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A view of the football field from the student section on a bright, fall day.

A large, burning bonfire behind 2 fences.
At over 30 feet tall, this is not your average bonfire!
On the day I committed to Dartmouth, I remember calling my granddad, a member of the class of '56, and telling him about my decision. We talked many times before about his experiences at Dartmouth, but in my first conversation with him as a committed student, I remember him being so excited for me to experience Dartmouth traditions, especially Homecoming. This past weekend, I finally had the chance to see first-hand just how special Dartmouth traditions are as I walked around the Homecoming bonfire, just as he did 67 years ago.  

Abbi and a friend taking a selfie in front of Dartmouth Hall, which is lit in green for homecoming.
Me and a friend in front of Dartmouth Hall, which was lit in green in honor of Homecoming!
For me, homecoming weekend started on Friday afternoon when a couple of the clubs I belong to hosted social events. It was great to take a break after my week of midterms and bond with upperclassmen outside of practices and meetings. Then, I joined my housemates for pizza and temporary tattoos. After consuming copious amounts of cheese bread and jamming out to throwback hits with my dormmates, we lined up to join the rest of the Class of 2023 in a parade around campus. The parade stopped at each freshman dorm until everyone was walking together towards the Bonfire. This is one of the last times our entire class is together before graduation, so walking as a unit, past rows of alumni and upperclassmen, was super special to me. Finally, after parading all the way around campus, we circled the 30-foot bonfire burning in the center of the green. It sounds a bit cultish, but there's nothing like a massive, structurally-sound fire surrounded by thousands of people to remind you what the Dartmouth community is capable of. After the freshmen's march around the Green, there were lots of events hosted around campus including a late-night breakfast served in Collis Common Ground! The waffles were so good!

A view of the football field from the student section on a bright, fall day.
My view from the student section as we beat Yale!
On Saturday of Homecoming weekend, I slept in, grabbed brunch in the Class of 1953 Commons, and headed over the football game! There are a few football players I've met on campus, so it was super fun to get to cheer them on. I think that's one of the coolest things about Dartmouth's size – it's small enough that I know a couple of football players, but big enough that I can always find a new face to sit with in the student section. The football team's resounding victory over Yale (42-10!!) wrapped up my homecoming weekend festivities, so I headed back to my dorm to do homework and enjoy some down time. As I walked back from the football field, I felt an overwhelming gratitude that I am able to share in centuries-old traditions, a feeling that I hope any prospective students reading this will one day share.

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