Matte background of Dartmouth pines
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The intersection of Hanover's main street while snow flurries begin to fall.

Dartmouth provides a myriad of opportunities to help first-year students acclimate to college life and the professional realm. D-LAB (Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors) is one of those opportunities; it is is a seven-week program through the Office of Student Life and the Rockefeller Center, designed to allow first-year students to integrate within the ideals of their morals and leadership. By granting first-years the opportunity to explore their personal values, it assists each student in understanding how to connect their values into their leadership styles at Dartmouth. Through the seven sessions during winter term, participants are placed into small groups with two upper-level students that lead discussions. These upper-level students merely facilitate conversation, and urges everyone to participate so that no one is excluded from the topic of discussion. 

There are 90-minute sessions that are held on Mondays and Tuesdays, and you are assigned your day based on your availability. Since dinner is provided, students are not missing meals during their evening sessions (free food!). From the first session to the last, groups bond through the flow of conversation. The first session consisted of icebreaker questions to prompt each group member to share aspects of their lives and become closer with each other. Since the groups are small, this program has allowed me to form a sense of community with individuals I wasn't familiar with before. 

A pivotal part of D-LAB is addressing goals that we have to improve the structure of Dartmouth and how we may facilitate those reforms. I admire that we focus on helping the wellbeing of Dartmouth and other students. 

I am thankful that I joined D-LAB, as I have learned a lot about the values I should uphold to become a successful leader and how different values impact the foundation of a group. Likewise, I believe that it is a program that incoming first-year students should think about taking. It is largely reflective of Dartmouth's perception of community and promotes constructive leadership styles.

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