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Snowy mountain top

If you'd told me 4 years ago that one day I would find myself at the top of a mountain with my feet strapped to a wooden board, I would've laughed in your face. And yet, here I am in 20-degree weather, calculating the potential success rate of me getting down this mountain alive. Deciding to take snowboarding lessons during my last winter as a Dartmouth student made a lot of sense when I was signing up in the comfort of my room. But now? Not so much.

Growing up in warm North Carolina with a family from hot Jamaica, skiing and snowboarding were never really on my mind. Especially because, in my mind, only really rich people participated in those sports, visiting their vacation homes in Aspen or traveling to the Alps to participate. Those destinations weren't attainable for me so I'd written off snowsports altogether. For 2 winters (COVID took away a possible winter season), I watched my peers take the 15-minute shuttle ride to the Skiway and spend the day flying down mountain slopes. I wasn't jealous, per se, but I was sorrowful because I felt those experiences could never be "for me." That is until this year.

The attitude I've taken into my senior year is to do all the things at Dartmouth that I don't think I could do afterward, to live a life full of adventure. As such, I decided to sign up for snowboarding lessons. Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available to undergraduate students through Dartmouth's PE program. For students on financial aid, reimbursement is available which honestly made a world of a difference for me. Helmets and goggles are available for rent or purchase and they let you rent boards as well. Thank goodness for the student teachers who helped me get fitted; I would never have figured everything out on my own. But, I made it. All I needed was the courage to actually go through with the lessons.

Woman holding snowboard on a ski mountain
First snowboarding lesson! Winter 2023

To put it plainly, I'm so happy to sign up for these lessons!! I was beyond giddy the entire 2.5 hours I was on the practice slope. The snowboarding instructors, which were also Dartmouth students, taught me from the ground up, how to strap the board onto my feet and to stand up (it's much harder than you'd expect). 

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