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Occom Pond Loop

Course election process

Before diving into the courses I picked as well as the rationale behind my decisions, I want to provide a brief overview of the course selection process and some other minor nuances that might potentially affect my final schedule.

To start, course election at Dartmouth consists of two phases: the first being course selection, and the second being course change. Both are equally important, but course selection is undeniably my favorite. During course selection, students typically browse through courses on Layup list, which is a specific website tailored to Dartmouth students, It's similar to websites like ratemyprofessors.com. Layup list provides difficulty levels and reviews of all available Dartmouth courses, so students typically use it to read past experiences and make better decisions in organizing their schedules. After picking three courses, you simply wait until course change period; the stressful part of course selection is you're never guaranteed to get what you want. In some cases, you'll go 3/3! Sometimes you get unlucky and don't get any of your elected courses and have to pick new ones, it's all organized randomly through a beastly computer algorithm. Within the course change period, you're able to make any necessary changes to your schedule—everything from switching out of courses, to changing times or instructors is supported.

My winter course selection 

I'm particularly excited about the courses I've elected to take for the 2023 winter term. I've decided to branch out of my comfort zone a bit and take some classes I didn't anticipate taking:

1. Writing 5—all first-year students are required to take a first-year writing course and I was scheduled to take mine in the winter. This isn't a course I had much say in, but I'm excited to hone my writing skills and meet new peers and professors! Within the main writing 5 course, there are subsections of general topics you're able to choose from which become the basis of your writing/class. I selected "Food For Thought" which gravitates towards the idea of food selection and consumption and how both naturally represent our families, religious beliefs, ethics, and emotions as humans. It's a fairly popular choice, so fingers crossed. <3

2. CS 1—this is a course I didn't anticipate selecting at all, but I really hope I'm able to enroll! Computer science is a field I've been really curious about recently, so I've decided on not taking any pre-med courses and taking some extra time to explore. At first, I was hesitant because I felt like I was tied down to the pre-med track, but Dartmouth is very heavy on exploring and trying new paths, and as a first-year student there's really no better time. I've even started learning a bit on my own through one of Dartmouth's free textbooks:

Screenshot of Python Textbook
This is a picture of the online Python textbook Dartmouth offers for COSC 1: Introduction to Programming and Computation

3. Music 9.01 (Introductory guitar!) I'm extremely excited about this course. I've always wanted to learn guitar, and Mus 9.01 is a brand new course that just recently got approved. I've been in contact with the instructor for this course so I'm guaranteed a spot! Over winter break I plan to practice a lot at home. And in the meantime, Hanover strings (a music store right inside Hanover) provided me with an awesome rental. The shop is about a 5-minute walk from my dorm!

Accoustic Hanover Strings guitar in dorm
Here is my acoustic guitar from Hanover Strings!

I'm really hoping to enroll in all of my courses, but it won't be the end of the world if I don't get every single one; Dartmouth offers such a wide variety of courses, there's always something equally intriguing available. Recently, I've been bumming myself out because I've realized just how many courses I'm not going to be able to take, (undergraduates have over 2,100 courses to choose from).

As you can probably tell, I'm quite excited. It's really dawned on me the past few days just how resourceful Dartmouth can be—if you, like me, have pulsing, unshakable desires to explore subconscious interests, Dartmouth will accommodate. Woo! Liberal arts education!

Hopefully my excitement has had a contagious as well as positive effect on your psyche, until next time, take care.

Your friend, 


P.S. Enjoy this picture of Occom Pond

Occom Pond
Occom Pond is about a 6-7 minute walk from my dorm and a staple study break spot!


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