Reflecting on Fall Term & Plans for Winter Break
Coming to Dartmouth, I assumed that I was about to enter a space full of new experiences. Not only did my assumptions hold true, but they amplified over the course of weeks. With my final post of the fall term, I want to reflect on the past three months and share my winter break plans.
I thought taking three classes would be a breeze since I was juggling six to seven in high school. Turns out, I overlooked the in-depth nature college courses. It took me a couple of weeks to adjust to this new nature of learning, but I grew to realize how fulfilling it is to be able to specialize in areas of interest. I often felt encouraged to "go the extra mile" in researching topics of interest, which cultivated an unmatched sense of intellectual autonomy. In my First-Year Writing class, I learned that the five-paragraph essay structure could be expanded and started exploring different essay structures to find my voice, a mission that was repeatedly underlined by my professor. I took an economics class for the first time and shockingly realized that I might want to pursue behavioral economics in future terms/years.
Another thing about college that caught me off-guard was how much unstructured time I had on my hands and the myriad of ways in which I was empowered to structure my own Dartmouth experience. I started committing to activities at Dartmouth that made me feel excited about my Dartmouth journey. I started writing for the school newspaper The Dartmouth, joining meetings of the intersectional feminist magazine Spare Rib, and attending Ledyard Canoe Club events. Being able to freely pursue my passions framed my first fall term experience in a positive way.
Transitioning from Turkey to the States was arguably the most significant challenge I undertook this term. From opening a bank account to adjusting to primarily communicating in English, every day presented new experiences. I find power in recognizing that the adjustment required me to shift certain norms and realities I had in place, but I am grateful for always committing to doing my best and taking advantage of available resources in doing so. In particular, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership helped me through both personal and social adjustments in the US. I am beyond excited to go back home and reflect on how much I have accomplished in the last three months.
Speaking of going back home, I also want to share what I have in store for winter break! I am participating in the Winterim Leadership Intensive cohort organized by the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact (DCSI). As part of the program, we are given a chance to work with a local organization over the winter break to contribute to a social impact project. I will be focusing on voter disenfranchisement in Istanbul and will be working with a local organization to understand trends in voter participation. I am excited to make a concrete difference in my community with the help of DCSI!
Though I will be focusing on my social impact project for a significant part of my winter break, I plan on prioritizing pausing, taking a break, and spending time with family and friends. I have a lot to share with them about Dartmouth, and I want to catch up with my loved ones after not seeing them for the past three months.
I truly cannot imagine a better first-term experience, and I am looking forward to making the most out of my winter break!
Posts You Might Like
Dartmouth campus officially resembles a winter wonderland. Here are some of its defining characteristics.