Summer School is not punishment
The especially cold days here in the northeast have me yearning for summer: Sophomore Summer, specifically. Dartmouth’s academic calendar, the D-Plan as we call it, requires all students to be on campus taking classes during the summer term between their sophomore and junior years. As a high school student, I thought this was totally wack. Summer is synonymous with no school, I thought. Why would I want to be inside doing homework when I could be at the beach instead? However, Sophomore Summer ended up being my favorite term at Dartmouth. Here’s why:
- No. 1
Because the sophomores are the only class on campus, the summer is basically a long-term bonding opportunity for you and the other members of your class. Over dinners by the river, excursions to nearby diners or walks around Occom pond, I met and got to know many of the other members of my class. I, like many other students, opted to take only 2 classes (we normally take three per term) in the summer so I had plenty of time to spend with friends.
- No. 2
Summer in NH is #gorgeous
Summer (in my opinion), is the best time of year in New Hampshire. It’s never too hot (a beautiful and very manageable 70-78 degrees most days), there’s very little humidity (#byeDC) and the river is right in our backyard. There are two rope-swings, and multiple swimming docks – plus the Ledyard Canoe Club rents kayaks and canoes. I went to countless barbecues, explored trails I didn’t know existed, and generally enjoyed the New Hampshire outdoors way more than I do/did in other seasons.
- No. 3
Opportunity to try new things
Many of the same clubs and activities that happen during the normal academic year (fall, winter, spring) operate as usual during the summer. However, many of them re-open their membership to campus to replace freshmen, sophomores, and graduated seniors who are not on campus during the summer. One of Dartmouth’s main dance groups, Sheba, operates in the summer as Shebalite, a group comprised of only sophomores. During my sophomore summer, I was able to assume leadership positions in my sorority and on the Voices of Summer, a collective of students that organized panels about Gender and Sexuality and a performance of monologues.