I’m Stefan Deutsch, a ’14 engineering major from Essex Junction, Vermont, and I’ll be one of your Dartmouth Direct student bloggers this year!
This past weekend was one of Dartmouth most legendary traditions, Winter Carnival. Carnival started as a winter field day to encourage students to escape the doldrums of winter in Hanover, and has carried that spirit of adventure through to today. Over a century after the first Winter Carnival, the purpose of Carnival is still getting outside and enjoying a respite from classes and schoolwork for a few days. The weekend is centered around a variety of fun activities, from skating (cool) to swimming (cold) to concerts and dance parties (sweaty) to a chili cookoff (spicy). I love the fact that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re into sports, parties, performances, or just catching up on sleep.
I’ve noticed that people like to complain about the cold and the snow here (and, being from Vermont, I like to make fun of them), but I can definitely see where they’re coming from. It’s easy to get caught up in how soggy your boots are and how the snowdrifts make it hard to move when you’re just trying to walk to class. But, when you take some time to step back and look at it, the snow falling past the streetlights is gorgeous and the drifts actually make it a softer landing when you fall. In the same way, even though college can be a challenging place, a lot of the things that make it hard are also the things that make it worthwhile, and some of the scariest aspects can end up being your best resources. That’s really what I like the best about Carnival, and by extension, Dartmouth: it always gives you the opportunity to step back and appreciate the little things that make an education here so worthwhile. The sunrise is always beautiful after an all-nighter, teammates who I was once intimidated by are some of my best friends, and when you’re sprinting through the snow in a human dogsled race, it’s pretty easy to ignore the cold and focus on laughing with your friends.
Well, that’s all for now. I’ll be back next week with a breakdown of the engineering program in all its stress and excitement.