lone pine
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Hello there! 

It's Antônio here, once again, to walk you through my termly choices at college—i.e., what courses did I pick this time? As you might know, here at Dartmouth, we utilize the quarter system. Instead of splitting the year into two equal parts, we part it in four ways, each three months long. As part of the D-plan—the college's organizational system for knowing when you'll be on campus, taking classes, studying abroad, or whatnot—we can choose one of the four annual terms to be our break. Something I explained in earlier posts was my choice of not being here for my Sophomore Summer—a tradition most students look forward to completing. 

But, well, now I'm finally back on campus. It is the first term of my third year of college, and things have just started to feel real. 

Even though I've known what I want to study for a long time, Dartmouth gave me much room to explore different options—including those radically outside my comfort zone. Now, I finally feel that I'm working towards a realistic goal: I'm going to graduate. I'm going to leave campus on a random foggy morning in July 2025 to never come back—except for reunions, of course. 

And, even more crazy to think about: I'm leaving here with a title. This day might seem far away right now—indeed, I still have two years to go—but I can sense it getting closer and closer. Soon, I'll officially be a linguist. But why am I taking you down this rabbit hole of a rant? Because for the first time, I was struck by reality when choosing my courses. 

As a 3rd year student, there is still room for exploring distinct fields, but it's about time I become more serious about my degree requirements. Aside from completing the required coursework for my major, I questioned what else I could take from my time in college to ensure I took the best out of every opportunity. And here I am, halfway through my college career and declaring a new major. Something I never expected I'd like to study so much, but that has taken hold of my academic pursuits: the Spanish language. 

After my Foreign Study Program (FSP) in Madrid, I was determined to at least end up minoring in Hispanic Studies. However, during this course selection period, I came across such interesting offerings in the Spanish department that I signed up for more classes than needed for the minor. I enrolled in SPAN 43.07: Spooky Spain: Modern Horror and SPAN 53.02: Spanish Linguistics, Rhetoric, Poetics, and Politics. Now that I'm here, I might as well just push for a second major. That is the beauty of Dartmouth's intense approach to liberal arts: it can have you fall in love with the least unexpected subjects.

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