Dartmouth places a lot of emphasis on first year students. As a small school, we need students to become leaders inside and outside of the classroom starting their first year.
The Rockefeller Center, which is Dartmouth's center for public policy, alongside the Office of Student Life hosts a program every winter called Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors that focuses on leadership on our campus.
The program lasts seven weeks with a two hour session every week. I lead a group of about ten students with a co-facilitator. Because of this small group, we are able to talk on a deeper level about the qualities leaders ought to have.
Every week, the topic is new. For instance, last week we discussed how our values from high school have or have not shifted since arriving at Dartmouth. Our discussions made me appreciate Dartmouth's impact on students, as they all talked about the positive effects of Dartmouth's collaborative culture.
Because we are in the same group for all seven weeks, participants have a level of comfortability with each other so that they can share personal details that really drive home the points of the program.
I have really enjoyed leading D-LAB because it is teaching me how to be a leader as I lead my group of 26s. I have also enjoyed getting to know a different class year other than my own. Overall, D-LAB is representative of the opportunities first-year students receive at Dartmouth, a unique advantage of our small size.