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I've never been a big fan of winter, but the fun activities Dartmouth has to offer during the season are nothing short of incredible. This weekend, I figure skated, built a snowman, had a snowball fight, went sledding, played hockey, watched a hockey game, and skied (for the first time)!

Though there is an ice skating rink annually set up on the green, Occom pond freezes over and provides the perfect stage for any level of skater. In the winter, the pond is filled with Dartmouth students, alumni, professors, and local families looking to have a fun time out on the ice. When I first stepped onto the deck this Saturday, I was hit by a wave of admiration as I watched families and friends twirl and laugh on their skates. Between the intense hockey matches, students getting skating lessons, and friends making loops with linked arms, it seemed like everyone had a space for themselves.

Skating 1
My friend gearing up for an intense hockey match!
My friends and I were on a mission this weekend to teach one of my friends how to skate, which proved not to be so difficult given the upside down garbage cans Dartmouth provides. Since there's no wall to hold onto like in an indoor arena, the cans allow some extra support to those who need it. After half an hour, he finally got the hang of it and we picked up some hockey sticks! Neither me or my friends have played hockey before, but it was still fun to play 3 vs. 3 and see if we could land a puck in a goal once. Though none of us had experience, it proved to be a fun afternoon and a great way to destress from the week. 

Skating 2
Exhaustion post intense hockey match

My #1 goal for this winter term was to learn how to ski and I can officially say that I've done that! Dartmouth provides lessons during the winter for first time skiers or snowboarders that take place every weekend for 6 weeks. When you sign up, you have the choice to apply financial aid to the price of the lessons as well as what time over the weekend you'd like to commit to. The lessons provide you with skis, poles, a helmet, ski boots, and goggles. On Sunday over the weekend, I hauled all of my gear to my 1:00 bus for my 1:45 lesson. My lesson went from 1:45-3:30, and ended in time for the 3:45 bus. Though a huge time commitment, it was definitely worth it. Dartmouth has its own ski lodge that's 30 minutes away from campus and has food, drinks, and a ton of great people. The instructors there were unbelievably great and made sure we were all learning as much as possible. Though I only made it down a pretty acute incline, I had a ton of fun meeting my group mates and beginning to understand the ski basics. 

It's a well known fact that New Hampshire gets cold in the winter, but don't let that stop you if you're not a huge fan of sub-zero temperatures. I only gave 2 out of dozens of snow related anecdotes that have occurred during the past 3 weeks and I'm thrilled for the rest of the term.

Skiing 2
The gorgeous green ski lodge through a bus window

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