Shot of the north end of campus from the top of Baker Tower
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Baker Tower surrounded by clouds in sunset

There has never been a single moment when I have not been proud to be a part of the wonderful community that comes with being a student here—but how could I have possibly known that during my college application process? 

Recently, I have found myself revisiting my "Why Dartmouth" essay. In some ways, it encapsulates my academic goals pretty well. I talked about the inherent pressure that I have faced to choose between STEM and the humanities, and how I could never bring myself to choose one or the other. Unlike some of my peers, I never felt an extreme pull towards one discipline and an equally extreme disconnect from the other. Rather, the intersections of STEM and the humanities fascinated me, and I knew that in an academic sense, Dartmouth's liberal arts curriculum would be perfect for me. 

And it has been. However, there is more to it than just the academics. My role may be first and foremost a student, and academics is definitely a priority. However, Dartmouth isn't just a college. It's a place to call home for the next four years, and what is home if not for the people? 

Daniel Webster once referred to Dartmouth as, "[A] small college, and yet there are those who love it." I've always found his use of the word "yet" a little off-putting, as if Dartmouth being small was such a bad thing. The College's small size is what initially attracted me to applying, and it's one of the many reasons I stay. It is so easy to familiarize myself with people on campus. Every time I see someone who I am even vaguely familiar with, we manage to almost always exchange greetings. I know I can always join a friend, acquaintance, or a classmate for a meal. Students are more than just a statistic, we're people to professors: they know us individually by name (and often more than that). Our shared connection—that is, being part of the Dartmouth community—results in boundless opportunities from current students, professors, and alumni. 

And oh, the opportunities. The sheer amount of programming offered by various departments and campus organizations make it clear that there is something for everyone. Whether it be break trips with the Dartmouth Outing Club, research with a professor, prominent guest speakers such as presidential candidates, Build-A-Bear events hosted by Collis After Dark; those don't even begin to cover the sheer scope of what Dartmouth has to offer. 

I would be remiss to not discuss the financial aspects of college. It's no secret that at a glance, Dartmouth can be quite expensive. However, the college's commitment to making the institution financially accessible is noteworthy. They meet 100% demonstrated financial needeven for international students. With Dartmouth having recently received its largest ever scholarship bequest, there will be 0 parental contribution for those with an income of up to $125,000, which is huge for middle-income families! Such a threshold is "the most generous in the nation", according to the article. 

Dartmouth and its people have given me the freedom and bravery to reflect upon my experiences, explore parts of my identity, and share my story. Aren't you curious as to what Dartmouth will give you? 

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