Jun 152012
 

Isn’t that daunting? The end of freshmen year. No longer full of so much newness and excitement. No longer a time for firsts of everything. Like, the first time you walk around campus realizing you’re actually at Dartmouth? The first time you get disappointed, or feel inadequate at this place. Or the first time you discover you’re at home? I finished about two weeks ago, and as nostalgic as I am about everything, I’m glad I’m moving forward to sophomore year. Freshman year was filled with surprises, realizations about myself, and successes and failures. It was imagining I would love Government and actually loving Anthropology. It was finding that the friends I made were so different than my friends at home and deciding I was completely good with that. It was learning how to order Collis Pasta and not making a fool of myself. But, Sophomore year will give me a study abroad to Italy and leading an alternative spring break to D.C.. It will be trying new things so that I don’t feel comfortable, but always challenged. Getting to know new people, which leads to me the fact that  I am so excited to meet you ’16s! You’re pretty awesome, I hear. I know that freshman year seems a bit scary, but thoroughly exciting and I hope to meet you during trips! (Maybe I’ll be leading some of you? :)) People will be giving you advice, I don’t know how many people told me roommate horror stories or advice on how to spend my money wisely. I could give you a million pieces of advice, but really freshman year is about the unexpected. Advice will do you good, but the mistakes, the loss of expectations and the addition of new ones will be what makes Dartmouth wonderful for you. My advice then, however cliched it is, is be yourself. Never try and imitate another’s Dartmouth experience because it seems cooler than your own. Make sure your decisions are making you happy, and you’re set.

 

Wow. I actually did end up giving advice. Dang it. :)

  2 Responses to “The End”

  1. Hello from the West Coast! My name is Gabrielle Rudolph. I’m a junior in highschool, and am looking to major in Biology before pursuing Medical School. All that to boot, I’m also very interested in going to Dartmouth and had a few questions that I was hoping could be answered. Not to mention that I think it’s super cool that Darthmouth has a blog sextion for current students! I actually have a blog, too!

    - Why were you drawn to Dartmouth and what made it stand out from other colleges you looked at?

    - What’s your favorite part about being at Dartmouth? Is there anything you would change?

    - As a prospective student, is there anything from your own application experience that might be helpful?

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

  2. Hi Gabrielle!

    Nice to hear from you! Writing for this blog has been a lot of fun, and if you come to Dartmouth you should definitely consider joining it!

    So to answer your questions,

    1. I highly recommend coming and visiting campuses before you decide where you want to go! When I came to Dartmouth the first time it definitely felt right, and I know that’s a hard feeling to express, but the “feel” of a campus definitely draws you to a place. To me, Dartmouth’s mixture of a not too small, but not large campus population is perfect. (About 1,000 per grade) I feel like there are always new people to meet, but not so overwhelming that I feel lost in the masses. Every college will have problems and failures, but what Dartmouth showed me was a place where I was taken on a personal level seriously. Each of my professors have reached out to students and taken their time in individually helping you become better at whatever you might be doing. Even though I am not pre-med, or do any sort of scientific research, I have been (as an Art History major) able to do research on pieces at our art museum already as a ’15 (or past freshman this year). I also love the area, being in a small town can be daunting but I feel like it gives you the opportunity to be directly and closely involved in making Dartmouth and the communities surrounding it a better place.

    2. My favorite part about being at Dartmouth is how many things I can pursue here. There are countless opportunities to discover interests you never knew you had, and in addition have a crazy amount of fun. I’m really involved with issues of faith and service, and Dartmouth, particularly the Tucker Foundation, has helped me learn about myself. There are so many extracurricular things here that help you figure out what you want to do in life, and I think that’s amazing. Whether it be a fierce pursuit of making the perfect piece of pottery or running countless lab tests, I definitely know you can find a place on campus that is all your own.

    That being said, Dartmouth does come with plenty of problems. Any institution comes with difficulties and hard times. I choose though, in the midst of problems, to try and help solve them. I love Dartmouth, even in the times where its felt odd, and I have chosen to try and be a part of fixing problems, specifically in gaining recognition for student who are part of lower socio-economic statuses.

    3. My application process was a chaotic, insane ride. It’s tiring, and be ready for emotional meltdowns and sadness, but also I hope lots of happiness! At the end, you choose a college all your own! I will admit I didn’t necessarily think I would end up at Dartmouth, but I’m so glad I did because it is absolutely the place for me. So don’t be afraid if your dreams end up not happening, because there is always something much more right for you waiting.

    On a more practical note, essays are everything. At least I think so. Try and write something that is uniquely you. Even if that sounds completely and utterly cliched, try and pick an experience that is so important to you. Because I had submitted a previous essay to Dartmouth, I had to write a whole new essay just specific to Dartmouth. I wrote about my family and our weekly dance parties. Maybe it’s just me, but one of the other schools where I didn’t get in, didn’t have that essay, and my dance party essay has always felt like a good luck charm. I think that’s mostly because I loved writing it, and I know that when you write something that you actually had fun writing, admissions officers can feel that and know that you aren’t just writing something to get you into college. Write something that you’ll love to look back at and know that it wasn’t just for xyz college, but for yourself.

    I hope that answers everything! I’m super long-winded, but wanted to cover all of my bases!
    Have a wonderful junior year!! And I hope everything goes well!

    If you need any more advice you can always email me at Adria.R.Brown.15@dartmouth.edu

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