Before coming to Dartmouth, I absolutely dreaded the idea of staying on campus during the winter. It terrified me -- lack of sun, freezing weather and my lack of winter apparel. However, I have come to really appreciate the snow and winter season. Being from Los Angeles, it usually felt like there was only one season, but there are so many weather changes and nature here in New Hampshire. I'm loving the various weather changes and each season's fun activities.
My favorite type of days are those when there's fresh snow and the sun comes out, causing the white soft snow to glisten under the sunlight. Then, at night, the skies become so clear that you can see so many stars and constellations. It makes me want to take an astronomy class just so I can learn more about them.
At night, the College shines a blue light on some campus buildings and the only words that come to my mind are "winter wonderland." Big chairs are placed outside, scattered around campus, with bonfires to keep community members warm. I have found them to be so comfortable a great place for some conversations with friends. Hot chocolate from Hanover's local diner, Lou's Restaurant and Bakery, has also become a staple drink on campus and treat while gathering around the bonfire. It has become a small ball of warmth in the freezing atmosphere and the chilly weather is a nice contrast to the warmth the setting provides.
We also had the large snowball fight -- an annual tradition -- after "receiving" an email from Dr. Seuss after the first heavy snowfall. Students met on The Green at midnight and participated in this tradition despite the unusual year. It was so amazing having a small "normal" tradition despite the numerous changes.
My favorite experience so far has been the ice-skating on The Green with other FYSEP community members. It was a great opportunity to meet other FGLI students in-person from various different classes, and it was also really cool to meet several upperclassmen who have become amazing mentors and strong support system. Whenever these smaller reunions happen, it definitely feels like a small piece of home on campus.
Even if I haven't been able to participate in all of the cool activities there are so many small aspects that have made it super enjoyable. With four weeks left in the term, I am doing my absolute best to make the most out of it!
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Each winter, a celebration of the Upper Valley's beauty is hosted on Dartmouth's campus: Winter Carnival! In honor of its 114th year in existence, I wanted to document its kick-off and the variety of activities students can participate in during it!