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My friends and I on the cheerleading team.

Dartmouth offers a multitude of sports at different levels. With 33 club sports and 35 Division 1 Varsity teams ranging from football to hockey, students can choose to pursue these extra-curricular activities apart from academics. As I attempted to stay active in high school through Varsity Basketball Sideline Cheerleading, recreational tennis, and weekly gym days, I knew I wanted to be involved in at least one low-commitment sport. 

In September I tried out for Dartmouth's Cheerleading team with two of my best friends, wanting to revisit my weekly game days and the feeling of being a part of a team that I enjoyed so much in high school. With the power of luck on my side, I got on the team! Joining the cheer team was one of the best decisions I have made since coming to Dartmouth. 

During our first game of the season, against Lehigh University, many students, family and friends showed up to support the football team, engulfing the atmosphere with high spirits and joy. I was excited to cheer the team on with new cheers, band dances, and stunts that I was not able to partake in with my old school (due to certain restrictions). It was amazing to see familiar faces sitting in the bleachers cheering us on. 

My cheer team and I smiling during our first football game of the season.
My cheer team and I during our first football game of the season.

On the morning of the second game of the season, against Yale University, the weather was gloomier than our first game; yet, we still had optimistic spirits. Donned in our pink bows and new pom poms, I began to realize how much I adore collegiate cheer and the friends I have made on the team. Since I had only been acclimated with cheering for basketball, I have developed a liking for American football after the past two games I have attended.

My cheer team doing a stunt pyramid.

My advice to all the readers of this post: do not hesitate to try new things and do not be afraid to take risks. I was afraid to try out for the Dartmouth Cheerleading team due to fear of failure. Had I not taken that risk, I never would have found a community of wonderful people that I admire. Outside of Division 1 sports, Dartmouth's club sports and other 'active' activities are manageable to maintain alongside schoolwork. I have practice two days a week after my classes and morning workouts are one day a week before my first class of the day. With proper scheduling, I am able to balance all of my tasks!

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