Last week was my first ever Halloweekend in the United States, but more importantly, it was the week for Homecoming! As the leaves continued to fall, the campus filled with joyous alumni and their families in Dartmouth gear as they reconnected with this precious place that holds tons of memories for them. Here is how I spent my Homecoming week.
There was a lot of preparation going on at the Green since the week preceding Homecoming. Our '26 bonfire builders (many thanks!) rigorously worked on building the bonfire, signing club boards, and making sure the structure was safe and sound. Moreover, as days passed, I started seeing more and more of the alumni I mentioned, touring around campus and showing their spouses and kids places across campus.
Friday Night: Bonfire Night! As part of East Wheelock House, we all met at our common space Brace Commons to grab a bite to eat and accessorize for the lap around the Bonfire. Putting on glitter and glow sticks as we tried to eat slices of pizza was a bonding moment for all of us. I took countless pictures with friends to commemorate that moment. Then, we exited Brace Commons as a group to join the rest of our peers before taking a lap around the Bonfire.
Approaching the bonfire might seem like a visual experience only, but I started hearing wood burning and felt the warmth of the Bonfire before seeing it. Once I saw the fire, I, like everyone else, started taking pictures in awe of the amazing scene blessing my eyes. I have never seen a fire that big!
While taking a lap around the Bonfire, both upperclassmen and alumni were cheering from the outer circle, welcoming us to the Dartmouth community. There was a particular alumnus, who was in the class of 1998, that kept on cheering from the beginning to the end of my lap. Something about that moment was magical; I felt like I truly belong at Dartmouth as part of the community. After the Bonfire, there were several class celebrations including a concert exclusive to the '26s. Seeing such class spirit brought all of us closer and made Homecoming truly special.
The whole weekend after Friday night was full of celebrations for the alumni as well as for students. Going into week 8, Homecoming weekend was a boost of energy that reminded me of my sense of place at Dartmouth, and why I value community above all else. I am so glad to have witnessed the Bonfire and have experienced my first Dartmouth Homecoming!
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