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Hey Blog! It's hard to believe it's already been a week since my first post, I'm still getting used to the college timeline, everything moves so incredibly fast! As I write this entry, I'm about to embark on my third week of classes—I'm excited for what's to come, but I've also been thinking a lot about the past few weeks, specifically First-Year Trips, and Orientation. So, before I dive into being a full-time student again, let me go ahead and get you all caught up on my Dartmouth student journey one month in!

First-Year Trips​​​​​

Wow. What an experience. If you weren't able to read my first post, First-Year Trips at Dartmouth is a student-run camping tradition. My group went fishing! Here is a picture of some big game we caught: 

Fish

Only joking, we didn't have much luck, unfortunately. The real highlight of trips was making memories with my newfound, lifelong friends. Throughout our four-day journey in the wilderness, as a group, we bonded through portable stove-cooked meals, early morning hikes through the lush, Hanover woods, as well as stargazing (my personal favorite). I can't stress enough how wholesome and encouraging this experience was for me. Everything from purifying my own water gathered from a nearby lake, to just casually journeying into the middle of the forest and eating vanilla yogurt-covered raisins. Being able to de-stress in the wilderness, make new friends, and co-exist with the wildlife around me, both grounded and rejuvenated my soul. Here are some of my favorite pictures from trips that convey my experience:

Cooking
Here is Gavin '25 (one of our trip leaders) helping us cook dinner
Hiking
This picture was taken on our first day of hiking to Boston Lot Lake
Camp
This was our first attempt at setting up camp

Forest
This is an old, abandoned car landmark we found in the forest on our hike!

Let me also highlight the fact that both of my trip leaders just happen to be bloggers for People Places Pines as well! Ladies & gentlemen, the best trip leaders on planet Earth, and now some of my favorite individuals on campus: Gavin Fry '25 & Diana D'souza '23

Sklodj
Gavin (Left), Diana (Right), Joanna, one of my new '26 friends (Middle). Joanna is also a blogger for People Places Pines! As a Senior in high school, I relied on People Places Pines for a lot of my Dartmouth-related information. Through the blog, I discovered a lot about the culture, academics, as well as resources at Dartmouth from a current student perspective, so having two of the writers I was infatuated with throughout high school as trip leaders was quite literally akin to the experience of meeting a celebrity, two at that!

As a Dartmouth student, your introduction to campus and all that it has to offer is simply put, captivating. As a freshman, campus is introduced through two main stages, the first being trips (for students who wish to participate) and the second is O-week, (orientation) which is a seven-day period of introductions, tours, feasts, parties, and ceremonies leading up to the first Monday of classes during Fall term. After highlighting my First-Year Trips experience, I want to end this entry with some of my favorite moments from orientation week!

Orientation Week

1. In general, one thing that stuck out during O-week was the sense of community. During O-week, for the most part, Dartmouth is a strictly freshman-filled campus. And since everyone is new to college life, It's a really unique experience exploring, meeting, and bonding with everyone for the first time. I wish I had a picture of the aftermath, but one of the first things my roommates and I did on campus was go night swimming in the Connecticut River with a bunch of other '26s. It was a lot of fun, and a memory I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life.

2. Now to some, this isn't always obvious, but the food in college, specifically at Dartmouth, in my humble opinion, is tear-jerking. Never have I ever been so excited to grab a meal with friends, and during O-week specifically, we had giant '26 dinners at the Class of 1953 Commons (main dining hall on campus). They were nothing short of incredible-Oklahoma has nothing on the seafood here, Mom.

3. For my final pick, The Twilight Ceremony: Sunday night leading up to classes starting for the Fall term, we '26s lined up at Collis (another main restaurant/activity center on campus), lit candles, and marched into the woods for one last final send-off. During the ceremony, current student Anthony Fosu '24, gave a wonderful speech about academic curiosity and its importance in our daily lives as Dartmouth students and beyond. At the end of the ceremony, we sang the Dartmouth Alma Mater as a class, blew out our candles and cheered off into the cool, crisp, star-scattered Hanover evening. It was a really neat way of marking the end of my transition to college life. It reminded me of why I chose this school; at Dartmouth, I'm not just a number. I'm a student with a voice, a place, and a purpose.

Twilight Ceremony
The Twilight Ceremony: marching across campus to BEMA (big empty meeting area) for our final send-off!
Twilight Ceremony
The Twilight Ceremony: at BEMA with our candles!

I hope you've enjoyed this post and feel a bit more acquainted with some of the first-year traditions here at Dartmouth! Until next time,

Your friend,

Garrett

 

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