A post in the calm before the storm of college admission letters
The world in which you are awaiting college decisions is not the same in which I did, nor that in which students a year behind you will. That said, with college decision letters on the horizon, I'd like to give you some of my own advice.
Finding Fun on Campus
You read that right, guys. Though there is no shortage of schoolwork here, many students have found a work/life balance which leaves room for moments of enjoyment and relaxation.
- No. 1
Whether it’s friends, sweets, bubbly, and The Notebook or a low-key singleton’s showing of Chef’s Table, there’s no wrong way to do a movie night. Even just half an hour is an excellent way to relax after the day.
If you’re really into the movie scene, the Hopkins Center for Visual and Performing Arts (the “HOP”) shows movies on a weekly if not nightly basis in their theater. $5 student tickets make it fun and convenient to stay up-to-date with the newest releases. Besides, if walking to the theater with your friends on a snowy evening isn’t one of the perks of college, I don’t know what is.
- No. 2
Sunrise and chill
During Dartmouth’s First Year Trips, students are introduced to the idea of a “sunrike”—a hike up a hill or to a mountaintop in order to watch the sunrise.
If you are so athletically inclined, I wish you well.
For the rest of us, I propose an alternative: the sunrise. Genius, no? This is a quiet tradition for which I have much respect: waking up an hour or so early in order to watch a winter sunrise. That’s all. No expectations, no mistakes, just silence and a stunningly beautiful sunrise. As we’re nearing spring, this is sometimes accompanied by birdsong. It’s one of the best ways to start a morning.
- No. 3
This week at the grocery store, I spent a sum total of less than $8 to elevate my weekly staples to a fun spread which made me happy and brightened this week’s meals. Bubbly water, red grapes, and a loaf of artisan bread joined the table (or desk, rather), making me feel fancy and frivolous and grown up.
Perhaps next week I’ll buy fig jam…?
Confessions of a Coffee Drinker
As I type this, I'm sitting in the Baker-Berry library lobby waiting for King Arthur Flour Cafe (KAF) to open. So, dear readers, here is a dissertation on some of students' favorite coffee locations on campus.
- No. 1
Among my favorite locations at Dartmouth, the little cafe is a welcoming, warm hub even and especially on the chilliest of mornings. Behind their glass display case sit mounds of pastries, muffins, and quiches, brown and crackling with sugar. Their coffee selection is excellent (see picture). More than that, the baristas are endlessly friendly, which may come as a surprise to those who've seen the sprawling line trickling into the library lobby. In fact, several Dartmouth students put together an app called "Line at KAF" in order for students to check the line and adjust their plans accordingly. Another bonus: KAF accepts cash, cards, and DBA—Dartmouth dollars that are usable for everything from laundry to meals, the budgeted nature of which is extremely convenient for those looking to keep their spending down. Last tip: bring your own mug. Doing so guarantees you a discount, the opportunity to be eco-friendly at eight in the morning, and a very homey feeling once you've found a seat at which to enjoy your drink of choice.
- No. 2
Class of '53 Commons ("FoCo")
FoCo is a central aspect of every Dartmouth freshman experience. The large buffet-style food court and ever-changing menus offer variety to students all day long. Relevant to this post is FoCo's coffee selection: six or seven industrial-sized pots of different flavors which suit just about every palate. My favorite is the Bed & Breakfast blend, a generic dark roast that lends itself well to seconds and thirds. "Bottomless" FoCo coffee is included in meal swipes, which so far has done nothing to help me lower my daily consumption. I'm currently on par with "Average American," somewhere between 2.1 and 3.1 cups a day. Refill, anyone?
- No. 3
(I know, I know.) Their classic menu is now available in two places at Dartmouth: the first on Main Street in Hanover, a couple minutes' walk from the Green, and the second in Novack Café, accessible through Baker-Berry Library. The lines here seem equal to those in Seattle, so whether its the matching green-and-white which connects Dartmouth students to Starbucks or some less obvious factor, I think we're all inclined to wish them well.