Reem Chamseddine

Apr 012014

To start off,
Congratulations to the great (potential) class of 2018! It honestly feels like yesterday that I was on cloud 9 thinking about Dartmouth and the future and it all seemed so faraway and too good to be real! I hope you all share these sentiments and are excited about the Big Green! We, “upperclassmen” I suppose, are psyched to welcome you all at Dimensions and to have you stay with us and meet us and contact us, and hopefully join us next term.

For those of you that did not quite make it, I am sure you must be frustrated- take the time to be upset/disappointed. Your feelings are totally valid. That said, Dartmouth is obviously not the only school in which you can enjoy yourself and have a great experience- and I wish you the best of luck! And please remember that not being accepted somewhere does NOT define you as a person! So many other factors – some outside your control- come into play and you should not take it personally.

On another note, this is the second week of Spring Term. One thing I love about those first few days of the term is how easy it is to start fresh; make new friends, take new classes, and join a new organization! At the same time, the terms go by so fast that it already feels like we’ve been back for a while. This weekend, the Dartmouth Model UN club hosted its ninth annual conference for high school students, and it was really fun to be part of a big secretariat team and to spend all weekend together trying to pull off a successful event. So yeah, that was definitely a big part of my Spring Term (despite it lasting for just 3 days) that I wanted to share with you all. dartmun

Mar 132014



Just as the weather was warming up a little here in Hanover, a blizzard hit and rendered Dartmouth Winter W onderland again. Say what you will about the cold, but snow- in good times- can mean adventure.

I say good times because the academic term just ended, and the snow storm hit while I was leaving my last final for the term.

Finals are stressful anywhere I suppose, but perhaps more so here because the terms are only 10 weeks long and it always feels like there isn’t enough time to study. That said, a lot gets done to ensure that you don’t get too over your head; study groups, study breaks, and q and a sessions are organized by various offices… My chem prof got us clementines during our chem final- so we won’t “get vitamin c deficiency in case we get stranded in the classroom!”.
In any case, back to my earlier point, being done with finals feels great! And then when the storm started, a few friends who were also done with finals and I headed over to the BEMA and then the golf course to sled. Super cold, snow was too thick, but was so great to be able to go outside and enjoy the nature that the Dartmouth campus offers.

Next post will be about spring term! They go by so fast :(



Feb 252014

Dartmouth has consistently been ranked #1 for best undergraduate teaching. But with all the deadlines and midterms approaching, it is easy to forget this and complain about the pile of work left undone.

I was recently reminded of how great the professors here are, and I’d like to share that with you.
I realized that my science professor, who teachers 100 or so other students, knows the students in his class by name. I was asking a question in class and – I had never had a conversation with him where I formally introduced myself- he said, “Yes, Reem”. I was surprised, but then noticed that he went on to call all those who asked questions by their first names. If that doesn’t demonstrate how caring and attentive a professor is, I don’t know what does.

In related news, a classmate and I had lunch with our professor on Dartmouth’s dime a few weeks ago. Dartmouth’s Undergraduate Deans’ Office sponsors a “Take a professor to lunch” program, where they provide a voucher for a meal at the Hanover Inn. It is pretty obvious, I suppose, that Dartmouth wants students to build relationships with their professors outside of the classroom. The lunch was an opportunity for us to discuss the class, our academic interests, but also general life topics!

Feb 132014

This past weekend was Winter Carnival, one of Dartmouth’s better known traditions. Winter Carnival is the Winter Term Big Weekend, the same way that Homecoming is Fall Term’s Big Weekend. There is nothing like a 3-day weekend halfway through the term to remind everyone again of the great community that we have here at Dartmouth, and of the fun things winter brings when one goes outside!

There were many events happening at the same time, which is a little overwhelming, but the good thing is that any event you go to will be guaranteed fun. From the ice-sculpture building, to the Polar Bear Challenge (swimming inside a frozen lake!), to the Olympics Opening Ceremony and the many themed parties, Winter Carnival was a blast. This year’s theme was carnival of thrones, and so there was a student-build ice throne in the center of the Green. Pictures are attached!


arnival2 wintercarnival wintevarvibal

Jan 262014


Generally speaking, dorms do not sound like the most glamorous living arrangement. I have to say, though, that living at Dartmouth is as great as dorm experiences can get. I will focus on first year living communities, as I am a first year and some of you readers might be in the near future!

First year communities differ from upperclassmen housing because they provide your “freshman floor” support network, your chance to establish your lifestyle as college student, and perhaps your first experience with a roommate and your first time living away from home. Dartmouth has 6 First Year residential communities, and here’s a bit about each.
- The Choates: older buildings, close to center of campus and library, mostly made up of doubles.
-The River: newish architecture (glass walls), far from most of campus, but has really great common rooms and contains the climbing gym.
- McLaughlin: Newest of all dorms, very nice spacious rooms, very close to the Life Sciences Center (for those taking that 8:45 bio course)
- Russel Sage AND Fahey-Mclane: old school type of building, mostly made up of 2-room triples (3 people, 2 rooms), but rooms are very nice and have fireplaces for decorative purposes. Very close to campus.
- East Wheelock: This is where I live and it is my favourite, obviously. It’s a little far from center of campus, but right across from the gym. East wheelock requires a special application (after your first year) because it tries to foster an intellectual community, where artists, authors, and visitors to campus are invited to speak over dinner at intimate gathering at East Wheelock’s Dean’s House. Rooms are nice, spacious, and some come with bathrooms!

Most of the places I listed are not individual buildings, but rather 3 or 4 that are connected somehow. They are known as “Clusters”. It is important for the college that first years live ON CAMPUS, and in these well-connected communities. All floors in every building have a UGA (undergraduate advisor), who is an uperclassman/women who is there to provide advice, social opportunities, and establish general rules of conduct for the floor. PS: photo below is of my floormates and our UGA on homecoming weekend

As a first year, you do not choose where you will live, but you have some say in the kind of roommate you will get based on your habits such as sleep schedule, neatness, and study time. That said, I have yet to meet a person who moved out of their room because of roommate issues/floor issues/room size issues. Most freshmen end up enjoying their living arrangements no matter what cluster they end up in, and that is what matters the most about residential life at Dartmouth.

McLaughlin Cluster

McLaughlin Cluster

MLK Day at Dartmouth

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Jan 212014

MLK Day here at Dartmouth has been great, and not just because of that extra day we all got to sleep in, catch up on school work, and have a long lunch at Fo’Co. It was, instead, a day filled with reflection, awareness, and all sorts of events that enrich the spirit and remind every student of the liberal arts of King’s activism. I don’t want to list all the events that went on on Sunday, Monday, and throughout this week because you will find this information online, I am sure. I want to focus on one event that I went to, that left me energized and refreshed. Father Gregory Boyle, an author and social activist who helped move thousands of Los Angeles “homies”, as he refers to them in his book, away from the gang life. He has a fascinating story to tell, and great wisdom to share- I am so pleased I got to listen to his speech. Now, this may not sound like your cup of tea, and that’s understandable, but I am sure that there was at least one event that would have appealed to you personally. What is to appreciate, though, is how much Dartmouth tried to celebrate MLK’s spirit here on campus, and how impressive it is that we are in a community that cares about these issues. Happy MLK Day!


Jan 122014
Dec 112013

To those of you that have been accepted into Dartmouth ED, CONGRATULATIONS! We, the Dartmouth Family, are so excited and happy for you, and can not wait for you all to get here and experience all the great things that Dartmouth has to offer. We know you will love it here, and you have made the right choice by applying ED. Although it may seem overwhelming to you now, transitioning to college is a very smooth process. Do not worry about all the deadlines and paperwork just yet- enjoy yourself and celebrate this new chapter in your academic and personal life! As long as you let Dear Old Dartmouth know that you will be attending by the deadline, everything else will fall into place soon afterwards. Again, Congratulations! This must be a moment of great pride for you and your families.

Now, to those of you with less positive results: I can very well empathize with what you are feeling- disappointment, shock, frustration, anger, and sadness are all valid feelings . It sure would have been great to have been accepted into your dream school, I can’t deny that. But you should not be feeling bad for too long. You are a busy high school senior, and you have other things to worry about, from school work to new college apps. A rejection or a deferral from Dartmouth is NOT A REFLECTION OF YOU IN ANY WAY. It is a reflection of how competitive admission to Dartmouth is. You might be the most well-rounded student at your high school, or the math genius or the piano prodigy or the star athlete or the dedicated activist or… Dartmouth knows that you are talented, each and everyone of you. But Dartmouth can not accept everyone, and it so happened, for reasons unknown to me, that you were not part of those selected. Again, you can very well still get into your top choices, and you will enjoy your college years no matter what. Do not feel embarrassed, awkward, or shy telling people of the results- your ED application was a good decision and sometimes “life” has other plans. Stay positive!


Finals Week!

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Nov 202013

The ten weeks making up the fall term flew by so quickly! This week, however, is as slow as it gets. Finals are pretty hectic in any college, I would imagine,  but more so here because the terms are so short so you do not feel like you have enough time with the material as you did in a semester, or a whole year (Ahh high school!). That said, everyone on campus is going through the same experience, and with the risk of sounding cheesy, we are all in this together. In addition, study spaces are open 24 hrs/day, cafes are open for longer hours, and some professors are even ready to meet with you without a prior appointment. You also get all these emails about study sessions with free snacks for different groups on campus, and that is really great, because you have a support system. You would also get a bunch of emails from deans and advisors reminding you of good study habits, and to sleep, eat, and exercise. These emails are so sweet- Parents away from home!

And then , after this week is over, WINTER BREAK for 6 weeks- which is too long, if you ask me- I will miss Hanover!

Good luck to all of you studying hard, and Happy Holidays! (PS: Dartmouth has already put up a Christmas tree in the middle of the green-yay!)



Nov 032013

This past week was filled with Halloween festivities, starting from Wednesday until last night. There were a bunch of small group events, but also bigger parties, a masquerade ball, pumpkin-carving contests, and a Halloween dinner at FOCO (the main dining hall). Even though it is week 7 already, and everyone is working harder than ever, Halloween was an outlet for everyone to go out and have fun.I am not sure if I have talked about this enough, but time here at Dartmouth seems to fly. Even though everyone is only taking 3 classes (which should feel easy, compared to the 6+ that one typically takes in high school), the classes here are so much more dense and concentrated. So yeah, Halloween was great because of this. This past week, too, 2 of my scheduled classes were cancelled, and suddenly I had this open time that I had no clue what to do with because my schedule is usually super tight during the week. And while I thought I would use that time to catch up on my TV shows or something, I actually visited the Hood Museum of Art- which  is right on campus, and went to 4 oClock Tea at Sanborn Library- a Dartmouth tradition since the early 1900s, I should add. College really changes you, and especially a college like Dartmouth. I truly feel that the opportunities here make you a more intellectual, busier person. I love that!





PS: If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have applied ED to Dartmouth. When I sent in my application, I knew that Dartmouth was my first choice, and yet I was not sure if ED was the way to go- it meant that I HAD to go here! If you are in this situation, and worried that ED might have been too eager, YOU MADE THE RIGHT DECISION! Dartmouth will be better than you ever imagined. Good luck! (And remember, there is a regular decision round too).