….Traditional Noms?

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May 272015

So, I don’t know about you, but one of my greatest priorities in life is food.

Literally, there’s nothing I look forward to more in my day than what I will be eating for lunch and dinner. I don’t eat breakfast, I know, I know, it’s the most important meal of the day but so is every other meal I have.

Since I know I’m not the only one out there who rides for food as hard as I do, I thought it’d be cool to write about one of my favorite places to eat in town: Lou’s. Don’t let the phrase “in town” fool you, the quaint town of Hanover has a “downtown” that refers to a small set of blocks across the street of Dartmouth’s entrance. Freshman year when someone mentioned to me that CVS was “in town” I thought I would have to borrow a car to drive 20 minutes, when it turned out to be a brisk walk from the Green.

I digress, Lou’s is the place to eat, I’m serious! Lou’s Restaurant has been serving smiles (and delicious noms) since 1947…at least that’s what it says on their website. Lou’s has such a great array of home style breakfast and lunch foods, if I could afford to eat every single meal there, I would.

My favorite part of going to Lou’s are the traditions tied to it. Since it’s been in Hanover for such a long time, it has become student staple for weekend brunches, birthday cakes, and Lou’s challenges. What’s the Lou’s challenge? You will find that here at Dartmouth, students are really invested in their education. Sometimes, a student will have to pull what is known as an allnighter–staying up into the grim hours of dusk and watching the sunrise as they review their last set of notes or write the last page of their paper. To subdue the tiredness and zombie-like state they are in, they will go to Lou’s for breakfast and be comforted by warm pancakes and french toast, and savory eggs and potatoes. Sometimes, students just try to stay up all night to do the Lou’s challenge since it’s a really cool tradition.

Most of my favorite things to do in Hanover and at Dartmouth center around the traditions that already exist. Accomplishing these traditions make me feel closer to the years past. As a senior graduating in a couple of weeks, I can admit that I’ve been trying to cross off as many traditions, or traditional activities (who wants to go canoeing with me?) before the time comes where I have to temporarily depart from a place I’ve called home for the past four years.

May 182015

In my first post I mentioned I was working abroad in South Africa. So naturally I wanted to make sure I was sharing pictures of Cape Town with you all!


Like I mentioned in a previous post, my appreciation for the outdoors has definitely been fostered by my time at Dartmouth. (Shoutout to First Year Trips!) The first time I went abroad through Dartmouth (a language study abroad program in Brazil) I spent my spare time checking out restaurants, museums and nightlife–but this time abroad, I am all about seeing the view!

Boulder Beach in Cape Town

Boulder Beach in Cape Town

My housemate Ali (who is infinitely more brave than I am) standing on the edge of Boulder Ht.

My housemate Ali (who is infinitely more brave than I am) standing on the edge of Boulder Ht.

Though I can’t promise you, you’ll have an opportunity to hike the cliffs at Boulder Beach, I can promise you as a Dartmouth student you will have a wild amount of opportunities to hike the various mountains around campus including our very own Mount Moosilauke! This past summer I had a couple friends partake in the tradition called “The Fifty” which is a 54 mile hike from campus to Moosilauke Ravine Lodge which took them about 30 hours to complete with a lot of moral support along the way from their fellow students who were stationed throughout the trail. If you’re like me and thinking “I’m not about that life” then don’t worry there’s plenty of chill opportunities for Dartmouth students to hike mountains and get some nice pics for instagram while they’re at it.

May 152015

10 weeks. 10 weeks. That’s all I get!

Oh, how I love my precious D-Plan system. It allows me all these great opportunities (like studying abroad), but it also condenses all of my classes. It’s a complicated relationship.

However when thinking about it, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. Here’s a list of why I love the D-Plan.

  • Typically you take 2-3 courses, and 4 if you want a challenge (don’t take 4 courses). This allows you to really dedicate enough time to each class.


  • Since we operate in 10 week terms, classes have a tendency to be extremely concise and efficient in terms of getting to the point of things. We learn material really fast, it’s actually pretty awesome.


  • Operating on a term basis we get to take 35 courses in a wide variety of topics.


  • If you don’t like the class, it ends in 10 weeks (instead of 20)!


  • If you like the class and the professor, you can take more classes with them!

These are the some of the reasons why I really love the D-Plan.


May 112015

There are so many perks to going to a school that is on the quarter system instead of semesters, however the quarter system tends to make ones academic life especially…rigorous.

Our quarters or what we call “terms” require that we fit the 15 weeks of material semester college students are learning, into 10 weeks. This means the average term at Dartmouth is fast paced with midterms starting as early as week 2!
So how do we stay on top of our academics? Organization. Every Dartmouth student has their own method of managing their time or keeping their assignments organized. Some buy huge calendars for their rooms, others have begun an obsession with sticky notes, while people like me like to make use of electronic reminders. Regardless of what method a student uses, I think we can all agree that having some type of routine for knowing what assignments are coming up is crucial. Because in a 10 week term it’s easy to fall behind.
May 052015

Hanover is pretty isolated, but there are still tons of things to do!

You really have to take advantage of the ~outdoors~ and the unique activities that you can only really do in New England:

1. Apple Picking
Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon (the next town over) offers apple picking at really low prices

Apple picking @ Poverty Lane Orchards

Apple picking @ Poverty Lane Orchards

2. Walk around Occom Pond

Occom Pond in September

Occom Pond in September

3. Star gazing at the golf course

Hanover Golf Course

Hanover Golf Course

4. Collis After Dark
The Collis Student Center offers free programming every weekend night. Events range from Pub Trivia to free movie screenings to lazer tag.
Check out more here.

For more ideas on what to do in Hanover, check out this list!

There’s something to do for everyone! Sometimes you just have to get creative.

-Monica Stretten ’15

The River

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May 042015

Spring time in Hanover is the BEST time to be in Hanover especially as I am able to finally go canoeing! When the ice in the Connecticut River finally melts the Ledyard Canoe Club opens for the season for canoe and kayak rental!


There is nothing more I love than to get a group of friends together after class and rent a canoe for the afternoon. I promise you there is nothing more peaceful than canoeing down the river and looking at the beautiful wilderness of New Hampshire. Anyone who knew me before Dartmouth can testify that I was not a nature person, but floating down the River every week made me a lover for the great outdoors. Luckily Dartmouth has a variety of PE classes and a wonderful outing club that takes students on canoe trips so there’s always a new route to take and a different part of the wilderness to discover!

May 042015

I’m writing this post as I sit on a bench on the Green in 80 degree weather. Yes. It is a gorgeous day. I feel like this:

Blog5 Things I like to do in Hanover, especially during Spring:

1. Go get gelato and take in the Sunshine

If gelato in Hanover could talk, it might say this

If gelato in Hanover could talk, it might say this

In 2011, a Forbes Article named Morano Gelato the best gelato place in the country. And it is good. For those like me who like to stick to the basics- chocolate and chocolate chip or those who like to branch out and try the changing flavors, the place right on Main St has you covered.

2. Visit Nathan’s Garden

Want to spend some time in nature? Spend time reflecting? This is the spot. Located only a few minutes from campus, you can escape the busyness of life, take a deep breath, and leave renewed. Took me to senior year to discover it, so hope you’ll give it a go much earlier.

3. Canoe on the Connecticut River

About a 15 minute walk from the center of campus is the Ledyard Canoe Club on the Connecticut River. As it warms up and the frozen waters finally melt, river chillen is approaching. Later this month, rentals will begin again and I can’t wait to go canoeing with some friends. Great way to spend an afternoon. For only $10 hr for a canoe, you can hang with a friend, go on a date, or just spend some time on your own with nature :).

4. Pine Park It.

Whether you want to go an intense run,  a power walk, or just take a stroll Pine Park is the place in Hanover to do it. There are many trails and you can explore the wildlife of Hanover. There’s something for everyone.

5. Chill on the Green

Last but not least, there’s the Green- the center of campus. Grab food to go and have dinner with a friend. Grab a towel and sunbathe.  Take a nap. “Study” on the Green or pretend that you’re studying as you just people watch. Grab a frisbee, soccer, or football and play with friends. Buy food from the Farmers Market on Wednesdays. Have fun. Relax. You can do it all. Maybe not all at once, but the Green is versatile and what you do there can be versatile too.

Or you can do your happy dance on the green like Carlton would...

Or you can do your happy dance on the green like Carlton would…

From the bench on the Green,


Apr 282015

Four years ago I boarded my first plane ever to Hanover, NH. After a pretty hefty journey I stepped foot on campus and was immediately welcomed by a student yelling, “Come to Dartmouth!” Having previously attended another school’s visitation program, I snarked at the thought of this student’s over enthusiasm as I flaunted the other school’s sweatshirt, backpack and water bottle (yes, I was that kid).

I was set on going to this other school, and was only here because I had already scheduled my visit. As the day continued I was met by the same enthusiastic student over and over again. It became so infectious! As I started visiting more open house events and programs I slowly started growing excited about this school.

Then, the Dimensions show happened. I immediately became in love with Dartmouth and its students. The fact that these students were willing to put together a show for the prospective students was amazing. The next day I spent getting to know the campus and the students. With every passing hour I began to see myself at Dartmouth.

I had to make a hard choice. I fell in love with both schools. Ultimately, a piece of advice was given to me by a ‘14 (s/o to Horacio if you’re reading this!), and it was to focus on myself and what the school made me feel. A large reason as to why I wanted to attend the first school was because of the friends I made there. That’s a very valid reason, but I was also forgetting that the friends I made there were also choosing between other schools and might attend different ones. I saw myself thriving at Dartmouth, and I felt that by the time Dimensions was over.

I’m still friends with the students I met during Dimensions. I now try to tell every student who thinks about Dartmouth to think about themselves thriving at this school. If the can, well……COME TO DARTMOUTH!!



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Apr 272015

Hey all! This is my first blog post and I’m so excited that I get to post from sunny Cape Town, South Africa.imageimage

I am currently here interning at an NGO (non-government organization) that focuses on domestic violence prevention and education. When deciding where to intern, many college students often have to turn down great opportunities because the internship is unpaid. Understanding that unpaid interns have living expenses, Dartmouth does a phenomenal job at providing different sources of funding for different unpaid internships.

I am able to work here in Cape Town due to the generous funding of the Tucker Foundation which awards fellowships to students who are interning at non-profits both abroad and in the states. However, there are many other centers on campus that provide funding for government, policy, marketing, startups, and a variety of other internships. The decision to take or turn down an internship is entirely up to each individual, but fortunately many Dartmouth students can choose to accept some awesome opportunities even if they’re unpaid due to the support of Dartmouth funding!

Learn more about the many different ways Dartmouth supports its unpaid interns here:


Spring Term!

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Apr 222015

It’s now April and spring has finally arrived! 

Don’t get me wrong. I think winter can be beautiful. I’m from Southern California and first time I ever saw snow in real life was when I came to Dartmouth. This past winter was one of the coldest in New Hampshire history, which makes me so much more appreciative of warm weather than I ever have.

Now that the snow has finally melted, kids around campus are sporting shorts and tank tops every day. It’s a wopping 60 degrees today, a temperature that makes most Southern Californians shiver, but most of my classmates are wearing dresses and sandals. It’s funny how relative even temperature can be.

This term, I’m really looking forward to…

The 43rd Annual Dartmouth Powwow over Mother’s Day Weekend
learn more here

Green Key Weekend
and the free concert!
learn more here

Going to the river and taking advantage of the cheap kayak & canoe rentals from the Ledyard Canoe Club

Hanging on the Green

And just enjoying the sun!

Spring is the best term at Dartmouth and I am so excited that it has finally arrived :)

peace & blessinz,
Monica Stretten ’15