Alexis Wallace

Mar 202014
 

Spring term is here in less than a week and I keep asking myself, “Where did the time go?” More importantly, what was I doing with my time? Let’s recap.

Hill Winds Society welcomes the Breezers after 5am wake-ups

Hill Winds Society welcomes the Breezers after 5am wake-ups

I boxed. I danced. I conquered. Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say, “conquered,” for that last part, but some amazing things happened! Thankfully, I became a member of the Hill Winds Society and a tour guide this past term! Other highlights: I became involved with the Dartmouth chapter of She’s the First. UJIMA put on a ton of shows and I was able to dance in all of them. I participated in the Leaders, Attitudes, and Behavior program sponsored by Rocky. I finished SAPA training. I finished calculus forever (I hope). My friends and I adopted the song “#Selfie” as our 14W theme song. I discovered the bathroom code for the first floor of my building along with a new favorite burger from EBA’s. I purchased my first Snapback. I assisted in dyeing a friend’s hair. She dyed it back. I followed through with over half of the lunch/dinner/brunch/coffee dates I promised people in passing. You could say this term, while extremely busy and tiring, was overall pretty successful.

UJIMA performs for Stroll Show 2014

UJIMA performs for Stroll Show 2014

My favorite accomplishment by far was that I met truly amazing people during 14W. Some of them have become my closest friends here and I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for us. Unfortunately, for others, this will be our last term together. As a ‘17, I am so blessed to have had the wisest, most inspiring, mentors from the ‘14 class. I admire the ‘14s so much, and while I can’t imagine the campus without them next fall, I know that they have many wonderful opportunities ahead after graduation. As for me, I’m not going to be a shiny, new freshman for much longer, and that’s perfectly fine. I hope to use their imparted knowledge to make the most of my time at Dartmouth, constantly adding to a story that one day, a ’20 will deem worth telling.

Pre-Freshman Formal

Pre-Freshman Formal

See you in the springtime ~

Jan 142014
 

Greetings, everyone! The first week of the term was extremely hectic but I am so glad to be back. One thing I haven’t been too thrilled about is the weather. However, there have been plenty of ways to deal with that minor issue. For instance, I have learned that it takes double the amount of time to walk to class for me, in order to prevent any embarrassing yet inevitable slips and crashes into the snow. It happens. Also, Bean Boots and Canada Goose jackets, I’ve noticed, are practically staples of winter clothing here (though per usual everything in my size is out of stock essentially everywhere so no luck as of now, but pro tip – get these items before winter term and you will love me forever).

As for my classes, I absolutely love them. I am taking the next level of my Latin course with one of my favorite professors from fall term, a calculus course, and a riveting writing seminar that also happens to fulfill my literature distributive. While it is important to fulfill requirements here in a timely manner, it is perfectly acceptable to take a class that may not give you the requirement that you need yet enriches you in some way. The best thing about college is that it is okay to change your mind and do something for your personal benefit. I wish someone had expressed this notion to me earlier: you have a right to say no. This fact applies to absolutely everything in life, including, but not limited to, classes, clubs, events, social pressures, etc. Winter term is amazing because essentially it gives you the ability to do everything all over again with maybe a few fresh faces or even start something new. For instance, I decided to join the boxing club this term because why not, and having attended only one practice so far yet waking up with a sore and stiff body this morning, I’ll keep you updated on how that goes… Having been on campus in the fall, I found so many clubs to join and got on so many blitz lists. Now that I’m in my second term here, I have discovered how to manage my time and which activities I actually want to participate in. When you turn down an activity or attendance at a certain event, or even a class, just remember that it is not personal, nor will the person(s) you are trying to please who are involved be offended. College is such a short period of time that you should want to spend it doing exactly what you want to do (albeit those aforementioned things should not infringe upon the rights of others, though hopefully that goes without saying; I’m a Sexual Assault Peer Advisor as of this term and they emphasized this among other things in our training so I felt the need to share that!).

Overall, winter term has exceeded my expectations, despite being one week in. I have never seen so much snow accumulated in my life, and it is beautiful. While I do miss a ton of upperclassmen friends who are off this term, it has been great to meet new people and learn about their experiences. I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

dartmouth winter

Dec 112013
 

“You know, you really don’t have to check the second they put it up. You already got into some decent schools. Don’t worry about whatever that letter will say.”

“Yes ma’am, I know…”

“Good. Then you can get off of your phone and check when we get home.”

“MOM. MOM. MOM.”

“WHAT? Do I need to pull over?”

“NO. MOM, I JUST GOT INTO DARTMOUTH. I’m sorry; I checked. I DON’T EVEN CARE WHAT THE OTHER LETTERS SAY. I GOT INTO DARTMOUTH. That was the only one where I thought, ‘I really loved my interview. If I get into this college, it will have been because of me and on my own.’ DARTMOUTH, MOM. I AM SO HAPPY.”

We're so happy for you!

We’re so happy for you!

If you’re at all like me after I read my acceptance letter, you’re probably so excited right now that you’re stalking everything Dartmouth related on the internet, including but not limited to: blog posts about Dartmouth, Dartmouth paraphernalia, every instagram picture with either #dartmouth or #dartmouth18s, just to find your future classmates, et cetera. First of all, you have every right to do these things. You just got accepted into COLLEGE. All of your hard work has finally paid off. That super padded resume you’ve been building for 4+ years and those hours you spent prepping for standardized tests are finally behind you (for now).

Secondly and perhaps most importantly, I would like to tell you CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to officially welcome you into our Big Green family once you arrive on campus next fall. You’ve made the right choice, and after alerting all social media of which institution you’ll be attending next fall, you can relax. Breathe. Know that what lies ahead is far greater than what you may be leaving behind, and that it is all worth it. Of course, don’t forget about the remainder of your senior year. Cherish these moments you have with your friends and family. At the same time, remember that you are still a student. You still have to pay attention in classes so try your best not to become a victim of senioritis. No pressure.

You guys are the lucky ones, so just remember that. You know where you are going to be spending the next 4+ years of your life, and that is a luxury in itself. You know what you can do now? Stay away from College Confidential and try to be supportive of your friends now and throughout the year as they determine which school their parents will be giving their money to, rather, which school colors they will be proudly wearing from now on. Some of them have to wait until March – even April – to find out where they’ve been accepted. You thought this wait was torture?! You thought wrong. Well, no, it probably was too, but still. It wasn’t that bad because you just got your fairy tale happy ending. YOU ARE GOING TO DARTMOUTH. THE BIG GREEN. THE D. THE DART. DARTHIGH. DU. HOME. I could go on giving you nicknames for the best college ever, not figuratively, forever. Suffice it to say, YOU’RE IN! I apologize for the caps lock overload in this post, but I am just so excited for you. You’re Dartmouth ’18s and you actually exist now. Unbelievable. We ’17s just got here! It’s fine though; we still love you. Good luck with the rest of your exams and finish out senior year with a bang!

Nov 162013
 

So here I am nine weeks later, with my first term at Dartmouth coming to a close. As I reflect on all of my great memories this term and over these past few weeks I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given and all of the people with whom I have crossed paths. Two weeks ago, I had my first dance group performance (in a parking lot, Step Up style, naturally) with a group of people that has become my family away from home. This past weekend, I went to Montreal in the Canadian province of Quebec with the Programming Board and a few close friends. We climbed Mount Royal, ate a delicious dish called poutine, dabbed in speaking French (I have only studied Latin as my foreign language, so this was interesting for me) and had the experience of a lifetime. Just last night, I heard the most powerful testimonies given by a few of my peers at the Christian Union Thanksgiving Dinner event that allowed me to see them in such a different light. In this welcoming environment, I learned that everyone has been through so much on his or her journey to Dartmouth, and it is truly inspiring how beautiful and strong these individuals that I greet in passing each day actually are.

Ujima presents: UPOCALYPSE @ NADNESS 2013

Ujima presents: UPOCALYPSE @ NADNESS 2013

The View from Mount Royal in Montreal

The View from Mount Royal in Montreal

Every week, I am reminded, too, of how small this world is and how our campus, a collegiate microcosm, makes it even smaller. On my way back to my dorm from my 9L in the mornings, somehow I manage to walk by President Hanlon and we casually exchange our hellos regularly. At my Link Up “Proud to be a Woman” Dinner this term, I was fortunate enough to be placed at a table with our college’s First Lady, Gale Gentes, and we were able to discuss not only issues for women in society and the workplace, but also steps towards solutions. At that same dinner, I met another student who basically is my academic twin. I plan to study either anthropology or classics as I delve into the pre-medical studies track here. The ’16 I met is a classical studies major on the pre-med path, and because there are so few of us out there, we bonded and eventually went on a coffee date to discuss our shared interests and future goals. It eased my mind a bit to get advice from someone who is also in the process of fulfilling such goals and could help me figure out the best way to achieve them. Yet another, more random encounter I had last night involved me meeting the female rapper Awkwafina while I was leaving the Friday Night Rock event held in Sarner Underground, us hugging, and her then complimenting my dance moves in the front row (unfortunately no pictures were taken as proof of this event because I didn’t want to be THAT uncool fan who needed a photo…and mostly because my phone was dead. That probably was a huge factor to be honest.) Suffice it to say, this campus is just the right size because there is always something going on and you are always meeting someone new.

Proud To Be A Woman Dinner

In each new meeting, one thing never fails. Even as the term nears its end, I always get asked the question, “So, what made you come to Dartmouth?” For the triple-legacy student whose ancestors probably bled green, a classic retort may be, “You should replace that ‘what,’ with ‘who.’” In fact, that’s not really something you ask the legacy students, the boarding school kids, or the New England private school graduates. That’s a question you ask the only-child who’s lived in Mississippi her entire life, without a single family member residing in the New England states mind you, and is about to experience more than one quarter of an inch of snow for the first time ever. What I have noticed though, is that my answer always changes: “Definitely the people.” “The environment and the scenery – the campus is beautiful!” “Umm…all of Dimensions weekend. For sure.” “The Profs. They are so passionate about what they teach.” “The opportunities for undergraduate research.” “I’m in love with the D Plan.” “The traditions and love from alums. You can’t get that anywhere else.” Now, I still haven’t come up with a set answer. I wish there were something that I could say that would encompass all of the above – one little sentence or five word phrase favored by the human ear that I could tell a group of parents and students touring campus or that one newspaper interviewing students on the Green. For now, my answer will be “Dartmouth is a special place,” and I can only hope that anyone who sets foot on this campus will be able to understand what that means.

Oct 272013
 

I have deprived you all of a post for two weeks too long! Needless to say, there is a lot of catching up to do. Beginning at noon on the Monday after Homecoming weekend, the six-week ban was lifted and seventeens plagued the frats on campus. I did not go out on Monday night, though I was able to attend the Heorot fraternity’s infamous Highlighter party that weekend. Everyone wore white and had glow sticks under a black light while music blasted in a basement with…personality of its own. As for the rest of the frat scene, it is not as bad as the media make it out to be. Trust me. If you go out with a solid group of friends (guys, always stay with your girl friends because they can help you get into frats), tie together your frackets (cheap jackets that you use specifically for frat-hopping occasions), and are ready to watch and/or engage in a few rounds of pong while listening to music and hanging out with your Dartmouth cohorts, your experience will be lovely. You can even play pong with water; they do not force you to drink the beer (reserved for people ages 21+, of course).

~Highlighter Party Ready~

 That same weekend, my friend’s boyfriend and his friend came to visit from the West Point Military Academy. You may be wondering, “Why is this such an important part of her life that she feels the need to tell everyone on the admissions blog?” Well, here is your answer: they brought a car. One thing I failed to remember about college is that I am actually seen as a responsible adult in the real world, and I can use public transportation if I wish to explore off-campus opportunities. On Saturday, keeping that in mind, we decided to drive to White River Junction in Vermont and looked for something fun to do. The one destination we thought sounded like a promising place turned out to be vacant and abandoned. After taking a few pictures in front of the building to log our adventure, we went to Jesse’s restaurant just outside of campus. The food was delicious, and pro tip: this is probably one of the places you want to take your parents on their next visit. They have steak, and it is good.

Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past

That same night, I had Ujitails, which was a super relaxed event where the Ujima team bonded and the Ujibabies (that’s me!) got their nicknames. Meet the new and improved A-Wall (a.k.a. Alexis Wallace a.k.a. clever and legitimate nickname for me in life).

Ujibabies and their Nicknames!

 The next week (because nothing too interesting happened in the middle besides classes and school), I got to see a Cords performance! The Cords are one of the premier all-male a cappella groups on campus and they are aca-awesome! The unique thing about the Cords other than their amazing voices and range would have to be their signature corduroy pants. They look rather dapper, if I say so myself.

Pinwhale Show at Zete

Pinwale Show at Zete

In other news, the fall leaves are beautiful, the weather is chilly, and I have recently discovered my love for pumpkin spice coffees at Novack. Also, my friend just got back to campus from rowing at Princeton this weekend, so I wanted to share this artsy picture she sent me with the world.

Dartmouth Women's Rowing at Princeton

Dartmouth Women’s Rowing at Princeton

Goodbye for now,

A-Wall

Oct 142013
 

As you can guess from the title of this post, my birthday was this week! Since that was one of the highlights of my week, I shall tell you all about it. The morning of Wednesday, October 9th, began as most mornings do, with me sitting in the basement of my building doing homework in the wee hours of the night. As the clock struck midnight, the magic began. There were Facebook posts, phone calls, texts, and the like to kick off what many have called the best day of the year.  After actually finishing my assignments and studying for my midterm scheduled for later that day (yes, I did take a midterm on my birthday and what a joyous occasion it was), I slept. That was definitely anticlimactic, so I’ll just fast forward to the best part – my birthday dinner! A few of my friends took me to Molly’s, which is a really nice restaurant in town with delicious food, where I had a meal like no other. After being stuffed with bread and butter and fish and chips, the nice waiters and waitresses at the restaurant sang “Happy Birthday” to me and brought out a generous slice of cheesecake, which I had to eat, of course, out of respect for everyone who went through so much trouble to prepare such a beautiful dessert. My friends even surprised me with a gift (J. Crew gift card!!!!) and paid for my dinner, so I actually have the best friends ever. After the birthday dinner, we went back to my room. Rather, I went back to my room and came home to this: a surprise party made complete with Lou’s pies, a guitar, kettle corn, karaoke to the song “Ignition,” and post-it notes all over my room with special messages. I am so thankful to have spent my 18th birthday with such wonderful people who made it truly memorable.

Birthday Dinner at Molly's

Birthday Dinner at Molly’s

You may not be able to tell from the back, but I was definitely surprised

You may not be able to tell from the back, but I was definitely surprised

Though I personally think that my birthday was the best thing to happen this week, there are other events that some people may appreciate more in the grand scheme of things, like maybe Homecoming and the lecture on Thursday with M.A.S.H.’s Alan Alda. Speaking of which, I attended the aforementioned lecture. It was entitled, “Getting Beyond the Blind Date with Science,” and the talk was so enlightening. Essentially the message was that people who study the sciences should help non-scientists understand the real wonder of science so that they can appreciate it and its gifts to mankind. Such communication requires a “human spark.” For more information, be sure to check out the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

Most of all, you probably want to know about Homecoming. The weekend was spectacular and full of so much school spirit. There was never a dull moment, from the freshmen cluster parade to the bonfire experience to the actual game itself the next day. The sea of proud alums and fellow students who bled green was a reminder of why Dartmouth is the perfect place for me. The sense of community with each passing lap around the bonfire (I ran a solid 45 laps and walked about 5 so basically 50! I was pretty proud of myself) and each cheering fan at the game was truly astounding. The weather, too, was beautiful and everyone seemed so happy. Even grabbing a meal at the Hop was a ton more exciting just because of the fact that it was Homecoming weekend…and also maybe because we beat Yale. Did I mention we beat Yale? We did.

Friends outside of the Choates cluster getting ready for the parade of seventeens!

Friends outside of the Choates cluster getting ready for the parade of seventeens!

Enjoying a beautiful afternoon after the Homecoming game

Enjoying a gorgeous afternoon after the Homecoming game

 

Camp Dartmouth

 Posted by at 6:33 pm  2 Responses »
Oct 052013
 

Hello prospective students and anyone else reading this blog! Since this is my first post, I’ll start by sharing a little bit about myself. I am a ’17 from just outside of Jackson, Mississippi, and this is my first time living in the North (so yes, the weather has definitely been an adjustment). I am on the pre-med track at this time, though I am not taking any science courses this term. I hope to major in anthropology or Classics (Latin for life <3) and go on one of those foreign study programs during my sophomore year.

Dartmouth Class of 2017 - I'm that one on the right

Dartmouth Class of 2017 – I’m that one on the right

I don’t want to jump too far ahead in discussing my plans for the future, so instead I shall reflect on my absolutely amazing first month at Dartmouth. Most people would describe their first month with more terms related to adjustment, homesickness, and transitioning, but to my surprise, mine didn’t really include as much of those things. Becoming a part of the Dartmouth community felt so easy and so simple. I felt as if fate decided who my trippees and floormates would be, because those people are my best friends to this day. I went on a cabin camping DOC trip, section F50, a.k.a. hiking 10. We danced 
and we cried 
and we laughed
 and had a really, really, really good time. Not to mention, there were spiders, cougars, and Canadian ground fruit involved, so our trip was actually the best.

My DOC Trip at the Ritchie Smith Cabin (the one without the Panini maker)!!!

My DOC Trip at the Ritchie Smith Cabin (the one without the Panini maker)!!!

When we got back to campus, there was about a week left until Orientation actually started, and thus began the time of exploration and dorm hopping. Orientation itself was filled with tons of free shirts, water bottles, candy, and actual food, so I couldn’t complain. Of course it was also filled with important information and open houses for various departments, but the free things definitely stuck with me. Matriculation was the only event for which we actually had to dress up and I loved it! Everyone was so beautiful and I am so happy to be a part of the class of sexy seventeens.

Obligatory Matriculation Pic with my friends from Brown

Obligatory Matriculation Pic with my friends from Brown

The first week itself was so hectic. Thankfully, I found all of my classes and got to each one on time (I kind of cheated and found them the night before but still). Activities and meetings for clubs were happening almost every day, and I gave my blitz to every one of them, which was the worst idea ever. You could decide not to join the club or go to the meetings, but they still have your email address and you can’t do anything about it. Maybe you can. I just haven’t figured that part out and I must pay for my actions. Nevertheless, I am so ecstatic to be in great groups/clubs on campus and I think everyone deserves to be satisfied with the activities they choose to be involved with. I am a proud member of the UJIMA Dance Troupe (love my Ujiohana), a new club for instituting a program in Zimbabwe called Cover the Globe, and a mentoring program called Link Up for girls on campus. I also founded the Dartmouth chapter of Her Campus Media, so growth for that is definitely underway (if you wish to get involved, blitz me at alexis.n.wallace.17@dartmouth.edu!). As the term progresses, I’ll be sure to keep you updated (midterms are coming up this week for me!!!).

Fort Lou's with the Ujifam

Fort Lou’s with the Ujifam

Ciao for now,

Alexis Wallace