machu picchu overlook
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Colleen and friends preparing to go skydiving
Colleen with an open parachute
Colleen and a friend hugging to celebrate that they survived!

My motto throughout my time at Dartmouth has been to actively pursue things that terrify me. Whether that meant participating in back-to-back study abroad programs in China and Peru, taking a senior seminar class my very first term at Dartmouth, or auditioning for an on-campus play, I firmly believe that these experiencesthe ones that pushed me way outside my comfort zonehave been the things from which I have grown the most and most thoroughly enjoyed.

Coming into my senior year, I was not ready to give up on this motto quite yet. When my friend texted me with the crazy idea to go skydiving with a little less than two days' notice, I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to embrace the spontaneity and go for it…and we did!

Within 48 hours of receiving that text, I jumped out of a moving airplane from over 13,000 feet up. This experience, much like my decision to come to Dartmouth in the first place, was both terrifying and amazing. The exhilaration I felt while free-falling was unparalleled, and the views I was able to enjoy once we opened our parachute reminded me of what a true privilege it is to go to school in such a beautiful part of the United States.

As I begin my final year at Dartmouth, I am similarly excited and terrified of what will come next. Dartmouth has become a wonderful home during the past three years, a place where I have met some of my closest friends, where I discovered my passion for social entrepreneurship and human-centered design, and where I found a community of intellectually curious peers and professors who have pushed me to become a better version of myself.

In all honesty, graduating from Dartmouth is likely going to feel like jumping out of an airplanescary, exhilarating, and (hopefully) totally worth it. But, for now, I am looking forward embracing spontaneous adventures around New England and making the most of my final year of undergrad at Dartmouth College.

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