essay and finishing your game of pong, going to class and going out for the night exist in tandem. At Dartmouth — a college jokingly referred to as “The Party Ivy,” with a beer keg as its official-unofficial mascot and whose student population is majority affiliated — this is especially true. It can be difficult for students to keep this balance and, in some cases, can lead to high-risk drinking behaviors.
Culture is a notoriously amorphous concept. To some, it encompasses the arts, food and language associated with a particular group of people. To others, culture might be more clearly aligned with factors like race, gender, religion and politics. However you may conceptualize the term, culture is intrinsically linked to our daily lives and is constantly changing. Especially this week, as we celebrate Dartmouth’s culture during Homecoming, it is important to consider how we can think mindfully and critically about the issue.