Homecoming Weekend: Sharing A Tradition with a Hometown Friend
This past Homecoming weekend my hometown friend who was in my 5th grade elementary school class and now goes to Brown University, came to visit me! As we've gotten to share stories from our similar yet different college lives, my friend had expressed her intrigue about Dartmouth traditions like the infamous Homecoming bonfire so I thought this would be the perfect weekend to invite her over. Every year, Dartmouth alumni, students and community members come together to cheer on and warmly welcome the new class of Dartmouth freshman as they walk around a tall and massive bonfire. Students build the wooden structure a few days before the eventful Friday night that kicks off the weekend of festivities. This year as a Freshman UGA (Undergraduate Advisor), I got another chance to be in the inner circle to guide the class of 2027 as they walked around the fire and so I strung my friend along with me.
A few hours before the bonfire procession, I picked my friend up from the Dartmouth Coach bus stop at 6:30 pm and she told me about how crazy it was that the majority of the ride from Boston was spent weaving through the isolated mountains: "I was like wow, where are we going?! But it was so beautiful, especially with all the Fall colors!" I decided to take her to the Courtyard Cafe for a quick dinner and she reveled in all of our options which definitely made me gain a new appreciation for our dining. Afterwards, we ran through the rain to one of the West House dorm halls where all Westians were gathering to start the parade and we went around campus picking up the other housing communities. Everyone was dressed in green and forms of school spirit with two students even playing the bagpipes to commence the occasion. My friend loved the seemingly bizarre antics that she never experienced as a freshman at Brown.
The rain continued through Saturday so we opted for some of the indoor or tented brunches and gatherings instead of all the sports games. There was a home Football game against Columbia which we won, a womens rugby game, a soccer game against Princeton, and an equestrian competition. I helped out with the West House football tailgate brunch and we drank some hot cider before going across the street to the Black Alumni brunch where students were able to mingle with some of the alumni that ranged from senior friends I made last year to those that graduated decades ago. Sunday proved to be a much sunnier day so I was glad to give my friend a better tour of campus and the experience of getting a Lou's brunch before she had to head back to her college.