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.
Attention All First-Generation & Low-Income Students!
To those who may question whether applying is the right choice: yes! If you are looking for a sign to apply, this is it. Hear from a first-generation, low-income Chicana about why it's important to take a risk and apply.
Staying Busy in These Unprecedented Times
Although there are certain adventures and activities we cannot do, students are still able to have a busy time at Dartmouth. Read all about how I and other students stay busy despite social distancing!
- No. 1
Being One With Nature
Being so disconnected from nature back home, it feels so strange now being surrounded by nothing but nature. I had not predicted to be as thankful as I am now to be in such a remote location, but the environment has definitely been able to calm me down whenever I get too stressed. Because of the pandemic, I had imagined students would be limited to the outdoor activities; however, the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) has done the most to assure that students are able to participate in numerous outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking, stargazing, etc. while being safe. During the weekend, I was able to sign-up for a canoeing session and canoe with one of my floormates down the Connecticut River. This experience highlighted how easy it is to be one with nature at no cost! Not only did I get to learn something new, but it was also a great way for me to take a break from my studies.
- No. 2
Applications, Meetings, and More Applications!
Amidst all of the euphoria with transitioning to college, I forgot how many informational meetings I would have to attend to learn more about clubs on campus. As classes started, organizations on campus also hosted various sessions and applications for interested students. Therefore, most evenings I could be found glued to my computer hopping in and out of Zoom calls to find the clubs that would best fit me. There are also more opportunities to be involved on campus beside joining clubs! I was able to hear about Dartmouth's Center for Social Impact and their first-year program, Foundations, which focuses on helping first-year students become leaders and offers them the opportunity to learn about non-profits while working closely with them. For some activities, I had to complete surveys and forms; however, there were also other opportunities that required me to do some more research and complete applications.
- No. 3
Relaxing With A Movie Night
Although a lot has changed in Dartmouth's community, at the same time, it feels like not much has changed. My college research last year had always described Dartmouth as displaying a "tight-knit community," and although it looks a bit different this year, I can still see the resemblance. The college has planned and hosted several forms of engagement to offer students the ability to socialize with classmates and get to meet people. This week, the UGAs (undergraduate advisors, similar to RAs) hosted a movie night with free popcorn (!!) to enjoy the end of the week and regain energy for the third week of school. Some other events hosted by the Programming Board and the college have been Bingo Night with amazing prizes (TV's, AirPods, lamps, etc.), yoga sessions, and scavenger hunts! These simple events have really made me feel included in the student body and have demonstrated to me that the college and upperclassmen are still doing what they can to make our transition to college fun and exciting.