My Freshman Winter Classes: Latin, Writing, and GeneticsAfter reflecting on my first term at Dartmouth, I decided to continue on the pre-med track and to begin taking some required classes during my second term.
Neon Horse Print Leggings and my Experience with "Flair" at DartmouthIn my experience, I've found that flair helps level the playing field because when everyone looks weird, there's fewer reasons to feel out of place.
How I Spend Saturday Nights as a FreshmanI've found there are a ton of ways to have fun here, even outside of Dartmouth's well-known Greek system. Here are some of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday!
- No. 1
One of the things I’ve been the most surprised by is the amount of live music at Dartmouth. I’m not a music fanatic, but it is fun to attend concerts with friends on Friday and Saturday nights. Since our campus is not in a city, all of the shows are intimate, and you can get much closer to the artists than you would at a bigger concert. My favorite event so far has been a COIN concert that took place on the green and was free for all students!
- No. 2
Arts and Crafts!
Recently, I have been going to a ton of art events on campus. The Hood Museum and Hopkins Center for the Arts (or the HOP as we call it) both offer lots of free, open to campus creative events. It can be hard to find time for creativity during the school week, so I really appreciate the opportunity to paint and collage with my friends. So far, I’ve made pins, collages, book art, and sticker poems – my next goal is to attend an earring making workshop!
- No. 3
Whether it’s sports teams, acapella groups, or debate teams, most student organizations have socials throughout each term. One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday night is with the club water polo team. I didn’t play water polo before Dartmouth, but all of the upperclassmen have been super welcoming both in and out of the pool.
The One in Which I Enter a Real-Life Snow GlobeAs a southerner, my biggest concern about Dartmouth was how I was going to cope with the cold. Luckily, I have a lot of friends that are also excited to embrace the snow with me, so I wanted to share how we've been enjoying winter term so far!
A Beginner's Guide to the Quarter SystemHere are my answers to some of the questions I am often asked about our unique academic calendar!
- No. 1
How are quarters different than trimesters?
In most cases, both the quarter and the trimester system divide the year into four terms that follow the flow of the seasons. However, in schools that have trimesters, students are only on campus for three out of the four terms, so there’s usually still a long break in the summer and classes are offered during the stereotypical academic year. At Dartmouth, students can be on campus and taking classes for all four terms! Of course, no one is taking classes year-round for four years straight, but this does mean there’s much more flexibility in scheduling study abroad programs and internships. For a better idea of how D-Plans can be scheduled, check out some of the upperclassmen bloggers’ profiles!
- No. 2
How does having shorter terms impact your learning?
For those that don’t know, Dartmouth terms are ten weeks long, but we still learn a semester’s worth of information in one quarter. To make the short time frame manageable, most people take three classes in a term. Of course, everyone has a different learning style, so the quarter system works differently for different people. Personally, I really like only taking three classes at a time because it makes my brain feel less cluttered. I know that sounds funny, but in high school, I always felt like I had to jump from subject to subject when I was working. Whenever I found a topic I really enjoyed, I was also constantly thinking about other work I had to do. Here, I can spend a whole afternoon writing a poem or googling a genetics discovery without having to worry about falling behind in all of my other classes.
- No. 3
Do you like the quarter system?
Short Answer: Yes!
Long Answer: Heck yes!
In all seriousness, like I said before, everyone’s brains work differently, so everyone will have a different answer to this question. There are downsides to the flexibility of the D-Plan, like not seeing good friends for a term or two, but in my experience so far, the good outweighs the bad. I enjoy the fact that classes and extracurriculars are mixed up every ten weeks because it pushes me to meet new people. I’ve also found that the close communities on campus, such as sports teams or religious groups, provide a consistent space to fall back on.
A Day in My Life as a Freshman
Between figuring out what clubs I wanted to join, trying out for sports teams, and finding new study spots, each day looked a little different for me this fall.
- No. 1
7:30 am: Rise and Shine!
When my alarm goes off at 7:30 each morning, my day begins with me rolling out of bed, hitting play on my favorite morning news podcast, and getting ready for the day ahead. I always like to open my blinds first thing in the morning, so I can have a view of the changing leaves.
- No. 2
8 am : Coffee, Always Coffee
After packing my bookbag for the day, I head to Novack Café, which is a coffee shop in Baker-Berry library. It serves Starbucks, pastries, and lots of other yummy snacks. My favorite breakfast order is an iced coffee, yogurt covered pretzels, and an apple!
- No. 3
10 am: General Chemistry
When choosing classes for my first term here at Dartmouth, I was a little nervous to start out with a big, STEM lab class, but I’ve really enjoyed Gen Chem so far! As well as having a great professor, my class also has a Teaching Science Fellow (TSF), who just graduated from Dartmouth as a chemistry major. The TSF holds office hours almost every day, and I’ve found it super helpful to be able to work with someone who has firsthand experience as a Dartmouth student.