Riverside sunset
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Nothing beats coffee by an open fire during the heart of winter!

The 2022 winter term, or simply 22W in Dartmouth lingo, was simply the most "where did time go" period of my 19-year life. It seems like an exaggeration, but I'm being genuine. Perhaps it's a combination of the days being shorter and the rigor of Dartmouth classes that make the days speed by, but I can't be for sure. All I know is that it seems like I time traveled through the past ten weeks. Now, when I go back and look at all the stuff I've done this term, 22W seems like it should have gone by much slower.

I started off this term hopping on a flight from Memphis to Boston in late December after saying goodbye (for the final time) to my nana who had raised me. She'd passed away on Christmas Eve this past year, but I'm certainly glad I was able to spend time with her while I was home. I knew she'd want me to get on with my studies and focus on the good fight, and that's exactly what I did. Before I knew it, winter term came in full force.

I began to appreciate the beauty of the upper valley in the wintertime. Although I was initially skeptical of how I would fare in a New Hampshire winter, I did just fine. I was able to dabble in snow photography which is something I'd been wanting to do for a while now. Also, I went skiing for the first time in my life with one of my good friends. What an experience that was! I also went on some sunrikes (quiz time… what does sunrike mean?) Hint: Previous blog post. Winter in Hanover is anything but boring. You could choose to be couped up in your dorm and complain about how cold and nasty it is, or you could make the most of it!

Me absolutely terrified at the top of a beginner ski hill.
Me absolutely terrified at the top of a beginner ski hill.

One of the most beautiful sunrises I've seen, courtesy of a Dartmouth sunrike!
One of the most beautiful sunrises I've seen, courtesy of a Dartmouth sunrike!

I also got to experience my first ever winter carnival! Whether it be admiring the snow sculpture, sipping hot chocolate by the open fire, or attempting to dive into a frozen lake (known as the polar plunge here), winter carnival was something else. Dartmouth truly does a good job at making lemonade out of the lemons that is a crisp winter. I loved every second of it!

Spy-themed snow sculpture for winter carnival this year!
Spy-themed snow sculpture for winter carnival this year!

Personally, I went through some things this term that I'll probably never forget. Nothing traumatic, but some of the circumstances I found myself in made me realize that I'm an adult, and the choices I make now have direct impacts on my future. Once I was able to realize this, I started focusing on the things that made me happy while still scrutinizing my academics. Something that truly helped me get through these tough times were multiple fishing trips through Bait and Bullet (mentioned in my previous blog post). On these trips, I was able to reconnect with my passion that is fishing (although this time it was through the ice!). I was also fortunate enough to meet people who I believe will be lifelong friends. I'm so grateful for my experiences with the Bait and Bullet club and it's leaders! I love you guys!

The overall theme of this winter, personally, was to realize when things get a bit out of hand and to combat that by focusing on the things that make you the happiest. For me, this was fishing trips, hikes, photography, and a bit of golf as well. Winter term was one that I will certainly never forget whether it be because of the highs or the lows. Nevertheless, I loved it.

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