Background picture placeholder
« All Posts by this Blogger
A picture of people playing during First Year Trips

Wow, wow, wow, I'm glad that you're checking back in with me because I have so much to share about my first few welcome weeks here at Dartmouth. From move-in day to first year trips to an eventful and fun-packed orientation schedule, Dartmouth gave me such a warm welcome. Bear with me as I turn the clock backwards for a bit. 

On Wednesday August 31st at 10 am, my family's car pulled up to the front doors of the Judge Hall freshman dorm building. Fellow West House upperclassmen cheered on as we spilled out of the car and began to offload my summer packing. Almost finished with my dorm set-up, we decided to stop by the "Sustainable Moving Sale" before a nice complimentary lunch break at FOCO (the 1953 Commons Dining Hall). The "Sustainable Moving Sale" (held every year during orientation week with the aim of repurposing and reselling dorm essentials, bikes, etc from previous students) ended up being an amazing opportunity for me to get items like organizational/storage drawers, an iron board and a mirror at very affordable prices.

A picture of my dorm room.
My dorm room set-up!

After a long day, it still seemed too soon to have to say goodbye to my family but not even 30 minutes after rounds of hugs, I was seated in Leede Arena for the first meeting of the class of 2026. I reveled in the moment as important speakers took their time to address us with wise tips and those that caused ripples of laughter through the crowd. From the moment we were dismissed, life seemed to move in fast motion as I moved from one orientation event to the next. While Hanover was sunny by day, the chilly nights found me sitting outside Collis (Center for Student Involvement) around bonfires with newfound friends as we toasted s'mores or played lingo bingo (about popular Dartmouth lingo/slang).

A picture of my friends and I with plants from an orientation event.
My friends and I with our plants from the orientation event.

Another one of my favorite events was "Bloom Where You Are Planted" where some friends and I selected from a variety of free succulent plants inside tents on the Green and decorated pots for them. We prepared new homes for each other's plants by taking turns writing encouraging words, like my friend who kindly wrote "Dartmouth Deserves You" on one of the pots that I have sitting on my room's window sill. 

This post couldn't be complete without sharing my amazing First Year Trip (FYT) experience. Nestled in between the busy orientation schedule, were four  days that I spent whitewater kayaking and camping in the woods, without my phone and with a group of 7 other initial strangers who are now known as my "trippees" or familiar faces I come across on any given day. I remember going through a rollercoaster of emotions over the summer after receiving my FYT assignment of whitewater kayaking. What was initially excitement about doing something I had never done before, turned into anxiety about what seemed like an extreme sport. However, my doubts and fears were quickly replaced with the most fun experience I hadn't expected. Now, I look forward to whitewater kayaking many more times with the Ledyard Canoe Club over the next four years.

A picture of my First Year Trips Group
My First Year Trips group posing near a sign for the "Second College Grant," where we kayaked and camped.

I loved my trip group and felt like we really bonded due to the lack of phones that helped us be mindful and present, the equal effort of carrying miscellaneous food in our backpacks, the shared experience of carrying heavy kayaks in between adrenaline inducing paddles through whitewater and from playing a game called life stories which enabled us to be vulnerable with each other and appreciative of our diverse backgrounds. Many other people and "crews" made the whole experience memorable with pranks and quirky songs and dances. I don't want to spoil too much about the FYT experience, so I'll leave it at that and encourage you to definitely go on a FYT if given the chance.

Posts You Might Like