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It’s been November for a couple of weeks, but it’s finally starting to feel like it. Today, while procrastinating papers and attempting to clear my head, I went for a walk in the woods behind the golf course. It’s easy to forget that we’re so close to nature — the golf course has gone untended since the varsity golf team stopped practicing there, and now the overgrown grass is less of a stark separation from the forest behind it. I stuffed my hands in my pockets and looked up at the sharp branches which made up the canopy above my head. It will look exactly like that until March or April. The winter always feels like the longest part of the year, even though it has the shortest days.
Here at Mirror, this week’s sunny skies are holding off the stark reality that fall is almost over. It’s the time of the term when we start rushing from the library straight into formal attire and then back again. There’s something triumphant but bittersweet about the term’s final push before our extra long winter break. We’re going to miss seeing the sun after 4 p.m., almost as much as we’ll miss seeing our classmates for six weeks and spending autumn in the idyllic woods of New Hampshire.
Friends, Romans, Dartmouth students — lend me your ears. As week 8 descends on an unsuspecting student body, we at Mirror have been stocking up on everything you’ll need to finish this term off with a bang. On the docket: a non-negotiable eight hours of sleep, a full water bottle, socks that feel like a warm hug around your ankles and a playlist that sounds like sunshine in your ears.
And just when it felt like we were getting into the swing of things, week 7 at Dartmouth hit like a swift kick to the jaw. (In one editor’s case, a literal kick to the jaw.) Cloudy skies and the passing of peak foliage might feel like a gray start, but as the skies turn sunny and our alumni come roaring back, we’re sure the rest of Homecoming week has festive things in store.
We’re on the downward slope of the term and of the year: Can you feel it? The rollercoaster of fall term’s energy inches up the track little by little. The markers we use to measure the term start to pile up behind us — but we’re still full of potential energy. Around midterms and peak foliage, we pick our heads up and take in the view at the top for just a moment. But before we’re ready, we’re released from our place on top of the world and we’re hurtling into the rest of the year.
Somehow it’s week five already, and for the most part, it’s kind of nice. It feels like we’re finally in the swing of things, finally getting a chance to stop, take a breath and settle into the term. As we pass the halfway mark, though, there’s also a hint of bittersweetness in the crisp fall air. The last lasts are beginning, and every leaf that falls is a sign of time’s ceaseless march forward.
At the start of the term, the trees of Hanover kept the coming season a secret. Standing tall, green and proud well into September, only the dip in temperature hinted at what this autumn had in store. Now it’s the first week of October and everything looks different. Orange, red and yellow leaves wink at us as we make our way across the Green — the same leaves that were here all year, now demanding our attention.
It’s been a really hard week. For many, the grief permeating campus is unsettling and saddenning, but feels just a little bit removed. For many others, it’s as still fresh, as raw and as unrelentingly painful as it was when our email inboxes first chimed with news of our classmates’ deaths. Feelings like these are complicated.
It’s been a rainy week in Hanover. But while we’ve been stepping around puddles while dashing to class and thinking about how heavy our backpacks are for the second week of term, we’ve also been taking a moment to notice that the Green looks a little greener.
It’s week one, but it just doesn’t feel like autumn leaves are falling down like pieces into place. Maybe it’s the still-green forestry or the crowds of unfamiliar new faces or the fact that this is my last fall ever, but I can’t shake this term’s particularly frantic feeling.
This article is featured in the 2022 Freshman special issue.
Well, this is it. We’ve reached the end of the road this spring, and somehow, even as the exhaustion is settling in, we’re not quite ready to leave. Such is the nature of the 10-week term: During week seven, it feels like all we want is to be done, but when we finally arrive at the finish line, the goodbyes feel more daunting than our finals.
Well, it looks like week nine is finally upon us. Now that Green Key is over, there is nothing standing in the way of us and our impending finals. Before we know it, we’ll be hunkering down in the stacks writing that final paper, or perhaps we’ll be hunched over a desk inside a windowless lecture hall rushing to finish a timed exam.
Can you believe it’s already week eight? Sometimes, the passage of time simply gets away from us. It really does feel like just yesterday that we were rolling up to campus after an all-too-short spring break — and now we’re publishing our third-to-last Editors’ Note of the term. Summer is on the horizon, and despite our excitement, there is also uncertainty in the air.
Maybe it’s just the weather, but somehow this week seven doesn’t feel like such a slog. After all, it’s hard to complain when we’re all getting our first sunburns of the season and “just 10 more minutes” on the Green stretches into long, sundrenched afternoons.
Well, it’s that time of the term again. Whether you’re recovering from an onslaught of midterms or you’re still busy hitting the books, it seems that burnout has become a nearly ubiquitous sentiment. It can sometimes be hard to find the space to breathe between the never-ending list of papers, problem sets and projects.
Spring at Dartmouth holds a strange tension between beginnings and endings. We wait with bated breath for the first blooms, the first sunny days, the first dip into the river and the first time wearing shorts. At the same time, for every graduating senior, it’s a season of lasts: Last term, last first day of classes, last Last Chances — the list goes on.
Why does it feel like every time the sun comes out, it’s close to freezing the next day? We would love for Hanover weather to pick a lane, but unfortunately, we know this season all too well to expect that. Springtime here is unpredictable, and it sometimes feels like Dartmouth is hot-and-cold in more ways than just the weather.
It’s week three, and I’m already losing my mind. Normally that’s a week eight problem, but something about this spring just hits different. There’s nothing quite like a sunny afternoon on the Green, but it’s always accompanied by a wave of exhaustion when the sun goes down. Maybe it’s the unrelenting stream of parties, darties and daily dips to join, or the fact that we are still in school — even when it feels a bit like summer camp. Whatever it is, I’m finding week three to be equal parts joyful and draining, and the reports from this week’s writers seem to corroborate it.
It’s crazy to think that just two years ago, many of us were shut inside the confines of our homes after campus was abruptly emptied. Now, we’ve regained a sense of normalcy that hasn’t been seen since early 2020. Masks are off. Nights are on. It finally feels like, for the first time, the “real Dartmouth” is creeping out of the shadows of the pandemic. Many of us have lived here for months — even years — but we have never felt the authentic pulse of our community until now.