Riverside sunset
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Snow-covered Baker-Berry Library tower winter '23

So much has changed over the past year, and I'm grateful that I have this blog to document my time at Dartmouth throughout my time here. I encourage you to go back and read my blog posts from last winter to see just how much my mindset has changed. Whether it be explicitly stated in the words that I write or implicit in the content I choose to write about, I'm sure it would be deeply beneficial to see how a college student's mindset has changed through their writing.

I want to refrain from using any form of the cliché that resembles "time sure does fly by when you're having fun," but it's true. Looking back over the past year, it's absolutely astonishing how fast this has all gone by. I start to think of last spring when the snow finally receded in the Upper Valley and I got to go golfing again. I remember the bitter cold wind coming off the Connecticut River when I went ice fishing for the first time. When I think back to these individual moments, it seems like my freshman winter was an eternity ago. Time warp maybe… who knows? I do know that I'm over 1/3 of the way finished with my Dartmouth career, and that's just bonkers to me. Still, there's 2/3 of this Dartmouth journey left, and I've still got much to do. I honestly feel more prepared academically, intellectually, and emotionally this time around, and I think there are a few reasons for that:

For one, I'm living in an off-campus apartment for this winter term, and I think that's going to be a great change of pace from the Greek space I lived in last year. I'm grateful for the experience I had last term living in a Greek (frat) house, but I don't think the environment matched my personality type. In past blog posts I've mentioned that I'm an introverted person, and that's why I think I'm going to benefit from more of a "low-key" and quiet space away from campus. Additionally, I think there will be a good separation of work and leisure once I get to campus and once I leave. There are free shuttles that run once every 30 minutes, so that's going to make life pretty easy!

View from the off-campus apartment
Here's my view from the off-campus apartment this term. Hope we get some more snow soon!

I also feel that I'm more prepared intellectually and emotionally because my mental health is in a good place. I think that's due to putting myself around the right people / finding the right friends. I mentioned before that the people you surround yourself with in high school will "make or break" your future, and college is no different. When I first started at Dartmouth, I was paranoid about not finding this friend group. I thought so many people had already found theirs, and I was being left in the dust for some reason. That's malarkey. It takes time to sort through the people who are your acquaintances and those who are truly there for you. It's not formulaic, and you can't do it overnight. It will happen, you just have to let it go. It will work itself out.

More generally, I'm happy this term. Last winter, I'd just lost my nana (the woman who raised me), and my mental health took a dive. Since then, I've been able to find the key activities that I absolutely love on campus, navigate toward more attractive academic trajectory, and I've got beautiful people that care about me (more updates soon!). Things are good, and I can't wait to take you on this ride with me for the '23 winter term!

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