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Professor S. Winter Holding a Brain

No. Dartmouth is not scary!

If you ask me what college academia feels like, I would say it feels like a grown up high school. However, the amount of specific courses you can take at college may feel endless and present such a wide variety of opportunities! Dartmouth academics also work in a similar, interesting manner, but it is not as scary as you may think.

As many of you may know, Dartmouth's D-Plan system gives students the flexibility to customize their academic experience. The D-Plan is a quarter-term system where students are given the opportunity to study abroad, do internships, or take a leave term. Within each term on campus, students will take three classes to fulfill their major, distributive requirements, or for fun! I strongly encourage taking classes for fun, because it truly can change your academic experience.

Moore Lecture Hall Classroom
This is what my introductory neuroscience class looks like. We had one of our Neuro Activity days where we made models of the brain using play-doh.

Although I have not been here that long, I am here to assure you that college is not as scary as it appears! Currently, I am in three classes: intro to neuroscience, marine policy, and music and media in everyday life. With the support from my undergraduate dean and faculty advisor, I was able to create an amazing class schedule. This term I have larger classes than most, which leads to many great, large discussions in my classes. If you were curious, the class I am taking for fun is marine policy, and it is my favorite class so far this term!

An important aspect of the Dartmouth experience is that our terms are only 10 weeks long. This means that classes move really fast, even if they have some dense material! For example, I had to create a presentation to lead class discussion during week two of my music class! Every class I have this term has many readings, which can span from a chapter of a book to an academic article. Typically, most of the readings are vastly different which gives you many perspectives on a topic. 

This wide variety of perspectives are encouraged from our professors who truly make Dartmouth academics amazing. The professors here at Dartmouth are incredibly friendly. It is not uncommon for students to attend office hours to just talk with their professors to get to know them. All of my professors have been quite helpful this term and love interacting with their students.

Top of the Hop
This is my favorite study spot, which is located at the top of the Hop, which is short for the Hopkins Center!

Therefore, the academic experience at Dartmouth feels more like a shared experience where you form bonds with professors and classmates, learn new things, and study topics that interest you. If you are a prospective student and are curious about academics, I highly recommend watching a student tour or registering to do one live! And you can do one in person of course if you visit Dartmouth!

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