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Every year, during the holiday season, I find myself constantly cringing at interactions between my generation, the next generation and the previous generation. It’s painfully unavoidable. Whether it’s discussing relationship advice, American politics or nostalgic movies, there’s always at least one time per party where I wince at some sort of awkward discussion.
I remember a year ago sitting in my high school cafeteria with my friends and confidently proclaiming: “Hillary’s going to win.” My friends and I saw Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s victory as a given since, living in Michigan, a state that has voted blue for the past 24 years, we couldn’t imagine the vote going any other way. Yet look at us now, in the aftermath of an election that shocked the world — and an election in which Michigan bled red instead of blue — and that put a man into power who, as recently as a year ago, no one thought would be a presidential candidate yet alone the 45th President of the United States.
I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been a shoddy friend.
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has recently refined its mission statement. Along with the headline, “Tuck educates wise leaders to better the world of business,” Tuck has integrated a small paragraph explaining the meaning of wisdom:
I have never before spoken as much as I did during rush. Not even during Trips, Orientation or the first few weeks of freshman fall, when I was bombarded by a whirlpool of new stimuli and hundreds of eager fellow freshmen, did I speak that much. By the end of each day of rush, my mouth was dry, my throat hurt and my brain felt fried. Yet, I never would have thought it could actually be fun, especially considering my introverted tendencies and legitimate fear of small talk. Dartmouth is filled to the brim with outstanding, intelligent and bold women who each carry her own unique set of passions and interests. It was an incredible experience to finally meet them — after, unfortunately, an entire year at Dartmouth.
I recently came across my list of reasons of why I chose Dartmouth. Before enrolling in Dartmouth’s Class of 2020, I had scribbled out a few bullet points on April 24 while I was visiting campus independently of Dimensions. Two days later, on a rival college’s campus, I committed to Dartmouth.
In Sept. 480 BC, Greek citizens took a stand for democracy. Under the leadership of Themistocles, an Athenian statesman and general, an armada of hundreds of Athenian warships and other pledged forces fought in the straits of Salamis, the narrow waters just south of Athens. That day, the Greeks saved Western civilization in one of the seminal battles of the Greco-Persian wars.
Imagine this scenario: one Sunday afternoon, two friends are in the Collis Center discussing the controversial issue of police brutality towards African Americans. One student thinks that the entire police system needs to be revamped, while the other thinks that the problem is exaggerated by the media and that there are larger, more intrinsic issues at hand. When the latter states the point that black-on-black violence takes more lives than police brutality, the former is shocked. How dare the friend state such a fact! Suddenly, the first student becomes offended, targeted but most importantly indignant, not only because that student is uncomfortable with the opposing opinion, but also because that student possesses a different view.
I spent most of my first week at Dartmouth in the infirmary. None of my bones were broken and I wasn’t reeling from the flu, but I was still in a great deal of pain. Though most people couldn’t see it, if they looked close enough they could have noticed cracks, little fractures revealing the sickness within.