Coming back to Dartmouth after a term abroad is a little like coming to college for the first time; you don’t know what will have changed, what will stay the same, or what new people you’ll meet. During my time studying abroad in Rome, I kept tabs on the school in the same slightly maniacal way that I did over the summer before my freshman year, watching the days tick by, counting down the time until my return. I even over-eagerly initiated Facebook chats with people I was only tangentially acquainted with, and made questionable Friendsy decisions. All of this reminded me of my excitement and anticipation about joining the Dartmouth community for the first time, and I think that it speaks to the power of Dartmouth that even after five terms, I couldn’t wait to get back. It wasn’t only FOMO (fear of missing out) that made me anxious to return, but the community and energy of Dartmouth. Now that I’m back, I’m once again impressed by the capabilities and quirks of my amazing classmates, the surprising ability of campus to still be beautiful under a thick layer of by-now-sort-of-brownish snow (there won’t always be snow, guys, I promise), and the intelligence and legitimate interest of the professors (we aren’t number one in undergraduate teaching for nothing, y’all).
The thing that I missed most while I was gone, though, was meeting new people. New people like YOU, future ’18s! I missed meeting new friends-of-friends at at-first-awkward-but-rapidly-turning-into-okay FoCo dinners, connecting with strangers in the line for the mail center, and making new friends in the mozzarella stick line at Late Night Collis. Dartmouth students never get tired of meeting new people, and we can’t wait to meet you! Whether it’s at Dimensions, on a visit, or as a member of the class of 2018 (or some combination! Do two! Do all three! Come to Dimensions! Come to Dartmouth! I’m serious!), we can’t wait to welcome you to your new home. Congratulations on your acceptance, now get over here!