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What's something you've done at Dartmouth that you couldn't have done or experienced anywhere else?

A: Jenny with crossed arms

This is a hard question because I feel like there are many things unique to Dartmouth. The location, the community, the traditions... But I would say that sophomore summer was an example of all of those things coming together into an experience that I truly could not have had anywhere else. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the concept of sophomore summer, most Dartmouth students take classes and remain on-campus the summer after their sophomore year.

This is mostly due to the flexible D-plan, which allows you to do the off-term you would have had in the summer another time. For example, I took that off-term my junior winter, interning at the National Institutes of Health. Other people I know took off-terms their sophomore winter, junior fall, etc. It really depends on your own schedule and what you hope to accomplish in the time you have without classes!

Back to the main topic of sophomore summer. I have previously written some posts about it before, but I think it's something that other colleges might not offer. I loved being able to bond with the other members of my class, as it was mostly just '21s on-campus. Campus life felt quieter and I felt like I was able to enjoy the normal Dartmouth experience in a slightly different way.

For many students, sophomore summer also marks an important period of growth and transitioning, from underclassmen to upperclassmen. Since no other grades are on-campus, a lot of clubs, such as performance groups and The Dartmouth, allow the sophomores to take leadership positions for the term. It definitely felt like an important milestone in my time at Dartmouth that marked the beginning of new responsibilities.

I was able to take classes, work as a Learning Fellow for a biology class, and continue my research at the Geisel School of Medicine. However, I also went canoeing with my Ledyard student membership, swam in the Connecticut River after class, joined friends for barbecues, and was able to head off-campus into nearby towns' restaurants and attractions. If I'm being honest, this was the first time I felt truly connected with my surroundings and place at Dartmouth. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit my friends or sister over the summer in the future and relive some of these amazing memories!

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