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Gabe Gilbert and Family

As of September 1st, 2019, I completed the latest in my life's series of move-ins — #13 is one for the books, but most importantly, one for the blog.

My name is Gabe Gilbert, and I write to you today from a cozy dorm room in Bildner, second floor, as a member of Dartmouth's Class of 2023. If you asked me a couple years ago what my precise plans for college were, I'd raise my hands, laugh, and give you the most powerful shrug you've ever seen.

I discovered Dartmouth, funnily enough, via YouTube. A single YouTube video sent me on a quest to absorb every bit of Dartmouth-related information I could, and during my college application season the blog was instrumental in getting the opinions and perspectives of real students. I hope I can offer you, dear reader, the same vivid insight into various parts of the Dartmouth experience, and most especially those that are closest to my heart — language, culture, and high-quality food. 

A little about me: I'm the oldest of eight kids, I have commitment issues to learning languages and have collected phrases from probably a dozen over my eighteen years of life because I never stick with only one long enough, and I can't pronounce the "h" in huge, humongous, or human. Bear with me. It'll be a fun year.

Even having moved thirteen times now, I've never had the chance to go internationally. But that's the coolest part about Dartmouth. In just a couple weeks, I've met people from dozens of countries, heard more languages than the rest of my life combined, and shared laughs with five different continents over one dinner table. It's a powerful realization, but to witness cultural exchanges happen over FoCo chocolate chip cookies (more on these later) or variations in the party game Mafia is an incomparable welcome to college life. 

At Dartmouth, that's the norm. And it's a norm I'm overjoyed to embrace.

Gabe Gilbert shooting a bow
Here's me practicing with a recurve bow during practice as part of Dartmouth's Archery Club!

The first few weeks here at Dartmouth blur together in the best way. Between your freshman trip (a traditional Dartmouth activity where you and a few other kids will go out into the wilderness for a few days in a once-in-a-lifetime bonding experience), orientation, and your first days in class, you'll have so much to think about and do that finding the time to breathe in your beautiful dorm will be your greatest challenge. Dartmouth redefines "work hard, play hard" — free of charge.

Gabe Gilbert's room in Bildner
Here is my work-in-progress room, adorned with the flags of Hawai'i (left) and the Philippines (right) and the banners of West House and Dartmouth!

In just a week, my Intro to Linguistics class (LING.001) has me paying ten times the amount of attention to vowel sounds, my Indigistory class (NAS.30.19) has me reimagining the art of indigenous storytelling, and my Authenticity class (WRIT.005) has me questioning the standards of honesty in social media. The class topics, coupled with the fact that your classmates and professors are as passionately curious as you are, evoke a singular excitement that Dartmouth is happy to celebrate.

Gabe and friends during candlelight ceremony
I promise that this is part of orientation and totally NOT a cult ceremony

I can't wait to keep sharing my journey with you all. Mahalo for reading; have a fantastic day.




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