Four Questions about Dartmouth, Answered!
- No. 1
Can you choose where to live?
Not exactly. As an incoming freshman, I applied to a Living Learning Community. These are different themed groups that live together and have other programming designed to bring together people with similar interests. You can read more about mine, Great Issues Scholars, here. If you don’t want to live in one of these, you would just apply for normal housing - which puts you in a Housing Community. I still had one - North Park! Throughout your time at Dartmouth, you will live with other people in your community, since different buildings are allocated to each one. There are also really fun events put on by each student executive board - from trips to Boston and New York to apple-picking adventures, tubing, and relaxation days. In my own personal experience, I’ve been extremely happy with my housing - I’ve lived in the McLaughlin cluster three years and spent sophomore summer in my sorority house. I’ve been able to meet new people through North Park and many of my freshman hall mates are close friends to this day.
- No. 2
Are the classes difficult?
Classes certainly can be difficult, and I believe they should be challenging enough for you to grow as a student. I’ve definitely taken some classes that took a ton of time and effort - a few that come to mind are my Writing 5 on race and ethnicity in higher education, organic chemistry, and applied multivariate data analysis. But I would take each of those over again because they taught me so much, both in terms of the content themselves and also things like how to study better and work as a team. Furthermore, challenging classes typically have tons of resources to help struggling students out! I’ve taken advantage of free one-on-one peer tutoring, review sessions with Learning Fellows (who act like TAs), professor office hours, group study sessions, etc. Professors are always willing to help and usually spend at least a few hours a week answering questions during office hours!
- No. 3
Why did you pick Dartmouth?
Honestly, one of the main reasons I picked Dartmouth was because of the tight-knit community. It was so obvious from the moment I got in - my alumni interviewer emailed me to say congratulations, students spent hours in a common room talking to me and a few other prospective students during Dimensions, and there was the sense that I would be quickly welcomed, a feeling that hasn’t gone away. From First-Year Trips to Homecoming and Sophomore Summer, the small campus size and valued sense of tradition make Dartmouth a special place to be a part of, beyond just academics.
- No. 4
Is it hard to live in a place as remote as Hanover?
It’s an adjustment for sure, depending on where you’re coming from. But I actually enjoy how it’s a change from my pre-college life, and likely my post-college life. I probably will never again spend a significant amount of time in such an isolated, surrounded-by-nature location. I think college is the perfect time to do so because when terms are going by so fast, it helps to just have to focus on one thing - school, in Hanover. I’ve also found a lot of happiness in doing things I wouldn’t be able to otherwise outdoors - I learned how to ski, went on a few hikes (including "sunrikes," or sunrise hikes), paddle boarded on the Connecticut River, and had the special chance to do mundane things like study with a view of the gorgeous autumn mountains in the background and admire fat snowflakes falling on my walk to class. If anything, the location and sense of place at Dartmouth strengthens its meaning to me.