Week Four—with three midterms—was my most stressful yet at Dartmouth. However, when I finished my last exam on Friday afternoon, I was beyond excited to begin Homecoming Weekend. Over the past two days, I had watched the school come together to construct the bonfire, a two-story high project with a large 23 perched at the top.
To kick off Homecoming Weekend, the LLC communities opened the Spirit Station at 4:30pm, where students lined up to receive forest green T-shirts, quarter zips, and blankets. Later that night, our floor headed to Occom Commons for a dinner of burritos and churros while we waited to be "swept." (The sweep is a tradition where members of the Green Key Society gather students from each housing community to parade around the bonfire.) Decked out in our Dartmouth 23 shirts with glow sticks in hand, we joined the rest of our class. Even from a distance, we could see sparks emitting from the bonfire and the immediate increase in temperature.
Marching around the bonfire was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. Members of other classes cheered us on, reminding me of how lucky I am to be a member of the Dartmouth community. After the ceremonial lap around the fire, I took pictures with friends, listened to music in the tents, and feasted on Dartmouth's 250th birthday cake. I cannot wait to relive this experience for the next three years as a Dartmouth student and beyond as an alum.