D-Plan “Off” Terms: How “Off” Are We Really?
With terms like “on” and “off” to describe our D-Plans, you might expect Dartmouth students to behave like a light switch. The reality is that “off” terms, despite the name, aren’t actually like hitting the snooze button on your college days.
To start off, let’s discuss the root of “on” and “off” terms: the D-Plan. As you might know, the D-Plan is Dartmouth’s customizable academic calendar. In lieu of semesters, we have quarterly terms running year-round. As a student, you get to pick (with a few exceptions like Sophomore Summer) which terms you’d like to spend “on” and which terms you’d like to spend “off.” (Study abroad terms, by the way, are considered “on”)
Off terms aren’t on campus, but they’re an essential part of a Dartmouth education. Since I’m currently taking my first off term, I’ve listed some of the typical things to do on an off-term, courtesy of personal experience:
- No. 1
The 9 to 5
(Photo: At a work event + photographic evidence I'm employed!)
It’s pretty standard to use your off term as a chance to gain some real-world experience. The bulk of my off term has been my 9 to 5 job as an analyst at Cross Creek, a venture capital firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. I love my job because it's in a super exciting world that plays a pivotal part in building great companies. I also get to apply my econ classes to something that has a real impact!
- No. 2
Pick Up A New Hobby
10-week terms can feel like a sprint, so off terms are a great time to recharge for the next one. One of my favorite ways to recharge is to find something new to do in my free time, so I've taken up boxing and running this winter. I've boxed an average of three times a week and run twice a week just to let those endorphins loose. I'm even (feebly) starting to train for a half marathon!
- No. 3
(Photo: That VIEW from my airplane window)
Many of my friends took their first off term as a chance to explore. I've been told many envy-inducing stories about Scotland's castles and Japan's squeaky-clean subways. While it was never my intention to travel much on my off term, I've found myself in an airplane more than I would have anticipated a few months ago. This winter, I ended up spending two weeks in Cape Town, South Africa, judging at the Collegiate Debate World Championships (I wrote a blog post all about it). I also took a short flight to Denver to fence at the 2019 USA Junior Olympics in Denver, Colorado!
- No. 4
Pester Your Friends On Campus
The biggest con to being so far away from campus is being so far away from my closest friends. I've had a really hard time adjusting to the fact that I can't just walk to Foco ('53 Commons -- our main dining hall) or FFB (the notoriously chatty first floor of Baker-Berry Library) whenever I'm in a social mood. I really miss hanging out with the most amazing people I've ever met on a daily basis. FaceTime-ing helps me feel like I'm back on campus with them again!