It’s all so typical.
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It’s all so typical.
In just a few weeks, I’ll be heading home for the summer. I’ll catch my friends up on my first year at Dartmouth, and they’ll tell me about their experiences at their own schools. We’ll drive around with the windows down and spend evenings eating dinner outside and walking to get ice cream. I’ll bike to the beach to work as a lifeguard, I’ll see my dogs and my parents every day, and I’ll make meals in my own kitchen.
Ah, the sweet sound of the Dartmouth Listserv blowing up your inbox on a Monday morning. We despise the Listserv for many reasons. Most of all, we hate how it makes us think we’re more popular than we are. 35 new emails? That must be that woman emailing me back about that internship, or Hinman notifying me of the arrival of my outfit for Green Key and at least four flitzes from all the cute guys I made prolonged eye contact with in the library yesterday, right? No, unfortunately the Listserv breaks our hearts once again — it’s just the notification for the Sports Analytics meeting on Tuesday.
Sophomore summer is approaching, and with it comes the promise of easier classes, warmer weather, river dips and a campus left just to the ’24s. Yet, as I’ve discussed sophomore summer with upperclassmen friends, bonding within Greek spaces has been a common refrain. This presents a particular problem for me, as I’m part of the 39% of Dartmouth ’24s who are unaffiliated, according to the latest statistics from the IFC and ISC.
Somewhere beyond the veil of sleep, the implacable shrill of my alarm yanked me back into consciousness. Without my knowledge, my hands went searching for the source of the sound, hoping to silence it before my brain kicked back into gear. Cruelly, my last-night self had set my phone out of reach. I groaned a small protest and righted myself, letting the fog clear from my weary eyes.
Do engineers strike you as the type to be constantly hunkered over a desk, working on mysterious and complicated projects which may seem removed from the everyday, ‘real’ world?
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.
Last week, my friend’s history professor had COVID-19 — and without class for a few days, she had much less work than usual. When she explained this to one of our other friends, they rolled their eyes at her. “Well, that’s just the humanities,” they said with a sigh.
At a school as outdoorsy as Dartmouth, it sometimes feels like you need to be summiting mountains and backcountry camping in the wilderness of the White Mountains every weekend in order to call yourself a hiker. While some Dartmouth students do live up to this generalization, climbing a 4,000-footer is not everyone’s idea of fun. For those looking for less strenuous, closer-to-home hikes, there are plenty of trails for all skill levels. After conducting extensive research and braving these hikes myself, I’ve compiled my personal ranking of the Upper Valley’s best hike locations — from least to most enjoyable.
Every year since 1999, some sophomores have embarked on First-Year Trips-esque adventures to kick off their sophomore summer. These sophomore trips — called STRIPS — have been an annual tradition for decades, and have always aimed to strengthen class bonds. However, given that the Class of 2024 missed their opportunity to attend First-Year Trips as incoming freshmen, the stakes this year seem particularly high.
Leaving for college is always a kind of uprooting — from home, from family and, for some, from religion. Like many liberal arts schools, Dartmouth has a reputation as a bastion of secular scholarship, but the reality is that it’s just as religious as its student body. For some students, Dartmouth might be the first place where their immediate community isn’t faith-based, while others might have never stepped foot in a church. Between new friends, new perspectives and increasing distance from home, many students find their religious beliefs changing during the college years, but to write off Dartmouth as an entirely secular institution would be a disservice.
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.
One early Friday morning this winter, I awoke to the blaring of my alarm clock and begrudgingly rolled out of bed. As my feet hit the floor, the blood rushed from my head and I immediately became light-headed. Ugh. I didn’t have time for this, so I continued on with starting my day, but the ringing in my ears grew louder and my spotty vision became darker. As much as I tried to ignore it, the light-headedness was not going away. I remember putting in my right contact first, but my corrective lenses couldn’t make up for the black spots that began to consume my vision. As I brought my left contact lens to my eye, all of my senses seemed to escape me — until the hard wood of my bedroom door kindly caught my fall.
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.