Dartmouth and the Art of Pacing
Not the walking around a room kind—more like the leave-room-for-chill-vibes-in-your-life kind.
The phrase "work hard, play hard" is epitomized by Dartmouth. We have a pretty cool Latin motto, but if we ever decided on English, that phrase would have my vote. Dartmouth students are total grinders, but the other thing that Dartmouth students, in my humble opinion, know better than anything else is how to relax. Whether this means going on a hike, a jog through the woods, a quick gym sesh, or simply some form of creative expression, Dartmouth understands the importance of taking a break.
The D-Plan at Dartmouth provides a very different remix to the college experience. Dartmouth students are enrolled in Dartmouth's academic terms, which are quarters named after the seasons. Whereas most schools have two semesters, a Dartmouth academic year often looks like a combination of three seasons, the usual being Fall, Winter, and Spring (which is required for every Dartmouth student, in addition to Sophomore Summer).
For each term, Dartmouth students take about three classes. Which classes these are depend entirely on your own academic interests and other requirements, but often you have an incredible degree of freedom selecting courses and it's always a fun ride. Choosing when to take classes for your major, or minor, or when to study abroad, or when to do an internship is all a matter of your own plans. The best way to find balance is to be well-versed in what can only be described as the art of pacing.
Pacing in the big picture sense is all about timing when to do what, but what's even more important in my opinion is pacing yourself in the day-to-day. Especially in a virtual setting, I've noticed how easy it is to feel exhausted by the pace of online school. It's very important to recognize that time spent off-screen is equally as important to your livelihood as screen time. Academic and work demands aside, it's incredible how rejuvenating and relaxing some brief moments spent doing something totally unrelated to school expectations can be. Prospective students, this is a reminder from your very own Dartmouth student blogger to remember pacing. It's application season, the next few months are gonna be packed, but nothing is more important than preventing burnout by giving your brain time to destress. My cover picture is a sick view I managed to capture in between a research paper and a computer science exam. The time investment? So worth it.
Doing something else as part of pacing seems counterintuitive at first glance, but the reality is that investing even just a little time into something for your well-being is simultaneously being productive while also performing something of a stretch for the soul. I know that most of you guys probably have some super cool hobbies you've put on the backburner — give some attention back to those things! I promise that your hobbies are not only super valid extracurriculars, but additionally are some of the best ways to connect with Dartmouth students and organizations on campus.
While being in New Orleans for our virtual fall, away from The Hop's grill and FoCo's glorious buffet, it's been a great exercise in cooking, which is something I used to be pretty invested in before Dartmouth. My friends and I have made some amazing meals, and it's actually been such a good time. Here's a picture of sushi we made to both save money and procrastinate our classes.
That being said, the most important tip I can give you guys with great application to adjusting to college life is figuring out your best method of destressing. If you can figure that out before you're on campus, not only will you find an amazing community of people to share your favorite things with, but you'll be so prepared to battle stress on your own terms. Wish you guys nothing but the best, and see you soon!!