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Collis Porch During Orientation Week

I have been keeping a diary ever since I learned how to write. I find power in grounding my lived experiences through writing. In honor of my first month at Dartmouth, I want to provide excerpts from my journal, hopefully lending a condensed understanding of how I am settling into Dartmouth.

August 28-29, 2022

"After an 11-hour flight from Istanbul to Boston, I have finally arrived at Dartmouth. Albeit jetlagged, I am somehow still full of energy. A group of international students welcomed us in front of the bus stop with colorful signs and friendly greetings… Something in me tells me this is home; I certainly feel the love here."

Me and my friend Zeynep: jet-lagged yet full of energy
Me and my friend Zeynep: jet-lagged yet full of energy

The sense of belonging I felt the day I arrived on campus turned out to be overarching at Dartmouth, and the love I felt amplified during New Student Orientation.

September 1, 2022

"Today was full of orientation things. We engaged in meaningful conversations with peers around a circle in smaller groups and openly talked about our values, experiences, and aspirations… I thought orientation would be full of surface-level games and icebreakers, but I felt seen today. I felt like my experiences, the experiences I brought with me to Dartmouth, mattered. New Student Orientation was above and beyond what I imagined. I now have cool decorative thread art, plants, and a bunch of stickers I am saving up for family and friends back home!"

A collection of cool stickers and thread art
A collection of cool Dartmouth stickers and thread art (shaped like Dartmouth's D!!)

After new student orientation came First-Year Trips (affectionately called Trips). "Trips" is a 5-day outdoor experience with a small group of people that aims to foster an accessible and enjoyable orientation experience.

September 7, 2022

"I JUST CAME BACK FROM TRIPS!! I did flatwater canoeing with a group of 10– and it went amazing! Aside from paddling around 15 miles in 2 days, we have really gotten to know each other. I always thought I was not an outdoorsy person, but I might want to explore more outdoor activities at Dartmouth."

Canoeing in trips
Canoeing during First-Year Trips!

The magic of Trips still manifests itself. In fact, I just went out to have dinner with a couple of people from my trip section. We are all still in contact, and I am beyond grateful to have had a wonderful experience with Trips. I also started to explore outdoor activities with the Dartmouth Outing Club, which I enjoy through and through.

Enjoying the views of Ledyard Canoe Club at Dartmouth!
Enjoying the views of Ledyard Canoe Club!

As of this past Friday, I finished my second week of classes on top of two weeks of orientation. I can certainly say that time flew by! I have had access to so many exciting opportunities that I was never bored. I am taking intriguing classes from field-leading professors with peers from all walks of life, creating an unmatched sense of community. I am so glad I chose Dartmouth. If there is a better feeling than belonging, it is the feeling of realizing you have made the right choice. I count myself lucky that I feel both at Dartmouth, and I am beyond excited to make the most out of my four years here!

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