Over three years of giving tours, and three years of answering the question, “What’s your favorite thing about Dartmouth?” I have never figured out how to narrow down all the things I appreciate into one concise, polished answer. But one consistent thing that always comes up in my answer is passion, which I was reminded of yesterday when interviewing one of my peers for a group video project. The project is for ENVS 11, Humans and Nature in America, and we had asked our interviewee to speak about Dartmouth and about what sustains her as a person, and she’d brought up that at Dartmouth, everyone is sustained by so many different things. My friends thrive on things from blues dancing to whale facts, and it always gets me excited to see and hear them so engaged.
Being at Dartmouth, I find it generally pretty easy to engage with the things I genuinely love to do. This term, since it’s my first term back on with my a cappella group since last winter, I’ve taken the time to appreciate the fact that I get to spend 6+ hours every week singing and improving my voice. Recently, we joined up with the Dartmouth Cords, an all-male group, to have a goofy show where we traded soloists – the guys sang the solos for our songs, and we sang the solos while they supplied the background! I got to sing “Haven’t Met You Yet,” which was an all-around super fun thing to do with the Cords. We also got to sing “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, which was especially wonderful since I had arranged that freshman year and always wanted to perform it with an all-male group. During First-Year Trips, volunteers in Hanover sing a version of “Home” with the words rewritten to welcome the first-year students, so that song holds a special place in the hearts of many Dartmouth students, and we definitely feel that love every time we perform it.
Winter also provides a special vocal opportunity in the form of Dartmouth Idol, Dartmouth’s very own vocal competition! Open to every student, the show gives people a chance to perform and really go all out musically in front of tons of supportive friends and fans. Last night, I sang in the Dartmouth Idol Semi-Finals, which was an absolute blast. I got to dress up in crazy clothes and sing “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia, which is just a really fun song, and I loved being able to run around on stage and pretend I was a rockstar. I like to talk on tours about Dartmouth students not being afraid to really nerd out about the things they love, and last night was the perfect example of an opportunity for me to do exactly that.