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Chelsea's D-PlanWhat's a D-Plan?
FallHanover, NHFavorite Class: LAT 003: Latin 3
I studied Latin throughout high school, and I intended to continue the language at Dartmouth. Latin 3 was a good introduction to the Classics department. I was really surprised with how immersive my class was! We even visited the Rauner Special Collections Library on campus, where we had access to the original manuscripts (made of animal skin!) of Ovid's poems. I'm excited for similar experiences in the near future; I plan on majoring in Classics!
WinterHanover, NHFavorite Class: ENGS 12: Design Thinking
I'm not an Engineering major, but I LOVED ENGS 12. It's the kind of class that you take just because you've heard so many great things about it. A friend recommended this class and professor (Rafe Steinhauer) to me- and I'm so glad they did. Not to be dramatic, but this Design Thinking class literally changed the way I understand the world around me. I learned about creativity, problem solving, and collaboration in an immersive way. The group projects helped my apply this knowledge on a daily basis. I constantly find myself transferring what I learned to my current academic and personal life. I can't recommend this class enough!
SpringHanover, NHFavorite Class: CHEM 07.05: Sci Communication & Context
"Science Communication & Context" was my chosen topic to fulfill Dartmouth's first year Writing Seminar requirement. My seminar was taught by a notable professor in the Chemistry department. As a pre-med student, I have a lot of interest in STEM. I think the phenomenon of miscommunication in science is one that is both interesting and socially relevant. I also love the discussions in this class because many of my peers come from different backgrounds.
Time Management Skills at Dartmouth
Learning how to manage your time effectively is a great life skill. Dartmouth's 10-week quarter system is the perfect opportunity to start.
- No. 1
Sure, it’s important to not fall behind. But if you overload your schedule with a ton of clubs and DOC trips, it’s easy to realize that you might not even have the time to truly enjoy any of them. Not to mention, this would all be on top of your 3 classes and any office hours that may accompany them. I prioritize what’s important to me, and let go of any “filler” activities that I did just for the sake of doing. I was so excited to try everything at Dartmouth, but I had to be realistic about how much I could juggle at once. It’s totally fine to scale back commitments. Now, I have extra time to pour into the hobbies I'm most passionate about!
- No. 2
Find a study buddy!
I love hanging out with my friends, and I am quick to say “yes” to spending time with them. Yet, my homework awaits. It can be hard to prioritize academics when you also want to make fun memories (Baker is a gorgeous library, but maybe not the place I'd like to spend my entire day). I balance the two by doing homework alongside friends. Studying with friends can help hold yourself accountable. Even if they aren’t in the same class as you, simply being next to someone else might motivate you to finally start doing that textbook reading you’ve been procrastinating. And you’ll have a friend to spend your study breaks with.
- No. 3
Don’t forget your goals.
As cheesy as it sounds, we do indeed discover ourselves in college. I think I’ve grown a lot after just one term. It’s been helpful for me to keep my overall goals for college in mind. They serve as a motivator to do things that don’t seem as fun short-term. My high-school-senior-self had a couple regrets that she promised to not repeat in college. Maybe you do too. I knew that I wanted to work on exploring my academic interests, which means getting good grades across different subjects to set a strong foundation. Keeping this in mind, it’s easier for me to set my goals into motion today. I urge you to do the same.
Freshman Dorms: My Love for French Hall & The River
Learn about my experience with first-year housing! French Hall quickly became my new home.
Academic Support at Dartmouth
Find out why I never feel alone while exploring academics at Dartmouth.
Freshman Community and Friendships
Nervous about making friends at college? Read on to learn more about how Dartmouth fosters community for first-years!
Foco Fall Festivity!
Dartmouth celebrates Fall in every aspect, even at Foco! Learn more about the yearly Harvest Dinner and special Halloween Dinner.
Beyond Hanover: A guide to transportation from campus
Hanover is lovely, but we all like to get away at times! Read to find out how Zipcars and the Dartmouth Coach make traveling very accessible for students.
Dealing with Homesickness
Many freshmen will miss their families at some point. Learn how I'm learning how to navigate homesickness on campus!
DOC Trips 101
The most important "class" you'll take at Dartmouth. Learn all about the daily Dartmouth Outing Club trips! At least, the ones I've been on.
My First-Year Trip Experience (yay, hiking!)
Dartmouth is a small, unique community. There are many quirks about the college that I'm still learning myself. First-year trips are an introduction to both the outdoors and campus life. I loved my trip, and I'm sure you will too!
Your Orientation to Orientation Week
Welcome to the woods! Dartmouth prides itself on how early community is established. But how well does it translate during orientation Week?
- No. 1
Tip #1: Mentally prepare your social battery
I couldn’t wait to meet new people on campus. I remember smiling and introducing myself to virtually everyone. But the honeymoon phase of move-in day quickly came to an end as my parents left campus and I was left with 1,000 other freshmen. I quickly realized that every day for the next couple of weeks would consist of much more smiling and many more introductions. Orientation week truly put my social battery to the test.
I was as social and outgoing as I could have been. And I’m sure you will be too. It’s important to be friendly as you meet new people. Just don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Even finding a couple of minutes to chill before leaving your dorm can really help.
- No. 2
Tip #1: Get some (or at least a little) sleep
You may not believe me now, but trust me when I say that orientation week is busy. The schedule is pretty much back-to-back for 12 days straight. But seriously, take breaks if you need them. My orientation seemed to start the moment I stepped on campus. And there was no turning back. Don’t get me wrong; I had a great time. It was just a bit overwhelming at times. And if you don’t recharge at night, you’ll find yourself feeling miserable the next day. The stress of moving in and getting acclimated to a new environment will catch up to you at some point. We all know that you don’t perform at your best when you’re tired. Can you imagine meeting your new classmates when you’re running on just 4 hours of sleep?
- No. 3
Tip #3: Have fun :)
Orientation is the perfect opportunity to get to know people before the chaos of classes starts. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I promise you that everybody else just wants to make friends too. (Bonus tip: remember people’s names!) I said “Hi my name is Chelsea and I’m from Maryland” more times than I could count. It might feel a bit superficial, but the friendship usually grows from there. You’ll have some familiar faces to say “Hi” to in passing. Even if you don’t think the Language Requirement lecture is going to be much fun, you might make a new friend with the person sitting next to you. If nothing else, embrace the activities for the sake of expanding your new social circle.
Orientation week is a great time on campus. There are a ton of cool traditions that you’ll be glad you took part in. My class (‘26) can say that we were the last to shake President Hanlon’s hand at Matriculation. You may be tired and overwhelmed at times, but you’ll make some great memories along the way.