If I Could Talk to My Younger Self...
...what would I say? It's a question that has been at the back of my mind as I've matured from a freshman to a senior, especially now that my sister is an incoming '24. What would I do differently if I could redo my Dartmouth experience? What advice do I have for other students so that they can make the most of everything Dartmouth has to offer? There's definitely nothing huge that I regret or would change, but these are more like small ways to step out of your comfort zone and grow as much as you can while at Dartmouth.
- No. 1
Take classes from many departments, especially ones that others rave about
While I have already gotten a taste of various departments outside of my typical scope of classes, such as Art History, Italian, and Government, there are still so many more classes that I wish I could take. Unfortunately, I have no space left in my schedule for classes that don’t count for my majors, but ENGS21 (Design Thinking), TUCK2 (Marketing), and PSYC23 (Social Psychology) are just a few of the courses I have in mind. If you have friends who strongly recommend a class for its content and/or professor, don't be afraid to add it to your classes, even if it's unrelated to your major!
- No. 2
Take your professor to Pine lunch
Dartmouth offers a special program whereby each student gets a voucher every term to take a professor out to lunch at Pine, a local restaurant on-campus. While I did do this once, I feel like I should have taken advantage of the chance to get to know my professors better over a free lunch. Also, if you’re worried about awkward silences, bring a friend! Professors are such a great resource for major advising, research, internships, and post-graduate plans.
- No. 3
Don’t be afraid to join clubs
In freshman year, I stuck to clubs related to my academic interests, and these were mostly informal. I wish I had explored a bit more by joining more structured clubs such as The Dartmouth or community serviced-focused clubs. Also, I was hesitant to start anything new in my sophomore or junior year, but it's never too late! These are a great way to meet more people, and if you don't really enjoy it, you can always stop going to meetings, so it's almost always a low-commitment situation.
- No. 4
Pay attention to the Center for Professional Development (CPD) for resources and information
I feel a bit ashamed to say that I never went to the CPD when I definitely could have. They offer a multitude of workshops and sessions dedicated to helping you make a good impression for interviews or applications. It’s also a great resource if you’re unsure about your future career path and just want some general career advising.
- No. 5
And most importantly, embrace spontaneity!
I think I was understandably a bit overwhelmed upon arriving at Dartmouth. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to just relax - college is about making mistakes and exploring your options, and it’s as much about personal development as it is academic development. Go to cool events on-campus, try new hobbies or activities, make friends through classes, and cherish the four years you have here. You don't have to be who you set out to be as an entering freshman - in fact, it would be a shame if you did just that. Use Dartmouth as a way to find who you are and you'll leave perfectly content. At least, that's what I would say to myself!