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Dartmouth students are part of many communities: the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC), Greek Life organizations, religious groups, dance and theater troupes. The college also offers Housing Communities as another social space, and every student is automatically sorted into one of six houses. As a Westian, I live in designated West House dorms with West House roommates, but on a social level, our house holds barbeque dinners, hands out free merch, and competes in Intra-House competitions. By far, my favorite part of the housing system is the free activities House Professor Hickox and the Executive Board plan from ski trips to Vermont to day trips to Boston. 

This summer, the coronavirus limited travel to the Upper Valley; however, that didn't stop us from blueberry picking at Cedar Circle Farm in Vermont. I don't leave campus often, so I took the time to admire the winding roads and lush greenery before we pulled into a homey, red-rusted central farmstand with local produce and freshly baked goods. Beyond the farmstand were several greenhouses filled with potted plants, and I used West House funds to purchase a small "blue elf" aloe plant. Then, it was on to the main event—a short half a mile walk past the cornfields to the blueberry bushes! Although the bushes were a little sparse (we had to pass through several bushes before finding a berry in between a tangle of branches), my friend and I managed to gather a pint combined. Blueberries aside, the event was a great way to expand my circle of friends and explore alternative social spaces at Dartmouth. 

Indulging in a very sour, unwashed blueberry

The fruit of our labor plus my "blue elf" aloe plant

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