Jan 312015
 

Let me be the first one to tell all you Prospective and Early Decision students that college is HARDER than high school. No, but seriously, it’s hard. You will no longer be able to do your spanish homework in the hallways on your way to class or skip studying for exam because you think you paid enough attention in class. NEWSFLASH: everyone studies here and most people actually enjoy it and go above and beyond what is required of a course (they’re still considered overachievers, so no worries there).

Dartmouth, for me and for a lot of students who are here, was definitely a transition. On top of going to class for 9-11 hours a week, you have extracurriculars, homework, personal time, meals, friends, and distractions around every corner. My biggest advice is to establish good study habits and stay on top of your reading from the get-go.

If you don’t know how to or want help figuring your life out, Dartmouth has lots of organizations, people and departments that were built to help you succeed! So let’s run down some of the more important ones!

1. Academic Skills Center (ASC)- This place provides everything and anything you need to succeed academically. The Academic Skills Center is home to the Tutor Clearinghouse which offers a variety of study help. From conversation partners in whatever language you’re learning to private tutors for any subject, they do their best to match you up with someone who is best going to help you achieve your goals. The ASC also offers one-on-one academic coaching with Dartmouth Staff to help you create a personalized list of goals, a study plan, and regular check-ins. Or if you’re more into group studying, bigger introduction courses (like Economics 1 or Math 3) will have study groups set up by professors through the Tutor Clearinghouse so that students can sign up. All students hired by the ASC have earned high grades in their classes or are fluent in the language they are teaching. And on top of that, if you’re on financial aid, your costs will be covered!

2. You Professors- Have a question on something covered in class? Who better to explain it to you than the person who is an expert on the subject and will be testing you! All Dartmouth professors hold open office hours on a weekly basis. You can go and ask questions or just go and introduce yourself! They are all really excited to meet their students and very helpful.

3. RWIT Institute for Writing and Rhetoric - RWIT is the best resource for anyone who needs help with a paper! From scientific reports to creative writing to research papers, these students have been trained to help your organize and

The best advice I can give is to reserve your appointment as far in advance as you can.

4. Undergraduate Deans Office - Upon enrolling, based on where you live, you will be assigned a Dean. He/She is there to provide you with guidance and support in all aspects. They’re like your high school guidance counselor! I’ve gone in to talk about what classes I should take and how to solve relationship problems. They make for great listeners and are a good place to get questions asked and problems solved. They’re also the person who can give you certain permissions to move around your schedule! The Deans office also has DOSCs (Deans Office Student Consults). Hand-picked by the Deans, these seniors are trained to assist you when the Deans aren’t around. So when you find yourself freaking out about what classes to take at 10 pm with a midnight deadline, you can pop on right over to wherever they’re set up in the library and ask them for help.

5. Your Undergraduate Advisor (UGA)- the upperclassman who lives on your floor. UGAs are a great resource and have chosen to offer themselves as such. They are trained on a weekly basis and kept up to date on what residents should know. Even if they don’t personally know the answer, chances are they know where to refer you to!

Being in college is going to be challenging in many ways. Luckily, Dartmouth College really cares about making sure you transition well and continue to do well academically! You have all of these wonderful resources at your disposal. My biggest suggestion is to just: use them!

Feel free to ask questions below!

 

Jan 042012
 

As Ajay pointed out below, this winter is brutal. I’m from the Midwest and I know what cold is. Or at least I thought I did. And then, I come back to Dartmouth and my oh my, I have now realized what it means when people say your hair will freeze. Plus leaving your fingers exposed to cold air for a few minutes makes you understand what frostbite might just feel like. But, now that I have sufficiently scared you, I do have to tell you brilliant prospies, about how awesome winter term is shaping up to be!!!

Not to say that I didn’t love Fall Term. Fall term made me think of Dartmouth, finally, as home. And over break, I felt that even more. I missed everything from going to classes to Late Night Collis milkshakes to 2am studying in the Dr. Seuss room. But, winter term is so different and maybe, even better? I get to see old friends, make new ones, and basically learn more and more about all the wonderful people who come to Dartmouth and how they ended up here.

And that’s why despite this weather and despite being bundled up in the most obnoxious snow gear, I’m also happy. So far my classes seem really interesting, and I’m far too busy interning at the Financial Aid office and training to be an Eating Disorder Peer Advisor, but it’s exactly what I want to be.

In one degree weather. :)*

 

*I meant to take a picture, but then realized it hasn’t snowed and it’s sunny. So it looks like 50 degrees outside when in actuality, it’s below freezing.

Nov 232011
 

I have way too much fun planning.  I think classes are my favorite thing to plan about my time at Dartmouth.  You know how on Macs, they have the “Top Sites” page when you open up a new tab?  Well my Banner account, where you go to pick classes, is listed there now…with other sites like Youtube, my favorite web comics, Gmail, and Sporcle.  I think I look at classes more than I watch television or surf Facebook.  That’s a good thing, right? (Just nod your head, it will make me feel better.)

There are just so many possibilities to consider.  Class topic, professor, time – sometimes it gets to be a bit much because I literally can’t hold all the information in my head.  I don’t mind courses in the morning or going to class on TuTh (Tuesdays and Thursdays) in addition to MWF (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), but a lot of my friends choose courses that only meet later on MWF.  Then there are the distributives that they fulfill, which I’m not really worrying about right now, but eventually I’ll be looking for a CI, TMV, etc.  I apologize for my abbreviations – I think it’s another sign I’ve spent way too much time on Banner.  Anyways, I especially like looking at the teachers’ reviews, especially on the site that the Hacker Club resurrected (don’t worry, “hacking” is another word for Programming, and the Hacker Club works on some awesome projects).  A great teacher can make you really enjoy thinking about subjects that you’ve never thought about before.

Speaking of new subjects, it’s my goal to take at least one crazy, creative, out-of-the-box course each term.  On the agenda for winter term: ethnomusicology, in which I’ll learn about non-western music whilst playing musical instruments I’ve probably never seen before and learning from visiting musicians.  To work towards my goal, I’m already planning (no surprises there) a list of interesting courses that I want to take by the time I graduate.

D-planning is harder to do as a freshman in my opinion, especially because there are so many variables up in the air.  Most freshman take summer off, but I don’t mind staying on-campus if it means I can land a really interesting internship or study abroad program some other term.  D-planning started with my nearly-obsessed friend (you know who you are :P, but no judgment, since I clearly cannot judge anyone).  I caught the disease from her, and now I’ve come up with a tentative plan for my first three years here (let’s not mention the hours that went into that).  D-Planning also leads to discussions about housing next year with my friends, which I won’t even go into here – it’s complicated.

Anyways, when it’s course registration time, I tend to get very little work done.  It’s a pity that course registration opened just before midterms, but I did fine on my tests, so no worries.  But now that’s its Thanksgiving break, I can relax, do a little studying (not go on Banner…hopefully that part works out), and reconnect with my family and friends from back home.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!