If you’re one of the 55% or so of prospies who chose Dartmouth this past week, congratulations! At least in my opinion, you made the right call.
You’ll hear a lot about the Dartmouth Experience in your next four years. A lot of it will be true for you, a lot of it won’t. A lot of people will tell you it doesn’t exist, which is to some extent accurate. There’s no singular Dartmouth experience, everyone takes different paths in some way or another. Some of the people who would look the same as me on paper (same house, same major, same extracurriculars) have been the most different from me. I guess statistics can lie in that way. It’s never a good idea to break a person down to a couple numbers and descriptors.
That said, I like statistics. They can tell you a lot. And I guess they’d lead me to say that even though there’s no one ‘Dartmouth Experience’, you’ll share a lot of memories with the rest of the ’18s. In all honesty, you’re gonna do a lot of the same stuff. Statistically, around 95% of you will go on First-Year Trips. Statistically, most of those people will remember it four years later.
A lot of you will probably run around the bonfire. You’ll eat in Foco. You’ll have a snowball fight. You’ll try to get a job. You’ll go to the river. Probably. You can’t say any of these with certainty, but they’re pretty likely.
Some of them are more interesting. You’ll learn things. You’ll create things. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll make decisions. Big decisions! Bad decisions! You’ll critically reexamine your principles. Or at least you should.
Anyway, what’s great about the Dartmouth Experience is that it gives you the leeway and the ability to make your own experience, but still have enough in common with your classmates that you can connect with any given person on campus. You establish your own identity, instead taking a pre-existing one. And that’s at least 150% cooler than anything else I can think of.
On another note, apparently none of the other bloggers have posted this yet. Check it out.