The Inside Scoop
For the students who want to start looking into colleges --- here are some resources that helped me learn more about the colleges I was interested in and wanted to continue looking into!
- No. 1
Read The Blogs
College blogs, especially Dartmouth's, were super insightful about what it was like to be a student on their campus. Blogs were able to touch on several topics such as what it's like to be a low-income student to what dining looks like. They also enabled me to view the paths that upperclassmen took and showcased all of the opportunities that were available for its students. In addition, some blogs like Dartmouth include features where students can submit their own questions and have bloggers answer them. You could also use this as an opportunity to see how different types of students with similar identities to yours were able to create a space for themselves.
- No. 2
Engage On Social Media
One of my favorite resources to learn more about life on campus was the Dartmouth Admissions page on Instagram (@dartmouthadmissions). The official college accounts are helpful because they provide several images of what Dartmouth may look like, especially for students that are unable to visit, and they contain several reminders and promotional posts. For instance, Dartmouth Admissions's Instagram creates highlights for prospective students where they can view "student takeovers," dorm tours, and learn more about the application process.
- No. 3
Watch YouTube Videos
College videos on YouTube are also helpful and an easy way to learn more about life on campus! You can play them while focusing on other tasks and you are able to see how students interact with their school environment. There have also been several college YouTubers who continue to document their experience, even during the pandemic, which can provide students with a more current perspective. My favorite types of videos were the short, two-minute trailers that advertised the schools and showcased all of the opportunities on campus.
Studying the Vibes of Each Study Space
This is my best attempt at trying to describe the vibes each of these study spots gives me—featuring the Cube and Collis!
- No. 1
I stumbled upon this perfect little area after losing track of time and rushing to find a place where I could log into my Zoom class. Usually, when I am in virtual classes the environment is either too quiet or comfortable for me to stay awake or too noisy and uncomfortable for me to stay focused. This normal and random location was honestly exactly what I needed! The seats were super comfortable and the lighting from the glass ceiling—unfortunately, not pictured—was perfect! I felt very awake with the lighting and despite feeling comfortable I actually felt very studious and focused because I could see other students doing their work as well or attending classes. It wasn’t too quiet to the point where I would feel insecure talking in class, but there was enough silence for me to clearly hear my professor.
- No. 2
After several attempts trying to secure a study room, I was finally able to reserve a study room and was a bit disappointed to find out that I didn’t feel as productive as I had hoped. Having an entire study room to myself was nice because I didn’t have to worry about my volume or disturb others; however, it also felt like being in my dorm room and just relaxing. Perhaps, study rooms might be better when studying with a group.
- No. 3
Do you want to experience the “rainy day vibes” but also feel productive?!?! This is the spot! After a morning of soft drizzles and windy weather, I decided to stop by Collis’ Common Ground and settle down in one of their cushioned chairs not realizing that it was right next to a fireplace. Feeling a great urge to read and enjoy ~the vibes~ I decided to do some light homework reading and it felt so nice! Although I enjoy the readings I’m assigned for class, I also tend to get overwhelmed by the number of pages and stress out a lot while reading. The fireplace with the warm tones of the room eased my worries and made reading such an enjoyable experience. I felt so warm and at ease that it reminded me of Christmas.
A Trick or Treat Yo'Self Week
The last week of October was especially ~spooky~ as I was able to find more time than usual to enjoy my weekend with friends and the small-town-charm of Hanover.
- No. 1
Honoring Our Loved Ones
I think something that is also incredibly special about this event is that a group of us, ’24s (freshmen), were able to help create and organize this event with OPAL (Office of Pluralism and Leadership). The office was incredibly kind and helpful to us during the process and super willing to provide us with the necessary funds to not only decorate the room and altar but also give goodies to attendees. Despite only being freshmen, we were still offered the necessary support to host an event that connected us back to our culture and home. It felt incredibly nice to be surrounded by people who were interested in wanting to learn about some Latin American culture and participate. Not only that, but it felt like a piece of home was with me through the lively music and beautiful decorations. Huddled in Collis One Wheelock, several of us were able to paint ceramic skulls and adorn the altar with vibrate decorations while providing a space for us to interact with others.
- No. 2
Carving Out Fun
On Saturday, a friend and I decided to participate in an event hosted by Dartmouth’s Programming Board and carve pumpkins that we then placed outside our dorms. My friend, Ericka, opted for a cat-styled pumpkin, gaining inspiration from her cats back home while I attempted to write “Boo” with a ghost in the center. As you can see, my pumpkin didn’t go as planned. I never realized how much college kids still enjoyed participating in these small traditions, so it was very endearing to see a group of us in a tent as we attempted to forget the cold and create our masterpieces. Despite my hands feeling completely frozen at the end of the night as I continuously carved out the inside of the pumpkin, the experience was worth it!
- No. 3
Donuts & Pretty Purple Skies
Compared to home, Hanover feels a lot safer for me, mainly because of its small location. It feels oddly empowering being able to walk by yourself in the afternoon or late at night and not have to worry as much about where you're walking. This is a privilege that I realize I am definitely going to miss when I go back home which is why I have decided to not waste a single moment of perfect weather to walk around town. Walking around town, I've realized how comfortable and used to the weather I have become, slowly coping with the New England weather more each day. The pretty, clear skies of Friday offered beautiful shades of pink and purple that accompanied me in my small town adventures. Wandering around town, I visited Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery to purchase one of the most loved apple cider donuts along with a glazed donut. It felt incredibly warm and perfect for the fall weather. It was a perfect treat for the last weekday of classes.
Un Poco Loco for POCO
There are several organizations on campus for students to participate in that it can sometimes be overwhelming. Thankfully, I was able to find People of Color Outdoors (POCO), which has been a great community to be a part of!
- No. 1
Trips, Trips & More Trips!
The DOC is a large club that is split off into sub-clubs that focus on several different types of activities and host “trips” which can be described as outdoor excursions or activities. There are various sub-clubs that students can participate in such as Women in the Wilderness, Organic Farm, Mountain Biking, etc. POCO doesn’t focus on a specific field rather, it brings people of color together to try a variety of different outdoor activities. By being a part of POCO I was able to feel comfortable with a group of people and sign up for trips that have interested me. Through POCO I was able to learn how to ride an e-bike and bike to Gile Mountain where we admired the peak fall foliage. Having never ridden an e-bike, it was a very stressful experience but the trip leaders were very kind and helpful for those that struggled a bit more than others. I was able to meet several new people and enjoy a beautiful view! There have also been trips to bike to the Organic Farm on campus, paddle the Connecticut River and go hiking.
- No. 2
Meals on the Green
According to the upperclassmen I have met, “feeds” are club dinners where students can cook up some meals for each other and relax with other club members. Because of social distancing and other regulations, “feeds” look different from before; however, POCO is still making the effort to provide this experience for students. Each week, the social chairs of the club host events where students can meet new people and grab dinner. In one of the “feeds” I attended, we grabbed dinner from FOCO and enjoyed a socially-distanced meal on the Green (the main lawn area for hangouts) while watching the sunset. In another, we played a game of spikeball--a game I had never heard of. Having time to meet up with other club members during the weekend has been a great way to re-energize and get ready for the upcoming week of overwhelming homework assignments.
- No. 3
One of the things I love most about POCO is that the friendships we make in the club extend past the trips POCO leads. We don’t meet only during club meetings, several of us have similar interests, are in the same classes, or we stumble upon each other in trips led by other sub-clubs. POCO helps strengthen the friendships we make and offers us the opportunity to build relationships with others. For instance, this past weekend I decided to participate in a canoeing trip with the Ledyard Club not knowing who was attending. To my surprise, a fellow POCO member was participating. It is nice walking around campus and participating in activities where you see familiar faces.