Sophomore (not so) Bummer?
When I got the news that sophomore summer was cancelled, I wasn't that shocked, but I was certainly devastated. I was in the midst of a four-course online term, and the thought of finishing up my classes just to jump back into another round of online classes scared me. I felt like what I love most—the Dartmouth experience—was being ripped away from me. I wanted to make sure that in the future, I would be able to spend as much time in Hanover as possible, given the circumstances. For this reason, I decided to delay my sophomore summer requirement to 2021.
My first instinct was to frantically apply for internships. As you may guess, that didn't quite work, given about every other student at every other college was doing the exact same thing. So, I sat, and I thought about the resources I have available to me. I didn't have any contacts at any tech companies who could help me, but I did have professors.
Because of Dartmouth's size, it makes it really easy to get know professors. Even if you aren't particularly close with any professors, though, most all professors are extremely responsive to a cold email. For example, my friend was looking for research in the Spanish department but didn't feel particularly close with any of her professors. She reached out to her professor that she had for her first Spanish class, freshman fall, and he enthusiastically brought her aboard to do research about Frida Kahlo for the class he's planning.
I reached out to a few of my current professors in the computer science department, along with my mentor from the independent study I had conducted in the Winter. From reaching out, I got a summer TA position for CS52, Full-Stack Web-Development, and my mentor from the independent study was interested in pursuing a similar project at a larger scale and was enthusiastic about me joining along. After applying and receiving the Neukom grant to support the project, I was set.
I've picked up a few more projects to work on this summer along the way, but the main point that I'm trying to get across is that Dartmouth offers so many opportunities in research and work outside of the classroom. While I was frustrated and disheartened that sophomore summer was cancelled, because of the connections I've formed here at Dartmouth I was able to make light of the situation.