Trips is definitely one of the best experiences at Dartmouth. It’s very bizarre to be told as soon as you arrive that you are setting off on the “best five days of your life”. I’d just left home, was jet-lagged and thinking “what kind of crazy school have I gotten myself into?”
Setting off for four days on a canoe, in the rain is not everyone’s idea of fun. But I returned with some amazing friends and a feeling of belonging that I don’t think you will get so soon at any other college.
The first day canoeing is what could be called ‘a bonding experience’. It rained solidly for about 20 or so hours. We canoed through the rain, slept under tarps and woke up with puddles at the bottom of our sleeping bags but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That evening I huddled together with 11 other complete strangers, playing mafia and quickly realised that they weren’t strangers anymore. Inside jokes, ridiculous games, sharing embarrassing facts and listening to jokes that simple shouldn’t be told (because they were simply that bad!) are just a few of the memories that made that evening.
“WELCOME HOME” is how everyone on trips will greet you. Dartmouth becomes so important to you in five days, it’s difficult to see how you lived without it. I arrived back on campus looking awful, smelling bad and with the biggest smile on my face and 11 people I already knew. It’s terrifying going to a new place and scrambling to make new friends. Trips did that for me and, in the best way, welcomed me home.