Feb 102014
 

Hello Prospies!

I’m Stefan Deutsch, a ’14 engineering major from Essex Junction, Vermont, and I’ll be one of your Dartmouth Direct student bloggers this year!

This past weekend was one of Dartmouth most legendary traditions, Winter Carnival.  Carnival started as a winter field day to encourage students to escape the doldrums of winter in Hanover, and has carried that spirit of adventure through to today.  Over a century after the first Winter Carnival, the purpose of Carnival is still getting outside and enjoying a respite from classes and schoolwork for a few days.  The weekend is centered around a variety of fun activities, from skating (cool) to swimming (cold)  to concerts and dance parties (sweaty) to a chili cookoff (spicy).  I love the fact that there’s something for everyone, whether you’re into sports, parties, performances, or just catching up on sleep.

My fraternity brothers hard at work on their cookoff entry:  "Chen's Chicken Chorizo Chipotle Chili.  With Chips."

My fraternity brothers hard at work on their cookoff entry: “Chen’s Chorizo Chipotle Chili, with Chips.”

I’ve noticed that people like to complain about the cold and the snow here (and, being from Vermont, I like to make fun of them), but  I can definitely see where they’re coming from.  It’s easy to get caught up in how soggy your boots are and how the snowdrifts make it hard to move when you’re just trying to walk to class.  But, when you take some time to step back and look at it, the snow falling past the streetlights is gorgeous and the drifts actually make it a softer landing when you fall.  In the same way, even though college can be a challenging place, a lot of the things that make it hard are also the things that make it worthwhile, and some of the scariest aspects can end up being your best resources.  That’s really what I like the best about Carnival, and by extension, Dartmouth:  it always gives you the opportunity to step back and appreciate the little things that make an education here so worthwhile.  The sunrise is always beautiful after an all-nighter, teammates who I was once intimidated by are some of my best friends, and when you’re sprinting through the snow in a human dogsled race, it’s pretty easy to ignore the cold and focus on laughing with your friends.

My Human Dogsled Race team.  That orange sweater may be my most prized possession.

My Human Dogsled Race team.  That orange sweater may in fact be my most prized possession.

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ll be back next week with a breakdown of the engineering program in all its stress and excitement.

Dec 092011
 

You’ve done it! You’ve officially gotten into the best college in the world! You have such an awesome time in store for you! Soon you’ll be in Dartmouth, your home for the next few years. I, personally, cannot wait for all of you to arrive. You’ve made the right decision of choosing Dartmouth, and soon you’ll find out why.

I remember how excited and delighted I was when I found out I had been admitted to Dartmouth. Congratulations to all of you! Applying to Dartmouth was one of the best decisions of my life. This place is literally magical! The best thing about this place is the people you meet here, and now all of you have become part of why Dartmouth is so amazing!

As my personal gift, here’s a list of everything you should make sure you do from now till next September:

1. Start spending an hour a day hugging ice so that you’re ready for the New Hampshire winter. (Not really, at Dartmouth we simply take advantage of the cold. I’ll be skiing next term hopefully. Just bring jackets!)

2. Go Green! Literally paint yourself green. before coming, you need to know the color, love the color, BE THE COLOR.

3. Practice shouting “SIXTEENS!”. You’ll have to shout it as loud as you can while singing the alma mater.

4. Get ready to be “the worst class ever”. Unless you can prove yourselves………

5. Brag. You deserve to. Tell all of your friends that you’re going to the best college in the world!

6. But actually, remember to be supportive of friends who won’t hear back from colleges until the end of March. It can make the winter really stressful for them.

7. Get all kinds of accessories for your room. At Dartmouth you’ll get a dorm room, you’ll need to make it yours.

8. Ask questions. Ask about anything you want! Ask us, ask other upperclassmen, ask anyone at Dartmouth. We all are glad to help.

9. Get ready to challenge yourself, to try new things, to grow.

10. Be super excited! You’re coming to an awesome place! You’re about to start the best time of your life. Soon you’ll be in Dartmouth!!

Once again, congratulations on being a part of Dartmouth. You’ll love this place! Upperclassmen, feel free to add to this list. Sixteens, we know you must be super excited, tell us what excites you the most. Express your excitement. Or just say Dartmouth rocks!

Congratulations you lucky lucky bunch of people. Dartmouth awaits you.

Cheers!

 

Nov 022011
 

A few weeks ago, the much awaited homecoming weekend finally arrived. Homecoming was a very special occasion for me. Being an international student, I was unfamiliar with the idea of homecoming and I had been excited about it ever since I first read about it before coming to Dartmouth.  Homecoming, at Dartmouth, is filled with interesting traditions and spirit.

The event starts off by the construction of a huge structure for the bonfire. The best thing was that this construction was done solely by freshmen. The huge wooden structure had ’15 at the top to represent the class year of the freshmen class. It was right on the middle of the green. I remember how I was pumped with excitement for my first homecoming as I went back to my floor after a busy day.

Before the bonfire, we all dressed up in our Dartmouth gear, with glowsticks, and had awesome floor parties. We partied till the parade came to pick us up. I remember standing with my floor when the parade finally came with roars and cheers. Homecoming, for the incoming class at Dartmouth, is supposed to be about proving that we are “The Best Class Ever”, hence everyone cheered the loudest they could. We joined the parade and continued cheering as we picked up freshmen from other clusters and then marched through Hanover right up to the green. A ring of Upperclassmen and Alumni surrounded us as we started circling the huge wooden structure. Pretty soon, the huge structure was set on fire and we took part in one of Dartmouth’s best tradition ever.

Technically, as members of the class of 2015 we were supposed to run 115 laps around the fire. 15 laps were enough for most of us (I ran somewhere between 20-30), but there were many who ran the complete 115 laps showing the world that we are the Best Class Ever! As we ran, lap after lap, the heat got more intense. Many upperclassmen encouraged us from the surroundings, others were not so encouraging. But there was one thing we all felt as we ran around that bonfire. As we set our eyes on that huge structure with our class year ’15 on fire, we were all filled with a sense of pride and happiness at being part of this amazing place. We felt part of the community, we felt joy and excitement of the years to come that we’ll spend at Dartmouth, and indeed, we felt that we had come home.

The rest of the homecoming weekend was filled with all kinds of parties and activities. There was also the homecoming football game on Saturday against Columbia, which we won 37-0! The weekend was one of the best weekends I have ever had! It’s when I think about this, and so many other memories at Dartmouth, that I feel overwhelmed with joy. This place is amazing and I feel thrilled to be a part of Dartmouth’s BEST CLASS EVER!!

Oct 062011
 

Last year, I visited Dartmouth through a prospective Native American student program. The Green, the lights on Dartmouth Hall and the picturesque library enchanted me. I asked myself the question “How could I ever be adequate enough to be in the presence of such a beautiful campus?”

And, this year I jumped off the bus from the Lodj, and began my journey into this exquisite campus. After the flurry of orientation activities and the increasing pressure to explore the multitude of clubs on campus, it’s been easy for me to look down while I rush to my Anthropology class. It’s been simple to ignore our gorgeous foliage when it seems to drop ten degrees every day. But, as I hosted prospies (prospective students) from the same program I attended last year, I learned how to look up again.

The prospies exclaimed their surprise at the architecture and the sheer greenness of the campus. Does Dartmouth lose its beauty with time? Does it relinquish its charm to only prospective students? It still remains enchanting, but is often forgotten by many of us as we rush to class in the pouring rain. It seems to slip our minds when frustrations arise, or when we write a last minute paper. And, of course, the first few weeks of college contain highs and lows: points where you feel surrounded with excitement and points where you seem completely alone. And to say that one’s college homesickness will be cured with one look at your surroundings is naive, but Dartmouth still can woo one with its mixture of extremely inspiring people and gorgeous nature.

So as I return from the library late at night, maybe for once I will look up at the stars instead of the ground, and remind myself of the first moment I saw Dartmouth and how I consider this my new home.