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For any graduating senior, their waning time at Dartmouth can elicit a myriad of emotions. There’s pride for their accomplishments, regret for the things they wish they did, joy for the memories they shared and sadness for the things they will miss. As they attend final a cappella performances, classes, club meetings and parties, many of these students have one thing on their mind: Cherishing their ‘lasts.’ For athletes, the end of their time at Dartmouth also comes with a first — their first time not competing in a sport that has played an integral role in their lives.
The notification appears: it’s time to BeReal. With just one alert, people all over campus — and all over the world — pick up their phones to snap a picture of whatever they are doing at that instant. Designed to capture friends at their “realest” moments, BeReal is a social media app that alerts users at a different time each day to take and share a picture in just two minutes. Subsequently, the app is catered to teenagers who want to break the social media facade of vacation photos, filters and fakeness.
The trek from the Green to the Life Sciences Center is about as long as it gets at Dartmouth. Sometimes, the LSC can feel like an enigma, waiting in a secluded corner of campus yet to be explored. On top of the building there sits an expansive glass box: Dartmouth’s very own greenhouse. I had seen the greenhouse from afar, illuminated with an eerie purple light at night, but I had never ventured into its leafy depths.
Every morning between the 10 and 11 class periods, sleep-deprived students line up at Dartmouth Dining Services’ cafe locations across campus. While the wait can be torturous, many students withstand it to get their fix: a cup of coffee that will help them stay awake for the rest of the day.
Updated 9:45 AM, May 4, 2022.
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.
It’s week five of spring 2022, and for many Dartmouth students, that means either you’re drowning in midterms, you haven’t breathed through your nose in weeks or you’ve become that person who wears shorts in 50-degree weather. As we navigate the fast-paced 10-week term, we’re told that we need to take some time for ourselves — “self-care,” we all call it. But when we are facing so much pressure to make the most of our opportunities at college, how do we find the time to relax and prioritize ourselves? What does “self-care” look like for Dartmouth students, and is it even possible to find time to relax and de-stress amongst the chaos of the term?
Let’s start with two different ways to wake up.
I was in that fuzzy space between sleeping and waking when I remembered that I couldn’t remember. The trash can beside the bed, the backwards t-shirt, the taste of frat in my mouth. Nice. Within minutes I was out the door, sneakers slamming hard against the cracked sidewalks. There was a part of me that desired some sort of physical undoing, like the act of sweating would somehow rid me of my poor decisions from the night before. I ran four miles that morning and jumped into the Connecticut with all my clothes on, probably still half-drunk. Soggy and confused, I returned to my room with the lyric line of “Why the fuck did I just do that?” reverberating around the inside of my skull. I didn’t know the answer to my own question, but I suspected that it had something to do with what I couldn’t process, what I didn’t want to sit in. Waking up to the taste of stale tequila on your tongue and foreign bruises all down your body from drunken falls makes for a depressing morning.
Picture this: You’re at tails, and you’re about to head to the basement for a game of pong. You leave your cup before you make your way downstairs, but have you ever thought about where you put it down? That’s probably a fraternity brother’s desk, and the first drawer is where he keeps his Economics class notes. And that brilliant drunken idea to hide your fracket in the oven? A brother cooked his dinner out of that oven last night. Oh, and that morning club initiation in a sorority basement last month? The booming music woke up a sorority sister at 7 a.m. Welcome to living in a Greek house.
I have been completely deceived.
Though the stress and excitement of Ivy Day, when many Ivy League colleges release admissions decisions, has passed, a difficult decision awaits the 1,207 students admitted to Dartmouth for the Class of 2026. As opposed to students admitted via early decision in December, students admitted on Ivy Day are not bound to accept their decision. Rather, they have the gift — or burden — of being able to choose where they will enroll.
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.
The other day I was sitting in Foco with one of my good friends, telling him about my romantic woes. With an exasperated sigh, I declared: “It’s impossible to find a meaningful romantic relationship at Dartmouth.” To which he responded: “Actually, most of my good friends are in great relationships right now.” And proceeded to list the names of these so-called “happy couples.” God, right. I almost forgot — he too is part of the couples club. Gross.
Are you sick and tired of hearing about the Marriage Pact? Can’t bear the reminder of your meant-to-be soulmate who turned out to be nothing but a failed flitz, an awkward Novack run-in or the person in your building who you never noticed before but now somehow see everywhere? Well, you’ve come to the wrong place.
It was a classic spring day in Hanover — 50 degrees, overcast and drizzling — when we started our trek down to the Ledyard Canoe Club docks for our daily ritual: A dip in the river. Down at the docks it somehow felt even colder, but we peeled off layers until we were dressed in only our bathing suits. It took some mental preparation, but eventually, we jumped. The cold was sudden and shocking — we both pulled ourselves out of the river as fast as we could. This jump marked day five of our week of daily dips — a challenge we undertook to write about the classic senior spring tradition.
Sometimes, all it takes is seeing a dog on the Green to brighten a student’s day. Although animals (other than fish) are generally not allowed in College housing, there are some exceptions for those who demonstrate a need to own an “assistance animal” — either service animals or animals that provide emotional support to alleviate the symptoms of a disability, according to Student Accessibility Services’ Animal Assistance Policies. On a campus generally devoid of pets, how do those with assistance animals navigate the approval process — and how do these animals adjust to campus life?
I subscribe to Golden Age thinking, the wistful idea that life would be better in a different era. Like the delusional protagonist of a Woody Allen film, I tend to romanticize the past to cope with an unsatisfying reality. However, unlike other — potentially more devoted — romantics, I’m not attached to a specific decade.
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.
Spring here at Dartmouth marks several milestones. The faint remnants of snow and ice slowly melt away, the Green grows more populated and darties become ever more present, even in sub-50 degree weather. But with the arrival of warmth, change also ripples through the campus. While seniors prepare to enter the real world, the next generation of student leaders takes the helm of many campus organizations — from Greek houses to student clubs and more.