I’m going to be real. And I hope that’s okay with you. This term has been hard! Settling into college definitely doesn’t come instantly and learning that things will happen unexpectedly is something that I’m only beginning to understand. As I’m getting ready to embark on an Alternative Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic through the Tucker Foundation, I realized how much Dartmouth has changed me the few months that I’ve been here. Not that I was particularly shy during high school, but I certainly did not speak up at every moment and express my feelings to strangers. I didn’t necessarily want to know everyone at my high school and thought that sticking with what I knew was the best option. Coming to Dartmouth was a step for me since I originally told all my friends I was going to another college that was familiar and close to home. I picked Dartmouth not because it was perfect, but because I knew that I would learn something new and unexpected here. So, why am I sharing this with you wonderful prospective students or admitted ’16s? I think that I needed to share that despite certain campus events that might disturb you, what draws you closer to Dartmouth is the chance to go outside your comfort zone. Did I think I would be traveling outside the country for the first real time in my life in a few weeks? No! Did I think that I would become a Native American studies major and try to comprehend what being Native means to me? No way! And, did I think that I would participate in a flashmob with the Hairspray cast as a representative of the Inter-Community Council? Haha, definitely not. But, that’s the beauty of being open to what Dartmouth has to offer. It’s crazy. It pushes you. It makes you think. And it’s beautiful.
My floor is really close; we eat meals together, go to sports games together, and go to the fraternities together. My floor consists of people from different races and backgrounds, and I’ve made deep connections with floor-mates who have had totally different upbringings from my own.
Becoming close with my floor-mates has made me realize how lucky I am to be in such a diverse environment. Dartmouth College brings together the best and brightest from the US and from around the world, and each student brings his or her own story. It is incumbent upon each student to make relationships with students from different backgrounds. I’ve come to realize that, without my freshman floor, I wouldn’t have made such a diverse group of friends. I now see that I have to seek out people who have different backgrounds from my own to broaden my world view. In my opinion, a core part of learning at Dartmouth occurs outside the classroom through interactions with friends and acquaintances. To get the most out of the Dartmouth experience, it’s important to meet people of different races, backgrounds, and personalities. Just as an example, I am planning on participating in cross-cultural dialogue throughout my time at Dartmouth. In this way, I hope that I’ll get a thorough education–one that is based not only on academic learning but also on personal connections with peers.