23W First Snow
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Dartmouth Hall with Green Light in the Rain

Mountain clouds float beneath me while I write this as I fly to Hanover for the spring quarter. I want to reflect on my experiences since high school, specifically at Dartmouth! During these last three years, I have taken two dozen courses, performed on tour in Mexico, lived abroad for half a year in Rome and Vienna, watched my brother become engaged, composed my first solo concert as a composer, and even became fraternity president. However, there is nostalgia in this cabin as I remember the first flight I had to take alone. Now, I'm a professional traveler—to Hanover, New Hampshire, that is

In high school, applying to college was the most challenging and scariest thing. There are so many universities to choose from; I now relive that difficulty in choice as I am applying to graduate school. Nonetheless, deciding which college to attend after applying was just as difficult, if not more, as applications. I'm going to provide insight into what I thought when choosing Dartmouth over other schools. Before starting, I absolutely love Dartmouth and am so glad I decided to come here!

Sledding on the Golf Course
Recent snow on campus on the golf course!

My first thing was looking at the distance from home—Greenville, South Carolina, for me—to decide if I was comfortable with that. In addition, I looked at the length of the programs I had applied to. Several of my other choices were five-year programs, which was too long for me for undergrad. Second, pay attention to your financial aid package throughout your college career. Luckily, Dartmouth gave me a great financial aid package, which made the decision a little easier when I looked at all of my options. Third, I would say look at what type of environment your school offers. I was deciding between liberal arts, music conservatory, and state schools, all of which had different expectations of me. Finally, trust what you want to do and follow your desires. Today, people believe college to be the mandatory step after high school, but that is not the case. Be proud of yourself for getting accepted somewhere, and follow your motivations

Another thing you can do is reach out to department chairs to ask a few questions or even talk with a student going through a professor or admissions office. A huge reason I went to Dartmouth was actually the fact that a professor and student convinced me to commit; now, I am friends and colleagues with both of them! This is all a way of saying to do your research! Learn a lot about the school and what to expect when you go there. If you're curious about choosing Dartmouth, many of my friends or fellow bloggers have excellent "Why Dartmouth" posts on this website about the "Dartmouth difference." I encourage you to read some of them to see what livelihood a college experience like ours can bring.

Formal and Friends
Thankful for my Dartmouth friends!

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