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My First Year-Trip group sitting by the lake.

After having a First Year Trips reunion dinner with my two first-year trip leaders and my fellow trippees (other freshmen who were in my trip cohort), I began to reminisce about the warm weather and my pre-orientation program that initiated my wonderful Dartmouth Experience.

First-Year Trips is an outdoor pre-orientation program designed to acclimate freshmen into their new college life and acquire new connections with a variety of people. Students are grouped into small cohorts of about 8 other first-year students with differnt trip types (ranging from camping, hiking, water sports, and more). I was grouped into Cabin Camping and Cooking, involving the opportunity to spend a few days in a cabin and have access to a kitchen where the group was able cook any dish we wanted to. I was able to adapt to an outdoor environment while improving my amateur cooking skills.

My trippees and I in front of the lake that is near the cabin.

A picture of the rice that I made.
I cooked rice for the first time! Not my best creation, but I tried my best

With our budget provided by First Year Trips, my trippees decided to stick to making comfort meals like omelets and pancakes, stir-fry, and wraps. One of my favorite dishes that we made during the trip was "Chipotle" veggie burritos (more like wraps). My trip leaders used cilantro that we purchased and mixed it with the white rice that I cooked and added salt to make Chipotle's signature Cilantro rice.

Thereafter, we cut carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce to garnish our wraps alongside feta cheese. After adding salad dressing to the wrap, we proved to be "restaurant ready". Since we had access to the oven in the kitchen, one of my trip leaders baked us chocolate chip cookies (just as good as the cookies in Foco, the main dining hall).

The wraps and burritos my group and I made.

The cookies my trip leaders baked in the industrial oven.

My favorite memory I have of my First Year Trip is playing card games with my trippees. I enjoyed spending time with them through canoeing on the lake near the cabin, playing with cards, and taking pictures on my digital camera.

Unwinding from social media allowed me to cherish the conversations that we shared and gave me a sense of peace when I was able to finish reading one of my favorite books away from distractions. I also enjoyed making friendship bracelets - a task I haven't been able to enjoy since I had been busy the entire summer.

My group in the kitchen that we had access to.

Considering I am not a person who loves bugs, mosquitoes, and hot weather, I impressed myself with how much I loved my First Year Trip. I made long-lasting memories and connections with my trip leaders and trippees that eliminated my worries that I had about making friends and having fun at Dartmouth. I believe that this experience was a great pre-orientation program, and I have heard great stories from other individuals who had different trip types. 

Two of my trip members making friendship bracelets.

Until next time!

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