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What's up! My name is Brandon and I'm a '25—as a first-year at Dartmouth, I'm thrilled to be involved in the admissions blog and communicate with prospective students. I grew up in Franklin Park, a small town just outside of Chicago; my parents immigrated there from Poland about a decade before I was born. My interests include vexillology (the study of flags!), streetwear, spicy foods, the Middle Eastern world, and the color yellow. In my free time, you can find me binge-watching Survivor, fine-tuning my monthly Spotify playlists, writing, and of course, studying. 

As a first-generation college student, finding home in Hanover has been a wild ride. I first learned about Dartmouth through the 2020 Dartmouth Bound program for high school juniors; through it, I was able to meet a lot of my future classmates, learn about firsthand upperclassman experiences, and expose myself to the many academic opportunities available on campus. I ended up liking my experience so much that I applied ED—and here I wound up, writing to you from Baker Library!

Dartmouth matriculation
Here's a photo from matriculation last week!
Having grown up minutes from one of the largest international airports in the country, escaping the roaring engines overhead is one obvious reason for choosing Dartmouth. However, there's a lot more to Dartmouth than the beauty of the Upper Valley. As a prospective Middle Eastern Studies major who is interested in international relations and cross-cultural communication, the flexibility of the D-Plan means that Dartmouth is one of the best schools for study abroad opportunities in the country. It sounds a bit ironic—I came to Dartmouth to… get away from Dartmouth? One of my biggest goals and driving factors in life is making sure that I travel and explore new perspectives, and Dartmouth is the best place to do just that. 

In addition, the small size of the college lends itself to some pretty awesome discussion-based classes that even freshmen can take! It's incredibly refreshing to know the names of my classmates, and reassuring to know that my professors know my name too. My Arabic 1 class has 8 students—8! The intimacy of community here makes it feel like summer camp, not college. Well, like summer camp with late nights at the library and early mornings at lecture halls. 

My journey at Dartmouth is only getting started, and I'm incredibly excited to share it with you. The college admissions process can be daunting, so I hope that reading about my life in Hanover both excites and informs. A glance through internet forums or a conversation with a clueless high school junior can lead you to believe that you need to have a 6.3 GPA, 1700 SAT score, and 32 AP classes all while being an Olympic gold medalist and cancer researcher. But really, that sort of naive approach to the college process doesn't work: at least not for me.

While I would love to be a Greta Thunberg or a David Hogg, I'm not. I'm Brandon Mioduszewski; I organize shopping carts at Walmart, mess around in Debate Club with my friends, and play with my dog after school. And while applying to Dartmouth, I made it painfully clear who I was—seriously, I wrote one of my essays about pigeons at Walmart! I was willing to unabashedly tell my own, unique story to the Dartmouth Admissions office, because doing anything less would be unjust to the last 18 years of my personal novel. 

I hope you found my post helpful, and I can't wait to share my Dartmouth experience with all of you!

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