Jan 302015



I entered into college knowing I wanted to be an Econ major, but had no idea what area I wanted to specialize in or what exactly I wanted to do with it.

Economics is one of Dartmouth’s largest departments, graduating about 200 students a year (15% of each class). Surprisingly, however, Dartmouth Econ classes all have caps of 35 or less and are all taught by professors, not TAs.

Economics can be applied with many different disciplines and you’ll often see students modifying the major with another discipline that suits their interests. There are students who combine it with biology, computer science, and many other areas. For me, I am interested in behavioral economics and decided to be an Econ major with a Psychology minor.

The Economics department offers study abroad opportunities through exchange programs to Bocconi University in Milan, Italy and to Keble College, Oxford University in London.

While there are many students in the department, I never felt forgotten by the faculty. Every Econ professor I have had has taken their time to remember my name and are always a great source of information about opportunities to further my studies.


Jan 282015

People are often surprised (and even confused) when I tell them that I’m double majoring in Romance Languages and Native American Studies, modified with Global Health.

What a mouthful.

The truth is, with a liberal arts education like Dartmouth’s you can combine any set of academic fields and make it work. I’m interested in working in Indigenous healthcare, both in the US and abroad. So my three fields of study really do overlap.

I’ve found a lot of flexibility with modifying one’s major at Dartmouth. Most majors require about 10 courses in the respective department. When you modify, you usually take about 6 major courses and 4 courses in the area of modification. In my case, I have taken predominantly Native American Studies courses and a handful of courses that pertain to Global Health.

Romance Languages was the perfect solution to a small problem I had my freshman year. I studied Spanish in high school but always wanted to learn French. But in the process of studying French, I didn’t want to lose my knowledge of Spanish. Catch 22.
Then I found out that you can major in both! When studying Romance Languages, you focus 2 of the 4 languages offered (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese). It’s really fun to be able to learn multiple languages, which is really easy to do here because of our unique Drill Method.

I know people who are combining Chemistry with Digital Arts and Economics with Arabic. College is the only time to be able to explore your passions. When you get there, don’t be afraid to study what you want rather than what you think you should. Why waste time with something that doesn’t inspire you?

Jan 272015

I would say as an introvert-at-heart that has become surprisingly social while at college, the groups and organizations of people you choose to be involved with on-campus offer some of the most wonderful experiences you will have! The Native American community at Dartmouth has offered me a space to grow, laugh, and feel like even though life is still a big mystery and I have yet to choose a major (So many choices!!), that I am valid and headed in the right direction. Make sure to to be open-minded and excited about what you choose to involve yourself in on campus as it is your time to explore.

Everyone enjoying a traditional Potawatomi dinner cooked by Corinne Kasper '17

Everyone enjoying a traditional Potawatomi dinner cooked by Corinne Kasper ’17

Think about what YOUR ideal space is and where you naturally feel most comfortable. Having people to look up to who will help you explore your identity and navigate your college experience is something crucial to look for, but also something that is honestly not hard to find at all on campus! It sounds extremely cheesy but just be YOU, and you will come across a place that fits perfectly and makes you feel whole.

Some of our Dartmouth representatives at the Yale All-Ivy Native Council Conference.

Some of our Dartmouth representatives at the Yale All-Ivy Native Council Conference.

Aside from the presence of a safe space and great role models, some of my favorite memories as a member of Native Americans at Dartmouth have been through networking opportunities sponsored by the group that I would have otherwise never found by myself. This included interning for the College Horizons program over the summer and attending the All-Ivy Native Council at Yale University. Native Americans at Dartmouth has all around been a wonderful part of my college career and is helping me build the future I want for myself.
NAD representatives bonding at the All-Ivy Native Council last Fall.

NAD representatives bonding at the All-Ivy Native Council last Fall.

Jan 262015

It started in the 6th grade. My obsession with Grey’s Anatomy, that is. Since then, my childhood dreams and desires were to mirror those of Dr. Cristina Yang, future cardiothoracic surgeon, or even a neurosurgeon. Point is, I really wanted to be a doctor for a long time, mostly to help people and save lives, but also to rock a white lab coat all hours of the day and feel great while doing so. Since that moment, my entire academic trajectory changed. I lived, breathed, and ate medicine. I participated in as many science clubs I could (shout out to MESA), and even enrolled in a medical magnet high school, in which I found myself interning at a hospital my junior year.

Then I got to college.

Dartmouth opened my eyes to so many great areas of study that did not involve medicine or science. I began taking courses in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department, and the Geography department (the best in all the Ivies!). Slowly, I began to gain more interest in these two departments than anything else. The majority of my classes were centered around AMES and Geography. What was happening to me? I needed to strongly reflect on my future and decide whether or not I even wanted to be Cristina anymore.

I was scared. I invested so much of myself into pursuing medicine, that I was afraid of letting it go. What future would I hold now? It took about a year and a half of my college career to finally put my dream of being a doctor to rest. I realized that my reason as to why I wanted to become a doctor (ie helping people, creating access to health for people who lack it, etc) could be done without going to medical school. My heart lies in being of service to others, but there are so may paths available to do that. So I dropped it. I started taking more classes in Geography. I started learning more about social injustices and inequalities. I started becoming more and more inspired to address these disparities.

My point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to explore. Don’t be angry at yourself for changing your major once, or even three times. Some people enter knowing what they want to major in, and some don’t. Most change their mind more than once, and that’s okay. Honestly, just take classes that interest you, and everything will sort itself out!

Jan 242015

Throughout high school, I was an avid debater. Every week, I would spend countless hours at practice, researching bills, and prepping speeches for Saturday tournaments. I absolutely loved it, and as a result that was “my thing” for four years. When I first got to Dartmouth, I realized I no longer had that and started looking for something to fill my time. I contemplated between joining the debate team or trying out for Mock Trial Team. I ended up choosing the latter and embarked on catching up on the style that many people had spent 4 years learning in high school. Don’t let this stop you from trying out. I had NO experience with Mock Trial and still made the team!

The first couple weeks of practice were a steep learning curve since there were formats to memorize, boatloads of things to read and people to meet. Once things settled down and we started writing and preparing for our first tournament, that’s when things got interesting.

The team messing around in between rounds.

The team messing around in between rounds.

The team typically travels to one tournament a term (for a total of 3-4 a year) and always does very well!

2013-2014 Team at UNH!

2013-2014 Team at UNH!


For those of you who have done mock trial in the past, be warned that the college style is different and even more fun!

Lawyer taking on a witness at UNH

Lawyer taking on a witness at UNH


If you want more information about the team feel free to check out their website and Facebook:



If you’re looking for a fun, public speaking outlet or even just want to act and take on the role of witnesses, the mock trial team at Dartmouth is a fantastic way to explore and keep your skills sharp! And as always, feel free to reach out to the team or to me directly! Comment below with any questions. Until next time :)

darmtouth mock trial join us

Jan 212015

I primarily decided to come to Dartmouth for its large Native student population. I knew that I wanted to be part of a community that would support me academically, socially, and culturally – especially at a school that is so far away from my home state of California and tribal community in Virginia.


Founded in the early 1970s after the recommitment of the College to its founding principle (educating Native youth), Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD) has become the center of the Native life on campus. Officially NAD aims to provide a voice for indigenous experiences and concerns, as well as to facilitate relationship-building between community members. From putting on informal events like community dinners and study breaks to organizing discussions with faculty and visitors to campus, we really try to engage with one another in all regards. We have many students in our community who are non-Native and we welcome the opportunity to teach other Dartmouth students about our cultures and perspectives.

The Native American House is the unofficial headquarters of NAD. I can go there at any time of day to find friends, eat leftover food, or even take naps. And I’ve had many impromptu sleep-overs with friends and classmates there during finals and reading periods…

Native American House

NAD also hosts the Dartmouth Powwow that takes place every Mother’s Day Weekend (Saturday & Sunday) on the Green, a very central and visible space on campus. It’s the second largest student-run powwow on the East Coast and is, in my opinion, one of the most important events that takes place at Dartmouth. The Powwow Committee works hard all year-round to put everything together. It is definitely not something to miss!

Dartmouth Powwow

There are a handful of “sub-groups” within NAD that have special focuses like the Occom Pond Singers (drum group), Native Dancing Society (powwow dancing), Indigenous Living Languages (focused on language revitalization), First Voices (publication focused on indigenous issues), and many more!

Occom Pond Singers

NAD is essentially the glue that keeps the Native community together, providing forums to interact with each other and explore all kinds of areas (cultural, academic, political, etc.). It has truly given me a family and a home away from home. I cannot imagine my time at Dartmouth without this community.

Jan 192015

Hello there, incredible smart and talented applicants!


In just a short time, you will be starting your college career at what I believe will be a great institution for you, Dartmouth or otherwise.


Luckily, I found a great home at Dartmouth, but the application and admission process can be quite taxing. It causes you to constantly wonder whether or not you are “good enough”. Trust and believe that regardless of the decision, you and your application impressed the Admissions Officers at Dartmouth. The fact that you even chose to apply to Dartmouth showcases your bravery, drive, and determination. Here are 3 tips I recommend for dealing with a declined or rejected offer of admission. Best of luck!


Kevin Gillespie ‘15


  1. When one door closes many more can open


Remember that you are very smart and very talented. You have spent your entire life thus far proving exactly the aforementioned. Many colleges and universities will be impressed with what you offer to their community and their incoming class. If Dartmouth says “no”, just think of how many more schools now have the chance to say “yes”. Talk to your counselors, friends, family, mentors, etc. about where you should apply now. While Dartmouth hones incredible leaders and intellectuals, many institutions do the same. New doors are now wide open for you–now you have to dare to enter.


  1. Remember that you are more than your application

Though your application may be a summary of your hard work, it is certainly not the end all. Scores, grades, and accomplishments are only part of your story. When you begin the process of applying elsewhere, be sure to showcase as much about you as possible. I often find that the students who tend to be admitted do well at this. Treat your application as a story you want to tell. Something compelling, heartfelt, and colorful. Crafting such an application goes far beyond the paper form itself. Show your inner picasso or einstein. You are truly incredible. Now is your time to shine even brighter than before.

  1. Have fun



Remember that elementary school you? Yeah, the kid that didn’t think much about college,  jobs, research, or Model UN?  Remember to be this person. College is so much fun! You are about to have what may very well be the funnest time of your young life. Dartmouth may have been the platform for said fun, but even if it isn’t, all hope is not lost. College is more than a new start to the awesome resume you’ll build in the next four years–it’s the place where you’ll make new friends, interact with incredible professors, and build an incredible you! More so, don’t forget that you are finishing your last year of grade school. Create memories that will last a lifetime and remember that the college admissions process is only part of that.

Well, I hope these few tips help you to relax and recall how epic of a human being you are. The answer from Dartmouth may be “no”, but the fun, crazy, and overly engaging moments you hope to have are still straight ahead!

Jan 192015

Never having the privilege of exploring places outside of my hometown of Los Angeles left a hunger in me to explore the unknown. Right out of high school, that unknown was the small town of Hanover. Upon my admittance I couldn’t wait to explore all the things Dartmouth had to offer. However, I was left with this deep fear of the winter. How would I survive the below freezing climates?

I’ll never forget the day I first saw snow. I was in my freshman writing course and snowflakes began to fall from the sky. It seemed as if I wasn’t the only one who had never seen snow, because the professor let us go outside and touch it. In retrospect, I laugh at how excited I was to touch the few snowflakes that fell on my hand. Once the snow stopped falling (you could barely call it snow), fear struck me. How would I survive??

I immediately bought hundred dollar snow boots, invested in heavy sweaters and socks, and bought too many pairs of thermals that are now sitting in a box in storage. After living in 3 Northeastern winters, I think it’s safe to say I know how to maneuver my way around them. I’ll now be addressing some worries I had as a tropical-climate-loving person, and how I was able to stay warm and still enjoy Hanover winters.

1) I’ve heard it gets to -20F.

The short answer is yes, and sometimes it can be colder. Currently, it’s 26F and I praised the climate gods for giving us some warmth. Coming from a city where it’s always 70-80F, I never thought I’d be happy for weather in the high 20s. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t get scared! Although it’s cold, the buildings are heated pretty well, and the only time I ever spend outside is when I’m walking to class, for food, going to the gym, or participating in certain activities that require snow. So even though it’s -20F sometimes, it’s not like you’re reading on the Green in -20F (unless you’re into that sort of thing).

2) But -20F is still cold.

Yeah, I get it. Even if you are inside 90% of the time, there’s a high chance you’ll have to leave your room for food at some point. From my experience, average winter days are usually from 0-25F, increasing in heat towards the end of the term. It’s honestly not as bad as you think. Once you’re armed with the proper gear, you rarely ever feel the effects of it.

3) What do you mean “once I’m armed?”

Well, living in this season requires preparation. You don’t expect you’ll wear a light sweater and have that keep you warm, do you? I know I was never used to the thought of layers, and they felt uncomfortable when I first began layering my clothes. Now, I can only think in terms of layers, even in the Spring when I don’t have to layer ever. Thanks, Hanover.

To be completely serious though, if you properly layer, you’ll be fine. The key is to have many layers of warm clothing you can peel off as you get hot. As I mentioned earlier, the buildings are heated pretty well, and you’ll begin to sweat once you enter a classroom. Layers for me include an undershirt as a base, a sweater on top, and then my big heavy coat. Sometimes, I even wear leggings under my jeans if I deem it necessary. It really all depends on your tolerance but I find that two to three layers of clothing is right for me.

4) Help. I was only going to pack cardigans and Vans.

Worry not! Speaking from someone who invested hundreds of dollars into unused “heavy duty” winter clothing items, I’m here to suggest affordable, reliable, and durable essential items for the fall.

You will need boots. There’s no other way around it. I personally invested in LL Bean Boots*, which, if admitted, you’ll find that lots of students own here. They’re durable (I’ve only had one pair my entire time here), and have a lifetime warranty.

Any sort of heavy duty boots will do. I know people go as far as to invest in Sorel Snow Boots which are about $125, to $25 combat boots. As long as you have a pair of water-resistant boots, you’ll be fine because the next item will keep you warm.

*I am not being sponsored to say any of this but if LL Bean wants to sponsor me I would not not let them, you know?

Wool, to be specific. If you’re anything like me I didn’t even know this was a thing. Wool socks will keep your feet warm because they lock in heat. As long as you have wool socks, you should be fine with any pair of boots.

Gloves, Hats, Scarves
Optional, but better if you have them. Really any will do as long as you have some sort of protection on your hands. Hats can be a must if your jacket doesn’t have a hood. If you still feel a little wary (I wanted to buy a ski mask my freshman year before winter) I would suggest the rather-safe-than-sorry method of buying a hat. I  personally am more of a scarf person. I have dozens of scarves in my room ranging in thickness and material. I find that my thicker scarves keep my super warm when walking outside. Get some scarves, or if you’re like me, crochet and knit your own!

You only need one, really great jacket to keep you warm for the winter. Some people go as far as investing hundreds of dollars into theirs. I’ve realized it never has to be that expensive. For me, my favorite winter coat is a large down jacket. The feathers in a down jacket make sure to retain heat and is part of the reason why I feel comfortable enough wearing only 2 layers sometimes.


That’s about it. Really, I’m not joking. These are some essential items to keep you feeling nice and toasty. Toasty enough to even explore outside! The really great part of Winter at Dartmouth is the opportunity to partake in snow-filled activities. That’s honestly the best way to fully enjoy the winter. You can go ice-skating on Occom Pond, have a snowball fight between friends, or even go skiing. The possibilities are endless and you’ll find yourself wanting to participate in these activities more so than actually staying inside your room.


Winter Wonderland

 Posted by at 12:02 pm  No Responses »
Jan 162015

IMG_0568My winter term during my freshman year was the first time I really experienced winter to its fullest glory. As a California/Texas native, winter usually did not account for anything new, besides the slight dip in temperatures.

Stepping off the bus at the beginning of winter term, I was greeted with plentiful snow and a new personal definition for cold. At first I asked myself, “Why did I do this to myself,” but throughout the term I discovered Dartmouth is indeed a Winter Wonderland with a Winter Carnival to go with it!

Here’s a picture story of a Californian experiencing Winter for the first time.


Traction does not exist during the winter. Slipping and sliding is the way to go.


I was welcomed on campus by a wonderful snow storm.


Learning how to ski at the college-owned Dartmouth Skiway. Uplifting, yes, but it was all downhill from there.


Fun at the moment. Not so fun afterwards.


Sledding at the golf course at 2 a.m. Class at 9 a.m.


Do you want to build a snowman?


Indoor ice skating, jamming to Frozen’s “Let it Go”.


Attempting to break the ice while skating at Occom Pond.


The ice broke me. 4 am trip to the E.R. Pro-tip: don’t walk up ice paths.


I was bid a farewell with another snow storm. Mid-March. ‘Nough said.


Winter is a blast. It will be fun. It will hurt. But it will change your perception of “cold” forever.

Dec 172014

Although I never want to admit that I’m getting older, I can’t deny that a new class is joining the ranks! And while I do not know whether to be jealous of all the love they will be showered with in the coming year or welcome them with gift baskets full of Dartmouth gear, I can say I’m glad the new prospies-turned-19s are getting ready to take the reigns! It’s a bit sad to admit, but when people ask me what year I am, I still struggle to remember I’m a sophomore (or a ’17) because freshman year was such an amazing year for me thanks to the community and opportunities I found at Dartmouth.

But enough about me, this is dedicated to you, 19s! The essays, the tests, the recommendations… we know applying wasn’t easy. But congratulations on all of the hard work you put into getting to where you are today. You’ve got the rest of your senior year to go out with a bang! So make it happen and get ready for a whirlwind of emotions, experiences and EBAs because Dartmouth is more than ready for you to set foot on campus in September and find your way as the best class ever!

Need some help on your journey to becoming the best class ever? Be sure to check come back to DartBeat for FAQs, advice for your incoming class, and many voices of Dartmouth experiences!

For those of you who don’t have your college fate sealed yet, don’t fret! The road hasn’t ended for you and you still have the rest of senior year to make the choices you want to make and plan the life you want to lead. So don’t give up hope now because the future is still ahead of you, so make the most of it!