Growing up, my favorite movie was Air Bud*. I told myself that I would live in a town just like the one Buddy lived in. Born and raised in LA, I never knew what a small town felt like, and as I grew older, I constantly kept that in the back of my head. It’s ridiculous, I know. Senior year of high school I only applied to schools on the East Coast. I had never visited, but was nonetheless excited of the potential to live in a place where I saw all four seasons.
Upon my admittance to Dartmouth, I visited and immediately fell in love. I felt at home. I could call Dartmouth home. That’s what ultimately framed my decision to come. Let me tell you why I fell in love:
- The physical size of the school. As a self-proclaimed city person, I realized how small Hanover was when a local directed me to the CVS “in town” being about 4 minutes away from where I was standing. I can basically get from one point of campus to another in about 10 minutes.
- The infrastructure. This might sound silly, but Dartmouth in itself is super pretty. During the fall is when I caught a glimpse of the beauty everyone raves about. I often take walks during the Fall and Spring. The river is great to visit during the Summer. I love laying on the Green and doing work. I had never been this close to nature, with the Appalachian trail crossing right through campus. I think it’s pretty awesome that I can explore the woods whenever I want and have time, which is something I had never done in LA.
- The small-town feel. I remember not knowing what to do when strangers (mostly locals) said hi to me as I walked on campus. Coming from a city, you don’t really do that. I really love it! I love getting to know people on campus. I love being able to run into people I know and say hi to familiar faces, but also still have a campus full of people I’ve never met before!
- The students. During my visit, I met a handful of ’13s and ’14s who really helped me form my idea of what it would be like to come to a school like Dartmouth. They didn’t have to, but they spent the entire day with me hanging out and taking me around. After I went back home they kept in touch, and even now they have become some of my closest friends though they’ve already graduated. It was the students I met that made me feel like I was at home.
There are other reasons that I came to Dartmouth. The academics, the accessibility to professors, studying abroad, financial aid, the student engagements, which I plan on speaking on. However, I think that it’s important to consider what kind of physical environment you want to live in for at least four years.
*It’s actually hilarious I just found out that Air Bud took place in Washington state and I thought it was an East Coast town my entire life!