Robinson Hall on a sunny afternoon

Tour guiding has been one of my favorite things I've done during my time here at Dartmouth. Aside from getting the opportunity to talk about and provide an honest portrayal of this place that I love, getting to interact with visitors is incredibly rewarding. Their questions are insightful and interesting, and they speak to the hopes, dreams, fears, and anxieties that I remember. Perhaps I'll elaborate more on the joys of tours in a future blog post, but, for now, I wanted to highlight one such visitor who asked me a question on my tour the other day that took me by surprise.

"What advice do you have for a current high school senior?"

Used to getting questions about applying to Dartmouth, I asked her what exactly she meant by that. It turns out, she was interested in general life advice from someone who had been in her shoes. I thought for a second, a little taken aback. It was a fantastic question, one that I honestly hadn't received or thought about before, and though I did my best to respond in the moment, I wanted to share my perhaps more well-articulated thoughts on the subject with you all now.

In high school, I remember the college application frenzy and the idea that getting into the college of my dreams was the be-all and end-all of what I'd been working toward. I remember not getting accepted to my ED school and feeling like the world was collapsing around me. I remember feeling like all the time I'd spent in high school had led up to this one thing, and now it had been ruined.

It's true that college applications are important. Do your research and take your time. But let me break it to you: you're going to be just fine. Wherever you end up, whether that's here in the woods or somewhere else, that place is going to become your home. You're going to meet your best friends, you're going to have the experiences of a lifetime, and you're going to thrive. I know it might seem like everything right now. When my ED letter came through, I was devastated. But if I hadn't gotten rejected from what I thought was my dream school, I would never have ended up here at Dartmouth, and I'm grateful for that every day.

And last but not least, don't forget to look up from the stress of college applications and appreciate the present! You have to know where you are to get where you're going. You've got this! 

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