Starting College in Quarantine
It goes without saying that things are far from normal in the world right now (I'm sure you all are just as sick of this "unprecedented times" talk as I am, so I'll save you from that). I was already nervous about moving 12 hours away from home and starting college without a single familiar face in sight. The pandemic only heightened such anxieties. However, the transition into Dartmouth has been smoother than I could have ever imagined. Dartmouth's COVID-19 plan for the fall involved a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, stuffed with multiple tests and virtual activities/events. To be fully transparent, before arrival, I was not looking forward to spending the first two weeks of my freshman year of college trapped in my dorm, but actually I ended up having a really great start to the year.
One of my largest concerns about starting college in a pandemic was the lack of social mobility. Opening up my housing assignment on my computer a week and a half before arrival, I was disappointed when I learned I would not have a roommate for this term. I became nervous about college, afraid I wouldn't be able to meet anyone and would end up upset and lonely. However, after arriving here, these fears went away pretty quickly. Through virtual meetings every night, I became extremely close with my orientation group, and we have been able to safely hang out and get meals together since quarantine has ended. I've been able to make other friends and meet more people in other formats as well. Being here made me realize that my feelings of social deprivation and excitement to meet new individuals are shared by most other freshmen, so we have all been extremely outgoing and friendly to each other.
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