Diaw Hane Tacko Diop
First Week of College on the Hill!
We don't have as much control as we'd like over how our experiences go, but I strongly believe a great start to everything will set a strong foundation for what's to come. The first week of school was a memorable experience. As a former FYSEP student, I was well-adjusted to campus life more than most freshmen. However, the shift from a FYSEP student to a matriculated student was a transition like no other.
Classes: Friday 8 AM: Course Election/Registration opens! I woke up an hour before, sitting in front of my computer with the portal open. "It's not first-come, first-served", everyone tells me repeatedly. Still, as anxious as I am, I noted all of the CRNs (Course Registration Numbers) for all of the classes I had wanted, so that I can enter them as soon as 8 AM hits. This is the process where all college students taking classes for the upcoming semester register for the classes of their choice. It's completely random for everyone and no one is given priority unless you don't meet certain class requirements. Some students are lucky enough to get all of the classes of their choice. Others can get 0 out of all of their wanted classes. I got 2 out of the 3 classes I wanted.
Saturday 7 AM: Course-Changes opens! I woke up exactly at 7 AM, which had me stressed because I had anticipated waking up 10 minutes earlier. Now, this was the actual first-come-first-served process everyone was talking about. In this process, students who didn't receive the classes of their choice have the ability to explore classes with seats still open. Out of the 3 classes I had wanted and registered, I only got 2. So, this was very important to me!
First week of classes: School officially begins! I attended all of the classes that were on my schedule. Some of the classes I had thought I wanted to take this fall term turned out to be classes I figured were better to take later on during the school year. The first two weeks of classes are known as the "Add/Drop Period" also known as "Course Shopping" which meant that I didn't have much to worry about if I chose to switch classes, and that's what I ended up happening! It's not the most ideal feeling knowing that you're not taking a class at the most opportune time, but it's also important to make sure you're setting up a successful academic schedule.
Social life: Classes begin, but how about social life? As soon as the first day of classes, I had clearly seen a difference in my social life. Since arriving on campus earlier through FYSEP, I was used to hanging out with my other FYSEP friends all the time. However, now things were getting real! I see them every once in a while and sometimes even have lunch together or study together.
Now what? From these experiences alone, I have learned that won't always get my desired outcome here at Dartmouth; however, the willingness to redirect myself and be open to change is how you can work towards setting up one. I am now content with my academic schedule and social life!
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