What I Wish I Knew Before Coming to Dartmouth
Hello all! I am currently writing halfway through my winter term, which also marks the halfway point of my freshman year. This realization has definitely led to a bit of reflection about the experiences I've had and people I've met thus far. Today, I want to write about some things I wish I knew/realized before attending Dartmouth.
The first thing I wish I had known about is the pace that Dartmouth consistently carries. Because of our ten week quarters, everything moves incredibly quickly. Every term is a whirlwind of intensity, and while it's fun, it's also very stressful. I knew about the D-Plan and Dartmouth's quarter system before attending, but I didn't quite realize what that would entail when I arrived. I wasn't expecting to face midterms in my third week of classes. I wasn't aware that each term would pass by faster than I knew was possible. If I had known this would happen, I definitely would have taken more time to enjoy my time on campus. I obviously will be back and have plenty of time left to do this, but things at Dartmouth move quickly. I spent a lot of my fall looking ahead and thinking about things that weren't in the present, and I wish I would have tried to have fun in the moment and enjoy the time I have, because it has already started to move by quickly.
Another thing I wish I had known before attending this school is that there is no need to limit myself in any way. Dartmouth offers incredible opportunity in multiple facets, and I entered the fall term focused on very specific pieces of the holistic experience. While I still hope to work in theater productions and study social sciences, I limited myself to those specific fields a few months ago, and it wasn't until later that I realized just how much I was restricting myself from. Dartmouth offers numerous courses of study, clubs and groups, and other opportunities, and I am currently trying to familiarize myself with more that is offered. Freshman year should be a time of exploration, and I wish I had done more of that at the beginning of the year. Again, with everything said, I do have time to continue my exploration of everything Dartmouth has to offer, but it would have been nice to have this awareness before arriving on campus.
After looking back at how I've spent the first half of my freshman year, I'm happy. I feel satisfied about what I've done and fortunate about all of the incredible people I've met. However, no first year of college is going to be perfect, and I definitely wish I had known about Dartmouth's fast pace and pushed myself to explore more of the variety it offers.
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