Three Lessons I Learned This Year
It's really hard to believe that I'm done with my third year of college. It truthfully feels like I just arrived for First-Year Trips, walking around campus with a sense of disorientation at all the people and things around me. It's even more strange to think about how I only have a year left with my friends in Hanover.
But before thinking about the future too much, I want to reflect on three lessons I've learned since starting junior year (which has felt both extraordinarily long and yet fleeting at the same time). Most of my time hasn't been spent on-campus, but that doesn't mean I didn't learn anything from the Dartmouth community remotely.
- No. 1
It’s worth it to branch out
In the fall, I tried a lot of new things, including which classes I took. I enrolled in an introductory Italian language and art history course, both of which I loved! I took Spanish through middle and high school, but wasn’t particularly good at it, so I was nervous about testing my rusty language skills again. But I saw my Italian skills improve dramatically as the course of the term went by, in part due to the speaking drills held multiple times a week (which were conducted by a student instructor and with no grades). It was so much fun to learn new phrases, and class felt more like a discussion with friends than a formal lecture. I also learned a ton about Maria Montessori and her education system...
- No. 2
Let your friends introduce you to what they’re passionate about!
This winter, it was really nice because two of my close friends were interning at D.C., only a few metro stops away from my house. Even though I’d lived here for a long time, there are a lot of parts of the D.C. scene that I didn’t appreciate before. One of my friends was a sports fan, so he took us to an NBA game. We also went to the Kennedy Center for an orchestra performance, and I’d never been before! My other friend was more into art, so we made sure to hit up the most famous art museums and galleries. This sort of thing happens all the time at Dartmouth, but I really appreciated it away from Dartmouth as well. And this is also reciprocal, meaning you should show your friends your interests and passions!
- No. 3
Embrace change (and the unknown)
I feel like this one is a given, considering everything that’s happened this year. While I was hoping for a winter in D.C., a spring term in Rome, and a summer in Boston, let’s just say that that hasn’t happened. But I’m super grateful for my internship and the fact that I’m able to spend so much more time with my family than I thought was possible during college. I'm someone who identifies as an absolute change-hater, but looking for the bright side kept me optimistic. For example, I've really loved my internship at the Fogarty International Center, and I've gained a lot by being able to intern for more than the typical two months of an off-term. It's definitely changed the trajectory of my career plans and made me want to pursue a Master's in epidemiology!