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Krusteaz and College: At Dartmouth, you can have your (pan)cake and eat it, too
"You're not actually that busy."
This is a direct quote from my sisters, who like to tease me about the copious amount of time I spend with the family even though I'm technically still in college. They're not wrong, their comment probably in response to my near-daily habit of making pancakes for our youngest sister, the ritual of dishwashing and flicking water on the fearsome griddle till it sizzles and dances as though enchanted, of the first thin circle of batter which bubbles into a cozy little pancake onto which I drizzle syrup and beside which she pours hers, because she prefers they don't touch. I think my siblings expected a workaholic who didn't have time for family obligations. To be honest, I did too.
Let's back up a bit. I entered Dartmouth terrifically excited but also terrified. While the allure of friendships and campus traditions glittered in my periphery, I was afraid of having to choose between work and social life. Which, if you've read any of the posts from my lovely co-bloggers, you'll know is not the case. Living on campus does not preclude—in fact, it rather requires—fun experiences. This is not to say that extroverts are the norm, nor that you can't enjoy a quiet night in. I've decided that under the right circumstances, if you move the apostrophe, "girls' night in" becomes "girl's night in," which should give you a little hint at my Myers-Briggs results. It's also more than welcome if you get excited visiting the secondhand bookstore (and Still North Books, a new establishment which is a dream come true for the town of Hanover and one of my favorite places ever—more to follow). There's a lot to do on campus, and I've found that once your life takes place at school, you realize work and fun aren't enemies. You end up learning a lot and laughing a lot.
This historical precedent was firmly in place when I returned home this spring, but still I looked around my room with a touch of sentiment, like, "Yeah—we'll be seeing a lot of each other, won't we? Dear room, let us never henceforth be parted." I flat-out ignored the precedent! The Supreme Court would disapprove. I disapprove. I assumed it was 100% work, all the time! Because now I didn't even have to buy groceries and could bribe my sibs into doing my laundry. Except... not. It took a couple weeks, but then I arrived at the (rather obvious) conclusion that school shouldn't preclude my making pancakes or doing chores or watching Frozen II. Zoom does not render Dartmouth some unsympathetic entity.
Just like before, yes, busy, and yes, fun.
So that is why you can find me taking notes on Linguistics lectures while sipping coffee beside my mom, or studying for a Chinese test while helping my sister with her schoolwork, or sometimes just flat-out leaving my studies in my room to chase down whoever's laughing and demand to be in on the joke.
My classmates and I take Dartmouth very seriously, and in return it respects us—not just as students, but as people. Just as life at Dartmouth can be an amazingly fun experience, so too does Dartmouth work to make life away from campus rewarding, even if we end up substituting sidewalks for the Green and homemade cookies for KAF.
I'd argue that "busy" at Dartmouth is the best kind of busy—joyful, productive, rewarding, and motivating. Cheers from the Big (ever)Green!
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There are so many things that come to mind when I ask myself what I miss about campus. The smiles as you pass classmates on the Green, the satisfaction of finishing a paper in the Baker Berry tower room, the sweet taste of a FOCO cookie.