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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.
I wouldn’t rush if I went to a different school. I’m not ranking sororities off social clout. I’ll be happy wherever I end up. I’m not giving power to a system built on making girls feel bad about themselves. These are some of the many lies, or half-truths, I coaxed myself into believing during the rush process.
Given the size of our community and the College’s centuries of history, Dartmouth culture is rife with expectations for “traditional” rites of passage. There are different rules for every term: Sophomore summer is notoriously a two-course term for many, while winter term is for hunkering down because the opportunity cost of staying inside during daylight hours isn’t too high.
This weekend, as the leaves started to shift into brilliant reds and oranges, thousands of parents and loved ones descended on Hanover to reunite with family members from the Classes of 2023 and 2026. We connected with a few of the visiting parents to gauge the important — and sometimes invisible — role parents play in our college community.
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.
I love you.
Left Bank Books is a bookstore for romantics. Named in homage to the bouquinistes of Paris, the shop epitomizes the beauty and adventure of secondhand book culture. Students might come to Left Bank Books for its immaculate selection of curated literature, but we stay for the whimsical atmosphere and excellent customer service. From a floral tea set, stashed between crochet gloves and an antique copy of Babar’s Visit to Bird Island, to a vintage anthology of T.S. Eliot poems, Left Bank Books is filled to the brim with hidden treasures and conversation starters.
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.
What are you most looking forward to this fall?
Most kids start their career aspirations imaginatively: They dream of being an astronaut, or of starring in a blockbuster movie when they grow up. Jake Lotreck ’25, however, had a different dream from the start. Exposed to finance from an early age, he always wanted to be an actuary.
I smoked my first cigarette when I was 17. The week before, I had been hired at a pseudo-hipster falafel and kabob restaurant, where I had instantly fallen in love with my punk, college-dropout coworker who took smoke breaks about every other hour. Naturally, I asked one of my friends to “teach” me how to smoke, so I wouldn’t make a fool of myself if my coworker ever asked me if I wanted a cigarette.
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.
For the past few days, students may have noticed a sign-wielding man outside of Foco and on the Green asking passerbys an unusual query: “Working on eye contact, please stare at me.” The man with the sign, otherwise known as Ryan Alu, is a masters student in computer science at the College. Alu took a gap year and worked as a math teacher before starting his stint at Dartmouth last fall. Since then, he has been on a quest to better himself — and the Hanover community has taken note. The Dartmouth sat down with Alu to discuss the man behind the sign and his personal development journey.
Last Thursday, in an attempt to avoid the work that was already weighing me down, I set off down Main Street to visit Hanover’s only movie theater, the Nugget. As I walked through town, I reflected on the sometimes jarring experience of visiting local businesses near Dartmouth.
According to a 1955 news clip, “It didn’t cost Dad as much in those days to send Junior to college.” In the article entitled “Dartmouth Boys Found Cost of Food Low in ‘06,” the author regarded a 1906 Dartmouth “supper” menu with the vague resentment towards years of inflation with which we might view a decades-old list of food prices. It’s hard not to be swept away by a similar sense of nostalgia when eyeing the $7 fruit cups currently sold at the Hop.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been rejected from something at Dartmouth. If you haven’t yet, we sincerely hope that you will be soon. This isn’t because we’re sadists and we want to see you fail. Instead, we hope to see you succeed. We just know, after going through painful rejection ourselves, that trying — and failing — is an integral part of a person’s eventual success.
It was summertime in California, and as my hometown bestie and I lay basking in the sun, “Stick Season” by Noah Kahan played from a speaker nestled in the sand.
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.
At six years old, I sat quietly in front of the television as my mother put on my favorite movie of all time. Pyramids, pharaohs and gold artifacts flashed before the screen, and I was immersed in the world of “The Mummy,” a film about explorers in the 1920s who awaken an ancient high priest in their quest to excavate the famed “City of the Dead.” I can hardly begin to describe the impact that this film had on me as a small child; soon after watching it, when my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I was older, I proudly told her I wanted to be an archaeologist, just like my mom and Evie O’Connell, the female protagonist of the film. Growing up, I begged my mom to let me read her old Egyptology books from when she was in college, despite the fact that I was in middle school at the time and could not easily comprehend archaic textbooks from the 1980s. Even though archaeology is no longer my dream profession, Egyptian and broader Middle Eastern Studies have held a special place in my heart ever since.
The first time I walked into Foco, the sheer amount of options was dizzying. Loading my plate up with everything from the Ma Thayer’s station and grabbing a few famous chocolate chip cookies, I was certain I would never get tired of Dartmouth Dining and all it had to offer. That lasted until week three; after eating my fifth consecutive meal of fries and chicken nuggets, I knew that something had to change. While the College’s food offerings are often mediocre, and sometimes downright dangerous — I’ll never forget the time I found a decayed bug in the soy sauce accompanying my sushi roll — it’s a nearly universal experience for students across the nation. Takeout from Tuk Tuk is always an option, but instead of hurting your wallet, it’s better to figure out the hacks of Dartmouth Dining and which tricks work for you. As a Muslim and a picky eater, I’ve become a veteran at navigating the Dartmouth food scene, and I’ve compiled some of the best tips to making the most out of your meal plan.