Thanksgiving: a Time for Reflection
- No. 1
Are you glad you came to Dartmouth?
Or, as I would have phrased this one year ago: “Are you happy with your decision?”
Allow me to preface my answer with something I truly do believe: there is no one right decision. There may be a couple wrong ones, by which I mean schools that don’t align with your interests or intentions. Considering that the college process is intended for students to find a place that is right for them, it seems most important to identify schools that do work for your intentions and apply to them. Dartmouth was the school that best fit my interests and intentions, so I am very pleased to be here. Dartmouth isn’t perfect, but it can be a home if you let it. And that goes for any college that appeals to you!
- No. 2
Did you miss home?
Yes. But it wasn’t the soul-crushing missing I had anticipated (as a certified homebody). The people here are incredible… not only that, but making friends is relatively simple when everyone is far from home and eager for positive socialization. We can’t be lonely forever, right?
Dartmouth truly does create a “profound sense of place.” It was difficult to compare “home” with Dartmouth, as Seattle’s winding pavement and modern housing are so at odds with New Hampshire’s stately homes blanketed by leaves in the fall and snow in winter. The strangeness of attending college on the other side of the country made the term feel like one big adventure. I eagerly documented the changing of the seasons and best coffees I could find, gleefully exchanging updates with my family. Though I wasn't with them, we were definitely included in each others lives.
- No. 3
How cold is it really?
I’ll plead the fifth until winter term. I don’t think I’ve earned an opinion yet.
The Little ThingsThis is it, lovelies. Week 10. How the term has flown by! Finals week is stressful, and that brings me to my point for today's post: finding the little things to motivate you through stress and bring your commitments into perspective.
- No. 1
For example, this morning campus woke up to light November rain. Grey mist floated leisurely across the roads, bundling the trees in warm foggy wear. But by the time I went outside, Hanover was greeted by some of the largest snowflakes I have ever seen. Despite the fact that I had somewhere to be, I stopped in the abandoned walkway and turned my face up to watch. I was looking into a white wonderland, a pure canvas that went up, up, up, increasingly obscured by fluffy flurries.
I wasn’t the only one absorbed in the spectacle. Around campus, people held out their hands, took videos, and laughed as large flakes clung to their coats. Comradery enveloped the campus, a phenomenon which occurs with every benevolent snowfall.
Several of my posts have basically been odes to the weather here. But it really is so gorgeous. And there’s nothing like centering yourself by settling in to watch the spectacle of nature.
- No. 2
My gift to myself this morning was a decaf latte, courtesy of my meal swipe. The wait in line resulted in three warm conversations with friends I hadn’t seen in weeks.
Freshmen are automatically enrolled in the “Ivy Unlimited” meal plan for their fall term. This means they receive 3 meal swipes a day, or unlimited access to the class of ’53 Commons. Outside the meal plan, you can virtually avoid spending any money on food.
One of my new hobbies is trying to creatively adapt a meal swipe to “special occasions” and snacks—as the temperature drops, it’s always nice to have some food in the dorm for meals in.
My favorite method is to eat one or two meals at FoCo and save other swipes for *decaf lattes*, nuts, yogurt, and other dorm foods. Especially special occasions may even require a hot chocolate. At the time of writing, I’ve only gotten one from Novack Café, and it was delicious. It was late and there was no line, and I nearly tap-danced back to my dorm after the barista topped it with a generous swirl of whipped cream. It truly can be the little things, you guys.
- No. 3
I’ll admit, I don’t have Airpods, but many people on campus do and choose to set their walks between classes to music. I don’t skimp either, tending to listen to music in my room for approximately three hours a day. No matter the method, Dartmouth students are pretty attached to music. It’s become something I look forward to while washing dishes, folding laundry, exercising, and studying. Though I don’t study well with music, I study well because of it. It’s an excellent motivator. “After learning this lesson, you can listen to your country playlist.” What better, right? Once the work is done and done well, relaxing to a few songs before moving on to the next commitment is an easy way to add levity to an afternoon.