Visiting Dartmouth After a Hiatus: What's Different?
I've stated time and time again on this blog and through other media that Dartmouth truly is my home; it's a beautiful place full of curious and talented people that support me.
However, I gained a new perspective on this idea when I visited campus for the first time after four months. I met with friends that I hadn't seen in several terms, I visited all of the spaces on campus that I regularly frequented earlier in the year, and I ate at Foco (our dining hall) because I really missed the cookies.
Seeing my friends and all of these places almost made me emotional; I didn't realize just how much I'd missed campus and the place I've called home for the past two years. Experiencing those emotions gave me reassurance that I'm doing good work writing for the Peoples, Places, Pines blog. I truly hope that you can share these emotions by coming to Dartmouth one day; I'm very grateful to be a student here!
It's amazing how much you recognize subtle differences on campus when you haven't been there in several months. On a bigger campus, I hardly think you'd be able to recognize the fruit stand being moved or that new pots and pans are hanging from the ceiling in the dining hall.
A small area of construction underway in the cool, fall air was undoubtedly absent in the June heat. The shrubs that lined the entrance to the physics building were gone, exposing a sidewalk I never knew existed. I feel as if it's my actual home that's been modified a bit, and, as someone who's lived there for two years, I'd be able to discern even the most subtle of changes to my house. That's what Dartmouth is to me, it's home. I don't feel that I'd have a connection to a campus anywhere like I do at Dartmouth.
Apart from the campus changes, my interactions with my Dartmouth friends stuck out the most to me. There was the sort-of laminated "list" of people I knew I wanted to catch up with during my few days back on campus. I shared laughs with these wonderful people, got dinner with them, and shared several funny stories about our journeys we had during the previous summer term.
Apart from these core group of friends, I was taken aback by the amount of friends that kept "popping" up outside of the dining hall or while walking along the sidewalk. I received many shouts like "Hey, Gavin! I thought you were doing an off-term! What are you up to?" or a "Yo! I haven't seen you in ages, how's it going?" I've impacted a few lives here at Dartmouth, and I've certainly been impacted by many individuals along the way. I'm so grateful. Having these experiences visiting campus after not showing my face for a couple months reinforces my love for Dartmouth and the friends I've made during my journey!